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Archive for the ‘Confessions’ Category

Taking a Break

So the impending move is on.  We have 5 1/2 weeks left in Ohio and needless to say, I have been running around like a crazy woman trying to get our house “show-ready” and up for sale, as well as doing all the other crazy things required when moving to another state.  But it’s happening, we will be heading to Fayetteville, Arkansas the day the kids get out of school.

I got to go house hunting with Scott last month and we found a house in a very nice neighborhood.  It was such a hard decision because there are soooo many nice homes on the market!  In fact, we kind of went back and forth between two homes and visited both houses 3 times each.  It was good because every time we’d go to what we call our “second choice” home, we really liked it.  It had an extra bedroom we knew we’d be able to use with all these freaking kids!  And the yard was so nice and the neighborhood was small and there were lots of kids. 

But then every time we’d go back to the home we ended up making an offer on, we just knew that it was IT.  I don’t know how to explain it, but even with all the work we are going to have to put into it (a contractor estimated about $25,000 worth if we have him to do the work), we just knew that this house was the one we wanted.  It was hard to not get emotionally attached to the house and we went back and forth with the sellers – making an offer, them countering, and back and forth until finally we said, “Okay, this is our FINAL offer.  Take it or leave it.” 

And we didn’t find out their answer until we landed back in Cincinnati, that they accepted.  Yay! 

So then we (Scott, Madison, America, and I) got home to a very clean house thank you to our babysitter!  She and the kids worked on it to surprise us.  She is such a blessing to us and boy am I going to miss her.  Too bad I can’t convince her to come to Arkansas with us! 

So the next day we got busy on the house and we worked for about 10 days straight.  By the time we took a day off (which I still found myself cleaning here and there), I was pretty much an emotional basket case.  I needed a break so bad! 

But we got the work done, even though I didn’t run for 2 weeks because we were working on the house and there was just no way I could work out and work on the house too.  Oh yeah, guess I didn’t mention, Scott and I are training to run a marathon.  My STUPID idea.  I mention it and he gets online within an hour of me bringing it up and orders us running shoes!  There’s no backing out now, right? 

Really, I’m glad we are doing this.  I need to do something for myself!  But it does get stressful at times trying to figure out when I’m going to run with all these kids! 

I’m looking forward to getting back to blogging on a regular basis.  I probably won’t be consistent until a couple months after the move, but I do plan on getting back on here and sharing my life lessons and hilarious interactions with my kids! 

In the meantime, I am going to try to keep it together as our moving day approaches.  The kids are stressed too, and it’s definitely showing in Kelly, who turned six last week!  SIX!  I am hoping once we get settled that she will be able to calm down a bit!

As for myself, I am starting to get a bit nervous about moving to such a small town.  It just seems that everybody knows just about everything about everybody.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone has been nothing but friendly, but I do tend to be a private person and I just don’t know how I feel about everybody knowing so much about us.  Kind of sounds funny when I’m blogging about my life doesn’t it?  But to me, blogging still feels somewhat anonymous.  I guess the idea of people possibly finding out something I wouldn’t want them to know makes me feel vulnerable.  Not that I have any deep, dark, terrible secrets, it’s just I know I’m not perfect and I hope that I can not get caught up in trying to put on that mask of perfection in front of these people.  It could be easy to get caught up in trying to pretend everything is cool even when it isn’t, just for the sake of not being talked about.  But that’s not me and I want to be real…even if that means people decide they don’t necessarily like me so much! 

But you bet I’ll still be putting on my makeup before leaving the house when we live there!  It’s that small of a town…oh, who am I kidding?  I’ll still be too lazy to do that at times!  Ha ha!

