making the trek

Trekking through life: Faith, family, friends and a whole lot of coffee!

Parenting the bigs March 11, 2017

Filed under: encouragement,Friends,Kids,messy,Parenting,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 10:12 AM

I was listening to one of my podcasts**  on my way to work, Girlfriends by Danielle Bean and one of the feedback messages she had was on the limited amount of blogs for the parents of the bigs…..teens and young adults and it got me to thinking.  So much thinking.  I don’t even think I can fit it ALL in on one post, because my head just doesn’t release my thoughts sometimes….but I’ll give it a try.

Here is where I date myself and on the same hand don’t even care.  (The blessings of the backside of 40, ladies….it is a gift!!)  The advent of technology has me absolutely feeling like an old lady though.  For example,   “back in my day we made friends at the park and playgroups, cell phones were a luxury and if you were dealing with parenting issues you reached out to your group of real life friends.”  You see, internet was sparse back in the old days.  Dial up.  Sloooooooow.  And it was so new that it was just weird–because it was different.  The thought that you could make a community of friends on the internet was just well….a thought best kept to yourself.

Fast forward 15 years and my GOODNESS how times have changed!!

There are amazing communities of faith filled women, Mamas who have been there and done that for advice and Mamas who are trudging through it in solidarity.  We have the double edged sword of social media with all it’s pretty pictures, real life messes, fun videos and videos of what’s really going down in the kitchen at the arsenic hour.  What an amazing and challenging time to be a parent, especially of littles.  The world of evangelization just leveled up, BIG TIME!  And it is a club that I’m not sure if I will ever feel feel comfortable in..trul:   I only snapchat my real life friends, barely instastory and keep my grams pretty tame…facebook, you are mostly dead to me.  True story.

And then you get into the season of the bigs.  At first, I thought that perhaps just not “coming of age” with the combination of internets and parenting makes me a little leary of all things world wide–the discomfort and unfamiliarity of it all.  However, I also found upon further reflection that these babies are now growing into young adults who want the internet on THEIR terms and not of their blogging mother.  And so I resist.  And then, I hear the feedback that reminded me there are so many ways to bless others with this technology and we can all use this to encourage and build up (even though we often see it turn on honesty and genuineness).  So, it’s a balance of protecting the privacy of your growing people and sharing in the gift and challenge of parenting—what works for others, tips and life hacks to grow in faith and realize that we AREN’T THE ONLY ONES dealing with x,  y, and z.

In the past, I have shared some of our trials in this season and have even written on the very painful time of our  son’s episodic struggle with anorexia-type issues and likely I will very soon write about our daughter’s recent depression recurrence.  The fear of being so transparent in a world wide arena holds me back though.  This past week, however, reminded me that we are NOT alone and if blogging helps me process and encourages someone else in the same battle then I will do it.  But first…..Imma gonna pray on the next post.

In the meantime, if you have a second, minute, hour, pray for Leticia Adams  and family whose son ended his battle with depression this week.

St. Dymphna, pray for us.

**Adventures in imperfect living by Greg and Jennifer Willets

Among Women by Pat Gohn

 

Icing on the cake June 9, 2014

Last weekend we celebrated our 20th Anniversary with a vow renewal and gathering afterward…you can see more about that here, but the thing I loved the most was being surrounded by our family and friends.  Now.  There are some of you reading this that might be sad because you missed it (and it WAS great), BUT this is NOT a slight or rant on you missing it.  It was our fortune to be married in June.  Who knew that 20 years later June would be the month of finishing school, graduations and the general crazy busy that ends school and begins summer?  Who?  Not my 24-year-old bride self, that’s for sure.  Anyhoo…….as much as we would have LOVED to have each and every one of our family and friends present, it’s just not a reality.  Life and all that.    That said……

The people who were supposed to be there were.  It was a neat gathering.  ALL of our kids (and with our 16 yo’s recent crisis of faith–that says a lot).  Many of Hubby’s AA friends came, and that is a diverse group of pretty cool people.  Truly.  We had friends come from church, and for the few friends we have there….that was a nice feeling.  Hubby’s parents were there.  Probably one of the very few times my father in law made it to church.   A continued grace in healing of a strained relationship.  My grandparents were there, right up front with us and my grandmother kept her claustrophobia at bay so that they could be on the front lines where they have always been.  Fraternity brothers, to which I can never say enough good about this group of guys.  Friends from our old city who drove 4 hours for a date weekend; this was an extra special because of the time we were able to spend with them the night before catching up.

