Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Archive for November, 2015

Thanksgiving and a Facelift

Oh, Happy, Happy Thanksgiving.  Are you feeling Thankful this year?  I am.  I don’t know what’s going on here.  Because I got problems.  The WORLD’s got problems.  We all got problems.  But, I am just sitting here feeling light.  Lighter than usual even.

Why?

My memory is worse than ever lately. So, I’ve been trying to remember what put me in such a good mood.  I can’t put my finger on it.  Maybe when you get older, you just forget to worry and care so much.  Certainly makes life more simple.  But, I don’t think that forgetting to worry is the only reason I feel so blissful.

My best guess is I’m happy because Eddie is still going strong.  Usually,  the fall is not our friend.  Things go badly. Then, they get worse. Last year was so much better than previous years.  This year seems better than last.  Sure. Eddie catches about one cold a week, but every time I hear him start to cough or sneeze after the sore throat starts (instead of that eternal/blasted/freaking ridiculous and endless vomiting) I cheer!  Yay!  It’s just another virus.

Now. If we’ve been friends for a while, you’ll know that I’m already worrying about mentioning this health situation.  I’m loathe to administer a jinx to this wonderful state of affairs.  But, Scott has told me many times that the jinx is not a real thing.  He says there is nothing I can say, or not say, that can change circumstances beyond my control.   Sometimes Scott is just so full of crap.  Where does he come up with these fairytales?

I found an essay in the basement that Olivia wrote when she was younger. She explained that her brother was very sick.  She said that she missed her Mom, because her Mom was always at the Doctor with her brother, or doing something else to help her brother.  Then, she scolded herself.  She said she should NOT complain.  She said she was grateful her Mom was helping her brother, and she hoped with all her heart they’d find a way to make her brother better.

I needed a moment after I read that letter. Jeez.  The guilt.  After my moment, I decided to be a big girl and take my own advice.  Just last week I was telling a friend how I could tell her kids were actually even more awesome than they would be otherwise, because of the extreme adversity their family has been given.  It’s true.  Her kids are unusually responsible and caring; I know it is because the option for spoiling and indulging those kids was just never there for my friend.  My friend’s kids turned out extraordinarily well as a result of having to all pitch in, and being made aware that life can be unpredictable, and short.    I hope a bit of that is true for our kids too. A Mom needs to hold on to an idea like that, because the guilt moms feel when we can’t shield our children from suffering is a heavy beast who wants to take us down.

I really have no business being happy.    If I had any sense, I’d be depressed.   I’m not real pleased with what’s been staring back at me in the mirror lately.  I’m quite shocked by it, actually.  It started when Olivia took a picture of me at dinner one night.  We looked at the picture together.  I said, “Delete that.”

I didn’t even need to explain why.  Olivia just said sweetly, “Mom your face just looks wrinkly because you’re chewing.”  Mmm Hmm.  Yeah.  Everyone’s face looks like dimpled dough when they chew?   She’s sweet, even if she does lie sometimes.

I can’t explain exactly what’s happening on my face; it’s like I have a face on top of my face.  You know what I mean?  Like a second set of face skin.  Which a girl should always be thankful for a second set of anything, right?  So, what am I complaining about?

I’m not complaining about ANYTHING!  I’m happy, remember?

My happy state of mind is giving me great hope for the holiday season.  Do you remember that blog I wrote about Olivia really laying me out with her regrets in life?  She was sad because I never did much in the way of Santa and Leprechauns and what not.  I tried making up for all that last year with this whole big “Teenage Elf” thing.  That really couldn’t have gone any worse. Zeke already warned me there’s no need to resurrect “Teenage Elf”.  Thanks, Zeke.  Some things go without saying.

That doesn’t mean we’re not gonna do it up this year.  I FINALLY have the mental capacity to manage holiday memory making.  The kids are a little old for all that, but we’re gonna make up for lost time.  And, by kids, I mean Zeke and Olivia.

