Thursday, July 24, 2014

Virginia Beach Vacation!!

So yeah, I am totally aware our vacation was the first week and June and now it's almost August. But, hey, I have been a busy girl.

This year we had a little bit of a different type of vacation. We went with 3 other families and all stayed in one house. Let me tell you, I was nervous as anything. I have done the vacation together thing twice before. One was a complete disaster and the other was OK. But now with 3 other families!!! We had a total of 12, 5 adults and 7 kids.

End result: Completely AWESOME.

Yep, we had good and bad days. Kids had good and bad moments. Overall it was great. I think the adults got closer but it was really the kids who bonded more on this trip. It was overwhelming at times to sit back and watch the friendships flourish. At times I even got teary eyed watching them interact.

So now let me leave you with a few of the 3500 pictures we took. Yes. Seriously. Between my husband and I we took just over 3500 pictures. And yes, we did have lots of time.

My adorable family

Matt forced me to go kayaking.....and I hated it. Well, ok, I went willingly but still hated it

Cool chalkboard at our beach house

Selfies with Stacy during our sunset dolphin tour

the 4 girls

See. See the amazing bonding. This picture actually brings tears to my eyes.

Crab night!!!

More bonding!

Probably my most favorite picture out of the 3500 we took. All the kids.

Family Lunch date

And Chase.

April - pumping gas (it was either this or when she fell in the Ocean, your welcome April)

These Kids......

Seriously, these kids......

And that's all I will make you see for now. But feel free to come one over to my house, we can go through all 3500!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wind beneath my wings........

Friends.  This is something I have seriously been struggling with for a few months now. If you know me in real life, once I bring a problem to the surface (speak it or write it) I can begin dealing with it and kick it's butt (I seriously need to stop waiting months before addressing issues, for reals).

The absolute hardest thing in my life, my entire life, is making and KEEPING friends.

As many of you know, I am little out there. I do my own thing. I am way to honest. I have tattoos and piercings. I like to color my hair weird colors. I cuss. I smoke (but not for much longer). I eat like crap.

In spite of all this I am one of the most loyal person you will ever meet. I have a real, deep compassion for people of all shapes, sizes and colors. If you let me into your life, you will have some drama, but you will be filled with love and laughter from me.

Making friends is still super tough. I have tried at church, my kids football teams, Emma's cheer team, etc. I am very blessed to say I have made a few spectacular friends. There are some that I really would like to get closer with but they don't seem to like me. And folks, that's what really kills me.

I want everyone to like me. I want to be included in everything all the time.

Ummm, yeah, that's not going to happen. It's never happened. There are always people who don't like me. There are always events or parties I am not invited to. It's been happening since I was a little girl. So why cannot I understand this and move on? Why can't I just be happy with the awesome, amazing small group of friends that I do have?

How can I teach my daughter this when I struggle with it? How can I teach her to be happy with what she has instead of always wanting what you can't have? How can I teach her that she doesn't have to be in ever clique out there?

Sidebar: Cliques are the worst. And they are everywhere. For me it's church and my kids sports. I could write a whole big post on this, but today is not the day.

After much thinking and prayer these past few weeks (yes, I have been eaten by jealously and depression bug), I am going to put my effort into people who want to spend time with me. People who actually care about my well being. I cannot waste anymore time chasing people, trying to force them to like me.

It is what it is.

I am going to choose to be happy. I am going to continue to pray. I am going to continue to be a great friend to those who choose to have me.

I am not going to sit on my depression. I am not going to whine and complain about why so and so doesn't want to talk to me anymore or why so and so doesn't hang out with me anymore. That is their choice.

I am who I am. Love it or leave it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Random Wednesday Thoughts.....

  • Honey Smacks are the best cereal ever.

  • Taco Tuesday has turned into left over Wednesday which means we all know what is coming on Thursday.

  • Having big, wide feet really stinks. I cannot find a pair of certain shoes to save my life.

  • Biotin is helping my hair grow nice and long and strong. Also noted my leg hair is approx. the same length as my head. No one bothered to mention ALL my hair would grow nice and long and thick. Thanks dudes. And, yes, I will shave before vacation in 25 days.

