Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Change of Plans--I'm going to "Holland"

Life does not always go the way you plan. I have had a difficult time letting go of some of my expectations and "plans" of my life as it takes on a different direction.

This afternoon, a dear friend referred me to this poem. It was actually written to describe how life changes when a special needs child joins the family. While this is not true of the twists and turns in my life, this poem really affected me and brought me peace....so, for now, I am headed to Holland! :)

Poem: “Welcome to Holland” by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome To Holland”.

“Holland?!?” you say, “What do you mean “Holland”??? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills…Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy…and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned”.

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away…because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But…if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things…about Holland.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Break Days 3, 4, & 5

It has been a wild and crazy week. Life was already crazy and then all three kids and I came down with a cold. Not mild, but not horrid, either. It just adds to the craziness.
Wednesday, Day 3:
We ran a few errands first (bank run and Sam's club) then we picked up breakfast and ate it at the park and played.

We then went to meet my sister at a mini-train. I worried that it would be crowded since it is near the zoo and it is Spring Break (I even left 30-45 extra minutes early), but I had NO IDEA just how much traffic there were would be. All the exits anywhere near the area were stopped. The freeways all around the zoo were barely moving with the increased traffic. Needless to say we nixed that plan.

We met her instead at a local health food store, but it was also incredibly crowded. We could barely turn around in many places in the store since there were so many people. It was nice to see her and the kids were so excited, but it was very anxiety-inducing. Thank-goodness the day was salvaged when they came to our house on their way home and everyone could just play.

Thursday, Day 4:
Thursday, we went with a group of friends from church to tour a local bread factory. It was very cool. So many thousands of loaves of bread in there at all times. It was somewhat hard to see and a little hot. We did get to wear very flattering hairnets and helmets. I would have loved a picture of my friends and I like that. It was fun.
Friday, Day 5:
Friday, we went to a local indoor water park with some friends. It was cool since we brought one of K's best friends with us and another of her close friends ended up being there, too. The three of them had so much fun. One of C's best friends was there, too, so the big kids really had a great time. LD was scared at first, but then decided that splashing was the best! I loved sitting in the hot tub with friends, although it is difficult to relax much when keeping a very watchful eye on the kids. Even though they know how to swim, there are lifeguards, and they were with buddies, I still get nervous and have to check on them.

I cannot have imagined a crazier week with trying to fit fun stuff in, normal life, and the sickies. It wasn't the Spring Break we imagined, but we managed to have fun! :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Break-Day 2

This feels like such a haphazard Spring Break. I guess I am just not functioning at 100%. Life is just crazy.

This morning, the kids decided they wanted donuts for Spring Break breakfast. Since we wanted to be out of the house and on our way, we hurried to get all our "Done Before Fun" services done. We sure were starving by the time we ate breakfast!
We grabbed some donuts and I had some work to do at the clinic. They ate their donuts on the floor while I worked.

Next, we were off to Putt Putt (the kids get to choose what they will do, just within the budget). The day was gorgeous. A little hot with a little breeze: perfect! Our first 5-6 holes were so much fun. LD loved it and it was cute to watch him try to putt. After that, he just became a terror, wanting to wander all over the course while K and C were playing. It was difficult to keep up with him and made me seriously consider NEVER playing Putt Putt with a 2-year-old again!

We went in and played arcade games after the golf. That was fun. They had a Spring Break special of 80 tokens for $10, which we divided up 35 each to K and C and 10 for LD and I. It was fun and they all seem to enjoy "earning" their rinky-dink prizes from their tickets.
By this time, we were all exhausted and a little cranky. It was fun, however, and a successful 2nd day of Spring Break!
Spring Break Budget Update: $68.00- $6.89 (Donuts and Juice) - $0 (coupons for Putt Putt) - $10.00 (tokens for arcade games) = $51.11

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Break 2009-Day 1

Life doesn't always go as planned (understatement, I guess!). K woke up so sick this morning. Among other things, she had a fever and could hardly move. The kids' plan for today was to go to lunch and the movies. They had decided on seeing "Tale of Despereaux" at the dollar theatre. Since K felt so sick, we all decided not to go. C was a little bored. I got a lot of work done. K slept. LD loved his siblings being home. I guess the "break" part of Spring Break was still there, right?