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If you’ve visited Suzy’s site at Gainesville Moms recently, you might have seen the thread on “Push Presents.”  A push present is a gift for the Mom after her baby is born, and it is becoming a big trend.  Personally, I think “push presents” are a great idea.  After all, I can’t tell you how many jealous moments I’ve had watching my husband drink that beer or order that sushi roll I was craving.  As women, we sacrifice so much, especially when it comes to giving birth and raising our children.  So I figure, Hey, Dads…Why not show your appreciation to the Mom by getting her something to mark that very special day you got to meet your child?

And I don’t think push presents should be limited to women who give birth.  Adoption can be just as much of an emotional journey (if not more) than pregnancy, and there is so much involved in being able to bring home that child, the woman often has to “push” to get that child too.  I know I had to push to get Patrick and Kelly in my home!  I had to push social services multiple times to get off their butts and just open up their file.  What a nightmare!  (Then again, so did my husband, I couldn’t have done all of that without him!)

Anyway, I thought getting a push present was a great idea, especially after my last experience having a baby.  See Scott had just started school the same week Madison was born, and so he was a little overwhelmed with bringing home baby and trying to keep up with his new studies.  Several months before she was born, I watched as a friend had her baby and then cried when her hubby didn’t buy a stork with the birth info to display in the yard…or even balloons to put on the mailbox.  While I thought it would have been nice for her husband to have gotten something for his wife, I was a little turned off by her whining about the whole ordeal too…

and Scott had already asked me to look into the stork thing.  After seeing how that all went down with this friend, and then realizing I’m more of a private person and don’t want my child’s information displayed out on the front yard, I told my husband that I didn’t expect him to do anything extravagant like that.  I was happy with him just being there. 

But secretly, I was hoping for a little something to mark that special day we actually got to hold our little girl in our arms.  After all, this was a big event for me.  I never thought I was going to get to have a baby again, especially since God had asked me if I was willing to give up having any more babies in order to adopt (when I was pregnant with Joshua).  That was a very hard moment for me, but how could I say no to that?  So I said yes, and then we adopted Patrick AND Kelly.  We never anticipated adopting TWO kiddos at once, but what an adventure and blessing to receive! 

I don’t even think the adoptions were complete when God started to work on me again.  I really wanted another baby, but was afraid that even trying I’d be seen as being disobedient and therefore, wouldn’t even try to have a baby.  I remember talking to my friend about it one day and the moment she spoke to me, I knew her words were from God.  “Yes, Melissa, but God also asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.  He was testing your heart in the same way God was testing Abraham’s heart.”  I knew at that moment she was right, but was still too afraid to try.

But by December 2005, God spoke again, only this time loud and clear.  I was sitting in church during the praise and worship, holding my friend’s newborn baby when God said, “I want to give you a child THIS MONTH.  Let me give you a child!”  Honestly, it took a lot of faith to just let go and “do it” (heh heh).  I was so afraid God was going to punish me for stepping out of His will or something.  But just a few days later, Madison was conceived and growing in my womb.

So, needless to say, the birth of this child was such a special event to me.  It was a spiritual and emotional journey as well as a physical one.  But with my shrinking pregnant brain, I didn’t realize just how much it all meant to me.  I just knew I didn’t want to be like my friend, criticizing her husband in front of others about the whole ordeal.  So after Madison was born, I was hoping…maybe a simple card or letter…but I didn’t say anything, because I’d pretty much let my husband off the hook when my friend’s baby was born.  I also knew he was stressing out about school, and I didn’t want to put more pressure on him.  But, I knew my husband.  When Joshua was born, he bought a big bouquet of flowers.  He’s just good like that!

But…

I guess my husband decided to take me at my word this time around!  Nothing.  Nada.  Not even a card. 

Then my birthday came around 13 days later.  My grandma and mom were both there and it was so awesome.  They made me a Rum cake from scratch.  Yum!  Rum and cake in one, who can beat that?  And while they were baking away, secretly, I was still hoping.  I was still hoping that in the midst of Scott scrambling between work and school and the baby craze going on in the house, that he might have found time to maybe get something special to mark this special month.  After all, it was my 29th birthday.  The last year in my 20’s.  (You know only a woman would think about it that way!) and…AND we just had a baby.  This was a special year, a very special month…Something including a sapphire might be nice…you know, the September birth stone! 