  • How is possible someone can lose 50 lbs and still be the same boob size. I am sort of bummed. These babies need to shrink.
  • I really hate I come up with all these great ideas when I am falling asleep. In the morning I wake up knowing I had some terrific ideas but can't remember a darn one.

  • Speaking of Taco Tuesday, for the life of me I cannot stop eating the taco meat. I would rather have all beans, but the OCD rule follower in me states that a taco salad must contain taco meat. )I understand that statement made me seem like I am off my rocker)

  • I love when my cell is fully charged. I am ok even when it gets down to 80%, now 70% I start to panic just a tad. 60% - I MUST FIND CHARGER!!

(hmmm, maybe I should stop writing now, I think it's making me look a little nuts. Ummm, yeah, I really don't care. I know I am a little more "special" than others and I am totally cool with that)

  • Depression sucks. Take it day by day, sometimes minute by minute. Today I kicking depressions ass. For real.

  • I am awesome.

  • Emma just sent me a text asking me not to forget to pick her and her friend up from school today. I replied "Maybe I will. Maybe I won't" I am sure racking up points for Mother of the Year.

  • Last week while shopping with the kids (Matt was not there) a pretty good song came on and I felt the need to "break it down", well Chase decided that was super embarrassing and literally ran away. I had to stop the awesome dancing and ask Emma to go find my lost kid. How many points do I get for this? #motheroftheyear
  • We have hit the point in the school year where I no longer go through backpacks daily. Ooops. Whatever. Don't judge me. So now the boys are turning stuff in late and blah blah blah. I am just done. When do I get my break???

  • I am sort of mad at my kids doctor. Chase does not eat pretty much at all. Dude went to bed without eating again last night. So I asked the doctor about it. First, he yelled at me for giving him nutritional shakes. He said they are full of junk. Next he told me to stop forcing him to eat. Even fruits and veggies. He said put it on his plate, if he eats then good, if not, oh well. Well, Mr. Doctor Dude, I cannot do that. I feel so quilty. So, yeah, Chase may be eating PB&J every day but at least he is eating, right??
Well, since I am currently at work maybe I should stop typing a blog post and maybe, just maybe try and get some work done today.

HAHAHA, after she came over and brought me a ton of her old clothes

We painted the boys room orange, I made some camp curtains (I realized I hate sewing)

I cannot wait to say this to Emma one day.

Any given day this is us. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Love you all!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

yeah, yeah, it's been awhile.....forgive me

It's been quite a while since I have last posted. I have been so busy and so lazy all at the same time. Is that even possible? Yes, yes it is. Trust me.

Let's review a little bit.

Spring Break we took the kids to BA Sweeties. Apparently the largest candy store is the good ole USA. It was pretty awesome. We only spent like $60. Oops. After that we hit up a new waterpark in Sandusky, OH. Maui Sands. My official review is that if you can get a Groupon then go, if you have to pay full price go to Great Wolf Lodge or Kalahari.

 Easter was pretty awesome. We got to spend time with my grandma. That woman is a fighter. We were told on December 3rd that she only had 10-14 days to live. And here we are, April 29th and she is still with us. Her health is decreasing but she is still here and I am ok with that. It was such a blessing to be able to spend another Christmas, another New Years, another day with her.

And of course I can't forget about Landon. Oh Landon. That child is going to be the death of me. I swear. Matt and I are both having trouble dealing with it all. It's so hard for me to understand how his brain works. Sometimes I get so frustrated because I simply do not understand how something so simple for me is the end of the world for him. I am trying to be patient and understanding. Trying. Some days not succeeding. Some days are good. Some days I literally cry my eyes out because I think he is never going to be a well functioning adult. Some days this all seems impossible. We are pushing through though. I constantly pray for wisdom and guidance. ALWAYS.

I just wish I could understand how his brain works. I wish I could explain it to other people.

Yes. My kid was diagnosed late in his life (oh yeah, 8 years old is super late). It's a lot of trial and error. It's a lot of therapy. It's a lot of tears.

