Wednesday, July 9, 2008

With arms wide open

I'm wondering if anyone stills checks out my little blog. I do not post much, but somethings just need to be shouted from the rooftops... Hope the message is obvious!

Well I just heard the news today
It seems my life is going to change
I closed my eyes, begin to pray
Then tears of joy stream down my face

With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
With arms wide open

Well I don't know if I'm ready
To be the man I have to be
I'll take a breath, I'll take her by my side
We stand in awe, we've created life

With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
Now everything has changed
I'll show you love
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
With arms wide open
I'll show you everything ...oh yeah
With arms wide open..wide open

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Little Dancer

Just wanted to share some pictures from Abby's recital!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hurting for our Kids

The bond that God created between a mother and a child is so amazing. We feel their joy, we feel their pain. We want to guard them from the hurts of this life, even though we know we can't and that they need to experience those hurts just like we have.

What strikes me is that when one of my children is going through a difficult time, it causes me to reflect on that one great loss they have endured. The loss that I still at the age of 39 have not had to live through -- the loss of their father. My son is struggling with the pains of being a boy. He has a baseball coach who puts winning above the spirit of the child. And my child is not making the cut, and therefore is spending entire games on the bench. Mike loves baseball, sometimes so much that it makes me crazy. The boy would eat, drink and sleep baseball if I would allow it. But the fact of the matter is -- he has not had a dad to play with him, to teach him, to take the interest in him -- like these other boys have had. I have played catch with him when I could. But I'm a girl, am not very athletic, and until last year, was a fulltime working solo mom of two. Not a whole lot of time for catch.

Watching his frustration, feeling like I want to help but I can't, just hurts. It's only little league -- I do not want to be one of those over-zealous parents. I know he is not as good as those other boys. But to see the look of disappointment on his face breaks my heart.

He has a really good step-dad. But it still brings back to me the pain that his birth-dad is not here, and has not been here for a really long time. What would he be telling Mike if he were here? What words of wisdom would he have for his son? How would he help build our son's confidence? I suppose he would be doing just what I am doing, and what Brad is doing. Just telling him we are proud of him. Telling him we support whatever decision he makes regarding this stupid baseball team. Reminding him that this is just another life lesson, and that life is more than just baseball.

If Ed could say anything to his children, I think this song pretty much sums it all up:

One Year Ago Today!

The fairytale began...
...and it's still going strong.

I love you, honey!


Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

Last week, Brad and I took the kids to Disney World. We were celebrating our one year family anniversary. Last year, Brad and I took our honeymoon without kids to Hawaii, so we thought it fitting that for our first anniversary, we do something to celebrate with the kids.

It truly is the happiest place on Earth! We had a blast! Some highlights were hitting all 4 parks, a surprise visit from Clayton's Grandpa and Grandma, swimming with sharks and manta rays, and just having tons of fun as a family. The kids were the perfect ages for Disney, and although we said it was the trip of a lifetime, I know we will be back again soon.

Here are a few more pics:

Friday, March 14, 2008

And the two become one

For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100: 5

This post is dedicated to Marsha and Kent, on the eve of their wedding. I'm so happy for both of you. Wishing you a long healthy life of contentment, peace, joy, and companionship. You deserve all the best.

Congratulations Marsha and Kent!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Senseless Killing

It has become all too familiar to us. Another senseless shooting spree occurred yesterday. This one hits close to home, here in Illinois. The gunman was a student here at U of I, and a resident of Champaign, where I work. As I read the headlines and watch the coverage unfold on CNN, it is announced that the killer was "off his meds". And a sinking feeling is felt in the pit of my stomach.

I am in no way an expert on medications used to treat anxiety, depression and mental illness. I know people think the world of these drugs and I know many people find relief with these pills. But I am an expert on what they did to my late husband. Before I knew Ed, when he was trying to get sober, he was put on Prozac. By the time I met him, he was wonderful. He was a nice, happy, adjusted guy. What I didn't know is that just before meeting him, he had to stop his prozac because he could not longer afford it.

I will never know what happens to one's brain when this medication is stopped. A few years later, when Ed could barely get out of bed each day and could no longer hold down a job, he sought help once again. This "doctor" tried a variety of coctails on my husband. She knew he was a recovering alki, knew he took prescription pain pills daily, and then she added to it some anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, sleeping pills, tranquilizers. You name it, they tried it. Each new med would be tried for a week or two or maybe three. Then he would complain how it wasn't working, or made him feel worse, etc. She would then change to something else.

In the weeks prior to his death, Ed was slurring his speech, and had barely gotten out of his bathrobe. He was sleeping 18 hours a day on average. He did not give the "doctor" permission to discuss his condition with me, his wife. So I was left to try to figure things out on my own. She never concerned herself with all of the additional pills from Ed's unfinished prescriptions. Those pills became Ed's method of choice to end his life.

I watched those meds turn a man who was full of life into an emotional mess who could not carry on a conversation. He went from a man who loved playing with his kids and teaching them new things, to a man who felt his kids would be better off growing up without their dad.

What does all this have to do with the tragedy in Dekalb? I'm not sure. But I think we as a society need to look closely at the issues of "quick fixes" to try to correct depression and anxiety.

This is, of course, my completely biased opinion.

My condolenses to the victims families and friends, and all that have been touched by this senseless tragedy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Kids can be so mean

My heart is simply breaking tonight for my oldest child. I was sitting at home when he got home from school this afternoon, due to his little sister coming down with a virus at school today. I asked him how his day was, and he replied with "horrible". It seems he was playing a little football on the playgroun after school with 3 other boys. The two he was playing against were in fifth grade -- Mike and his other friend are in fourth. Seems there was an arguement over a play that ended in Mike scoring a touchdown. Words were said, then this 5th grader decided to whale on my son. He punched him 3 times in the stomach and one good punch to his face.

Mike fell to the ground, did not hit back, while his friend threatened to get the principal. This got the bullies attention and he began apologizing profusely. Mike told him it was ok, and by this time, his friends dad pulled up to take them home. He did not tell anyone at the school.

Tonight he came to me, so worried. What should he do? Should he talk to his teacher tomorrow? I honestly do not know. If he doesn't tell, he feels this kid is getting away with this. If he does tell, he fears drawing negative attention to himself. UGH. As I look at his face, he has a definate fist sized mark on the side of his face. I told him to stop worrying about what to do. He has a strong tendancy towards worrying and anxiety.

Well, we talked for a while, and he opens up to me that he has about 5 good friends at school, but just about everyone else picks on him and teases him. He loves sports, and likes to play at recess. But the kids he plays with are mean to him. I don't know why. He is very outgoing, and probably a little nerdy with his sense of humor (gets it honest from me). He is probably not the most coordinated kid, but he still loves to play. I feel what really is happening is that this "popular" kids have picked up on the fact that he is a pretty insecure kid. I think he is really lacking in self-esteem. Sometimes this causes him to boast when he does well. Sometmes it causes him to try to draw too much attention to himself. He is also emotional, and therefore probably reacts to the teasing, hence making himself a target for more teasing. I was teased relentlessly as a kid, for many of the same reasons. I HATE WATCHING MY SON GO THROUGH WHAT I WENT THROUGH. It is breaking my heart.

I don't know if I helped him any. I told him that I wanted him to focus on the friends he has. I told him to not try to "fit in" with these other kids. Stick with the kids that you have things in common with. If kids are jerks to you, don't continue to try to hang out with them. As far as the fight, I told him we would discuss this tomorrow. How do I help him? How do I help without interferring? Why did his F&^%$#%$ dad have to kill himself, leaving him so fragile and vulnerable?

I just want him to be happy and secure in who he is. How do I help him?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

New Years 2008 I know it's been a while since I last blogged, and I have probably lost most of my readers, but that's ok. But I'm back, only with the excuse of "been busy" as we all are.

Here we are, in 2008... It is so nice to look back on a year gone by and feel that it was a really good year. Really, Reaaaallllly good! Just over a year ago, on December 23rd, 2006 Brad proposed to me -- and that is where it all began. I can actually say that 2007 has made up for all the crap of the previous 4 years. Felt like it was my reward for perservering... In 2007 I started a new job, in a new town. I moved nearly 150 miles away from the only city I have ever called home. I changed my children's school mid-year. We bought a new beautiful house. Brad and Clayton moved in, and in May, we all became one family. I am now the proud mom of three great kids. And the happy wife of the most amazing man. Yes, 2007 was a year of blessings.

It was also a year of change, and some struggles. Blending a family is not always easy. 6, 8 and 10 year olds -- two boys who were used to always getting their way makes for lots of power struggles and bickering. I will admit that some days they drive me completely NUTS! But we are adapting, all of us. And I hope that by this time 2009 many of the struggles will be a distant memory.

No resolutions this year. I am conituing on my journey to better health... getting more active, eating better. I have gotten Brad to join me, which will help me tremendously. I have fallen off the wagon since Thanksgiving, but it is time to get back on it... tomorrow. I swear! lol

Other than that, there is nothing too exciting to report. I hope that 2008 is a year filled with much love, health, and happiness for all of my friends out there reading.