But, tonight, K felt better. Thank goodness since it was the last night of her gymnastics class that she loves and she'd already missed one class due to the flu. After gymnastics, we rented a movie at Blockbuster (I use my Discover Rewards so it was $0) and went to Sonic for ice cream (exactly $7.00). They stayed up late watching the movie and eating ice cream. Not such a flop of a day after all!
Spring Break Budget Update: $75 - $0 - $7.00 = $68.00

Sunday, March 15, 2009

St. Patty's Gingerbread House

So, in late November I gave in to my kids' request and bought a gingerbread house kit. We have made them from scratch before, but I knew that we would not have enough time this year. Yet, it is now March 15th and, as of this morning, was still sitting there, ready to be made. Just a little late. So, when they asked if we could make it today I told them we would after church. And...we did (even though I was dead tired...see, sometimes I am a cool mom after all!). LD thought because of the frosting that it was for a birthday...and it is my brother's 30th birthday today (Happy Birthday, J!). But, we just decided that our family just likes St. Patrick's Day Gingerbread Houses! Since we just used the kit it wasn't very green, but that would be a fun and unique tradition to start: making green gingerbread houses for St. Patrick's Day! :)

On a side note: We are officially on Spring Break! Yippee. Spring Break Budget tomorrow, Baby! That is another great tradition that we ALL love!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Never Mind on the House.

So...update. The house was 100% on last Friday. We were ready to close and everything. Now it is 100% off. I am sad. I love that house, but the timing just ended up not being right. I am in mourning.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Reasons I was The Coolest Mom Ever this Weekend!

Okay...so I will never be the coolest mom ever, but this weekend I got pretty close. DH is away at a seminar for the weekend so we get to have fun! :)

We started the weekend off with sleepovers for K and C. C lost his opportunity to have a sleepover Friday morning (as a mom, this was sooooo heartbreaking!). He did get to earn back having his friend, E, come over to play and eat dinner, just no sleepover. Here are C and E making their homemade pizzas:

K and her friends also got to make pizzas. The three of them are really good girls and 9 1/2 is such a fun age!

C and E spent the entire evening playing Star Wars "live" or playing Star Wars video games. LD had a great time watching them and learning how to be a Jedi!

The girls had so much fun together. I trust them so much that I went to bed and let them do whatever until they fell asleep (which I heard was 2 ish in the morning!). It was nice to let them get the sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets and take care of it themselves. The only thing they didn't take care of is turning off the lights. Here they are cupstacking with LD:

The next morning, K asked if we could take her friends out to see the new house. It actually wasn't on my agenda, but I do want her to feel as comfortable as possible with this new move. So, we went out spur-of-the-moment to see the house. They had a great time and I think it helped them all realize that we aren't moving forever away.

One of K's friends had to leave since her aunt was headed to the hospital to have a baby. Her other friend, S, is like my other daughter. I keep her before and after school and have been for three years. Her parents were busy running errands she would find boring, so she stayed with us most of the day.

I took a vote and everyone wanted to head up (30-45 minutes) to my niece (E)'s soccer game. It was the perfect weather and those 4-year-old soccer players are so dang cute! It was fun for me, too, since we stayed and let all the kiddos play at the park while my sister and I got to chat. It was great! :)

Then, since I am so cool like that, I stopped by McDonald's on the way home to buy the kiddos lunch. They really thought that Saturday was the best! :)

We also got to spend a fun time at the Ward Chili Cook Off/Pinewood Derby. It was really fun. We didn't have enough time to make our car, but we enjoyed the company so much. I felt we really had to go since we won't be in this ward much longer. LD fell asleep on the way over and I basically just sat and held him sleeping on my lap and visited with a couple friends. It was very relaxing.
Now, as for me, this is how I spent Friday night (especially since the girls wanted the TV and the Living Room):
Can you tell I love reading?
And this is how I spent Saturday night: playing Rockband, Taboo, Apples to Apples, and Imaginiff with some friends. It was so much fun and I, at least, haven't laughed so hard in a long time!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Yucky Morning Blues: Resolved!