And I fought back the tears when I pulled out lamps and shirts out of the gift bag. 

“Do you like them?”  Scott asked about the lamps.  “They were on clearance!” 

“And the shirts match the lipgloss you always wear.” 

Okay, how many men actually notice the lipgloss their wives always wears and then find clothes to match?  But do you know what was running through my head?  “I’m 29 years old, just had a baby, and I’m getting lamps on clearance!”

But I simply said, “Yeah.  They’re nice.  Thank you.”

Really, in his defense, I have to say that I have the most romantic husband ever.  Other women get jealous when they hear about or see the stuff he does for me, and I have to admit, I am quite spoiled.  So I know that expecting all this was a bit much, and I was still going through the baby blues AND dealing with the pain (from my C-Section).  So all these emotions welled up inside me, and I fought them off.  I fought them off because I knew I’d told my husband I didn’t expect anything from him.  I fought them off because I didn’t want to be a crying fool in front of my mom and grandma.  I fought them off because I knew that I was already too emotional and the disappointments I was experiencing was all my fault. 

And it was a lesson learned.  I better really be sure I mean what I say! 

Looking back now, I should have voiced my desires for something special to mark that moment in my life.  It was more than just the birth of a baby, it was also a learning and growing experience.  I was getting to know God on a deeper level, and started to realize that the Bible might be right – that God really might just love me a little bit, and just might want to give me the desires of my heart. 

And as disappointing as it was to get “lamps on clearance,” I do have to admit they match our bedroom nicely.  I may not have a card or special gift to show for the day Madison was born, but I am thankful for my husband who loves his daughter with all his heart.  I’m thankful he took time off work to help out during those first few weeks when we brought Madison home. 

So do I think push presents are important?  Yes!  Even if a woman doesn’t verbalize what she wants, I think any woman would welcome a “push present” from her man.  But in saying all that, I think it is important to emphasize that a push present doesn’t have to be expensive.  It should, however, be special.  It should send the message that the mom and baby are number one.  That the woman is appreciated for all that she does, and that she is valued and treasured and this moment is special.  So if you are catching onto the new trend, try not to get caught up into what the jewelry stores are pushing for.  After all, it is their job to sell as much as they can! 

If you have a story to share about the Push Presents you’ve received, I’d love to hear about them.  Better yet, post your stories AND ideas on the thread at Gainesville Moms.  I think it would be nice for men to have options other than a $2000 diamond ring!  I’m not saying jewery isn’t a good push present, I’m just saying you shouldn’t have to come up with thousand $ gifts every time you have a kid.  So go post your ideas and opinions over there…I’ll be reading them!

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I know so many people around me who are desperately wanting a baby.  Just one!  And here I am about to have another baby, by accident.  I have to confess, it makes me feel a bit guilty.  I SO want these dear ones to be able to have a baby of their own.  I pray so hard for them, even the ones (bloggers) I haven’t officially met. 

 And my sister, who has been trying to have a baby since this summer, I’m sure is getting frustrated even though it has only been a few months.  I will be waiting a while before I tell her I’m pregnant  (by accident!)  Honestly, a part of me hopes she will get pregnant before I have to tell her.  Then there’s another part of me that just wants her to get through her first year of marriage, because she and her husband have a lot of growing to do in their relationship with each other.  For those of you who’ve been married for more than a year, you know what I mean.  That first year is a growing period! 

Anyway, as I’m waiting for reality to set in that I am going to have another baby, my heart cries out for those who are waiting for their little miracle. 

