Category Archives: Sue

Happiness Is

We just finished up Sue’s run of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.”  The last song is “Happiness is” which fit perfectly with my friend’s post yesterday.

We’ve had lots of happiness lately.

Happiness is… watching your daughter blossom just a bit more in her second play this weekend.

 

Happiness is…Getting some one-on-one time with Sue to speak to her what is on my heart,

do you know when I see you the most alive, the most you? When you are at practice or on the stage doing a show. You are amazing. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, God made you amazing, always be who He made you to be.” She came over to my side and as I hugged her, and blinked back tears, I said, “I know sometimes at home you feel overshadowed by an older sister who is very strong, and a Patrice who is, well, Patrice, but you are strong, smart capable, and amazing. I know there are things that don’t come easy, but there are other things that just make you shine. Walk in them all. Be you, be strong and amazing and beautiful. I had a lot of people tell me what I couldn’t do, what I wasn’t, that I wasn’t strong and here I am, kind of old…some of that I can fix, I can run my butt off, but some I can’t. Don’t let people whether they be family, friends, or random people tell you what you can and can’t do!

 

Happiness is…getting a kitchen full of flowers thanks your daughter’s “stardom”

Happiness is…getting out for a run amidst the business of life and pushing myself to improve bit by bit, bunch by bunch.

Happiness is…feeling pretty every once and a while.

Happiness is…remembering how to do a fun braid your daughter wants in her hair.

Happiness is…a pretty cute puppy and a lovely Easter flag.

Happiness is…finding more things that can be thrown away as part of #40 bags in #40 days.

And Happiness is…my girls looking sweet and sassy.

The days are crazy and full.  I am so thankful, I am here, by the grace of God, to enjoy them all.

*Thank you to my friend Kimberly over at All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something for the inspiration for this post.

The Day Mama Marched

All to the Glory of God–that is why I blog and share my story so openly.  I want others to know it is possible to live and parent well with mental illness.  This, by necessity, causes my posts to be brutally honest, and that is not always pretty.
I have always endeavored to live by the verse 2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

 

My husband and I met over 14 years ago at our church.  We were both part of the singles ministry there.  I just visited at first, but as time went on I came to more and more of the activities.  At the time, the singles group took up two rows of seats (actually pews) in the service time.  For some reason, the group chose to sit way up front.  Like 3 rows from the pulpit.  It seemed a little close to me, but so be it…I sat up there too.  No biggie.

Hubby and I got married, moved to a different Sunday School class, started having kids, and along came Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, along with debilitating Social Anxiety.  Attending church became very, very difficult for me.  Sitting up front was out of the question.  I sat as far back as possible most of the time–if not in the foyer.

And hubby noticed.

He realized he could gauge how well I was doing in my head by where I sat in church.  When things were rough I either sat in the foyer or way in the back of the sanctuary.  On the rare good days, I would head much further up in the seating area.  I didn’t notice, but he sure did…and when he mentioned it to me, I started paying attention and he was right.

This weekend was pretty good for me.  Busy, but I handled most of it.  Saturday had some rough spots, where I have to admit I was afraid I was going to lose it, but I didn’t and by Sunday I was okay.

Sunday morning I walked into that church and marched up to the front.  Hubby said, “look at you going right to the front!”

“Of course I am, my babies are singing and I need pictures!”

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It’s Christmas time–time for Christmas programs and yesterday was ours.  The girls sang in both services and had a Christmas party in between.  And this year I was strong enough to be right up front–so close during the first service that Caitlyn could see us and tried to smile for the pictures.

All along, my fight to be well has been for my family–specifically my girls.  The last six years hasn’t been easy on any of us but yesterday was a victory for all of us…the day mama marched into the church to take pictures.

Enjoy What You’re Doing

Ten or so years ago, hubby and I rang a bell at a Salvation Army Kettle.  It is a chilly project, but low stress and high fun.  That experience was before kids.  I decided a couple weeks ago it was time to do it again–as a family of five!!

So, this afternoon we bundled up (glad it wasn’t as cold today as it was earlier this week) and headed out to the Post Office.

We sang, we danced, we said Merry Christmas and thank you!

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We had lots of comments from people saying we looked like we were having fun.  One guy, motioned over to hubby as he danced to Dominick the Donkey, and said, “you gotta enjoy what you are doing!”

And we did.