My fear of getting up in front of the ENTIRE.  9 A.M. MASS. to renew our vows was real.  When Hubs started getting emotional prior to Mass, he almost brought me over the edge (so I had to threaten him with bodily harm and eggplant…he doesn’t like eggplant).  During the ceremony, I remembered our priest’s advice and just kept my eyes on Hubs, and the priest.  It worked.  Thankfully I followed those instructions because toward the end I snuck a peek at the parishioners and holy cow!  The looks of love and sweet smiles on their faces.  NOW I know why our church opts for this manner of vow renewal.  Talk about a witness.  I would never have made it had I looked out.  Also, the fact that our only response was “I do” rather than repeat the entire wedding vows was a HUGE help.  Death by publicly speaking heart-felt vows and all.

The graces were real.  The love was real.  The friends are real.  The icing on the cake.

Now hopefully life will get real and get our friends here throughout the summer for some visitin’!!!

 

Marriage=Hard June 7, 2014

wedding

Anyone remember their Pre-Cana weekend?  Classes?  Some, all or none?  My memory is pretty crapola these days…I blame multitasking, 4 kids and age.  Maybe I should do more Sudoku or 20, 40, 8 or whatever that game is.  Gingko?  Whatever…getting off track here.

I vaguely remember our Pre-Cana meetings with our Priest as more of a checking off of the boxes and looking back I’m certain he probably wanted to forehead smack both of us.  We were barely active in the Church and going through the motions, however, clearly the seed was planted because….here we are…20 years later and growing everyday in our Faith, Marriage and family.  It’s been a mind-blowing 20 years.  To say the least.

The thing is, I don’t remember much about Pre-Cana.  I remember a lot of vague, surface discussions.  Discussions on the budget and maintaining a joint checking account were the main things I remember, and that’s it.  NFP?  Not so much.  Marriage being hard?  Not really.  So, whether it is my p.poor memory or my 23 year-old naive self, Pre-Cana didn’t really prepare me or scare me.

I take you to be my  lawfully wedded spouse,  my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

I would have loved if we could have taken an in-depth look at those vows:

  • Lawfully wedded, constant friend.  Your spouse comes first.  Always and forever.  Your best friend.  Girlfriends are second and friends come and go as you move through seasons of life.  Pick wisely and you will never be lonely.
  • Faithful partner.  There is a reason men and women shouldn’t be alone together if they aren’t married.  It’s called a fallen world.  Free will.  Attractions will happen and we are all human; it takes a lot of effort to go from foot loose and fancy free to hitched forever.  It can be overwhelming.  Be honest and be sure you are both up for the task and be ready to decide if you can be forgiving if one or both of you fall.  It’s a tough and enticing world out there and marriage isn’t a deterrent to some.  There’s a reason 50%+ of marriages fail.  And infidelity doesn’t always come in the form of a person.
  • Sickness and health.  You will both get sick.  You will both need caretaking.  Be loving.  Be awesome.  Be kind.  Be thankful you are in this together, because being sick is something no one enjoys.  Being a caregiver is no picnic either.  You’ll both have a turn, be ready.
  • Savor and relish the good times and know that bad times will come.  Be a team.  Fight for each other.  Fight for your marriage.  Life is a constant change, ebb and flow and the better you work together, the stronger your marriage will be.  Dig in.
  • Love unconditionally.  This takes practice.  Every day.  All day.  For life.  Staying in love is work.   Put in the sweat equity.  You’ll reap a harvest far beyond your expectations.
  • Support each other.  Careers change.  Dreams evolve.  Work it together.  Marriage is team work.  Be flexible and be each other’s greatest cheerleader.  You’ll take risks in your careers and when you do it together the reward is so much sweeter.
  • Respect each other.   Criticize in love and in private.  The tongue is a savage beast and those words….well, don’t believe the rhyme…it’s all backwards:  words wound.  Be respectful always in word and in deed.
  • Laugh together.  Often.  Experience life joyfully.  It is far too short to be taken so seriously.  A huge area of weakness for this bride who, far too often gets caught up in all the “must do’s” and details of life.  Laughter is free therapy.
  • Cry together.  Forgiveness is hard.  Loss is hard.  Change is hard.  Life is hard.  There will be tears and if nothing else, hold each other through the storm.
  • Cherish each other.  This is your best friend.  Your life partner.  Your help mate.  Your help meet.  Your other half.  Your better half.  Your worse  half.  Your half.

So maybe Pre-Cana DID cover these…maybe I wasn’t listening….maybe it takes 20 years.

More to come….on marriage and vow renewals….stay tuned! 😉

 

The “L” word…or a day off the hard way May 21, 2014

Filed under: Family,health,Kids,messy,Photos — tracye1 @ 9:39 PM
Tags: , , , , ,

This morning our youngest daughter came to me JUUUUUUUUUUST as we were getting ready to load up the bus for school and said, “Mom, my head’s itchy, can you look at it?”  ugh.  dread.  despair.  fingers crossed.  holding breath.  I poked, prodded and separated hair and just as I thought she was free and clear (aside from a super angry red neck), I saw it.  a nit.  ARGGHGHGHGHHGHGHGHGHGHG.  Sure enough, separated a few more strands and a couple more.  No school for you, my pet.