I woke up this morning feeling just yucky. All the worries of the past year seemed to weigh exceptionally heavy upon me again this morning. I felt so down and upset. I felt that there was no uplift and no answers. I studied my scriptures, I threw myself into loving and caring for my children, I cleaned the house, and I went to the gym to workout. All of a sudden, as I walked into the gym, I realized that my nasty mood had been replaced by a joyful one. Wondering how this could have happened, I felt the quiet answer, "Because you were doing what you should be doing." What a great answer and realization! :)

Yucky Morning Blues: Resolved!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Taken Care Of

I have always been taught (and I really believe) that God won't give you more than you can handle. But...I have sometimes been on the brink of questioning him during these struggles of the past year. Today, though, I realized that He provides the way to make you stronger and able to make it through.

I have always been blessed with the ability to make friends...usually fairly quickly, but this past year I have been extra blessed to have many, many amazing and strong women be around me and be my support, probably when I could not support myself. I think that that is how God is helping me to weather the storms of life. One such dear friend felt prompted to bring me a copy of a talk given (by another friend!) at a meeting that I was not at. It was EXACTLY what I needed. EXACTLY. What an amazing woman this friend (that brought me the talk) is and I know it is no coincidence that we have been in the right places to become friends this year. This is how God makes it so I don't have more than I can handle.

In this talk was this quote from Henry B. Eyring, "The great test of life is to see whether we will hearken to and obey God's commands in the midst of the storms of life. It is not to endure storms, but to choose the right while they rage." I needed this and many other parts of my friend's talk so much. How thankful I am that Heavenly Father took care of me through her and that she listened! How blessed I am and how taken care of I feel!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Flowers, Basketball, Girls' Night, To Buy or Not to Buy...That is the Question

It has been a crazy week. I am sure it is one of the craziest of my life (although I know it wasn't THE craziest, but it was crazy, crazy, crazy!). Here are some of the events of the last few days:

Flowers: Here are some pictures of my gorgeous flowers that I received for my birthday. I love them so much and they bring such joy to me. The roses are from DH. The big bouquet is from a good friend that didn't even know it was my birthday, but was thinking of me! How cool is that? The tulips are from a couple of dear friends, Jay and one of my visiting teachers. I love them all.
Basketball: C played his last game of the season Saturday. We were all very sentimental. C loves basketball so much. He had a good game, but was so frustrated since the other team was cheating and triple-teaming him. We had a teenage ref and he just didn't stop it like the adult ones do. It was not the best way to end the season, but such is life. As sad as I am, I won't miss the time that practices and games take (although it will soon be replaced again with karate, I am sure.)
Girls' Night: Friday, a couple of my friends planned a nice dinner out with some of my closest friends (including my sister!). Unfortunately another girls' night was planned for the same time and since both parties had planned it in advance, neither could change it. It was so fun. I love my friends, both those there and those not there. I feel so loved.
Finally, To Buy or Not to Buy: DH and I have been going back and forth on buying a house. We have been looking off and on for over a year. We found a house that we feel such peace about. It is about 15 miles from our current house and means a lot of changes: new ward, new schools, and further to the clinic and shopping. But, it is in the country and has one acre of trees and even a stream running through it. There is plenty of land to explore, play on, and enjoy. We have put down a deposit, taken it back, and then put down even more money. Now we still find ourselves with some questions. It is a big leap of faith and we will just have to see how the Lord leads us. We just want to trust in Him, one way or the other.
Finally, today was stake conference. It was tough. All three kids decided to be hard to handle in one way or another. Taking them to church alone has been tough and today was really hard. Yet, twice during the broadcast, right as I was thinking it was too hard to continue this way, it was if the speakers were speaking directly to me, answering my doubtful thoughts and filling my mind with some peace. What a testimony that God knows who I am.

So, a boring catch-up post, but I really want to remember all these events and I am trying to be a better blogger. :)