We were out there 2 hours and 20 minutes.  There were no bell ringers when we got there, so we just started our shift a little early.  People responded well.  Our bucket was completely full when we returned it to the Salvation Army Citadel this afternoon.

Our toes were cold, but our hearts were full from being able to do our part to help.

Sue Sue Sue Sue Sue Sue Sue Sue Sue

Today, my middle one turns 9.

She is sweet.

She is spunky (why did you punch your sister last night?)

She is smart.

She is confident.

She is all that and so much more!

Happy Birthday!

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A Little More Grown Up

The year I turned 9, my mom and dad took my downtown to get my ears pierced.  I hadn’t asked yet, but my mom figured it was coming and headed it off at the pass.  After the first ear, they offered to let me come back another time to get the second ear done.  I don’t know if that was their standard procedure with kids or I winced really bad, what I do remember is my mom leaning over and whispering in my ear, “you better get that second one done now.  Your dad is NOT going to want to come back a second time.”  Now, in their defense, the ear piercing place was a 45-minute drive one-way from our house.

I got that second ear pierced that night.

Last year, I found myself with a 9-year-old daughter begging to get her ears pierced.  I also found myself looking at her and saying, “if we go, you better get both done because I do NOT want to go back a second time”…and the ear piercing place is only about 15 minutes from our house.

Caitlyn got them both done that day.  And impatiently waited 8 weeks to be able to take her starter earrings out.

Today found me with an almost 9-year-old (Monday) sitting in the same chair to get her ears pierced.  2016-11-23 16.12.16

There was no need to remind her I wasn’t coming back a second time to get the second ear pierced.  I’ve never seen anyone so excited to have pain inflicted on their head!

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And in the last year, things have changed.  Due to upgrades in the cleaning solution they give you, she only has to keep in her starter earrings for 3 weeks, rather than 8.  Here’s hoping she gets some earrings for Christmas 😉

Politics Here

Let’s just start off by saying I have no idea how I am going to vote in the upcoming Presidential election.  What I do know, is I cannot wait for the political ads and posts on Facebook to be gone.

I may still be struggling about whether or not I am going to vote at all, but that does not mean we have ignored politics in our homeschooling.  We have read several biographies, we have done a unit study, we have had many, many conversations about the positives and negatives of the Republican and Democratic candidates, and talked about what an Independent Party/candidate is.

In the unit study Caitlyn and Sue created a newspaper that included articles about the overall election process  and who the Presidential Candidates were, a letter to the editor concerning a local issue on the ballot, an overview of the requirements for voting in our state and what the voting process entails, how the candidates differ and how they are similar, an explanation of our two major parties, and an overview of women’s suffrage.

But our elections education has not been purely academic.

The girls’ have each explained, based on their understanding, who they would vote for.  I am standing here wracking my brain trying to remember what each of them said about their choice.  I know Patrice said she would vote for Hillary Clinton because “she is a girl.”  Patrice has also very sweetly asked me to vote for Hillary–“for me, please mommy?”  Caitlyn has had several thoughts on the issue, but the one that sticks out to me is she would vote for Hillary Clinton because Donald Trump “is a sore loser” (she has watched portions of each of the debates).  Sue said she would vote for Hillary Clinton “because she is a girl and because I don’t think she should be in jail, she was only trying to protect her e-mail and the country.”

I may still be trying to decide what to do when I am standing in front of the ballot Tuesday, but my girls have made up their minds!

Caitlyn has even flexed some of her democratic muscles.  The other day, every time someone disagreed with what she was doing or wearing, she declared, “It’s a free country!”

And then tonight the girls capped off their understanding of the election process by spontaneously presenting their own presidential debate.  Caitlyn was the moderator, Sue was the Republican Candidate, and Patrice was the Democratic Candidate.  They covered issues including homelessness, housing, schools, and what they would do to make America greater.  Patrice, on the topic of homelessness, said anybody that “wanted a house can come ask me, and I will put them in a hotel and build them a house.”  Sue, concerning schools said, “I will get better teachers and better food because nobody can learn on an empty stomach!”  Concerning making America greater Sue said she would stop terrorist attacks while Patrice said she would give money to the homeless.

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Our debate even had some “digs” in it as Sue told Patrice her answer was “a great comedy act.”  The girls, as you can see, dressed up for the debate–shoes optional, and they had suckers from their Halloween candy.

Of course, after the debate I had to explain to Patrice what a Republican was and what a Democrat was…she’s a 6-year-old work in progress.

