Sunday, April 18, 2010

Reminded

Tonight as I sit on the couch, holding a little one who is sick, I am reminded of friends who have lost children. When Kadin was born, colicky, and nursing every hour and a half, I thought I would surely lose my mind. On some nights, rocking him with tears streaming down my face, I simply told myself that my friend Suzie would give anything to be sitting in her baby's nursery, rocking her baby. Suzie and I were pregnant at the same time. She was ahead of me. Her sweet baby had hydrops and did not make it. I went on and had Kadin. So on those nights, I remembered baby Molly and the thoughts of empty arms kept me going. Today some friends of ours lost their son, Hogan. He was born with Trisomy 18 and defied doctors by living for two weeks. Tonight, although his parents get to go home to two other children, I'm sure a part of their arms, as well as their hearts, feels empty.

It may be morbid to think this way. To remember friends who have lost children in order to keep my own sanity, but I don't think being reminded of how fragile life is is a bad thing. How we should be thankful for every day we have been given.

Tonight, as I hold my sweet Liam, I will remember. The Molly's, the Jay's, the Hogan's, and all other babies that are not of this world. And ask them to watch over my baby. Because one can never have enough angels either.

And tomorrow, when I am exhausted, short tempered, and wishing for a nap, I will remember to be reminded of my blessings.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Defining the Lines


Do you ever wonder where your kids stop and you begin? Or where your husband's needs become separate from your own? Sometimes I feel like that line is blurred. What everyone else needs or wants in the family becomes my top priority and the things that I want or need become second, third, or they never exist at all. On some days, I find it so difficult to maintain the status quo. Keeping the house, the kids, the schedules, the school work, the focus on God and family, incorporating the needs of others into our lives, all before breakfast! Today, Cullen was sick. A high fever pushed him from his bed in the wee hours of the morning and into my arms. After getting him meds, and settled on the couch with ice chips, all I could think of is that his getting sick messed with MY plans for the day.

I guess that is what running has done for me. While training for a race, I have a specific schedule. Time reserved for me and my girl friends. Time to do something for me. With me. And bonding time with some girls that have become my closest friends in a long time. We share it all. No subject is sacred or off limits. We have bared our souls to each other and found true friends in the process. I am eternally grateful. But I also feel selfish for the time I take away from my family to take my runs. Long runs can take up to five hours. FIVE HOURS away from my family. For me. It's crazy.

Yet, I have realized, I need to have those lines. The lines of mother, wife, sister, friend, individual. I need to remember what it is like to be me. In my own skin. With my own likes and dislikes and wants and needs. Doing so makes me a better person. For myself and others. To decide how I feel and what I think on different topics instead of just parroting what others around me say. And to be honest, I like the time with just me. To just exist in the quiet, or in the chatter of others. But doing something for me. Just because I enjoy it.

Do you do things you enjoy in life? Reading the Bible, gardening, photography, running, crafts. Whatever it is you enjoy, go for it. Redefine yourself. Make sure you are ok with you in your own skin. That there is a place where others stop, and you shine. It's hard, but it's a necessity. Carry on!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Getting Away


This year for spring break, Dave and I decided to get back to the basics. We looked for a destination that was secluded. Nature filled. A time to only focus on the family. Where we would literally be with each other 24/7 for a solid week. To regroup. To reconnect. To breathe together before the chaos of Dave starting his own private practice truly began. We found a home on Don Pedro Island in Florida. As a barrier reef island, most of the small island is reserved as a national park. You get there by a ferry that cost 170 bucks for 5 trips off the island. Or you could pay 55 dollars for one trip. There is a small resort on the island of Palm Island connected to Don Pedro that also has a small store. Small. As in one 6 ft isle with necessities on it. The restaurant was amazing though. A small three bedroom house on stilts. Painted yellow. With the beach in the back yard. We made ourselves at home for a week. Waking early to small giggles, long runs, walks on the secluded beach, watching dolphins, drinking coffee on the front stoop, and basically, just living life at leisure. It was healing. To search the beach for sharks teeth and beautifully colored shells. To sit and read in the accompaniment of God's masterpiece. To watch three little boys we love so much dig in the sand, jump waves, and just know what it is like to be off somewhere, together. Heaven with sand in the bed. Getting away makes me realize how little we truly need in life. Food, water, shelter, loved ones. How much we get sucked into the "I wants" in life that quickly become the "I needs." The rush around so that our children can experience life's opportunities. Really, the best opportunities my boys have had are on a boat my husband has rented where we see nature in it's natural state. Dolphins swimming in the bay. Manatee in the intercoastal. White pelicans on a small deserted island in the gulf. And each other to lean on. Now that we are back into the hustle of things, I look back to the calmness of the sea. The joy in my parents eyes as they see my children excitedly share beach finds. The lazy smile of my husband as we look over little tow heads at each other. And the ocean breeze blowing in a house where the sound of the waves lull you to sleep. Every once in awhile, I encourage you to just, get away.