Around Here: Week 41 {2018}

Grateful... that my broken toe is feeling better.  I broke it last week walking down our hallway, "said some words," according to Wyatt- Haha!! (#truth), and even though it looks 100x worse than it originally did, it actually feels a lot better.  I am wearing my boot everyday and making sure to spend some time with it up, which is really helping with my reading, so it's not as big a bummer as it could be. ;)
I'm also grateful that Wyatt has slowly but surely gotten better this week, after his asthma kicked in following a cold.  He was like the turtle from The Turtle and The Hare, but he made it!  Steroids are almost done, and he's off the nebulizer.  Hallelujah!

Spending... Saturday afternoon at the kids cousin Gabriel's birthday party.  The kids had so much fun and I had a great time visiting with everyone there.  Afterward Josh, his brother Samuel and I watched the fight.  I surprised myself by enjoying it as much as I did.

Keeping... different kids home all week this week.  Jack was home Monday and Tuesday with a terrible cold that had him super run down.  Then Logan stayed home with me Thursday after having two seizures back to back. One at 7:30am, and another at 9:00am.  He hadn't eaten much dinner Wednesday night and was coming down with Jack's cold, so he didn't sleep well, and those 2 seizure triggers combined with an oncoming fever, caused him to have the seizures after nearly FIVE WEEKS seizure free.  After a call to the neurologist, we decided to up his meds to 400mg of Tegretol at night so that even when his body is exposed to seizure triggers (flashing lights, lack of sleep, low blood sugar, etc.) the medicine will be enough to keep him from seizing.  I feel good about this plan and am hopeful that we won't see anymore break through seizures.

Going... to counseling Tuesday with Jack in tow, since he was sick, and canceling with less than 24 hours notice is $85!  So he came and brought headphones and a tablet and I talked to Chad like I always do. At this point, each of my kids has come with my to counseling with me, and I honestly think it's great. They get to see that counseling is nothing to be afraid of.  That it's just you, and another person who listens to you, talking about life and your feelings.  I have been very open with all my kids about my need to go to counseling and why I am in therapy.  I tell them that it helps me sort out my emotions and keeps me healthy in my mind.  I think that if therapy had less of a stigma a lot more people would go, and the world would be a healthier (happier) place. 

Losing... another pound this week, despite my injury!  I am down to 166lbs now, and so pumped.  That's 34 pounds since the new year, and I am really starting to feel quite proud of myself.  Josh and I have gotten the family's eating back on point as well, and I'm excited to see all of us eating better, in addition to all the physical activity we have been doing.

Finally... getting to the grocery store on Wednesday after not being able to go because of sick kids Monday & Tuesday.  We were desperate for quite a few things (especially for making lunches!) by mid week and the kids were SO happy when they got home after school to discover I had been. Haha! Now that's real life!

Hanging... with Samuel most evenings.  Josh's brother moved here a few weeks ago, and he's been joining us for dinner, which has been so fun.  He and Josh are the best of friends, and I so enjoy his company.  Those two can get me laughing like nobody's business, and are just really fun to hang out with.  So it's been awesome.  He's also a super awesome uncle and amazing with my kids, so that helps, too.

Using... Friday to search for costumes with the kiddos since they had the day off from school.  The twins both went for something creepy, whereas Wyatt is being Ironman and Carly is being a kitty.  Shopping with the four of them wasn't so bad as I thought it might be (thank goodness!) although the rest of the day with them home felt kinda long.  I was ready for pizza & a movie by the time we put them to bed!

Reading... A Mother's Reckoning (written by the mother of one of the shooters at Columbine- it is so good and heartfelt and eye opening. I am learning a lot about mental health) and listening to An American Marriage on audio.  I finished Ghosted, which I ended up hating (it had a twist I did not care for) and Heaven is For Real, which was a sweet, quick read (I finished it in one day last Sunday).  When I finish An American Marriage, I hope to finish Hillbilly Elegy and start Love Does on audio. 

Dreaming... that I was drowning (and rescued) in one dream; that I took our cat Ramona out to eat at Burger King in another; and that I was surrounded by broken glass in another.  I am constantly fascinated by my dreams and wish I had a personal dream analyst on staff at all times. Ha! #inmydreams (see what I did there?)