I am really pleased with our overall study of Americas’ election process and what the girls have learned.  They’ve worked hard to understand the world around them and we’ve had some fun along the way; what more could I ask for?

 

 

Today was Hands On

Our first year of homeschooling I found so many incredible ideas for hands-on projects and activities.  It was fun, if I do say so myself.  My second year that dwindled, and last year was dismal.  We made it through our daily lessons of bookwork, but there just wasn’t any fun.  Last year was survival mode as I battled the bipolar disorder…But this year, this year, offered hope.

Hope, that we could have fun again.  That Patrice could enjoy some fo the hands-on activities similar to what we had done in the first year, when she was oblivious.

And I think, we have had more fun.  We are getting through material, going on field trips, and enjoying projects.  Today, we did two fun projects in art and science.

During art, we made cards for a friend in the hospital.

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This afternoon we did a science project learning how plant seeds might travel to other places in the world.  We “made” seeds and sent them flying.

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The best part was seeing Patrice not only get involved in the activity, but watching the video beforehand, and being able to explain what it was saying, and argue her point, successfully I might add, with her sisters.

Every day has it’s adventures, but today included some intentional fun!

 

Kind of Sad

Last night was another great night of Halloween fun.  The girls made their costumes earlier in the week, the weather was perfect last night, and there were very few Trick or Treaters, so people were very generous to my girls.  Caitlyn and Sue weighed their loot–7 lbs and 6 lbs respectively.  Sue’s candy haul weighed more than she did at birth!!

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We had so few Trick or Treaters that I put our candy out on the porch and we all went together.

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Caitlyn was a jellyfish, Sue was the Ocean Blue, and Patrice was Rapunzel.  They put them together all by themselves.

No help from mama.

I remember not too long ago when they needed my help to walk up to the doors, knock, say Trick or Treat, and Thank You.  This year I was just a chaperone.

And it made me kind of sad.  It was the first year my babies didn’t need me.  Okay, not kind of sad.  I actually walked from house to house holding back the tears.  Hubby says it is because I have done a good job raising them to be creative, confident girls.

I say, “where did my babies go???”

All That Falls

I found a project on Pinterest and we actually did it!!!

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We painted q-tip fall trees 🙂

 

The Balance

Three girls.  I have three girls.  I have no idea how that happened–well, okay, I know HOW it happened, I just can’t believe it did even 10 years into this mom gig.  I had given up on marriage and kids, but God had other plans.

These plans.

I have three girls, I homeschool three girls, they are pretty much my constant side kicks.  They see how I handle, and don’t handle, life.  I am completely aware their eyes are always on me.

Sometimes, I can handle it with grace, but much of the time I am second guessing how I handle it all.  I want my reactions to be balanced and healthy.  I am used to finding that difficult with the Bipolar in my life, but recently it has gotten complicated for another reason…sports.

My girls (2 of them anyway) have joined the world of sports–cross country to be exact.

It is the one sport I sort of, not really, know anything about and is truly the only sport I have ever enjoyed.  Seeing them get to run at practice reminded me how much I love to run and has me back out there pounding out a few miles.  I love having them run.

One, is a little older than the other, a little more serious about life, and a little more interested in running.

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She even joined me on my Sunday morning run last week.

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I am so proud.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Sue is also going to practice, never complains about it, and seems to have fun, but she just hasn’t caught the running bug.  She’s there for the socializing; Caitlyn says, “I want to run, that’s what I am there for!!!”

I am so pleased with both of them, but I want to just gush all over Caitlyn.  I love her can do spirit, she never gives up, I love her desire to run, I love her determination.  I like to talk to her about running.  I am seeking out help from others who run to help Caitlyn become a stronger runner.  I’m not kidding, I could go on forever about how proud I am of Caitlyns’ running.

But I don’t want to discourage Sue.  I want her to grow to love it, if it turns out to be her thing.  I want her to work hard.  I want her to know I care about her skills too.

Balancing the two is hard!!!

How do I encourage them both when their experiences so far are very different?  How do I let Caitlyn know how pleased I am without seeming to diminish Sue’s progress?  How do I show my pride in Caitlyn, without making Sue feel like she has to prove herself to me by running?

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I sincerely don’t know how to balance it all.  I catch myself when I feel like I am going overboard.  I try to remember to speak highly of both of them within their hearing.

I try.  I really do.