I’m 40 now. For some reason 30 terrified me. So much so that I jokingly pretended to be 29 for so long that I often had to ask Matt how old I really was. Even my lil monsters knew Mama turned 29 year after year. Somehow, I’m good with 40. Like really good. I AM 40! I am happy. I have an unwaivering faith in God. I’ve been married for over a decade to the most loving and supportive man I’ve ever known and somehow get to call mine. I am a mama to four truly incredible humans that I will forever be in awe of. I am the proud Maw-Maw to two precious little souls. I have a priceless bond with my parents. I’m a daughter in law and a mother in law to two special women. I have a closeness with some of my family that I wouldn’t trade for the world, even some cousins that have forever been more like a sister or brother to me. Friends I’ve had since we were kids and now get to watch our own children grow together. I’ve got friendships that I’ve built since relocating to Texas from New Orleans many many years ago. I have two sweet little senior pups that follow me around day in and day out (I admit this is because I’m the one that always slips them people food, but hey they love me and I’ll take it!).
I am short, loud, sometimes spontaneous, wear my heart on my sleeve, am known to cuss like a sailor, have a raging temper when it comes to anyone messing with someone I love, tend to be a bit of an over thinker, mildly OCD, generally have trouble hiding my emotions be it happiness or anger, yet I’m one of the most sincere people to have in your corner. I am a family, friend, iced latte, Moscato, book, yoga, red lipstick, post it note, and children/animal loving lady.
In the last decade we have made so many of our dreams come true. Our family has grown and reshaped in various ways. We moved into a home that we now get to watch children and grandchildren grow in due to my husband’s hard work for our family while encouraging me to be the stay at home mama I cherish being. We have traveled to interesting places both with our children as well as little getaways alone with my love. Some travels have been far away and sometimes only as far as our backyard. I am healthier than I’ve ever been. I can now keep up with my children and grandchildren on a trampoline, at theme parks, and on playgrounds. I have wrinkles that show the life I’ve lived. Some from worry, God knows I worry like no other, and some from lots of happiness and laughter. I have many grays that pop out before my next hair appointment and oddly enough even that doesn’t bother me, fingers crossed I get the streak in my hair that my Maw-Maw had. I’ve got stretch marks from carrying four children I was once told I wouldn’t have. I’ve got scars from more surgeries than I care to count. I’ve been hurt tremendously in my life time and I’ve also been loved beyond measure. So how could I possibly be distraught over turning forty? This feels like quite the privilege! So bring on the next decade of my life that I’m so blessed to be living. I look forward to celebrating more birthdays with the ones that love me most. To watching my husband bake me another beautiful cake while I sit across the counter from him sipping on a glass of wine and smiling so much it hurts. Listening to the most precious voices singing Happy birthday to me year after year. Dancing and (horribly) singing in our kitchen with our children and grandchildren while cooking dinner. I am so thankful to get to experience FORTY!
I look forward to learning and growing in new ways. If I’ve learned nothing else in this life time it’s to forever know I will never stop learning from others. I will not always be right. It’s okay to admit fault or wrong doing and apologize sincerely. I am not and will never be perfect. My biggest teachers have always been my children and I’m certain I learn more from them alone daily than I could ever teach them. THIS is 40!
Today one of my best friends posted this picture on my facebook with a birthday message.
It’s from her last visit here a few months ago while playing cards against humanity. A lot of laughter took place that night, A LOT! I swear I’ve come back to look at this picture several times through out today (as well as many other great ones that have been shared). It has made me smile every single time. This is a really good reminder for me for those days that I have been rough on myself about things that are out of my control, of how truly happy my life really is, through the ups & downs, how very thankful I am for the people that are in my life! I’m grateful for each and every one of you that find ways to bring this kind of laughter to my life.