I’m also contemplating the dream I had the night before I found out I got pregnant.  What does it mean?  It just makes me feel like we’re not done, like there will be another child.  Is that crazy?  Can I chalk it up to crazy pregnancy dreams or is it really a dream within me, to adopt another child?  I can still feel the love that grew in me when I held that baby in my dream.  I just knew I couldn’t let her go.  It scares me to think I may never experience that in real life.

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Breathe.  In, then out.  Get control of yourself!

That’s what I started telling myself when I began experiencing these symptoms last night in bed:

  • Rapid heart beat, pounding heart or palpitations  
  • Smothering or shortness of breath sensations
  • Nausea, bloating, indigestion or abdominal discomfort
  • Dizziness or unsteadiness
  • Feeling light-headed
  • Derealisation (feeling unreal or dreamy)
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations) in face, extremities or body 
  • These are just some of the classic “symptoms” of an Anxiety Attack. 

    I started experiencing some of these symptoms yesterday and complained to my husband about the heart palpitations.  He nodded his head and said, “Yup.  You need to manage your stress.” 

    So last night when things got worse, when I couldn’t breathe and I felt like I was going to cry and I just felt smothered, I got out of bed and onto my computer – at 12:30 in the morning.  I googled Anxiety attack and came across this website.  I felt so stupid.  Why didn’t it occur to me sooner that it was anxiety? 

    I thought my body was just failing me from the amount of stress I’ve been under, but I learned a very good thing.  Anxiety attacks can’t kill me.  I was able to sleep after that.  (See, I told you Joshua has my imagination!  He thinks he can get paralyzed for tripping over his pants, I think I can die from an anxiety attack!)

    A certain teenager who shall remain nameless has stressed me out enough that I am now going through this.  I’ve never gone through this before, I’ve always had control of myself, so to speak.  On Monday, I began having very bad thoughts toward this teenager.  Thoughts like, “I hate him!  I HATE him!” and “He’s ruining my life!”  Then I had to laugh.  Isn’t that what the teenagers say?  I wonder now how many parents and teenagers are thinking the same thing about each other? 

    Of course the entire time I was thinking that, that little voice in my head kept telling me, “No.  You love him.  You LOVE him.  You know you love him.”  And I conceded.  I do love him, but I still want to wrap my hands around his throat and express my love to him, because if I didn’t love him so damn much, I wouldn’t care, and I wouldn’t be having these crazy thoughts in my head, and I wouldn’t be feeling like this.

    At the same time, God is teaching me some great things in all of this.  He’s been showing me different areas in my life where I need to be walking “in Him” and/or in the spirit.  Every time something happens and I want to say, “I can’t do this,” God speaks to me and shows me that I can.  A couple weeks ago, when I was dealing with the gun situation, God spoke to me and said, “Walk in me, parent your children while walking in My Spirit.  You can do this through Me!” 

    And last night, He told me the same thing, “Remain in Me.  You do not have to let this take over, You can beat this.  You are an overcomer!”  Sometimes I forget just how powerful my God is.  Sometimes it’s easy to see how strong everyone and everything, and all the circumstances around us are.  But why is it that God’s power is so easily forgotten?  I’ve got to get better at this.

    I know it’s a process and I’m just going to have to deal with the anxiety as it comes and goes, like this morning when I took my temperature and it spiked.  What was I thinking?  WHAT WAS I THINKING?  Breathe.  In and out.  I am an overcomer.  Thank you, Jesus!

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    Okay, so my birthday was great.  I guess when you dream the night before that you are sitting in the middle of a playground with your best friend and you’re both teenagers again, it puts 30 years into perspective!  I woke up thinking, “I’m SO glad I’m not a teenager anymore!”  I’d much rather be 30 than 15!

    But Thursday went great as far as I’m concerned.  I got some beautiful flowers from my mom.  And then Scott sent me roses.  When Joshua and Kelly asked me why “everyone keeps sending me flowers for my birthday,” I told them that they just felt sorry for me because I’m getting old.  They believed me.

