Sunday, November 4, 2018

Picture Recap

Here I am! I'm still alive! I've been wanting to post for a while now but I just couldn't find the time. Now that I have an extra hour this morning I figured I'd better take the opportunity to post while I can.

We've had a busy few months. Of course the kids started back to school in September. They continue to grow and now two of my children are taller than me and the third is quickly gaining on me.

Molly and I often walk down to the end of the street to meet up with the kids getting off the bus when they come home from school. It's Molly's favorite part of the day.
I am back in school again as well. Although, I took a summer class so it wasn't like I was gone very long anyway. This semester's course load is pretty heavy. I guess they all will be for the next two years. It can be pretty overwhelming but I continue to do well. I don't know how. I feel like I can barely keep track of what is due when but I somehow get it done. My biggest struggle is to try and be the mom I want to be while being in school. It's tough. The kids were so used to their stay at home mom and I know I can't do everything the same way I used to. I don't like that. There is nothing more important to me than my family. I don't like how much time school sucks away from them. I'm still working on finding a good balance to make it all work.

The boys were in fall sports again. Tommy and Ben played football and Joe was in cross country.

Tommy's team was amazing and only lost one game all season. They even went to the playoffs. A great way to end their youth football "careers". Next time Tommy plays football it will be in high school. Oh my. Where does time go? Tommy is a defensive back but also played on special teams and a bit of wide receiver on offense.

Ben's team had a winning season as well. Ben was in for almost every single play of every game. He plays on offense (sometimes wide receiver, sometimes quarterback), defense, kick off, and special teams.

Joe had a tough cross country season. He really did a great job of working out year round and during summer his run times were amazing. Then, right before the first time trial he got a nasty cold. It hung on for weeks (we all got it and suffered through it for weeks as well). How he ran at all is a mystery to me, but his times definitely suffered. Finally he kicked the cold. His times started coming down. For four meets in a row he PR'd finally getting his time into the teens as he planned. Then he got another cold for the last meet. He ran anyway. Shortly after this pic was taken at the last meet he started shaking uncontrollably and was kind of breaking down. Really freaked out his coach and teammates. I came back and picked him up, gave him some food, and he was fine. But I guess he pushed himself a bit too much. All in all, I think it is a season he can be proud of.

Grace went to the Heritage School with her fourth grade class. It is something she has been looking forward to for a very long time. I ordered a "Laura Ingalls Wilder" outfit for her and it turned out pretty well. She definitely looked the part.

After waiting years to be an altar server Ben finally finished his training and was able to serve for the very first time. And, he was able to serve with his brothers! It was so wonderful sitting in the pew watching all three of my boys up at the altar together. It was a proud mama moment. 

Todd and I went to his best friend's wedding a few weeks back. It was the first time he and I have gotten away alone together for a long time. We missed the boys' last football games of the season (which was really difficult for us because Todd is the coach and it was against the cross-town rivals; but both of our boys' teams won). Luckily, Joe was texting me updates on the games. Todd's sister and mom drove the kids around all day but it was the first time the kids stayed alone overnight. They did great. And Todd and I had an amazing time.

The wedding was beautiful and it was a fabulous day. It was so much fun hanging out with the whole gang again. It had been too long.

I just recently started clinicals (on top of my regular classes as well) for nursing school. I now have to get up at 4:30 in the morning to get out to the long term facility by 5:45. I am not a morning person. It's not easy getting up that early. And my nerves kind of kick my butt. Hopefully that will ease as I gain more confidence.

Luckily, I have two of my good school friends in my clinical group and we even carpool together in the morning. It is so good to have them there with me. 

Life sounds all rosy and lovely from the recap but there is sadness and stress as well. My mom has stopped her cancer meds. Last year the meds she was on (that worked for 13 years) stopped working. Her cancer cell counts had gone back up. The doctor tried a few other meds (there are not too many options) and this last one was making her completely miserable. She can barely walk a few steps without having to heave for breath. She feels like she can barely move. She can't sleep at night because she can't breath. Her immune system is way down so she can't leave the house. She has no energy to leave even if she wanted to. It is no way to live. She has had to quit choir, she can't even go to church, she can't take her dog for walks, she can barely get up to go to the bathroom. Last week she told the doctor that she was done with the meds. Now the doctor just wants to make her as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. I was hopeful that her quality of life would return when she went off the meds but so far she still feels awful.

Of course, if you've read my blog for any length of time you know how important my mom has always been to me. We are incredibly close. I've always considered her my best friend. This news has been tough on me, to say the least. But I respect her decision. I get it. She has been fighting this cancer for 13 years. And through it all she was always able to remain her. Five mile walks through the woods every day, always at church/choir, volunteering at the hospital, hanging out with her friends, doing yardwork, running errands, and being independent. It hasn't been like that for a long time. Even if the new meds would have work (which they weren't doing a great job anyway) this is no way for her to live. When she finally told her doctor that she was stopping treatment she was so relieved. She was so happy with the decision. Thirteen years ago when her diagnosis first came she was very ill in the hospital. We didn't think she would make it a few months. While she was unconscious she had an experience with Jesus. She talks about it often. She didn't want to stay on earth but Jesus wanted her to. She wasn't done here. So she agreed to come back. She took care of my dad through his Alzheimer's, saw the birth of two more of her grandbabies, witnessed First Communions, many holidays, birthdays, her son's wedding, and many celebrations. We are blessed and lucky that we received another 13 years with her. But she's had a good talk with God again and she feels this is the right thing to do. I hope we have her for a few more years (if her quality of life returns) but I doubt it. I have no idea how this is going to go. It could go quickly. I have no idea. Honestly, I try not to think about it too much.

So, this is heavy on my heart. I don't really know what to do with it all right now so I just put it to the side and carry on. Life happens as it should, I suppose. I just pray I can be there for my mom as she needs me to be. I pray I can be there for everyone I love. Life gets so crazy, and I have so much on my plate, but nothing is more important to me than loving my family. I just want to be there.

I hope all is well with you, my lovely friends. I hope life is treating you well and that health and happiness surround your lives and your families. Please keep my mom in your prayers (if you are the praying kind), and I will continue to pray for you all, my friends.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson