Hello, hello. I mainly want to write about what's been floating around in my head lately, but I thought I'd start with something a little more entertaining. So first, fun at the Circus. Well, it was a little not so fun too. Ben-Ben didn't like it much, but since we were lured there a whole HOUR early, I don't blame him. And yes, I said lured. The start time said 5pm, and we showed up at 4:40 for good seats. But then when you got there, you found out it didn't actually start until 5:30pm. So you and your young children could sit there and be shown lots of fun, colorful, yummy, cool things that all cost lots and lots of additional money. Yep, this was my first experience taking my kids to the Circus, and possibly my last. But, it was a learning experience. hehe. Plus, Anna L-O-V-E-D it, and I laughed out loud a few different times (kinda at the lameness of it all :), so it wasn't a total waste. And it was fun that we were there with cousin Rorie and Auntie May-May.
Anna and Rorie, so excited for it to start.
One of Anna's favorite acts. Anna rocking out to the music.
Group hug for the cousins. Mommy and Anna Bell.
Benjamin running around before things got started.
Now, on to the main part of this journal entry: I feel like I am appreciating the revitalizing possibilities of Spring so much more than normal this year. Because I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, every winter is about five months of grey, cold, snow, ice, etc. (I don't mind cold, wintery weather until February and March...so just two months worth. But sometimes it feels like a long two months. :) Every time spring comes - longer days, more sun, slightly warmer weather, most of the snow melted, around Aprilish - I feel a sense of accomplishment. I conquered something impressive. Just for making it through another winter. :) It's probably a typical sentiment for most people. Maybe. I think it's what Spring is supposed to feel like- rebirth, hopeful, sunny, happy, possibilities, change.
This year, it's meant SO MUCH MORE than just making it through another winter. This past winter could possibly go down as one of the most challenging times of my life thus far. Possibly. It has been a blur of hospital bed rest starting the beginning of November, traumatic and complicated delivery, six weeks of NICU stay for baby Caleb J., bringing home a new baby with all the adjustment (and bit o' stress) that typically goes along with that, sleep deprivation (because I count anything less than 8-9 solid, uninterrupted hours of sleep as being deprived :), Ethan being gone so much, hundreds of Doctor appointments (okay, not hundreds...but seriously, A LOT), medications... some with very difficult side affects, staying home All. The. Time., Thyroid issues for me (that are now resolved!) with more doctor appointments, needy new baby, bored older kiddies, STRESS AND WORRY trying to keep Caleb J. from catching all the junk that goes around this time of year, taking care of all the sickies when they did catch something in March, staying home All. The. Time. Oh, did I mention that one already? Yep.
I recently alluded to all of this in a recent post, but want to describe it in more detail. You know me, lots of words, lots of writing, lots of journaling. :) So, despite all of the craziness of the past five-ish months, I have felt peace and comfort too. Even while going through all the busy-ness and exhaustion and stress, I still knew everything would be okay. . . I was just wrapped up in the "doing" of it all. I have felt the love of Heavenly Father and know that He is aware of me, and He is aware of the things that are challenging for me. I know there are things I am supposed to learn from all of this, and I'm trying to remember the importance of that. So yes, that time period was overwhelming, but doable. In that, I did what I had to do. Not perfectly, mind you, but I tried. . . even when I felt like I couldn't. It was humbling, in a good kind of way. I also recently wrote that I was starting to feel like enough time had passed that I could look back and think, "Wow, that was CRAZY. But things are getting back to normal." (The "new normal" that is, being the mommy of THREE little bambinos.) And I've felt like this for about a month. It's a good feeling. It perfectly coincides with Spring and all the lovely adjectives I already listed above. :) I feel hopeful. I feel like I - we - went through some grey, bitter days this past winter. I feel like we made it through, and we accomplished something great. And everything is going to be okay. Sunny. Happy. Hopeful.
So, the other thing that's been on my mind: I feel like I have been in "survival mode" this past winter. Or at the very least, "Just do the bare minimum mode." There are so many things that are typically very important to me, that I have either stopped doing, stopped caring about, or did the total opposite. Anna and Benjamin watched more movies than normal this winter (but nothing too extreme...I still had limits), I rarely cooked meals for the fam (something I LOVED to do before all this started) and the kids ate a lot more junk - 'cause it was easy...but I still had limits, we skipped a lot of stuff we normally like to go to and do (mostly it was just too overwhelming trying to get it together to get out the door), just to name a few...very few. I feel like I haven't been myself since I became pregnant this last time; I always feel a little more withdrawn and a bit antisocial when I am preggers...it just extended through the rest of the winter this time. And it's time to change that. It is changing.
I almost feel like some time has been wasted these past five months. Wasted is such a strong word...it was more of a "blurry" feeling. I didn't take advantage of certain things. I slacked with Anna and Ben-Ben...but I tried. I didn't put much effort into my friendships, and some of my "family-ships". Sorry. I was really doing the bare minimum, and I was really not feeling like myself. And in case this sounds like depression or postpartum depression, it wasn't...I'm pretty sure. (I've read enough to know I didn't "qualify"...I wasn't especially emotional, or feeling hopeless, or anything. I was just in the zone of "doing".) Yeah, I had ups and downs, but I was fine, good, and happy much of the time, and happy memories too. Seriously, just check my blog records. :) Things were just a bit overwhelming, and I turn inward at times like that. And I let a lot of the non essential things go. SO, unless you were offering to make my life easier in any way during the past five months (or even before...like I already said, I'm not myself when I'm preggers either), OR just offering me some good ol' adult conversation and company (IF I was feeling up to it), CHANCES ARE, we haven't been in touch much lately. Let's change that. :)
AND NOW, things are looking up. Spring has sprung. Life is good. Everything is going to be okay, just like Ethan promised me it would. (He made this promise to me when Caleb first came home at the end of December, and I was saying things like, "I can't do this. Seriously I can't. Without you...Alone. Three kids. I had NO idea. Caleb needs SO MUCH. You need to take a leave from your program, because I am so not capable of all of this...") Ethan is so wise, and so level headed. And he knows me oh so well. When all the complications with Caleb first happened, Ethan was informed that he could put his clinicals on hold for a year. So tempting. But, when I was feeling most overwhelmed - when Caleb first came home from the hospital - Ethan said I needed to wait three days before I decided to see how I feel. And, we all know what my decision was. I thought I could probably handle it all. I thought everything would probably be okay. And though I still had my doubts, I also still had my mom. :) Because really, can I ever write a post like this without sending out my gratitude and love to her for all the help she's been to me while Ethan's been away? NOPE. And no matter how withdrawn or overwhelmed or whatever I am, I know I can still turn to my own sweet momma, and she will love me, and be there for me, and try to help in any way she can. But, I'll write more about her later. Just know; she's amazing. :)
So, I hope you are all feeling the revitalizing wonder of Springtime. Do you see all the possibilities out there? Do you feel the Love? Do you recognize the joy and the blessings? I hope so. This year it was all so much more significant for me. I am coming out of a long, hard winter, and coming in to a sunny, hopeful spring. And I KNOW - everything is going to be okay. Good Day!
***And before any of you think I forgot to journal about my precious, baby boy turning THREE...I'm just waiting for my laptop this weekend so I can put the pictures up. :) ***
Welcome! I started this blog to keep family and friends updated on the life of our little family, and - well - life is good!
Read on for a journal of our experiences in trying to raise a family the best we know how. . .