Lice.

Are you itching yet?

Texted my my co-worker and boss that my presence was TBD, dropped the other kids (nit free) off at their respective schools and was Wal-mart bound for the RID products.  Not awkward at all at checkout.  Nope.  Not.  at.  all.

Thankfully, the Hubs was working from home today and was able to get the beds stripped and laundry started.  Lo, you never saw so much linen, pillows and regular dirty laundry (while we’re at it) in  yo life!!!  Seriously.

Sprayed EVERY last item of furniture in the house with the spray, toxic I am sure, but you know if I had a blow torch that would have been fine, too.  Sometimes you just have to work with what you have.  Spray it is.

Got the little one doused down in leav- in shampoo for 10 minutes and went ahead and did myself, too…because just say the word and I itch.  I did lay down with her last night after her performance.  On her pillow.  So yeah…lather me yesterday.

We rinsed and gel producted up and began the process.  Now, if you’ve never had the absolute luxury of picking nits from hair, I’m here with your PSA, a  few pics for reference and to tell you….settle in….it’s not a quick ride and it purely sucks.  Just ask my mom, she helped me with this the last time, about 10 years ago.  Wasn’t any fun then either.

Nit picking.  Tiny.  Tedious.  Frustrating little effers.  Good times.  After about 30-40 minutes, several nits, and TWO, TWO!!!!!!!  Live louse.  EWWWWWW!!!!  We re-applied, set the timer, applied gel and began the process.  Again.  No more louse, a handful of nits.  Much better.  (and I’ve checked and re-checked several more times today, finally down to ZERO!)

And lastly, because I didn’t want to be doing laundry until Saturday, the little diva and I hit the local laundromat for the pillows and comforters………AFTER hitting the bank for some quarters.  You know what?  WHO can afford a laundromat???  3 washers and 3 dryers and about an hour and $30 later, we were out of there.  Finished the rest of the basic laundry at home at about 6:30 p.m.  Like I said, it sucks.  So consider this your PSA just in case you ever are in this predicament…..

Here’s a few photos, because you never know what you might need to know what you are looking for.

You’re welcome.

I’m going to bed.

nit

When you are looking for these (see arrow)

and you have to wade through lots of this lovely hair....

and you have to wade through lots of this lovely hair….

you can see how they really stand out, super easy to find and all

you can see how they really stand out, super easy to find and all, kind of silvery.  ish.  

you pretty much want to throw your whole house in here.  on Caliente to wash and super heat to dry.

you pretty much want to throw your whole house in here. on Caliente to wash and super heat to dry.

 

School situations and changes.. May 20, 2014

Homeschool? Private? Suck it up at sucky public school?  All options we will be likely weighing over the next few weeks or months.  I know, “Do not worry about tomorrow….”.  Got it.  BUT…..what’s the difference between worry and pre-planning?  There is a good chance that due to a house sale our kids will lose the address that keeps them all in schools we have been happy and lucky with.  Except for our rising 9th grader who will keep his school due to the academy  he is in next year.

So our choices are:

  • suck it up for the schools we will be zoned for.  even though the middle school is NUMBERO UNO on the “Top 25 Incidents” in our area and the ONLY one with gang related activity (reported anyway).
  • find the funds for private.  right.  let me run out and check the garden to see if that lettuce is growing some Benjamins.
  • homeschool.  at this level.  I don’t even know if I’m capable.

So.  Just pray.  Chime in if you got some ideas.  I’m allllllllllll ears!

 

Chaos. It’s how I roll. May 6, 2014

Filed under: Kids,Life,messy — tracye1 @ 6:57 AM
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“How do you do it all?”

A friend of mine asked that question of ME last week.  ha.  Short answer:  I don’t know.  It just gets done.

Longer answer:  But by the grace of God.  By the skin of my teeth and by being in a constant state of chaos.  Controlled chaos, mind you….but chaos.  And my girlfriends…..they are all right there with me whether they stay at home or work outside the home, it’s a constant go…go…go..gooooooo.

Case in point:

This morning, up at 4:30 to hit the 5:15 a.m. Spin class.  Crazy.  yes, I know.  But it’s only twice a week and I just can’t make the p.m. classes.  So.  Up and at ’em.

Come home, get kids going, shower, make breakfast and lunch, decide on dinner and out the door at 7:15.