There’s something odd about Scott and Eddie.  They’re immune to fun holiday stuff.  Holidays do not raise their excitement meter even a little.  They think decorating and baking are boring.  They don’t understand birthdays either.    I guess that’s what’s it’s like to be  born with a heart of stone.  It’s a dark part of our family.  I don’t want to talk about it any more.

That doesn’t mean Zeke and Olivia and I can holiday ‘er up!  We already started.  I did something I’ve never done.  Zeke, Olivia and I  bought an outdoor Christmas decoration.  A snowman.  And, if you think we waiting until after Thanksgiving to light that guy up,  then I guess you just don’t know how serious I am about creating our very, merry Christmas.

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This is just the beginning.

I also bought Zeke and Olivia an Advent Calendar.  I did this last year too, after Olivia made me feel so guilty about my lack of holiday traditions.  Last year the calendar had chocolate behind the little door each day.  The chocolate tasted like a tiny waxy bar of soap.  I guess that’s what kind of Advent Calendar  5 bucks will buy you. This year, I spent a bit more.   Chocolate  that is edible will improve fun memory making potential of the Advent Calendar, I hope.

I don’t know what else I got up my sleeve.  You’ll find out though.  I’ve never been a crafter, but this could be the year.  This could be the year for homemade pajamas and pickled plums.  This is the year.  We’re stringing popcorn, roasting chestnuts and drinking Yuletide.  Wait.  What?  Just trust me.  I can do this.

I’ve always had this Pinterest inside me.  It’s just been waiting for the right moment to be birthed into existence. The moment has come, baby.

Don’t think I’m leaving YOU behind.  I’ll be sure to share all my whimsy, with a dash of merry ideas on my blog, so you can try to recreate the same Christmas memory in your own home.

Happy THANKSGIVING!!!!!!

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Handling Fear

I’ve tried to maintain a healthy mental distance from current events. Some people don’t just take in the day’s news. They absorb it.    A good fright penetrates all their living cells.  They are fear.

I have ALWAYS absorbed bad news. I see my 14-year-old daughter absorbing too.  Is it genetic?  Did I shape her this way? Yes,  to both. I see fear transform my sensitive daughter’s face, then her spirit.  I am committed to finding a better strategy for us.

What am I afraid of?

I am afraid for innocent people who are intending to do a fun thing, and see an interesting place, but lose their limbs or their lives instead.  I’m afraid for moms and dads who just want to go to work and raise their family, but put their belongings on their back, and their children in a tiny boat and head into the raging sea instead.  Hoping to outrun evil.

I’m afraid for people who are afraid.

I’m afraid OF people too.  I’m afraid of people who invite evil to inhabit their souls. I’m afraid of people who offer easy solutions.  I’m afraid of people who spout party lines.  I’m afraid of decision makers who won’t admit more questions than answers.

I’m pausing.  I’m praying. I’m listening.

Let fear go.  Consider all sides.  Look for context.  Don’t react.  Respond slowly.  Question what you hear.  Be selective about what you are watching.  Listen for your Heavenly Father’s voice. Learn His language. He speaks words of love, encouragement, peace, humility and justice.

1 John 4:4 (The Message) My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world.

1 John 4:18 (NIV) There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

 

courage

 

 

Express Blog and Inconsequential Findings

I think I’m posting blogs further apart these days.  It feels like I am.  Quiet moments are not presenting themselves this past month; I’m not good at blogging around noise, or in a crowd.  I prefer no distractions.

Thank the Good Lord for creating Mark Zuckerberg.  Facebook satiates my hunger to express myself.  If you want to bet my Facebook friends that I am their most frequently posting friend,  you’ll win that bet.  I post a lot.

Here’s the alarming part of my Facebook presence.  My FB activity is an example of me exhibiting self control.  What my FB friends don’t realize is all that stuff I’m saying on Facebook is only HALF of what I WANT to say.

What’s wrong with me?

