Thursday, July 17, 2014

Working Girl

After 10 years, I have re-entered the world of the working.

Back to not offend anyone......I have reentered the world of "working outside the home."

I have had odd jobs here and there: part time gigs and violin lessons, etc.

But those days are gone. Probably for good.

Now I'm working shifts where I'm away from the house for 9+ hours at a time. That's a long time to be away from these three kids who drain my energy yet fuel my soul.

It has not been the easiest transition period for our family, but we're working through it.

And it is time. Really, it's past time. We've stretched and sacrificed financially for ten years and even though I'm hardly bringing in the big bucks right now, every little bit of extra helps. (Especially when your 5.5 year old is still highly dependent on formula feedings.....and your 8 year old wants to play sports......and your 9 year old wants to go to art camp and probably needs braces soon.....) Who knew kids were so dang expensive? ;)

Since I'm in the midst of changing careers, I am at the "bottom" of the totem pole work wise. Literally. I spend my days working with patients and helping meet their most basic needs...... 

And you know what?

So far? I love it.

Plus, the schedule is flexible so right now I work late in the evening when Todd's available to be home with the kids so we don't have to pay child care and Owen doesn't have to transition more than necessary. 

Do Todd and I get to see each other? 
Why? Is that important in a marriage?
I had no idea actual time together was important?!

Don't worry. This "ships passing in the night" phase of our lives won't last forever.

Hopefully this whole going back to school and changing careers and more flexibility will be a good thing for our family in the long run.

Working Girl Selfie?

Awwwwwwww yeah.......


Nothing sexier than navy scrubs and stark white leather tennis shoes.......can I get an A to the Men?


Monday, July 14, 2014

When Autism Attacks.

Some days Autism lays dormant.

Quiet even.

It still shows up, but it's pretty. It shows up in the form of giggles and questions and activities that other people may not understand, but you watch him and smile. He may be in his own world, but he's happy there.

Other days?

Autism comes out kicking and screaming. 

It takes over your son's sweet body and leaves you no choice but to face it head on.

It is the bull and you are the matador.

There is no white flag of surrender.

You arm yourself with your sensory brush and your weighted blanket and your bag of tricks from the Occupational Therapist. You muster every ounce of patience. You down your coffee because there is no time to waste and you need the energy. Oh do you need the energy.

The other kids try to help but he cannot be reached today, so you send them upstairs to play while the war rages on.

It is his arms AND his legs this time.

He cannot control them. They feel weird. They're hurting him.

 He's screaming and kicking at you to do something about it.

You're trying.

And you know it is not really his arms and his legs that hurt. You know it is the fact that his daddy left for a trip, his mommy worked late last night, and today is the first day of a new VBS. You show him the picture schedule you made to help him through the week. He throws it away. He wants his old picture schedule from your last trip. You pull that one out. Thank goodness you're a slack housekeeper and hadn't thrown it away yet. It also says VBS on it. The VBS that Nana took him to. He wants Nana to take him to this one too. 

"She can't, but I can take you. And I can hold your hand. And if you don't like it, you can come home with me."

He hesitates; hopeful.
He doesn't have to stay?

You watch your peaceful three hours to yourself dwindle away. 
You mourn their loss.
You curse on the inside but you know you still have one last bag of tricks up your sleeve......

You signed up for this one, even though it's far away, because it has animals. Real animals. Live animals. And boy does he LOVE animals.

You hang on to that thread of hope, dwindling though it may be, that he will change his mind once he's there.

He does.
After two hours of screaming and crying, he slows to a stop.

He's hesitant. Unsure. But he sees some butterflies and he wants to try it.
You look him in the eyes and ask one more time: are you sure you want to stay?
You get a slight nod in return. 

You watch his brother take his hand and lead him to the butterflies. 
Your daughter gives you a look that says "for the love of all things holy, run now!"

You quickly kiss her on the cheek and make your escape, standing outside the door for awhile to make sure he doesn't start screaming again.

He doesn't.

You drive home slowly, waiting for the phone to ring.

It doesn't.

You ignore the errands that need to be run.
You just won the battle, but the war rages on.
And winning doesn't feel like winning. It's guilt ridden and exhausting.

You lace up your shoes and get ready to hit the pavement.
You need to pray for him while he's there.
You need to pray for the other two.

You take the running shoes off. 

You're too tired to go right now.

You sit.

You write.

You hope for a better week for the four of you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

14 Years and Counting

Yesterday was my fourteenth anniversary with this crazy guy.

14 years.

And our anniversary was just about as romantic as an anniversary between two non-romantic people with three kids and no babysitter can be.......

After eating Moes (kids eat free on Tuesday nights) with friends and putting the kids to bed, we had a nice long budget talk and then watched a movie where Liam Neeson saves a plane full of 150 people. I know, right? Try to control your jealousy.......

But here's the thing, peeps - 

As unromantic as we may be, I wouldn't want to celebrate with anyone else.

I'm blessed beyond blessed to be married to this guy.

We don't always see eye to eye, and honestly, there have been two of the fourteen years that our marriage really struggled. Hard core struggles where anger and bitterness were more time consuming than lovey-dovey feelings. But we made a choice 14 years ago and that choice was to choose each other over and over and over and over and over again.

And I stand by that choice today.

I've made a lot of mistakes in my life but choosing him every day is not one of them and if you know him, you know why.

He's a great father, friend, pastor, leader, husband, and the man can rig up anything. ANYTHING.

On top of that? 
He's fun and stubborn and passionate and nobody can get me laughing the way he can.

So here's to another year down.

And we decided last night that next summer we're going to do something big to celebrate 15 years.

Like maybe watch a movie with Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington.?!
Things about to get cray cray up in here.