Archive for the 'Family' Category

The Transition

For those of you that don’t know me I am a career woman and a stay at home mom.  I work four months out of the year and get paid year around.  I know.  I know.  Shut up about it.  Its a nice gig, I am certainly not complaining.  At this time in my life it is the transition back into work mode.  I manage the distribution for a very large live cut Christmas Tree company.  Its a niche job that I absolutely love.  Its fast-paced.  Its a puzzle.  Its crazy busy.  We ship 750,000 trees in just over 21 days.  I staff my office mostly with my friends.  Another crazy thing I do.  Its had its advantages and disadvantages, but overall it works for me.  When I am working 15 hour a day seven days a week and can not see my family, I still like to have those close to me to keep me going.  Not only that, but I truly have some brilliant friends.

So I am transitioning myself and my family into “mommy gone” mode.  Cleaning house, stocking freezer with home cooked meals, and lots of quality time (hence my absence to the blogosphere).   As my kids get older its so much harder to transition into “career woman”.  I feel like I am missing so much when I am gone.  My almost 5 year old is really thriving in school and her personality is utterly amazing.  In the last two weeks I have witnessed some awesome independent, courageous, growing up characteristics.  She has taken the initiative to help around the house without being asked.  She has conquered the monkey bars at the park after numerous falls on her behind.  She has utilized the word “whatever”, in a somewhat joking manner.  She is beautiful.  My 18 month old son has started attaching himself to my husband.  This is great for the way our family has to operate for the next few months, but still makes me a little bit sad.  He called me Daddy today to many times, but than kept referring to my husband as Mike (secretly, that made me feel good 🙂 ).

Not only are my children transitioning, but my husband is as well.  He is gearing up to be the all-in-one man!  I am so blessed to have such a wonderful man that I feel comfortable leaving the kids and house with while I am temporarily out of commission.  It seriously does not fall apart.  Kids taken care of, laundry done, meals cooked, and he still manages to pick me up when I am exhausted.  Amazing!

Which brings me to our excursion last weekend.  Every September we escape to a B&B for alone time and reconnection before I go to work.  This year we went to to the Boyden House in Grand Haven, Michigan.  AMAZING!  We stayed in the Caberet Room.  It was decorated in chocolate browns, leather furniture, antiques, and a double jacuzzi tub.  The B&B’s breakfast was out of this world.  Not just some easy continental type breakfast thrown together, but really great healthy food.  The people were friendly and it was super clean.  Please try and visit it if you are in need of a reconnection or recharge of romance.  We also had an awesome dinner at The Bilmar.  Hands down the best chicken dish I have ever tasted anywhere.  The atmosphere was very inviting and the sunset was beautiful.   Perfect weekend!

I guess the lessons to learn from my transition at the moment is to honestly take life one day at a time.  Conquer the day.  Make the most of every day.  Laugh a lot.  Treasure each moment.  With that being said I am going to take a vacation from my regular posts of Wellness Wednesday and Green Friday.  I will keep it random and continue to utilize this little blog o’ mine as my outlet.  Writing is such a great release and who knows who you might connect with on a woman level, mother level, wife level, or friend level.  Enjoy the Fall weekend and please visit Grand Haven in the near future!

WOW! WOW! How About That Opening Ceremony?

I will be the first to admit that I have never really been interested in the Olympics.  But for some reason my dedication to this years Summer Olympics in Beijing is large.  I was trying to explain to my daughter what the Olympics were and realized I was not doing a very good job.  Therefore, its time to grow up and pay attention to my surroundings.  One of my biggest faults in life is seeing, dealing with, learning only the things that directly affect me or my family.  Hence, my non-political self.  I don’t read the newspaper and I only read trashy magazines.  Guess what?  Time for change in that department.  If I want well-rounded children, I need to be a well-rounded woman!  Just because I do not enjoy something, does not mean my children should not be exposed to it.

Reagan and I sat down this evening to watch the opening ceremony to the Olympics together ( everything before the parade of countries-that was/is a bit long).  We were both amazed at the performances.  It was some of the most mind-blowing, artistic, amazing, athletic art I have ever seen.  From the drum performance, to the artwork being drawn by dancers, to the people running around the globe.  I was in awe.  All the symbolism and all the time and dedication that was put into those performances was truly amazing.

I thought it was great to see heads of countries there to actually support (or at least be seen) their countries.  Remember I am strictly basics when it comes to politics, but to me that stood out.  So my daughter and I will watch some events this week and occasionally chime in on our experiences.  Both of us are watching for the first time and experiencing this together.  I look forward to this experience with her and I am sure she will have some things to say about it as well.  Go here for a very easy schedule, update, or  Olympic reference.  This is what I will be using to keep updated.  There are tons of websites and blogs out there.  Once every four years is all we get.  Take a moment this week and support your country as we compete against the best of the best.  Enjoy!

Mama Make it Better!

Please excuse my absence for a bit, it has been a busy couple of weeks just enjoying family time instead of computer time.  Its hard to keep up in the summer, especially when our family is so dedicated to outdoor play.  So for my two readers, I know how much you all missed me!

