Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shut the water off!

Note: This was originally written on December 10, 2014. I never intended to share this story publicly, however, I recently realized that I no longer possess any shame regarding my homemaking/motherhood struggles. The truth is - I struggle often; the struggles are ridiculous; and quite frankly, I’m okay with people laughing at my expense.

I live in this vicious cycle of staying up too late and regretting it every morning. I typically like to stay up to simply unwind from the normal shenanigans of the day – like overflowing toilets.

image

Or stay up to unwind from fighting with my daily arch nemesis, the room of terror, my kitchen. I did NOT dirty all those dishes, family!

image

But don’t fret my loves, I’ll get to unclogging the toilet and doing those dishes right after I:

1. Nurse the baby.

2. Prepare meals.

3. Homeschool 2 rambunctious Kindergarten age boys.

4. Do some laundry (or at least attempt to).

5. Catch up on my statistics homework.

6. Write Thank You’s for a baptism and two birthday parties.

7. Christmas shop for EVERYONE on our family’s list.

All while being a single parent for a few days as my husband travels for work… and attempting whatever else needs to be accomplished around here.

Who.am.I.kidding?

I’ll leave the toilet for Redeford, my very patient husband. He won’t scream and throw a toddler tantrum like I’ve been doing for the last 30 minutes because the poop water keeps overflowing out of the toilet bowl, onto the bathroom floor, and dripping down into an unused dog crate, located in our basement storage space. No, he’s a sane person who married a crazy person, who is also fully capable of fixing the darn toilet without so much as one obscenity – they say opposites attract. So, since the plunger will not work, and my calves are hurting from jumping up and down in toddler rage style, it’s time to shut the bathroom door and pretend the problem doesn’t exist. Maybe I should get a bucket for the basement to prevent a poop water flood.

Moving on…

I’ll go do the dishes… hmmm… I’m trying to remember how many times I’ve attempted to fill and then run the dishwasher over last few days. No idea.

The baby cries.

While I sit here and nurse the baby I’m going to write this blog post and try to decide which single-serve bottle of wine (or 2) will go best with my double quarter pounder with cheese, that my understanding husband is bringing home because I can’t, in good conscience, make dinner in my train wreck of a kitchen, especially after being splattered by poop water, while trying to work my sweet skills with the plunger. For hygienic reasons, a shower should be had but the baby doesn’t have any interest in detaching from my boob. I’m glad my boobs were covered when I was plunging.

While baby gets her fill, I’m also going to refrain from completely beating myself up because the only homeschool subject we successfully got through today was phonics. I guess I’ll subscribe to that home education philosophy which emphasizes learning to read as the most important in Kindergarten. What is that philosophy? Classical maybe? Sure, we’ll go with that.

As baby nurse-sleeps, I have to ignore the bedding that’s been in the washer and dryer since yesterday. Maybe I should’ve ignored the baby vomit and the remnants of a diaper explosion on my freshly washed sheets? It was just one little area – a towel would’ve covered it just fine.

As I put my boob away after this half hour nursing session, I’ll laugh at myself for buying into the third time is a charm b.s., regarding the completion of an online statistics course. Ha. Ha.

As I lay down baby and yell at the older 3 to be quiet, I’ll make a mental note that the Thank You’s still need written. It’s been 3 months! Get with it already.

Walking out of my bedroom, where baby’s cradle is, I’ll pass by the $50 in Kohl’s cash that I forgot to use. Christmas shopping is fun until you forget to spend free money that you earned from spending hundreds on coordinating outfits for an overdue family photo session. Dangit.

And finally, I’ll walk down the hall, pass by the room of terror kitchen and be reminded that it will be another late night because those dishes will not do themselves and it would be horrifying to have the kitchen in that state when the sitter comes tomorrow.

Oh yes, the sitter comes tomorrow.