I give myself little lectures.  I say, “Okay Miki, that’s enough.  People have had enough of your shenanigans.  You’re going to resist the urge to post what’s on your mind for the next week. Got it?  Got it.”

Five minutes later.  Reggie is snuggled in the blankets projecting such cuteness, it would be a sin NOT to post a picture of him. Plus, I need to mention how much I love him.  Because, that’s original, right?  I mean I REALLY love my dog; nobody’s thought of that.    Suddenly, slipping back down the slope.

Sometimes I’ll post something on FB, let it sit for a few minutes, then delete it.  Occasionally, I’ve had friends ask me where a post went.  I just tell them I’m sorry.  I had second thoughts.

What’s a girl with an addiction to writing words, and a head full of silly thoughts to do?

Thanks for the therapy sesh.  I’ve missed this between us.

Now, in the interest of time, I’m going to express blog the rest of my way through this. I thought I might highlight a few random tidbits occupying the space between my ears. This might be how I blog until I have time to go old school, long blog again.  Prepare for your life to be changed:

Bragging

When people say, “I don’t mean to brag”, they mean, “I do mean to brag, but I’d like to be excused for it”.  I generally don’t mind when people brag.  They should leave off the, “I don’t mean to brag” part though.   When I hear that I wonder if I SHOULD mind.

Fitbit

The verdict is in; I’m ready to share the results.   I’ve had my Fitbit for almost one year. It works.

I have a routine I follow each day to get my steps.  It is rare for me to change my routine.  I had a couple of extremely busy days last week.  Time did not allow for my normal routine.  I fell quite short of my step goal on those days.  I realized on those days that my default mode is inactive.  I am not your friend who will bustle around you, fluffing pillows and picking lint off your sweater, because I just can’t sit still.   I LOVE being still.  Love it.

For some reason, my mind believes it’s accountable to my Fitbit; I’m not telling my mind otherwise.

The Fitbit works for me.

Walking

Speaking of steps, my super good work friend and I walk at lunch.  We walk the same route each day.  One day, there was a man who was standing off the sidewalk, more towards the street.  The man was smoking, and yelling something.  He seemed angry. At first, I thought the man may be in charge of some construction in the area.  As we walked closer, we realized there was no construction in the area.

That day, my friend and I decided to change our walking route.

On a different day, I was walking alone.    I was startled when I heard a man yell something in my direction from behind me.  I looked, and I saw the same man who was yelling in the street. This time, he was sitting in a lawn chair, outside of an apartment.  He was a big man, with a big belly.  He was wearing tiny shorts.  Nothing else. It wasn’t  warm.

My good walking friend and I have discussed this man at length.  We have agreed that if he should ever pursue us, we will make every effort to push each other in his direction to save ourselves. I thought I might say “Take her.  She’s younger. She’s smart. She can do your taxes.”

Sometimes it’s just good to have your cards on the table with people.

Faith

Zeke and Olivia are in a church group called “Impact”.  The group is an off-shoot of normal youth group.  Impact is for kids who might be asking themselves, “Why are we doing  this again?”

Impact takes an up close look at the Bible. The kids discuss what they read, and ponder how it may apply to their lives right now.  The other day, Zeke happened upon this scripture in the Book of Romans.  He was excited about it:

But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.  So nobody has a good excuse.

Zeke thought this scripture answered a lot of questions for him.  I agree.  God reveals himself to EVERYONE through creation.

I hear from God every morning.   I see the black sky dotted with white stars first, until the sky turns pink as the sun rises.  My eyes take it in, and I know: man did not create this.   I would know it, If I had never heard a single sermon in my life on Earth.   I see an eagle soaring over the river.  I look at my small hands.  No hands like mine put that eagle in the sky. I feel humble.  My heart knows a God like this should be worshiped.

Rebekkah picture

*Photo credit to my friend, Rebekah Brackett.  She is an artist. She captures beautiful pictures of her world, and shares them on Facebook.

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