I’m looking forward to what 39 brings. I’ve been working so hard on myself over the last few years. Both physically and mentally. I’m finding a new found strength in myself and I really do love it. I think on my way to 40 I’m going to push myself so much harder as I get to know myself better. I have a tendency of putting myself on the back burner in all aspects of my life. My husband constantly encourages me to do otherwise, but it’s just my nature. I’m slowly finding a balance I didn’t know I was capable of. I’m making time for myself, really need a ton of work in this department. I’m reading more, exercising daily, trying new things, testing my limits, learning when to say no, and when to walk the fuck away. I am so full of love, so full of ideas, and so want to always keep everyone happy and now I’m learning how to add myself to that list of people I intent to keep happy. Thankfully I’ve got an incredibly supportive husband that always has my back, truly phenomenal friends, and family that never ceases to amaze me. 39 is going to be fantastic!
The last month of my life has been rather shaky and quite honestly pretty scary and painful. I’ve spent countless hours between three different specialists offices and had endless testing, labs, & procedures done. I’ve been given some scary news and left with a lot of uncertainty as of yet. Yes, another vague blog. The people we have opted to share my personal medical problems with are in the know, and I still choose to not publicly share the details of my health online. Especially since only one of our four children know some of the details of what’s going on. My husband and I both agree, our girls are far too young to understand or to even have to.
So while my life may feel like it’s in a bit of a shamble full of endless fear and uncertainty it’s also full of a lot of faith and hope. My faith has never been so strong. While scared, I still hold out a lot of hope as well. I’m seeing some of the best specialist around. I have absolutely learned that the people we have in our lives are the ones that belong in it. I can’t even begin to get over the support system we have. First and foremost my husband and my mom, obviously. Who live right here and experience it with me daily. The ones that never once let me think even for a moment that I’m going through this alone. They are picking up my slack when I’m weak. They encourage me when I need it. And they wipe my tears when I just need to let it out. My mom helps me all day with Bitty and with Aub & Mad after school while Matt is at work. She just spent the last week being my personal driver getting me to appointments all over town. Dad & Gina came all the way out here just to spend two days with me and to bring me to have a spinal tap done. Susie skipped a weekend at her ranch house just to go sit with me at an appointment to get some results. Our parents have been so supportive whether in the same house or as far as six hundred miles away. My children, without knowingly doing so bring me the greatest joy ever and will forever be my world! Little do they know they single handedly are my reason to keep pushing forward to get through this. Then there are our friends and relatives. Matt’s cousin had a floral fruit arrangement at my door within hours of telling her what was going on. I’ve got certain friends & relatives that somehow manage to check on me every single day. One friend always asks when my next appointment is and what time ,and it never fails when I’m on my way I get a message with just a heart or a smiley face. One friend is always up late at night when our husbands and our children are asleep and we talk about any and everything when we can’t seem to sleep. She’s just good for my soul and probably helps me more than she knows. Some send me Bible verses, that is something I especially love! Some have insight or know someone who have been through a similar situation. Some are just a shoulder to lean on. Some remind me that it’s okay that I’m forgetful, especially even more so these days due to one of my new medications. Yesterday Matt checked the mail and there were two thing in it for me. One was from my bestie in San Antonio, wasn’t expecting a package from her, so that really confused me. And one was a thick envelope from my specialist, which always means more referrals, which always mean more doctors. Not enough of those currently in my life. I of course opened the box from Em first and I instantly started to cry, happy tears this time. It was a box of “SUNSHINE”! She knows I’ve been being slammed lately, especially in this last week with daily appointments and not always the greatest of news and here sat a box full of goodies from a gal I simply adore that lives 30+ minutes away, that took the time to throw together a fun silly box of things to make me smile. With a silly picture of the two of us and a simple note that said “Hello Sunshine I love you!”. I am so incredibly in debt to the people that have been keeping me up, when I could easily just feel down. To the ones that have continuously shown me their love and support in each of their own special ways and all have meant the world to me. Really, I hope you all know how much you are really pulling me through these scary times! I may have my struggles and fears, but I refuse to loose sight of just how truly blessed I am!
So I’d like to say every day is peachy. Only have happy & bubbly things to blog about. While in my eyes my husband & our lil monsters are as close to perfect as they could possibly be. Our life maintains a certain level of chaos with a house full of seven people and a twelve year old pup. Not every day is as “perfect” as we’d like. Some days someone just wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Sometimes several of us do. As humans aren’t we entitled to have an off day? All too easily we forget that about our children. They are human too. Yes, respect is a necessity. But they aren’t always going to maintain a level of pep that we’d all like to think our lil monsters should day in and day out. Some days are going to be “off” for them too.
Today was one of those days for us in our house of chaos! These little monsters seemed to bicker about the most nit picking things possible. ALL DAY LONG! There was some definite hair pulling, when someone took the toy our two year old Bitty wanted. Mad, our five year old, through more than one tantrum, even over the fact that her peas & carrots were touching at dinner. Aub was a somewhat overly emotional nine year old today full of attitude and held back nothing when her brother who came home from a not so fun busy day at work, and then the cycle was complete. Four grumpy monsters all afternoon to the point I had to check the calendar and be sure it wasn’t really a manic Monday! Daddy & I decided to take them out after dinner for some bike riding and skateboarding to expel some of that pent up frustration. Had plans to take them out for an ice cream afterwards. Oddly enough even that didn’t do the trick. The bickering continued. This one looked at that one the wrong way. The other wasn’t happy that water got spilled. So and so did blah, blah, blah. OH MY WORD! It was just a train wreck! So after a hour of play we loaded the monsters, bikes, and skateboards back into the mini and instead of the ice cream shop we swung by the corner store for a box of ice cream (because at that point not everyone had attitude and we weren’t going to punish everyone) and headed home feeling a bit defeated. After their ice cream which they some how managed not choking a sibling through, the bedtime routines started…a bit earlier than usual.
Make no mistake daddy & I would have loved to find that start over button, especially me since I’m the stay at home mama that got to witness it first hand all day no matter how many times I tried to redirect a kiddo or two at a time. But at the end of the day all I can do is sigh. Take a nice Lush bath. Breathe. And remind myself that they are just kiddos that had an off day and tomorrow will surely be better than this! It just has to be. Otherwise it looks like they will unknowingly be getting back to a normal “school days” bedtime routine, ha ha!
It’s been a bit of an insane day. Not the picture perfect day that most of us are guilty of painting especially in the world of social media. Today was anything but picture perfect. Tears were shed by three little girls. Our eighteen year old son likely realized work was easier than the sibling rivalry he joined when he got home. I found myself on the verge of tears more than once myself today and all I could do was warn my husband about the evening he was coming home to. But as the chaotic day comes to an end I can look at the bigger picture. We are blessed. We have four healthy, feisty, energetic monsters with four huge personalities. They are as head strong as head strong gets. The are the four lil monsters God blessed us with. My husband and I have a fabulous marriage that is thankfully not full of anger and bickering. We are a team. One that takes on the chaotic “off” day together instead of letting it cause us to start fighting as well. And luckily for my mom that lives with us, she has a bedroom door that locks when she is ready for a break from these lil monsters’ “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” (to quote an amazing children’s book). This big fam of ours holds a whole lot of love for each other and even on our worst not so social media pretty day we always know we can count on each other. And thankfully all of that gives me the ability to smile at the end of this not so pleasant day!
“It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. My mom says some days are like that” -Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
I literally have NOTHING to say about the latest round of nonsense. People can choose to believe what they will. The ones that matter know us well enough to know better or themselves have had run ins with the same person. We will continue to hold on to our faith, our family, our friends, and the rest means nothing to us. I meant what I said a week ago in this blog, and that’s as far as I will go into this mess. As my husband said “it is what it is”. We will consider the source and continue to do what is necessary to protect our family. So much so that I will never even bother reading the latest slander and only ask that no one relay said nonsense to me. I truly could care less. Life is far too precious to keep going backwards and we have a much brighter future ahead of us. And that is all of the time I will waste on this old beat down topic again.