Finally I might be able to sit down and Google how to unclog the toilet since the plunger is failing…

But then I hear, “Mom! I didn’t make it to the toilet!” I hear this from my master bedroom/bathroom area of the house. Where I just put a sleeping baby down for a nap. That’s 2 out of 2 bathrooms out of commission here. I guess everyone can pee outside at this point, afterall, it is dark by 6:30 p.m. in these parts. On cue, I hear a crying baby.

I begin wondering how late I’ll need to stay up tonight in an effort to unwind.

Maybe tonight I’ll just drink until I pass out.

Meanwhile, my super awesome husband has come and gone to the hardware store to buy a de-clogging toilet contraption. He gets back and after a while of me hearing clashing and splashing from the bathroom he asks, “Honey, I was wondering while I was driving, why didn’t you just shut the water off to the toilet?”

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sanctification

This meme gave me a good laugh earlier today.

throat punch

I’m not a violent person, far from it actually, but recently, during a venting session I had with one specific person, I can be quoted saying: “I just want to rock her jaw with my fist!”

YIKES!

That person I was talking to probably had to pick up their jaw off the floor because after all, it was me they were talking to and that person knows that I would never rock anyone’s jaw… or arm… or pinky finger.

I’ve been attending counseling. I’ve been learning how to sort through my thoughts. I’ve been learning that there are thoughts that separate me from God and prevent me from living a virtuous life. I would take a guess and say that “I just want to rock her jaw with my fist” is probably one of those thoughts that would prevent me from living in a virtuous manner.

Like the meme above, I am trying to get right with the Lord. It’s a daily thing. Some days it’s more of a struggle than others, but I’m trying. I’ll continue to try until the Lord rocks my entire being and calls me home.

Until then, I’m going to beg God for his mercy and salvation. I’m also going to pray for the graces needed to interact with the person that inspired this blog entry. I believe that person may help to sanctify me and I’ll take the struggle of sanctification over the satisfaction of punching anyone in the throat.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Catching Up Part Two

TRAGEDY.

Reed’s accident happened June 10, 2013. He has made full recovery. Our marriage is back to what it was before the accident. We have worked hard and prayed and communicated and remained patient. We placed our marriage into our Lord’s capable hands and He carried us through – we came out of this trial stronger.

On July 24, 2014, tragedy struck our family again. This time however, there isn’t a happy ending to share. On July 24th, my cousin’s wife became a widow and their 10 month old baby lost his father.

ANGER.

If you read the news report, you’ll see how this is angering. My cousin, Andy, he was stopped at a traffic light on his motorcycle, wearing a helmet, and a double-trailer truck rear-ended him. For legal reasons, there is no more to share about the accident, but I will share about Andy’s life.

MY BROTHER.

1stthreegrandkids

(left to right: myself, my cousin Leroy “Bub”, & my cousin Randall “Andy”)

We were raised as siblings, though we were 1st cousins. Those two toddler boys grew up to be my “big brothers” (technically I’m older than Andy) as they kept the crazies at bay.

Always us big three.

Here we are in 2005, out having fun. three big at bar

Here we are at my wedding in August of 2006.AndyAshBub(left to right: Andy, me, & Bub)

Reed was Andy-approved, as the pictures below clearly show. Like I said, Andy was my “big brother” and having Andy’s unofficial approval of my relationship with Reed, meant the world to me. Below is Reed and Andy at our wedding.

Reed&Andy

Reed and Andy at Grandma’s house for Christmas. This photo sums up their relationship pretty well… always joking around. reed and andy

LOVE.

Then one day, Andy fell in love and he got married! He asked me to be his “Best Man”! Wow! I was so honored!

Andy weddingAndy em bridal party

Andy & his new wife, Emily, built themselves a home next door to Grandpa & Grandma’s as they were starting to need some help around the property.

Andy em building house

walls

house1

house complete

BABY

They soon found themselves pregnant and this little guy blessed the family.

 Andy Lincoln

One of the very treasured photos of Andy with his son. Andy loved children and would jokingly say he wanted 50!