    We had our friend and her four month old staying with us again this week. I babysat her son all week, and on Thursday, she got off work a bit early and watched the kids for us so Scott could take me out to dinner.  That was NICE.  We went out for Mexican and I made him promise not to tell them it was my birthday.  No attention please!  I like my privacy.  (I would never make it as a celebrity!)

    Oh yeah, and the painter guy finished up on the big day.  Things were left a bit akward – and it was a lesson learned for me because I didn’t get his quote in writing.  That created problems because things he agreed to do, like paint the trim and doors, he remembered as “touching up.”  That’s not what we agreed upon.  I know because we weren’t going to go with hiring him until he threw that in (for free) since his competition was going to do it for a fairly reasonable price.  Oh yes, and the bathroom?  I know it was supposed to be included in the estimate because he told me how much paint to buy for it, but later on he told me it wasn’t included.  I even had it written down on paper, (my list of how much paint per room).  But what do you do?  It wasn’t worth arguing about.  I’ll paint the darn bathroom myself.

    I did get a nap in too, since I woke up so early in the morning…and had a near panic attack when I started to dream that I was at the Dr.’s office getting a physical when he started reading off a list of all the ailements I could expect to suffer from, and diseases I’d have to watch for now that I’m THIRTY.  He was basically telling me that I was getting old.  I woke up and wanted to escape, but how to you escape your age?  Once I realized that it was a silly dream causing my brief moment of panic, I was okay.

    And of course, I learned something about myself that evening as Scott and I were on our way home from dinner.  I’d just finished telling Scott that I couldn’t decide if I was disappointed or relieved that my dad didn’t acknowledge my birthday that day when my cell phone rang.  The number was an unfamiliar one and Scott told me to answer it.  I didn’t want to, because if it was my dad, I didn’t feel like talking…  That’s when I realized and confessed to him how ridiculous I am.  I want my birth to be important enough to my dad…I want to be important enough for him to care…but I don’t want to really talk to him.  Maybe because I just didn’t feel like engaging in a cheesy conversation with someone I rarely talk to.  But if that’s the case, why care if they care?  Right?

    So  my birthday went well, and it’s a good thing our friend watched the kids, because our big “Date Night” we planned on going on Friday night?  Never happened.  Our “other friends” (Yes, I actually have more than one friend here!  woo hoo!) actually offered to watch the kids for us so we could go out and celebrate my birthday too, but everything that could go wrong, went wrong.  We had some furniture delivered that evening.  They showed up late and two hours later, they were still at our house.  Wow.  So I started packing up the kids stuff and was going to drop them off at our friend’s house and then come back home to jump in the shower when Joshua kept complaining about feeling sick.  I kissed his head and he felt warm.  I took his temperature.  He had a fever.  

    Plan B:  Scott went to the grocery store and picked up dinner while I attempted to feed the kids and get them ready for bed.  Kelly was horrible and cried most of the night as I tried to get her to eat and get ready for bed.  Joshua was miserably sick, Madison was clingy, Dwight wouldn’t shut up, and Patrick just took a long time getting ready.  So when Scott got back home, he finished helping me get the crew to bed (what a chore!), and then I jumped in the shower while he took Madison, who was still awake.  After that, I got to eat dinner.  It was about 9:00.  I tried to stay up to watch Blades of Glory but lasted about 30 minutes into the movie before telling Scott that I couldn’t stay up any longer.  Good thing I went to bed when I did.  I was up at 4:45 with Joshua who wanted me to lay down on the couch with him and watch cartoons!  The poor guy was still feeling miserable.

    So date night was post-poned until further notice.  Joshua is still sick, but is being a good sport.  Madison is teething, and may be getting what Joshua has.  I’m feeling a bit yucky myself, but that could just be lack of sleep.  But it’s still the weekend and I’m looking forward to spending some time with my five children and husband tomorrow.  We won’t be going to church since we’re not feeling well, so it’s looking like a much-needed family day.  It actually sounds really nice.  It’s just a shame that sometimes we have to get sick in order to slow down and really appreciate life and our loved ones around us.  I had all these “busy” plans for the weekend, but I guarantee if I’d done everything I set out to do, I’d be exhausted by Monday!  Relaxing sounds like the much better option to me.