These past few months have just been incredibly hard for me. I have so much going on internally that I just cannot deal with it all. That is when I typically shut down.

I started a new bible study in March and it is totally kicking my butt. It is so emotionally rough. It has shaken me to the core. So many emotions are going through my body at any given time.

I have started to withdraw from people and things. Yes, I know that's not good. I am actively working on that. It will NOT control me. I am not going to let it. I do not want to fall down the rabbit hole.

Here's the thing. I have been there. I have fallen down the rabbit hole way too many times. I know where I end up. I know how lonely, sad, mad, angry, desperate, inadequate and all the other emotions. I know these all too well. It will NOT happen this time. I force myself to get up. I force my myself to eat dinner with the family. I force myself to talk to my friends. I force myself to leave the house.

So yeah, right now I am having a "whoa is me" moment. It will pass with prayer and time. I will not let this control me. Some days it does get the best of me, it wins the battle. But I will win the war.

So yeah, blah, blah, blah. I am depressed. Life goes on. I will survive.

I do want to end this post on a good note. Matt's brother took some spring pictures of the kids. They are the best pictures of my kids. Just the best. He did such a wonderful job. I seriously could not be happier with these pictures.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Landon, Oh My Landon.....

It's been a while since I have given you all an update on my precious baby boy. Let me begin by saying nasty or rude comments will not be tolerated.

Landon has received a new diagnosis. Landon has been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (AS), on the autism spectrum.

We have known for a little bit now but we were hesitant to share. Matt and I needed to talk to the doctors more, research more, figure out some stuff here at home. We needed to tell Emma. Landon and Chase do not know. It has been recommended not to tell Landon until he is a little older and can fully comprehend what we are telling him. Since Chase is younger we just decided not to tell him yet either.

Landon has had many of the symptoms of AS for quite awhile. We just never put two and two together. Landon has quite a few major traits and many many many small traits. Landon was misdiagnosed and that is very common with children his age. Typically children over the age of 5 are diagnosed as ADHD along with other behavioral issues.

Link to some facts about Asperger's Syndrome

Landon has been having major issues since starting school. It got really bad in 1st grade. We have been in the process of trying to get him help since March of 2013. He has been on a few different medications and he was/is in therapy at least once a week, sometimes more.

We have seen minimal changes. It was very frustrating. It was really wearing on my family.

With the doctors help we found an awesome checklist (found here). Matt and I were able to check off almost 85% of this. We also added a few more thing (found on other checklists).

We are seeing new things almost daily the confirm the diagnosis. So much it would take me a week to write all the things.

We are making some progress with him. We have also hit many road blocks. We have some really terrific people in our lives that are helping us figure it all out.

So I am asking you, my friends and family. When Landon is rude or asking 1000 questions or being a stickler to rules, please try and be patient. Landon only sees things in black and white. There is no middle ground. If something is in writing he will stick to it 100%. Please do not promise him things if you cannot do what is said. If he has meltdown it is most likely one of two reasons, 1. he is over stimulated 2. someone he is around did not follow the rules. And if someone does not follow the rules he lets them know. Landon can be very rude at times. He does not know he is doing this. There is no filter for his mouth. He will say what is on his mind with no regard to his surroundings. Also if you are perhaps wrong about something he will not hesitate to correct you. Landon has an incredible memory for what is said and written. (It's actually kind of creepy). Ugh, I could go on and on about his different issues.

Just please be patient with my baby boy. He is a work in progress. He does not see the world as you and I see it. I know first hand how hard it can be to deal with him. Somedays I literally just sit in my room and cry. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes I am patient. This is just so hard. No magic pill to make him better. Nothing.

I am not asking for sympathy. I am asking for empathy. And patience.

Love you all!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Baptism Sunday

My heart is still so overflowing. My husband, Matthew, and my daughter, Emma, were both baptized a few Sunday's ago. My heart was not prepared for the full extent of it.

When I was baptized a few years ago I remember getting a few tears in my eyes. I remember the feeling of being wrapped in a blanket of love.

