Thursday, March 22, 2012

My FinishYear

I just now came across Jon Acuff FinishYear idea.  I am a little late to the party, but I am going to tackle this.  I am going to update here periodically on my progress. 

  1. Finish losing 50 pounds by December 31, 2012. 
  2. Finish starting an online eBay store as a fun little side "business."  I have already made my first thrift store purchase with eBaying in mind!
  3. Finish learning to knit and make dish clothes for Christmas presents.  I need to make about 20 so I better get going.
  4. Finish rereading Proverbs over and over and over in 2012.
  5. Finish praying consistently the daily prayers for my kids.
  6. And stealing this from idea from Jon Acuff - Finish writing at least one handwritten note to someone each month. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Pile

It has been a crazy month!!!

We had family visiting – first my sister (super fun and lots of shopping!) and then my in-laws (always fun to play cards!).

And, Chief and I got a little get away to Las Vegas.  While we were tied to him coaching soccer for his team in a tournament (Soccer Girl does not play on the team he coaches), we were able to relax and just “be” which rarely happens.  It was nice to eat grown up meals without refereeing kids and to sit like grown ups at a bar and TALK to each other.  It is nice to have a reminder that we do actually like each other, have fun together and be reminded why we are together.  That can get lost in the daily busyness with kids, jobs and a house.  I do love that man.

On my pile for awhile is my mom.  But in the last few weeks, my mom has gone down hill some, prompting my dad to finally make the heart-wrenching decision to move my mom to a facility.  My dad and my sister found a wonderful facility that specializes in dementia patients.  Dad is doing the paperwork and evaluations and most likely mom will move in April some time.  I will head home to help move my mom and all that goes with that.  It will difficult.  I tear up now just thinking of it.  When I picture my mom in a facility, no matter how wonderful it may be, I picture loss.  This is just further confirmation that my mom is gone.  While she is still here physically, she is gone.  And it sucks.  I am sure I will write more on this as time passes, but for now, I am sad.

To the pile we added our car that needed major work to the tune of $2500!  We need to replace at least one of our vehicles as the both have over 145,000 miles each.  We can swing something, but are not willing to tap our monthly cash flow for some big car payment.  I honestly can not believe that some people have car payments of $600 or more!  While I am the first to admit I would LOVE to drive around in a nice new vehicle with all the gadgets and gizmos, I am at a place in my life that I do NOT want the stress and burden such a car brings.  It is humbling and satisfying to live within our means.  Our cars are reliable.  That is the purpose of a car…getting from A to B safely and reliability.  I have to keep reminding myself of that fact.

And to add to our “pile” of things we are dealing with right now, our beloved dog, Boomer, has cancer.  Our eleven year old golden retriever has mast cell tumors, stage 2 or stage 3.  We notice a lump on his hip area in December.  He was licking it and caused it to open up so I took him into the vet in early February.  We discussed the options – the best course being surgery to remove the lump and have it tested so we knew what we were dealing with.  The cost of the surgery caused us to delay taking action.  This was a huge blessing because less than a month later, we noticed about eight more lumps in his belly area that were not there previously and the one lump we were watching, doubled in size.  They did a needle biopsy and we received the news.  One option is chemotherapy which unfortunately would only help if the tumors were stage 3, which we do not know definitely and is cost prohibitive.   And the other option is surgery which would be very difficult given the location and number of the tumors.  So we have made the decision to keep him comfortable for as long as possible.  Right now he is acting normal, eating and drinking just fine.  He is a fantastic dog, friendly and filled with personality.  As much as he drives me crazy with his dog hair and pushiness to get into the house, I love the big dummy. 

Also, adding to the “pile” is Chief’s job.  The company he works for is struggling financially and at one point we were worried if they would make payroll.  We knew heading into this job that it probably would not be a long term gig – he took the position to gain different experience in a cutting edge field.  And, while things look stable at the moment, Chief is in the job market again.  His resume is all polished up and he is diligently looking for his next adventure.  He LOVES this job, the people he works for, the experience he has gained and the flexibility his role provides.  I am praying his next position will be as satisfying to him. 

And ever on my pile is Little Man.  We are working with a physiologist and it has been helpful to talk about what is normal for an ADHD kid and work on strategies to help him.  He has a new teacher at school and she had put a lot of structure in place and that has been wonderful for him.  I have met with his future kindergarten teacher and discussed what ideas she has.  I know he is seeing a difference in our parenting, but as usual, I feel like I don’t do enough and am not consistent enough.  I just need to keep plugging away and know in my heart that we are doing our best.  Interestingly he has been teary eyed lately and gets visibly upset over things that in the past would have just make him mad.  I am not sure what that is about, but hopefully he is recognizing his feeling more and expressing them differently.  Who knows?

One thing I struggle with is whether to tell people he has ADHD (like his swim teacher).  I do not want it to be viewed as an excuse.  I know a lot of the world views ADHD as an excuse for poor parenting and unruly children.  But I do not want him labeled as a bad kid when he truly has a reason for his energy and difficultly controlling his behavior.  This issue is on my list for the physiologist. 

My pile continues to grow worrying about friends and family that are going through hard times right now.  Soccer Girl and all her tween issues are on my pile…and Lizard being squished in the middle.  Sigh. 

Life is hard sometimes.   The pile seems extra large at this time.  But surprisingly, I feel at peace… at least a lot of the time.  I am trying to turn these things over to God and trying to not let worry suck the joy out of any given moment.  There is a Carrie Underwood song that says that “mountain you have been climbing is just a grain of sand.”  That is how I need to view my pile at the moment.  It is a few grains of sand.