5 Things I’m Thankful For

Sometimes its extremely difficult to practice gratitude. But, with practice, it is something that we all can get into the habit of.

We shouldn’t just practice gratitude on Thanksgiving (like most of us probably do), we should teach ourselves to practice gratitude everyday!

1. My family

I almost want to say duh with this one. I absolutely love my family and am very grateful to have them in my life. When I am with my family, I find that I experience such a wonderful feeling that is nearly indescribable. I have so many people in my family and they are all always so supportive! I know there are many people out there who don’t have that. Or maybe they do have that, but not nearly as much as I do. I am a lucky girl to have the family I do. I hope everyone feels this way about their family as well.

2. My home

As you may know, we just moved into a new home. And when I say new, I mean brand new. This is the first new home that any of us have ever lived in, which makes it special for us all. I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity to be able to create a simple house, into my home.

3. Where I live

I live wayyyy up in the mountains. My town is about 500 people, and the surrounding towns are not much bigger. Most of the time, I have a love/hate relationship with this area. But, when something goes awry, it is absolutely amazing how much our community bands together. I can’t thank my community enough for always being there when anyone is in need. That is something that you don’t find often, and I’m so incredibly thankful to have these wonderful people in my life. Aside from the community, we have fresh air, clean water (one of the cleanest in California), and wonderful views.

4. My time with my mother

Some days, I feel cheated from time with my mother. But, my husband’s good at bringing me back to reality in saying that I was lucky enough to have her for as long as I did. Sometimes changing a simple way you look at things is enough to change everything. I still have moments when I find that I feel cheated, but I have to remind myself that some people don’t get 27 glorious years with their mother (or father). So, I was blessed enough to have that much.

5. My health

I know this is cliché. But, when I saw everything my mother went through, it makes me realize that I am so thankful for being healthy. My body created, carried, and nurtured my son. My body helps me get up everyday and move with little to no restriction. And my body allows me to be free. Some can’t say that. So I’m thankful I can.

 

Would you all like to see a thankful post often, and not just on Thanksgiving?

What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving! Eat until your heart’s content!

Motivational Monday – Law of Attraction?

Law of Attraction

This quote rung a bell for me this week.

I’ve been doing research on the law of attraction lately.

The law of attraction basically states that you life consists of what you attract. You attract by what you think about. More info about it here.

With this in mind, I’ve been “experimenting”.

I’ve been creating affirmations for myself, and remaining positive and assured about these affirmations.

So far, I have noticed that I tend to manifest things in a very positive manner.

I have completely changed my way of thinking, and it has worked out very well for me thus far!

I am naturally very pessimistic. But, I am slowly transforming into an optimist.

I have most definitely noticed that good things have come my way since learning more about the law of attraction.

By putting out good and positive energy, I am receiving it back.

Whereas before, I would always notice that bad things would happen to me, or I felt like I just had really awful luck.

But, that’s not the case anymore.

I’m finding that not only good things are happening, but more good things than I could have ever expected!

I encourage everyone to take a gander into the law of attraction and see what unfolds.

It seemed to work for Henry Ford!

He knew he could do it, and boy did he!

You never really know what your capable of until you just go for it.

What have you got to lose?

2018 Gift Guide for Busy Toddler Boys

Gift Guide

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to Christmas, I like to give it a lot of thought.

This is especially true when it comes to my son!

He is a wild little man. So, this makes it difficult for me to find toys that peak his interest.

He moves from one toy to another at the speed of light.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that though.

It just hurts when you buy your child something you think they will REALLY enjoy, but they end up ignoring it for the box (I know we’ve all been there).

Here are 5 ideas I’ve had to get him this year:

1. Trampoline – As I said, my guy is wild. So, I figured a good way to help him get some of that energy out (without ruining my house) would be a little trampoline. Heck, I may even take a few jumps on it!