Along with forgiveness, this has easily been one of the hardest parts of my faith to come to grips with. Sometimes it’s hard to bite your tongue when someone continues to viscously attack you. It’s no secret that we have dealt with a particular person like this for many years. Literally since the day I married my amazing husband. After tolerating the abuse for many years we finally decided things would never change, enough was enough. So we cut ties shortly after our daughter’s fourth birthday. Now that our children are old enough to understand the things that have been going on, it’s time we protect them from people we once called “family”. As our daughter’s fifth birthday quickly approaches it’s rather sad to have to admit that even without having a relationship any longer there is one particular person that still continues the viscous attacks almost daily, or so I hear. It used to bother me, especially when someone that once struggled with her weight until she has a drastic weight loss surgery now feels it’s okay to post cruel things online about our weight. While it has become a game to post such hateful things and then delete them, it still made it’s way to me after someone screen shot it and sent it to us. No denying that. That was possibly as low as one could stoop. Especially when said person has no idea what actually goes on in our personal life. Clearly I’ve had four surgeries over the last year, some for very serious reasons of which are none of her business or concern. I just will never understand how a “Christian” could be so hateful or vindictive? Anyway, I won’t go into that because that’s the entire point of this blog.
“Never retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Pay them back with a blessing…and God will bless you.” – 1 Peter 3:9
There it is. My biggest reason for no longer retaliating against another’s hatred. Let alone the fact that I’m so thankful our family no longer needs to value or tolerate her opinions or hatred towards us. Who cares what is thought about us by someone that doesn’t even hold a special place in our lives any longer? There is a big reason for it after all and this only validates our beliefs further. Thankfully at the advice of my husband as well as a few other caring folks in my life I have stopped reading her stabs months ago. Even upon hearing of her latest attempts to draw me into another cycle of the nonsense I have resisted temptation. I value my faith, my family, and let’s be honest my sanity far too much to allow a person that I have cut ties with for a very valid reason to have that control over me any longer. I figured out the forgiveness part months ago. I really struggled with it because I made myself believe that in doing so meant I had to have a relationship with said person again, that absolutely is never happening again, and is absolutely not the case. It took me really grasping my faith and God’s word to fully get it. I just needed to forgive. There is no further action or relationship required, thanks be to God.
So now I have moved on to this verse. (1 Peter 3:9) talk about God’s timing always being right. I needed it. And it came along right on time. What another thinks about me or in this case blatantly says about me all over the internet and quite possibly to anyone who will listen really doesn’t matter at all. What another thinks of me is none of my business! Wouldn’t I need to value said opinion to begin with? Does another’s opinion even define who I really am? Not a chance! Another’s view of me doesn’t define the person I truly am. Far more people have a completely opposite view of me after all. I don’t need to retaliate. I don’t need to give it any more thought. Thankfully that is a part of our lives that we no longer need to go back to and a part of our lives that no longer deserves a response. Instead I choose to pray for said person. That this person can finally move on without feeling the need to nearly a year later continue to take stabs at us. Move on and find a happy place, even a happy medium. I have no intention in responding to such hatred any longer. Instead I will continue to hold on to my faith and my family and will do so with as much grace as I possibly can.
I had originally intended to post this as a private blog. Then I realized this is nothing worth hiding. Especially as I typed it it reminded me of a situation that someone I love dearly is going through. While it’s a whole different situation it is a similar one that this one verse may very well help them cope with better. One persons hatred doesn’t deserve a response. Pray for them instead. No sense in stooping to another persons level and making yourself look equally as bad. Remember this one quote: “How you make others feel about themselves says a lot about YOU!”