Work.  or the easiest part of my day…if you call 50 patients between 8 and 4 (who the HECK does our scheduling anyway?!?!?! )…fortunately, I enjoy my patients and co-workers so it makes the day a little easier.

Lunch will be post office, making phone calls to the insurance company (ridic to the Nth degree of how much I am fighting them for reimbursement.  of money I am due.  for a product I have already paid for.  super close to hollering fraud.  super.  close) and any other personal errands I can squeeze in the hour.

Off at 4:30, taxi duty, dinner prep and then the girls and I will sit down to catch up on Once Upon a Time–since they were way too tired on Sunday.

So.  There.  That’s how I do it.  Just like everyone else.  Carry on, people.  Carry on!

images

 

Good, bad, ugly and a conference!! February 6, 2014

I’ve been MIA and so very hit or miss lately….life, ya know?  Sorry.  I’m preaching to the choir, I know.

It looks like our weekends are slowing down a leeeeeeetle bit here to a more manageable busy-ness which is good and gives me hope to recharge and reboot and refresh and all that because I needs me some down-time, people!  Wahhhhh, cry me a river, I know.  We are all busy.  So.  I am done complaining about that.

Here’s a few things my mind is juggling lately, good bad and ugly.  Ok.  NOT the really ugly, because I’ve already sent THAT email to a few people and I’m just not ready to go live with that.  Yet.  It is brewing though.  It will probably be a total **it-storm when it happens, I’ll say that.  Intrigued?  Well, guess you’ll have to keep checking back in.  wink-wink-wink

Goodnesssssss……all over the place.  The busy-ness has been good stuff.  Kids music stuff, going to All-county for two kiddos 2 weekends in a row.  A certain almost-12 year old birthday coming up and a trip to Plato’s closet to feed her shopping desires and birthday gift!!  Last minute visit from an old friend from Tally in town with her daughter’s volleyball tourney.  (I didn’t get to visit with her but Hubby did and it does a soul good to have some quality friend time!)  A coming visit from Hubby’s Alaskan cousin this weekend for the night.  A total nut and very fun!!  A great AA dinner party meeting Hubby’s AA friends.  Always nice to put names with faces.  Even nicer to hear the inspirational stories coming out of these people.  My dear friend may (HOPEFULLY) be doing Apologetics classes for middle and high schoolers.  Y’all she is DANGEROUSLY on fire and the most AMAZING teacher EVERRRRRR.  I am completely committed to bugging her to YouTube the classes because this is something the Church needs…this area is so lacking.  So offer up a prayer for her would ya?  This cookie dough pie made by our 16 yo.  Oh.  MY.  Deliciousness.  **one special note:  USE the blender/food processor for the beans.  Makes allllllllll the difference in the world.  Hubby and I are planning on renewing our vows this year.  The big 2-0!  Point of contention:  our audience.  Our church generally does this in front of the general Mass.  All several HUNDREDS of people.  Hubby is in favor of this venue.  This gives me absolute palpitations and anxiety I cannot describe.  I’m all for the quiet chapel route.  Also, I know I will be bawling and this is not a good look for me.  Let’s face it, half of our marriage was the “for worse” part and having come through that……..Phew!  Good stuff, but man, oh, man……what a ride!!!

Badness:  (I know, not a word, but in keeping with the theme)…..I didn’t get a job I applied for.  Again.  I DO have promises of other positions in the next few months, so we shall see….but disappointment, I’m really over you.  Really.  16 yo broke his foot skateboarding.  Not super bad, but definitely waylaid the skating for a while.  Good stuff is coming out of that, though…..the ole stepping back and getting a bird’s eye view of friends, new likes and maturing.  Colds.  Several have blown through this house.  5 of 6 of us have had the flu shot, so holding steady there…… lastly, a friend of mine (son’s 5th grade teacher and the best EVER! and not just because she reads my blog) is suffering mightily these past couple years with a recurrence in her ovarian cancer.  The past few months have been tremendously brutal.  It’s heartbreaking and I’m so sad for her suffering and for her family and mad. Mad that the prayers I pray for her don’t fix anything.  Mad that the dinner I’ll take her family won’t fix anything.  Mad that God allows this.  Mad.  Mad.  Mad.  And this is so definitely going on my list of conversations God and I will have in heaven.  Because I just don’t see the purpose of it.  At all.

And on that total bummer note:  let me offer up some fun times for you….There is going to be a little conference in Austin, TX this summer.  A weekend of Catholic gal fun!!  All the deets are here……  my pocketbook can’t swing this, but maybe yours can and I think it would absolutely be worth every second!!!!

Go on and have a super day.  Providing you aren’t snowed in for the umpteenth time this winter.  We’ll be scooting through the day in the humid 80s here…..  tough.  tough life it is.

Blessings!!

 

 
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