2. Children’s Tool Set – A month or two ago we were browsing Wal-Mart and happened to run by a children’s tool set. It was fairly inexpensive (like $9) so we picked it up. Well, I’ll tell you what, its been the only toy(s) my son has consistently played with! He tends to get bored with everything else, but not his tools. He seeing Daddy using them, so I’m thinking that’s a motivating factor. Not only that, but its darn adorable to watch him “build” or “fix” something.

3. Construction Toys – Since we have had our house built, my son has been obsessed with construction and anything related. He knows all the construction vehicles by name, and even acts out their function (if he owns the toy).

Although these are most definitely not inexpensive, they are something that I can tell people he may like. I’m also thinking about getting him this book to open a few days before Christmas for bedtime reading.

4. AquaDoodle – Since we moved into a brand new home, I don’t want to do anything that can damage it. Generally, we would bring paint and drawing activities outside. But, you can’t do that in the dead of winter. So, I found this little gadget. Seems pretty cool, and now we have more than enough room to play with it!

5. Pajamas – Doesn’t sound fun, but it’s definitely more practical than any of the things above. It’s also a tradition that my mom created. I would like to keep it going. Here are my FAVORITE pajamas for kids. They don’t shrink or fall apart like some others. I love them and they are a GREAT price.

This is my plan for Christmas gifting for my son.

Hope this is helpful for someone who was having difficulty brainstorming.

What kind of things do you plan on buying?

Motivational Monday – Do You Need Motivation?

Need motivation

Doesn’t it feel good to know that someone has your back?

I feel that getting to this point in my life has been a crazy journey.

And I STILL struggle with it.

By it, I mean my relationship with God.

I have always felt close to God, but was (and still am) such a control freak.

This may not really seem like a big deal for most, but for me it’s always been a struggle.

I like to control things.

I like to know when things are going to happen.

So I can simply prepare for them.

I’m definite that I am not the only one who does this.

So, when I am feeling this way, I find that looking at this quote gives me hope.

Which, in turn, provides with me the motivation that I need to continue going down the path that I am set upon.

Because, I know that if I was not supposed to be on this path, then God would have not directed me towards it in the first place.

We must always know that God has our back.

He never wants to hurt us.

But sometimes, we hurt ourselves by trying to control situations in which God wants to control.

So, let him control.

It may be uncomfortable for a little while, but it is something that you learn to “sit” in.

This brings me motivation.

What brings you motivation?

5 Things I do to Stay Organized

How to stay organized

1. Make My Bed

I know, I know, you’ve heard it a million times! Especially from your mother! But I’ve got to tell you, this is one of the biggest secrets that I never wanted to believe. For some reason, when I make my bed, I feel as if I have “closed the gateway” to that night. And it makes me feel good about starting anew! And, duh, it totally makes my room look pretty and more tidy too! Even if I don’t make it directly in the morning (because on days I work, I leave before my husband and son wake up), I will make it when I come home. Although, sometimes my husband does it for me.

2. Tidy up or Clean

I don’t know if this is just me or what, but when I clean (or at least have things tidy) it causes my brain to declutter. When I physically see too much all around me, I literally feel like I can’t think straight. For example, kitchen counters! This is one of my pet peeves! Sure, kitchen counters get cluttered and messy. But, I need them to be decluttered and clean if I’m going to be in there. Dishes also must be OUT of the sink as well. I get it, I have some OCD tendencies.

3. Time for Myself

Sounds silly, but its a Godsend! On nights that I don’t have to work the next day (did that make sense?) I like to stay up late. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me its crucial. I enjoy my time alone. I will sit and catch up on some of my favorite TV shows or binge some Netflix. Snacks are also HIGHLY recommended for this alone time…or even wine. And, if you don’t like staying up late, getting up an hour or two earlier than everyone else is another way to have that alone time. I do this on days I work, I get my coffee and breakfast alone with MY shows, not my sons.