With all that out of the way, I can honestly say that as a mother I have come across a very large milestone.  This may not sound big to you at first, but if you think about it-it really is a big one.  My beautiful 4 1/2 year old daughter has grown up.  That’s right!  Not in all areas but in the area I am about to address.  Trust!  I know some of you parents out there have had a child that has injured themselves (minorly to us, majorly to them) and they just will not let you touch it.  Soooooooo frustrating to me!  For example, about six weeks ago my daughter got a sliver.  Wouldn’t let me touch it.  I was so frustrated with her, for just not letting me fix it.  Than of course my mind went to those dark corners- she is going to get infected, the sliver is probably chemically treated wood, blah blah blah, she might lose her pinky toe.  I don’t know…ridiculous.

But within the last couple of weeks I think our relationship as mother and daughter has really blossomed into something very “grown up”.  A mutual understanding that I can take care of her and make it better (most of the time).  I made hydrogen peroxide fun.  I made neosporin fun.  I made tweezers fun.  But best of all, I made injuries interactive.  We are both the “Fix-It” ladies.

I told her the bubbles from the peroxide were little cleaning bubbles and were making the cuts, slivers, “booboos” all better.  She loved it.  She even dumped it on her foot.  I let her put on the neosporin with a Q-tip.  I let her call the shots when I was removing the sliver.  If it hurt, she said “STOP”.

I really think I have stumbled, accidentally, across something.  Empower your children with the ability to make decisions rationally.  If you are calm, they will be calm (not all the time, but most of the time).  This age (4-5) is an age of independence, learning, and curiosity.  Let them help with things like this.  Not only does it help them to trust you and not be scared, but it teaches them the consequence of getting hurt and how to properly take care of yourself.

I am so very proud of her.  She has come leaps and bounds from the whining and bursting into tears days.  Its very rare that we ever have that happen any more.  My baby is growing up and so gracefully.  My next mission with this “medical treatment” of minor “booboos” is to find some natural remedies versus peroxide and neosporin.  One thing at a time!

Retirement From Overstocked Bathroom Products!

Ok, so here is the situation.  There is this awesome frugal shopping technique out there now a days called CVSing, Walgreens RR, and Rebates at Rite Aid.  Basically what it is is matching coupons with sales and rebates or rewards.  Its an awesome way to save a lot of money.  But its also a not so awesome way to spend money on things you do not necessarily need at the moment.  Than again stockpiling items that are next to nothing or free is never bad.  Which brings me to my point-how many panty liners can one woman use?  My goodness!

So tonight as I was running to my local drugstores to get my free or sickly reduced items after a very long day, I decided its not worth it at the moment.  I am going to take a vacation and just buy things I need at the time.  Don’t get me wrong I will still match up my coupons with the sales, I just do not need to be stockpiling panty liners and razors at the moment.  I have two small children, a wonderful husband, an awesome path to a healthy lifestyle, total payment of debt in high gear, and a happy life that is busy.  This needs to go for a while.

I don’t know if I can quit cold turkey, but I am going to reduce it by at least 95%.  I can never resist a diaper deal!  So as the tag goes on the name of my blog, its the simple things in life.  So its time to simplify my time!  (Anyone need toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, razors, make up sponges, dishwasher soap, band aids, blah blah blah….) 🙂

For those of you intrigued about how to do this kind of shopping all you have to do is google it.  Catch you on the flip side.

Ratted Out By An Angel

I woke up this morning knowing I had to attend a memorial service for my Aunt.  More of a celebration of her life actually.  She didn’t want anything formal, just a gathering of friends and family and their memories.  Today was a beautiful day.  Sun shining, puffy white clouds in the sky, Sunday paper (I always look forward to that, more on that later though), and my family.

My son is teething, so my daughter and I decided to go to church ourselves and have a mommy/daughter morning.  This would also include pancakes at IHOP (not necessarily on the diet).  We haven’t been to church in the summer in a while so I assumed it started at 9:30, only to arrive at church with it half way done.  We walked in just in time for Children’s Time.  We quietly found a seat by the band and she proceeded up to the front to listen to the Pastor.  After his message, she proceeded to raise her hand and tell the entire church that her mommy was late for church.  Needless, to say it made the entire church giggle.  She came back to her seat and asked, “What was so funny?  I was telling him the truth.”  I told her that people thought it was silly and that seemed to be good enough (thank goodness).  During the song after communion she also turned to me with some more important information, ” Mommy, I decided that instead of a donut maker I would like to be  singer like that lady in the band when I grow up.”  Do their minds ever stop?  We than proceeded with the rest of church and our date at IHOP.  It was all fabulous!