Treasure Andy Lincoln

TRAGIC DEATH

Randall “Andy” Palmer

December 28, 1983 - July 24, 2014

Randall "Andy" Lee Palmer II age 30, of Onsted, passed away Thursday, July 24, 2014.
He was born December 28, 1983 to Randall Lee Palmer and Linda Darlene Lewis. On June 5, 2009, he married Emily Rose Scott. Andy was an architect by trade, and worked as an engineer with Masco Cabinetry.
Andy was a family man, a devoted husband and father. He loved kids, always joking he wanted 50. He held a special relationship with his grandparents, Leroy Sr. and Sharleen Lewis. Being an only child, his cousins became his siblings.
His passions were architecture and construction, he designed and built his family home, along with various projects including, his son's crib, changing table and his mom's garage. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, 4 wheelers, football, his grandfather's John Deere Tractor and antique cars, coaching lacrosse and various outdoor activities.
He was the greatest arguer, just like his grandma. He enjoyed "poking the bear". Andy is survived by his wife, son Lincoln, mother, father, maternal grandparents, his in-laws Jim and Deb Scott; special cousins Leroy "Bub" Lewis III, Ashley Langton, Nicole Warner, Tabatha Reilly, Matt Lewis, Tiffini Bruce and Tori Bruce; grandmother-in-law Joyce Scott; sisters and brothers in law Sarah LeBel, Heidi (Brandon) Wenzel and James Scott; uncle and aunts Leroy Lewis Jr., Ellen Lewis, Wanda Fick and Deb Palmer; several great aunts and uncles, 2nd cousins, nieces and nephews and many special friends and loved ones. He is preceded in death by his Paw Paw and Grandma Palmer.
Visitation for Andy will be held on Monday, July 28, 2014, from 4-8 p.m. at Anderson Funeral Home, Adrian. The family will be available on Tuesday from noon until 12:45 p.m. prior to a memorial service at 1:00 p.m., both held at the funeral home. Interment will be in Tipton Cemetery following the service.
You may send condolences to the family at
www.andersonfuneralservices.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family to set up a college fund for Lincoln. Envelopes are available at Anderson Funeral Home, Adrian.

FUNERAL

I spoke at his funeral along with some of the other cousins:

I feel so honored to be able to say that I’ve known Andy his entire life, but it was still too short of a time. I was blessed with the awesome privilege of growing up with him, and being considered not just a close cousin, but he looked at me as his sister.

I have many wonderful memories of Andy that I will always cherish. Some of my favorites are the Nerf gun wars we had in his basement. Being the tomboy that I was, I thoroughly enjoyed turning his basement into a battlefield and shooting him and anyone else playing. I know that he loved it too! I also remember many times, us cousins playing pool in either his basement, our grandparent’s basement, or eventually any bar that had a pool table. Andy always beat me but I still loved to play with him.

A memory that has always made me smile was when he invited me to go to the Onsted festival with him. We were walking around and playing some of the festival games and Andy noticed this oversized, stuffed Eeyore that he thought he would try to win for me. The festival games were expensive but he gave it a few rounds regardless. Very quickly, the amount of money he spent had become ridiculous and I tried to convince him to stop, even offering some of my own money to him to help. He refused and insisted that he continue playing. His reasoning was that he was already too “well invested” to give up. Eventually he did win that Eeyore… or the carny felt bad for him and gave it to him… I can’t remember which. But he was so proud of winning that stuffed animal for me. While I was very thankful and happy, I was also wondering how I was going to carry the darn thing around for the remainder of the fair! It was at least half my size. Andy was always so giving and just wanted the people around him to have a good time and be happy.

The best and most cherished memory was being his best man in his wedding. I was so honored to play this role in his life. It was a reminder of the significance of our relationship. Yes, he viewed all of his cousins as his siblings, but for some reason, I always felt a special bond with him and I always thought that Andy asking me to stand up in his wedding, next to him, was a reflection of that special bond that was mutually felt. After I said yes to being his best man, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I would be required to attend Andy’s bachelor party – a man’s bachelor party! After that realization, it dawned on me that I might be required to go to a gentleman’s club with Andy AND Bub... and now I was game for about anything those two would come up with, but I had to draw the line at going to a strip club! Thankfully, I also realized that as the best man, I got to plan the bachelor party. So, being the female best man that I was, I organized a golf outing and I hosted the remainder of Andy’s bachelor party at his Mom’s house, which guaranteed none of his friends would go behind my back and hire a stripper – at least I hoped so.