4. Plan

I’m a planner. I plan things. I can’t help it. It is a habit of mine. I live by my planner, especially at work! I prefer to have a general idea of what and when things are going to happen. I am completely aware that some things happen with no knowledge of how, when, where, or why they happened. That’s okay. But, if I can plan it, I will. It keeps me sane.

5. Communicate

This is probably the single most important thing I do to keep myself organized. When you’re a mommy and a wife, there are other bodies involved in your life! This means that keeping in constant communication with those other bodies is vital. Simply telling your spouse you need to be at the hair salon after work, or that a bill needs to be paid is a massive help to both of you! Also, coordinating your schedules is important. What if your child needed to be picked up from school, and you thought your spouse would do it, but your spouse thought that you would do it? Guess your kid’s calling grandma! No one needs a he said, she said fight. Just be courteous and tell each other whats going on in your lives! Not only will communication help you stay organized, but it will help you to become more engaged in your spouse’s life as well! Which creates better intimacy and bond within your relationship.

 

I’d love to hear what helps you stay organized!

Halloween 2018

It’s a good Halloween!

It was different, and definitely not what I pictured this year’s Halloween would be like. Ever since Harrison was born, Mom had looked forward to doing all the “fun stuff” with him.

Things like Trick or Treating, and creating his Easter basket; stuff like that. The things that we all have memories of doing as a child.

I knew she wanted to be there. And, I suppose she was.

Just in spirit.

Which is definitely not the same. And it sucks.

But, aside from that aspect of what I pictured for Halloween, it was good!

I had to work that day, but was able to get off early so I could take Harrison out with my husband.

In our town, we do this thing called Merchants night. However, now that I think about it, I don’t know why its called “night”. Because it’s from 3 PM to 5 PM.

Anyway, you basically take your kiddo(s) up and down main street and they Trick or Treat the businesses.

Its fun. But, what I like best about it is that it is S A F E!

Since this month has been so crazy for my family, we were definitely slacking in the planning department.

We didn’t plan a costume until a few days before Halloween. I remember that someone had given me a Winnie the Pooh costume. Luckily, it fit Harrison perfectly.

Unluckily though, he would wear it. When we tried to put it on him he kept screaming that it was “too tight”. Trust me, it wasn’t.

So, improvisation to the rescue!

A few months back, before Mom had passed, she bought him a jacket that looked exactly like a aviators coat.

So, what’d we do?

That’s right! We put him in that coat and smeared ash from our fireplace on his face. Threw on some aviator sunglasses and called him a pilot.

However, whenever the adults would ask who he was, they would also guess Tom Cruise from Top Gun.

Neither myself or my husband had ever seen the movie, so we just said “sure” blindly.

It didn’t matter to us who he was, or even who people thought he was! What mattered was that he had a blast.

Eventually, he learned to say “trick or treat”. And when he replied with “thank you”, he would throw in a “you’re welcome” as well.

And come on, how cute is that?!

He got loads of candy and had loads of fun. What more could you want for Halloween?

What did you do for Halloween?

 

 

PS: Sorry for the yucky photo quality. I don’t know what happened there!

If you want to see more pictures in better quality, head over to my instagram! Hope to see you there!

Multigenerational Living Pros & Cons

Everything in this world has good sides and bad sides. However, in order for us to do something (and want to do something) the good must outweigh the bad.

This is where pro and con lists come in handy.

Here are some pros to multigeneraltional living:

  • Getting to spend time with your family – just think, most people don’t get to see their parents but maybe a few times a year. With multigenerational living, you can see them EVERYDAY (which is good most of the time).
  • Harrison (and any other children we have) get to spend immense amounts of time with his grandparents – once again, children rarely get really good quality time with their grandparents, this gives them the opportunity to get time with them.
  • Harrison (and others) will get to learn about their heritage, right and wrong, “how things were”, and so much more – anddd once again, going back to spending time with grandparents. Since children do not get to see their grandparents often, they do not have the opportunity to learn from them. People who are older than us (us being EVERYONE) have so much knowledge that we could never get if we were to not listen to them. Therefore, learning from our “elders” is so important for growing and becoming a good person. We then also have people to look up to.
  • HELP – having a ton of people in the house is such a crazy help. There is help when you need to take a shower but can’t leave the toddler in the living room because you don’t want the TV to fall on them, or for them to eat all the Ritz crackers in the house. Or maybe the dishes need to be done, or maybe you even need to borrow a few bucks. The list could literally go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point. When in need, there is generally always someone there to help.
  • Financial – from a financial standpoint, it is much less expensive to live with a large group of people then to live with a small one. Its simple, basic math. If the bills/mortgage/rent/etc. can be split more ways, then that is less you’d have to pay. So, there’s that too.
  • The sense of ahhhh – So, its ones bizarre and actually pretty unexplainable. Sometimes, well all just be eating dinner, and I just have this overwhelming sense of gratefulness and wonder about my life. Its like, in that moment, I realize how lucky and blessed I am to be living this life. Imagine this: having it always be like Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter. Well, of course, without the food. No ones going to cook like that on a daily basis. But it’s that feeling of togetherness that is irreplaceable and generally unattainable, except for those of us who get to experience it on holidays.
  • Self growth – living with others forces us to look at who we are. This means that we can get a different perspective on ourselves that we wouldn’t have otherwise. This can create growth in many ways because we find ourselves looking inward and wanting change for the sake of others, but really, we are helping ourselves so much more.

As I stated before, there is ALWAYS a flipside.

So, here’s the cons of multigenerational living:

  • Disagreement – This happens ALL THE TIME. I mean, how can it not? You have multiple generations living in the same household. Each generation holds different ideals, thought processes, ways of living, etc. There is going to be disagreements between everyone.
  • Arguing/ ”fighting” – disagreement leads me to arguing. When people disagree, they generally find that they then need to argue their point in order to get what they want. However, learning how to argue efficiently and effectively is the sole purpose of arguing.
  • Cleaning – well, this isn’t so bad for the rest of the family members, but it is for me (because I prefer to have things just so). I like things pretty clean (for the most part); don’t get me wrong, the rest of the household likes things clean as well, but my cleaning standard is different from theirs. So, I generally find myself cleaning A LOT. This is probably not that big of a problem with others who live multigenerationally, but for me it is. But, I am the mom.
  • Decorating – Not everyone in the house has the exact “style” as myself. Therefore, having to balance a bunch of different types of styles in one house is challenging. This is especially true when it comes to our new home. As we approach finding things to fill it with, trying to combine everyone’s style is…well…interesting.
  • Loving too much – this is a bizarre issue that I have found. When you don’t live with your parents, I feel it is easier when they pass. Because, well, you were already used to them not being around. However, when you do live with them, it will probably make that transition of them not being there much more difficult. But, having this kind of love is something that I am willing to sacrifice in order to get the benefits from it.

I know that these pros and cons may not seem very big, and I’m sure I will be adding to both here and there throughout the years. But, as you can see, the positives most definitely outweight the negatives…at least in my situation.

everyone’s home is going to look different, and that’s perfectly fine. Finding balance is what it’s all about. It’s not always going to be pretty,

Or fun

Or awful

Or perfect.

But it will always be worth it!

It just takes a little effort, self acceptance, acceptance of those around you, and the willingness to do whats right for your family. I hope to help others find happiness and balance in their homes – multigenerational or not.

Mom’s Story – Part 2

They ended up having to intubate her to make sure she continued to breathe.

By the time she was air flighted out, it was around 7 AM. We all went home to pack our things and head to the hospital. I went back to bed with my husband and son for an hour or so. When we woke we got Harrison breakfast, us coffee, packed our stuff, and finally headed to the hospital.

Two hours later, we arrived. My husband dropped me off at the hospital and took my son to his grandparents to stay there for awhile. When I got there we had finally found out what she had the whole time – pneumonia! They began her on antibiotics, and told us to be prepared to a long and bumpy road ahead; because recovery for pneumonia is apparently this way. My husband and I got a hotel room for the week. Not much progress had been made within the week that we stayed.

