Denial….

I don’t even want to write this post. Not because I’m not grateful, because I’m immensely grateful for this incredible woman. But, I’ve spent the last 2-3 months in denial.

This has been a tough one for me and if I’m being honest, I’m not fully accepting or allowing myself to feel the full impact of this loss because I don’t feel that I have the emotional resources to do so.

We met Victoria a number of years ago at church. She was recommended to us as a possible College and Career age, young woman who may be available to do some care giving and respite for our family.

I don’t really even remember the beginning. Life was a bit of a blur and we were just coming out of the “cancer years”. She came and cared for our kids weekly for 4 or 5 years. I don’t remember exactly, but it was a significant portion of my kids lives.

It’s been an absolute honor to watch her grow up, get married, graduate college, work, and go back to school. We knew our time with her was limited, only because life moves forward. In fact, we were gifted 2 more years than I was expecting. Not that I had a specific time frame but I had thought that life was going to move her on and somehow she stayed with us. It was an absolute gift that I will cherish forever.

Victoria loved and accepted our children, not in spite of who they are, but because of who they are. That was a gift that I will forever be grateful for. She came into our family weekly, for years and loved on my kids, and in turn, on us. She accepted the hard days with grace, mercy and compassion. She loved my kids through meltdowns, food challenges, weird sleeping arrangements, situations where they were stuck or just plain rude. She challenged them to be their best selves and loved them no matter what.

It was an absolute gift to have that love and acceptance. For us as parents to know that we could walk away from the chaos for 4 hours once a week and know that our kids were loved, safe, understood and so well cared for, was an absolute treasure.

I am SO INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL to have had your help, love and support for all the years that we did. There were weeks and months where you were our lifeline; and the only rest we had in a very chaotic and difficult time. Knowing that we had that 4 hours off, kept us going, during the worst of times.

There is no way I can fully explain the depth of my gratitude but know that you are SO APPRECIATED and that I will be forever grateful for the time you’ve invested into my kids and our family. I’m so excited to see where life takes you and what adventures you have coming next.

Thank You for all you gave into our lives, each and every one of us. Truly!

ps. The boys talk about you all the time. You truly are missed and loved!

pps. Victoria was our respite worker and she worked for us for a number of years. She is finishing her Master’s while working full time and something had to give. I don’t begrudge her this, at all…….well maybe selfishly. Ha! Not really! It’s life and we were gifted so many incredible years! The depth of my denial and sadness are only relative to how special she was to all of us, and that was VERY special!

Misery and Gratitude

Misery and gratitude cannot exist in the same space.”  ~ Sharolynn Braegger

Well, I’m writing this post on Sunday morning at 1:30am.

I am truly grateful that insomnia is not something I deal with on a regular basis. Although, I’ve mentioned that I’m not a super fan of mornings, it’s not because I stay up all night. I make a solid effort to get to sleep by 11pm, so that mornings are just slightly less horrific.

I’ve not seen 1:30am in a while; and I’m good with that.

Tonight’s issue is that I had a Diet Coke without thinking about the caffeine. And seeing as I don’t have coffee or tea after 3pm……apparently the caffeine is doing its thing and I’m still awake.

I am extremely grateful that I don’t deal with regular ongoing Insomnia. I’m aware that some of you do. I’m really sorry about that. This sucks.

I am grateful for the quiet time, with no one asking anything of me. I’m ever so grateful that my bed is Oh! So! Comfortable! I’m grateful that this post will be scheduled to post tomorrow morning and I won’t have to even think about it.

I’m not really grateful that I’m still awake but I’m incredibly thankful that I don’t often have sleepless nights.

Tomorrow morning, when my littles are requiring my attention, I’ll also be VERY grateful for coffee.

What are you grateful for? I’d love to hear.

Laundry Will Always Be There For You

It’s never ending, isn’t it? I feel like I always have a mountain of laundry in some form….whether it’s dirty laundry to wash or clean laundry that needs to be folded.

It’s like that meme about laundry always being there for you. It will never let you down. Ha!

As I finished folding the laundry, I glanced over at the sock basket, which was full to overflowing. Ever so reluctantly, I pulled the basket up onto my folding table and started to match socks.

While I LOVE folding clothes, (I know, weird right? I just love making neat piles.) matching socks is not my favorite. Overflowing baskets are not my favorite either so, matching socks it is.

As I matched and sorted the socks, I kept asking myself how I could possibly be truly grateful for this.

While I have lots to be grateful for, I’m not promoting fake gratitude. I do want to be actually grateful for the things in my life and not just mouth empty words.

It’s true that I am grateful that we have enough socks for our whole family. I am also thankful that we have lots of easy to match socks; but honestly, neither of those really fill me with gratitude.

When it comes right down to it, I was truly grateful that the job was done. I’m also truly grateful that we have enough socks that, once the job is done, I don’t need to do it again for a while.

What are you grateful for, today? I’d love to hear.

Beginnings & Ice Cream

Well, here we are, day 1 of this Gratitude Challenge.

I’d love it if you would either leave a comment, here or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram…..however you found yourself here. Or even just leave a post on your own profiles, using the hashtag #marchtogratitude.

It’s going to be fun to see the posts on social media when you search, using the hashtag.

I’ll be honest, I’ve been a pretty negative person. For me, living a life of gratitude has been born out of my misery and complaining; and then my desire to not be a negative person. Usually, I will start complaining or moaning about something; and once I catch myself….then I look for something good in the situation.

For example, I hate mornings. That’s already been established. So when I came downstairs to start the morning “cat herding” this is what greeted me.

Cool Whip Container of Ice Cream

I could have got upset at my boys (that seems like a typical reaction to this scenario) but I’m constantly looking to “flip the script”.

My first thought was, “Ice Cream for breakfast, huh?!?”

My second thought was, “Take a picture of that, and send it to your sisters.”

Third thought was, “Well, Breakfast is taken care of.”

No upset, no anger, no disappointment. The bucket of ice cream is going to be gone sooner than I intended, but I wasn’t planning on having any so it really doesn’t affect me and when it’s gone…..it’s gone!

They got calories, dairy, and then they took all that sugar crazy to school. So, I’m good!

To wrap it up…….I’m grateful that my kids are independent enough to get their own breakfasts. I may need to talk a little more about appropriate food choices, but in the end, they ate with no complaining and I didn’t have to do anything. I got to drink my coffee that I was also SO VERY GRATEFUL FOR!

I’m calling it a win and moving forward with the day.

I’d love to hear what you’re thankful for today? Coffee? Sunshine? Family? A Job? What?