I could go on and on about Andy. We all know the incredible man that he was. We all have special memories with Andy that we’ll forever cherish. I am so grateful for the way he blessed my life.

I would like to address Andy now:

Andy, I miss you terribly. You were my big brother that I never had, but definitely needed. I should note, he was only bigger in size, not in age. Growing up you kept me on the straight and narrow. You never hesitated to call me out on my stupidity, which was often. But you also never held back in celebrating when I was celebrating. You gave of yourself so freely and so generously. Your family came first and you made that well known. Andy, I’m so thankful I was able to see you a few days before your passing. Had I known it was the last time we would hug and say goodbye, I would’ve never let go. What I am going to do without your bear hugs? The ones that would crush my rib cage if I didn’t let out a grunt to alert you of my pain? How do I adjust to the weight of your absence, as it crushes me and all those I love? I don’t know…
Andy, this is difficult because you were torn away from us. You were ripped from our arms and we’re all left screaming WHY? But Andy, while we suffer and grieve the loss of you, we can all take comfort in the legacy you left. In your way too short life you still managed to touch many lives by being the wonderful man you were. You were able to bring forth another generation with your lovely wife. You gifted us all with incredible memories. I am so honored to have played many roles in your life, some of those roles, you made it a point to assign me – I am honored to have been your cousin, your sister, your friend, your best man, and any other role you would’ve given me. I love you, Andy. I’ll always be there for Emily and Lincoln, however I am needed. I’ll always miss you terribly.

IMG_20140729_143034_639

Andy’s 31st birthday was December 28th and so those who could meet graveside to drink an Oberon (Andy’s favorite) beer did. My thought that day:

I miss you... we all do. Today you would've turned 31. It's an uneventful birthday really, but yours causes one to stop and think that each of our birthdays are special, because it means another year spent being blessed with our family and friends.

I was always blessed by you. You were always someone I looked forward to being around and talking to and regardless of the situation now, that will not change. I'll always look forward to seeing you again. Happy 31st birthday Andy! Prayers for your soul and prayers for peace for your beautiful wife, son, and mom.

COMFORT

"A life-span can be just as complete at 30 as at 90. The purpose of life is living, and by that measure Randall (Andy) lived his purpose." - Reed Langton

PRAYERS

Please pray for Andy’s soul… May Andy rest in peace with our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, for all of eternity. Amen.

Catching Up Part One

Thankfully, I'm not 15 months pregnant, I've just been busy and adjusting to many life changes… I can’t believe that the last time I updated this blog I was still pregnant! 

 

Part One

I'm currently mothering 4 children instead of 3. This precious girl arrived last June.

Baby

Here is me during labor and right before I received my epidural. That smile is so fake; it was probably more of a grimace at that point.

IMG_20140618_102934_212

Baby Girl stayed in the NICU the entire time we were in the hospital. She had low sugar despite my efforts during pregnancy.

IMG_20140619_121054_748

But she recovered like a champ – I was probably more traumatized by the entire ordeal than she was – and she came home when we went home. We’re thankful for the many prayers offered up on our family’s behalf.

IMG_20140620_145707_264IMG_20140623_110400_614IMG_20140623_110521_244IMG_20140623_111330_642

We’ve been extremely blessed!

“Part Two” will be posted soon.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

30 Weeks

I’m failing miserably at keeping up this blog.  I think I have good reason though - I’ve been more focused on my responsibilities as a wife and mother and therefore, I have no regrets about my lack of posting to this blog, buuuuut… I need to make time because my whole goal with this blog was to document my family’s story, especially Alex’s and he has some big stuff coming up!

On April 19th, I hit the 30th week of pregnancy.