Her lungs were not draining fluid and were continuing to fill up. It was a mystery to all of us, including the doctors. They suspected that it was because her kidney was not functioning. Thus, they decided to proceed with dialysis. Every time they would do a dialysis treatment, she would output anywhere from 1 – 3 liters of fluid! This seemed to be helping her get fluid from her lungs. The doctors next quest was to get the intubator out; because if they do not get the intubator out within 10 days (give or take), then the individual must have a tracheotomy put in to continue to help them breathe.

Around the 12th day of the hospital stay, they were able to fully wean her off the intubator and remove it. She went almost 3 days without it and things were finally looking up – we could see the road ahead. Sometime during the night of the 14th day, she had gone into severe respiratory distress once again. At this point, they had to re-intubate. Shortly after that, they noticed that something was wrong with her heart. They took her to have it checked out and came back shortly after with not-so-good-news.

At this time, my husband, son, and I had gone home because we were not beneficial there, and needed to go back to work for a few days. My step dad had come home for a few days as well, and his twin sister (who is a nurse) stayed with mom. We got the call from his sister saying that she had probably had a severe heart attack and we needed to get there now. Once again we packed up our bags and headed out.

But this time it was different, in the worst possible way.

I ended up having to call those of my loved ones who were close to notify them to say their goodbyes, if they so wish. This was the longest, and most emotion filled car ride of my life. I couldn’t explain the emotions going through me. I was angry, yet so, so sad. My mom was my best friend. For the first 11 years of my life, it was just me and her. She was the only person on the planet that I could tell anything to, or ask for anything. And I was so young…and so was she. It just wasn’t fair. I felt like I was robbed of something that I didn’t have yet.

Once we arrived, we had many other family members there to say their goodbyes as well. At this time, she was fully on life support with little chance of recovery. The doctors stated that, even if she were to recover, she would be a “cardiac cripple”. She only had 15% of her heart working, and she would never be able to gain back the rest.

After thoroughly discussing our options and mulling over it with family, we had to make that awful decision. We had to remove her from life support and allow her to be free from the worldly pain she was in. It was not long after we made the decision that the nurses unhooked everything that was keeping my mother, my best friend, alive.

They gave her morphine to keep her calm and sedated. To much of our surprise, she was able to stay alive for a great deal of time. We were able to go in to see her, she was unable to talk though (aside from “shhhhh”, and “pray, pray, pray”). So, we talked and prayed, and she listened. She went extremely peacefully to her forever home on October 6th, 2018.

If I would have known that the last time I hugged her would be the last time, then I would have cherished much more. I would have held her a little tighter, and made sure that this memory was embedded into my head forever. But, I didn’t do that. I can honestly say I barely remember saying goodbye that night before she went to the hospital.

She has taught me so much in life, and now I hope everyday that she can also teach me so much in death.

So far, I have learned that nothing in promised. Even though I have heard this my whole life, it doesn’t sink in until it really sinks in. I have learned to cherish the moments that I have with people, because I don’t know if they are going to be my last. I have learned that being present is so much more worth it then trying to plan ahead.

Overall, I am mostly saddened by the fact that she will not be able to watch her grandson (who was the absolute light of her life) grow up. She wont be there to experience his first day of school, or graduation, or marriage, or her great grandchildren. I am saddened by the fact that I no longer have the ability to ask her questions, or feel her comfort like only your mommy can give. I find myself wanting to call her and ask about her day. Only to have reality kick in and realize that it is now impossible. Even though I know she is there, its not the same. It will never be the same. I am angry that I have to live on earth longer without her than I got to with her.

My plan moving forward is to make her proud. To build a home that she would be proud of. To build a family that would be completely in love with. And to continue to build the type of daughter that she aspired for me to be.

Mom’s Story

 

My mom’s name is Karen and she passed away October 6th, 2018 at 12:22 PM.