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    I was driving Dwight to a “Back To School Bash” this evening.  The entire day last two days seem to be throwing frustrating situations in our direction.  I guess by the time I started heading in the right direction for Dwight’s bash, I lost it. 

     “Mom.”  Kelly called from the back of the Expedition.

    “Mom!”  She yelled louder

    Again.  “Mom!?!”

    But I couldn’t answer.

    Finally after repeated attempts to get me to respond, I tried to open my mouth several times and say, “What?” but I couldn’t talk.  Nothing came out of my mouth.  Tears spilled from my eyes instead.  And I cried nearly the entire way to Dwight’s school.  Poor guy didn’t know what to do with me.  I told him I was okay, I was just feeling overwhelmed.  I left out the lonely and confused and exhausted part.  Sometimes I just feel that everybody wants a piece of me and I give and give and give and today my well has run dry.  Funny how quickly something like that happens.  All it took was for my little girl to call my name and I fell apart, which is so SO stupid because life isn’t all that bad.  I haven’t had a single tragedy strike, yet I’m weeping like a fool. 

     I can’t even get through this post without crying, which is funny because over the years I found that I numbed my emotions.  I just stopped crying.  I just held it in and wouldn’t allow myself to cry.  In the last year, God has been working on me in this area in my life.  I’m starting to feel like it is okay to cry and that sometimes, I need to cry.  I know there is a balance and I can’t cry over every little thing that makes me feel sad, but there was a time when I just stopped “feeling.”  I didn’t use to be that way, but after I got married, and I don’t know why, I just began to slowly numb my emotions.

    When I could cry, I was a teenager.  When I was feeling this way, I would get in my car and just drive.  Sometimes I would park somewhere and cry until I couldn’t cry anymore.  I would stop and sort things out in  my mind.  I’d pray.  Sometimes I’d come out of it feeling better.  Others I’d have to take another drive and do it again.  I wanted to drive today, but how do you say, “Hey kids, I’m going to pull over and cry and sob and bawl and just try to be alone with God for a little bit.  You all just sit there and be good until I’m done, okay?” 

    And then there’s this other thing.  What I’d give for a night alone with my husband!  I want more intimacy.  I feel we’ve been caught up in the business of life and there’s just so much going on we haven’t had time to invest in our relationship.  I just want some time alone so we can talk.  I want to know my husband more, and I want my husband to want to know me more, at a deeper level.   He used to ask me random questions and really listen to what I had to say, just trying to learn something new about me.  But how does that happen when at least one of five kids is sitting around, interrupting, or sneaking around trying to listen to our conversations?  How does that happen when his mind is consumed by this new job he is still working so hard to get to know? 

    I forgot that part about moving.  How much it sucks to sit there and wait for my husband to get through learning and mastering his new position.  I’ve learned to be patient over the years, but I guess I’m not so much this time around. 

    I guess that’s why I need a night out, just him and me.   No kids.  I guess a girl’s desire to be pursued by the love of her life will never cease. 

    Then there’s a part of me that is hurting about a relationship that I didn’t know was bothering me so much.  Something was said that made me realize, “Wow.  This person doesn’t know me like they used to, nor like they should.”  It’s amazing how over time, we can go from being so close to someone, to hardly knowing them at all.  I feel like I hardly know this person anymore, and this person really doesn’t know me either.   

    And yet through all this, I have to admit that I feel God pursuing me in a way I can’t explain.  So even with all these tears and frustration, I know something good is going to come out of this – even if it’s just allowing some healing in my heart and learning how to let myself cry like a baby again.

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