30 weeks

I’ve also reached a point where diet is no longer keeping the gestational diabetes at bay.  I’ve had to begin taking insulin before bed.  Thankfully, the insulin shots are less painful than poking my finger to test my glucose levels.  But still… who wants to give themselves a shot every night?  The great things about my gestational diabetes diet is that as of my last appointment, 1 week ago, I’ve only gained 10 lbs. this entire pregnancy!  Typically I’d have surpassed the 30 lb. gain by this point. Eek.

This Saturday, May 10th, I’ll be 33 weeks! Yay!

I’m in major nesting mode and my energy levels are not keeping up with my to-do lists.  We are preparing to have the girls’ room painted and I felt this overwhelming need to organize all the girl clothes I have in my home – stored and being used.  Pregnancy brings on a love for organization!

We are also doing some other home remodeling.  We bought our house as a foreclosure and knew that we’d have big projects to tackle over the years.  The first is the kids’ bedroom that need painted and the carpet replaced.  As soon as the girls’ room is complete, the boys’ room will be painted and carpet replaced, as well.

The next project will be the master suite.  The master bath is not a completely functioning bathroom.  The jetted tub is a germ trap and the shower is small and improperly installed.  We have a company lined up to gut and remodel, we just need to get them out here to begin.  After the bathroom is finished, our bedroom will be painted with some wainscoting and new carpet installed.  I can’t wait!

All the while, as the bedrooms receive their needed makeovers, Reed has been ripping out a waterfall that is in our front patio, off our front porch.  It was a terrible eye sore and broke.  We will be replacing it with some sort of complimentary stone wall or brick. 

I’ll post pictures of before and after.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

Yet it was our pain that he bore,

our sufferings he endured.

We thought of him as stricken,

stuck down by God and afflicted,

But he was pierced for our sins,

crushed for our iniquity.

He bore the punishment that makes us whole,

by his wounds we were healed.

(Isaiah 53:4-5)

Friday, January 31, 2014

19 Weeks and Counting

Nope, I’m not carrying twins, but I am carrying a girl!

I mentioned to my OB about how my preggo belly “just pops out” and makes me look like I’m nearing the end of the 3rd trimester.  He smiled and said, “When you are laying down, your measurements are right where they need to be.”  Not sure if that made me feel better since most people look better laying down, but this did: “I’m not sure what a woman’s abdomen should look like during her 3rd pregnancy, after carrying two, ten pound babies.  Those abdominal muscles really have to give a lot to accommodate a baby that size!  Doing that twice… whoa!”

Yep.  Whoa is right!

“Whoa” is looking 3 months pregnant even when you’re not any weeks or months pregnant.  “Whoa” is having a wine tour host question why you are drinking because… you know… you look 3 months pregnant, at 10 months postpartum

You get the point.  And I say all that to get your mind in the right place when I show you a photo of myself, 19 weeks pregnant.  No, it isn’t a typo, I’m 19 weeks pregnant, not 39 weeks pregnant.

19 Weeks Preggo - Baby Girl 2

Remember, those abdominal muscles are right on track when I’m laying down.

Get this!  I’ve only gained about 5 pounds this pregnancy!!  Go me!

But, get this also, I failed parts of my glucose test and while I’m not officially a gestational diabetic, my sugar levels are sometimes wonky, so this is part of my life:

GD Supplies

Truly, this learning experience is motivating me to keep the weight gain down and change my lifestyle so diabetes doesn’t become a part of my non-pregnant life, as well.  It is rough though – I struggle to find food to eat.  I’m not allowed any fruit, milk, or cereal for breakfast… what do you eat for breakfast then?  Eggs.  Really, I just need to focus on low carb and that seems to keep my blood sugars down.  I’m sure if I were more consistent with exercise, that would help too.

So, this is life right now - trying to figure out what to eat, stay healthy, keep up with my 3 children, my statistics course, kids’ homeschool lessons, a curious toddler… life is busy, and I’m learning to keep my blessings in the forefront.