I never realized that this would happen to me. I never thought it was possible to lose my mom at such a young age. I still need her, I’m only 27. I’m sure that it doesn’t really matter how old you are when you mom passes away. It still hurts. My mom had always had her generous amount of health problems, which was unfortunate but she really handled all of them like a champ.

For as long as I can remember, she had allergy issues. Not food allergies, but seasonal. Which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but they were constant and year round. Amazingly though, she still pushed through. I don’t recall when I first knew about it, but ever since she had me, she has had diabetes. But it was not that severe until her much later years. In January of 2013, we (my family) opened a restaurant. Sometime that May, my mom began to feel “funny” – this was the only way she could describe it.

She went to our hospital, and they found that she had been having strokes. This lead to a bunch of others tests that I wont bore you with. When all was said and done, they found that she had masses in her brain and cancer in one of her kidneys. They immediately planned a surgery to take our her kidney that had cancer. She healed and had a good recovery. She was even back in the restaurant doing light work about 10 days after! The doctors just decided to keep an eye on the masses in her head though. They were too close to a nerve to attempt to treat them. They never changed, which was said to be good because it was likely that she’d had them for years and that they were unlikely to be cancerous.

My mom died cancer free, oddly enough.

But, at this point her diabetes was beginning to get the better of her. She began to have to take insulin to regulate her blood sugar levels, but even that did not help. For many years, she had begged our doctor to send her to an endocrinologist, with no luck. During the beginning of this year, our new doctor had referred her to an endocrinologist. Within 5 – 6 weeks of being on a new medicine to regulate her levels, she was normal, stable, and steady. But, this all happened too late, and the damage had already been done.

When your blood sugar levels are not regulated and normalized, it takes a toll on your kidney. If you remember, she only had one kidney. This one kidney had taken a lot of damage and was doing its best at around 40% function. The doctor even stated that she may end up having to do dialysis in the future. Not only was her kidney taking a beating, but her eyes were as well. She was beginning to lose vision in both eyes. This was because diabetes can eventually cause diabetic macular edema.

Sometime during the summer of this year, she began to notice that she was having some pretty severe shoulder pain when she was physically active. This eventually lead to more pain in the middle of her back. Accompanying this pain was severe shortness of breath doing light physical activity and, what should would describe as, the inability to “catch a good, cleansing breath”. By this time, our doctor (whom we loved so dearly) had taken another job elsewhere and our hospital had not refilled his position.Our hospital compensated losing one doctor by filling the office with “floating” or “traveling” doctors, who would only stay 1 – 3 months.

My mom went into the doctors to attempt to find out why she was experiencing these bizarre symptoms.

I was not there, but my mom and step dad both state that this doctor completely ignored my moms chief complaints; and instead, decided to focus on her diabetes and being more physically active. Remember – at this time, my moms diabetes was completely stabilized and under control, she also ran a restaurant so she rarely sat down. In the end, nothing was done, and she was told that it was simply her stress levels and tension. 

It was no more than 2 weeks later when she woke my step dad up at 2:30 AM saying she was unable to breathe. My step dad came to get me (we live in the same home) and I walked into the living room. She was clearly in respiratory distress. I gave her a kiss, told her I loved her, and said everything was going to be fine. I told my step dad to call me when we know something and went back to bed. I woke up to a phone call at 4 AM…it was my step dad. He said that he needed me to come to the hospital, and that I needed to go wake up my grandparents because he could not get a hold of them.

I rushed to get my clothes on, told my husband what was going on, and went to wake up my grandparents. They were shocked, and began to gather themselves to head to the hospital. I met them there. When I got there, it was explained to me that she was in extreme respiratory distress and her oxygen levels were only at 60%. They had her on an oxygen mask, and had given her an anti anxiety medication to keep her calm. They knew our hospital could not give her the level of care she needed, so they decided to fly her to a bigger, more capable hospital.

The story continues here