But watching your husband and your oldest child baptized takes on a whole new level. Especially when Emma said it was me who brought her to God.

Matt went first. As soon as the pastor starting speaking the tears started flowing and didn't end till way after Emma was done. So I apologize for the hot mess that the pictures are (and I even brought my good camera).

Just in writing this post my heart is so full. My eyes are welling up. I know how much this is going to change my daughters life. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Official Monday Update!

I am such a horrible blogger. I have visions of writing posts each and every day. I have so many great ideas. I also have no time. I am sure all you other mommas who have kids and work and run errands and take kids to appointments 2x a week and all the 800 other things know how I feel.

So now I am going to shoot for once a week. Even that is going to be hard. There is so much I want to blog about. So much I want to open up about. So much I want to yell about. But I can't. I can't say what's really on my mind. One day I will get the courage to say whatever I want.

The past few weeks have been a trying time with Landon. I am not ready to go into all the nitty gritty details but it was determined that he does not have ADHD and ODD. He has something else all together. Just not quite ready to deal with it all. Still trying to take it all in. Praying about it all. Researching and reading lots of books. Trying to get informed. As well as keep up with all his appointments. Basically just adjusting.

Emma. Well, Emma is just fine. She is a typical 6th grader. Gaining interest in boys, losing interest in studies. So really that is the only complaint with her. She is such a great kid. She is becoming a beautiful, young woman. She always helps me out with her brothers. She ALWAYS has her nose in a book. Always. When she does get in trouble (which is like never), we have to take away her books as her punishment. She is just a great kid. Cannot believe she will be 12 in less than 2 months!! Time to start planning a party!!

And we could not forget about Chase. Oh Chase. Why is that 3rd kid always a handful? Chase is for sure my instigator. That kid starts more fights than all 3 kids combined. It did take us awhile to catch on but we did. With that being said, Chase is also the only kid that still snuggles. He still climbs in our bed about once a week to sleep with us. He is the only one that typically demands hugs when we leave him. Even to just go to work. So yeah, it's kinda nice still having a "baby".

So yeah, the past couple weeks have been rough. But we survived. And we will keep on surviving. We will survive by the grace of God. And for that, I am incredibly thankful.

I am still dealing with my anxiety. Some days are good, some days are bad. I am very thankful I decided to be honest with myself and others about my anxiety. Most people were very understanding. Some, however, were not. Some of the people closest to me have not been supportive. And guess what, it's time to distance myself from that. Same people who where VERY unsupportive during all this with Landon. Guess what, time to distance us from that. I still love them and they will always be family but sorry. If you cannot be supportive then it's time for me to move on. Harsh? Yes. But necessary for the success of my family. I cannot let the negativity get me down. Y'all know who you are. I now have to shut the door on this because I will end up writing and writing and writing. I have way too much to say about FAMILY and friends who are so caught up with themselves or the past that they can't see the beauty in front of them. But in the end, it's their loss. Me, my husband and my kids have so many other great people in our lives. So many great people.

We are surrounded by some pretty great family and friends. We have such a huge support system through our church family. If I need to talk I know I can pick up my phone and reach no less than 3 people. Anytime. If I need a laugh I know my friends have that taken care of too. There is definitely no shortage of laughter between us.

So basically no matter what we go through, no matter how bad or how great things are I know that I couldn't be anywhere with out my faith. My faith is the only thing that has gotten me through the past few months. I have turned to him in the bad times and I have praised him in the good. He has watched over me during our travels. He has kept our family safe during this winter. He has provided us with more than we wanted or needed during the holidays. He has put my heart at peace (somewhat...LOL) in knowing that my grandma is going to pass any day. He gave me the strength to tell my kids. Basically over this past year I have figured out (the hard way, of course) that if you really give your self to the Lord, he WILL take care of you.

There will still be bad times. Very bad times. There will be good times. And with God it just makes things a little smoother. I am not saying that there were no tears or no yelling or no heartbreak. What I am telling you is that God got us through it all. And he will continue to carry us.

Wherever we go. Whatever life throws at us. We got this.