We decided to bring our children to the memorial service and attend as a family.  Children lighten the atmosphere a bit and they were important to my Aunt Jerri as well.  I am so glad that we brought them.  The little one just kind of stayed in my husband’s arms, but my daughter-well my daughter was a true angel.  The memorial started off with a song that was requested by my Aunt to be played.  The song was by Celine Dion, “Because You Loved Me”.  Take a listen  and imagine the emotion ( Because You Loved Me).  I hid my tears (very poorly) behind my sunglasses.  My daughter noticed and came and sat on my lap.  She whispered in my ear, “Wipe those tears Mama.  Aunt Jerri is in a good place.”.  I truly think she is on Earth to serve.  She than proceeded to go around the tent and give hugs to people that were crying.  Bless her heart.

Then there was a part of the memorial that people got to share their memories and thoughts.  I was asked to read my blog posts, so I did.  You can imagine how difficult that was, especially following that song.   But I will tell you it felt good.  I am glad that two very important people asked me to do this, because I do not think I would have had the courage to do so had they not asked.  I felt a release that was freeing.

Once again, it goes to show how the power of the pen (keyboard) and the innocence of youth can set you free.  I wish you all a very blessed week while we try to get back to a little normalcy if that is even possible.

Final Peace to a Wonderful Woman

Today my Aunt, Jerri McKellar, left this Earth for a better place.  I wrote about her before on this post.  But today is the day that numerous different emotions, feelings, and thoughts have occurred to me for the very first time.

Sadness is such an overwhelming emotion.  True to the core sadness.  Than throw in external factors to make that sadness dig deeper.  Your mothering concerned about her sister’s last breath, a family a little bit out of sorts on how to deal, coming to terms with the stages in my life, and the innocence of youth.

I have nothing but great love and admiration for my mother, for she is one of the greatest woman on this planet Earth!  She has the biggest heart, is intelligent, is extremely loyal, beautiful, funny, honest (if you only know how honest 🙂 ), and lost her first sibling today.  But what I admire most about my mom, is her focus.  She is remembering the good and her own personal relationship with my Aunt.  I love her for that so much.

With any great family comes a little bit of drama.  Now my family could probably create their own television show and entertain the world, but I think we will just keep that to ourselves.  What I do know and what I have learned is the following:

-There are two sides to every story

-Emotion makes people do and say things they do not mean

-It takes a bigger person to forgive.

And we will leave the family drama at that.

With today’s events I have come to terms with the fact that every day is so very precious.  Its that time in my life to start really cherishing my days with family.  I am in my mid-thirties and I am just coming to terms that some day I will lose the people that I love most in this world-and that sucks!  We will all lose those people.  We have got to have faith.  We have got to do good.  We have got to remember the good.  We have to honor those people that are not physically present anymore.  Its a lot to take in on a Thursday, but its so very real.

Finally, realizing the beauty of innocence.  My 4 1/2 year old daughter said a prayer tonight that blew my mind.  She went through her usual thanking God routine, you know, beautiful mom, family, Earth and than stated the following, “God, I am so glad that you get to meet my Aunt Jerri now.  She is wonderful.  Talk to her a lot because I will miss her.  I know she can hear me, but can’t talk back.  So tell her I love her and thank you God for making her well again.”.  My goodness!  I have no words to describe the emotion I felt at that moment, but my daughter gave me something tonight that nobody else could-CLARITY.  Is it that simple?  Really?  Who knows, but she made me feel so full of love at that moment I do not know how I can ever thank her.

In closing, I love you Aunt Jerri.  Everything about you, even the things that drove me crazy.  You are truly one of a kind and woman that people should look up too.  Your bravery and determination can not be matched.  It is an honor to have been loved by you and to know you.   It is an honor to have laughed so much with you and know that you are truly one of a kind.  Your memory will be kept alive by the people you touched and made laugh.  On a lighter note, if I could, I would open a Bingo Hall and call it Jerri’s House O’ Chips!  The menu would be Diet Coke, cottage cheese, half eaten chocolate candies, all salty chip foods, and a good cookie.  Catch you on the better side some day!

The Game of Memory and The TV Challenge

Realization has just set in and I just realized that I really need to utilize my brain more.  My goodness!  I just got my you know what kicked by a four year old playing Dora Memory.  To my defense Memory has changed a tad bit since I was four.  When I was four Memory consisted of objects on the cards such as a banana, a car, a butterfly or a truck.   I just played Dora Memory which has Dora, Diego and their friends doing random acts such as holding flowers, jumping, or riding a horse.  Can somebody please relate to how my husband and I could get confused?

With Dora baffling my mind I did realize that I really need to pick up a book, magazine, sodoku, a crossword puzzle, or even a darn dot-to-dot.  What have I been doing?  When I am not a SAHM I do have a successful career as a Distribution Manager for one of the largest Christmas Tree wholesalers in the United States.  I do utilize my brain.  I think with the busy hussle and bussle of life sometimes we forget to take time out and learn or exercise our brains.

So this week, I am going to keep track of how many hours I watch television.  I would like to say that I am average when it comes to that, but now that I think about it I could be above.  My husband and I, sadly, are prime time television people.  Things need to change in this house before I end up with a pile of soggy oatmeal for a brain!