Loving... the progress that Josh and Samuel made on the coat cubbies in our entryway this week.  These cubbies have been a dream of mine since the boys started school here two years ago, and to see that dream coming true is the best!  Eventually, they will be painted white with 3 hooks in each one (one for their backpack and two for coats). 
On the very bottom shelf, they will keep their shoes & boots; then on the second shelf, below their backpacks and jackets, in the wicker basket they will have their gloves & hats.  The top wicker baskets will have extra hats & gloves.  I am going to be in organizational-nerd heaven!  #justcallmemonica

Accomplishing... a lot on my to do list. I know I said it last week, but seriously, being off social media has given me SO much free time back.  But I also think it has motivated me to look inward and see what my priorities are.  So the two together are causing me to be really productive.  I have been sorting through things to give to Goodwill and organizing the kids' toys and bedding.  It feels really good.  In that same vein, though, I have been allowing myself, at times, to just be, and that feels equally amazing.

Allowing... imperfection.  Sigh.  I had wanted to blog everyday in October for "Blogtober", but life happened, and I have missed a few days.  This weekend it was more important to spend time with my kids & get ready for the week than to take the time to blog.  I wish I had had time for both, but I just didn't. And that's okay.  Growing up is so nice.  Hard, but also nice.  Allowing myself grace is really quite lovely.



Backyard Play

We spent many of our days this summer playing in our backyard.
This is the stuff my Alaska dreams were made of!!!



Dancing in the Rain

The last year has been a bit challenging for us- Wyatt's asthma hospitalization and following months of on and off illness; Logan's seizure increase; my mental breakdown in the spring and most recently Josh's Shingles and Bell's Palsy diagnosis.  Then, on Friday, as I walked down the hallway, I broke my toe.  At this point, I can't help but laugh.  

I mean, seriously?!? 


Earlier this summer we went to visit my parents, and one morning I convinced the boys that a walk on the waterfront would be super fun.  There's a gorgeous path paved alongside the Columbia River, with views of boats, trains and planes as they take off from PDX.  

This particular day, though, as we walked, these HUGE, ominous grey clouds rolled in, and before we knew it, we were a mile from the car as the skies opened up and poured down on us. By the time we made it back, we looked like we had gotten into the shower with our clothes on.  

I was almost crying I was laughing so hard. The boys were SO mad!
But then, as we continued on, back toward the car, we were literally able to laugh in the rain.

The reality is, there's no stopping it.
So you may as well enjoy it

It's like they say,

"When life gives you lemons,
dance in the rain..."

Or something like that.



I've reached the same conclusion about life in general.

Some shitty stuff is going to happen.  Toes are gonna break.  Lungs are gonna suck.  Seizures might break through.  My job is to find the joy anyway.  So I've been writing down things that bring me joy in my journal.  Things, both big & small, that put a smile on my face. 

  • The sound of wind blowing through trees
  • Dove calls
  • Getting mail
  • New books
  • Reading blogs
  • The way the water sparkles like diamonds
  • Hearing my kids giggle
  • Our daily walks
  • Hugging Josh
  • Talking to my sister on the phone
  • The way Carly says "Nanny"
  • How much my kids love books (our book club)
  • The smell of fresh cut grass
  • Watermelon in the summer
  • Clean sheets on freshly shaved legs
  • A good song on the radio & the windows rolled down
  • Road trips + candy + Josh by my side
  • Dressing Carly & doing her hair everyday
  • Sharing secrets with my friends



Silverwood 2018

Every year the boys earn tickets to Silverwood Theme Park by reading 600 minutes at school.  Josh's students earned enough free tickets that their teacher (him!) also earned a free ticket.  Carly's free because she is so young, and we found a ticket for me for only $35, so our entire family was able to spend a whole day at the park for only $35!!! 

We had a great time, riding rides, eating ice cream and making memories. 

Carly, we discovered, is a little daredevil, whereas Wyatt and I are not!  I loved the log ride, where we got a little wet, and the twins loved the bumper boats.  Josh's favorite part was paying quarters to squirt the twins while they were in the bumper boats.  Haha!!

 Carly loved the little roller coaster and the big swing ride.  Logan loved the Panic Plunge, Jack won a basketball from a game he played, and Wyatt bought some magnetic rocks he loved.  All in all, it was an awesome day and I'm always so glad we did it, even though it was a long day and a lot of effort to take all the kids for a full day at the park.