Monthly Archives: October 2016

Snow–We Had Snow Saturday

Okay, so it was 50+ degrees and lovely outside, but we still had snow.

2016-10-29 15.10.35

Our church hosted their second trunk or treat this year.  Last year we were overwhelmed at the response and everyone was out of candy 20 minutes into the deal.  This year, I decided to be prepared.  I started buying large bags of candy 6 weeks ahead of time.  We went through 12 of those bags over the two hours of the event.  We were left with just 2 bags.

2016-10-29 13.42.52

Last year we did a Noah’s Ark, jungle, animal theme.  This year, we did a winter wonderland, candy, Olaf, pizza theme.

Olaf was made of 1 beanbag wrapped in a piece of white curtain, one layer was stuffed with quilting fluff, and the top was freehand drawn by my husband on posterboard.  Our falling snow was made up of hand cut snowflakes stapled to thick yarn.  The lollipops were built and painted by my husband and wrapped in colored cellophane.  The pizzas (don’t ask, I don’t know) were made out of construction paper.  The girls were live snowflakes–draped in white curtain panels with posterboard snowflakes on their front and back.

2016-10-29 13.43.04

My hubby and girls were the creative forces behind this project.  I am so proud of their work and their great attitudes.  I am not creative, but I have lots of craft supplies, so I provided those.

2016-10-29 15.10.32

We had a great time passing out candy to 1000+ people!!

My Pumpkin is Teal

We headed out to the pumpkin patch with an aunt and grandma a couple weeks ago.  I told the girls to make sure to get me a teal pumpkin.

They looked and looked and finally brought me a green one, declaring it as close to teal as they could find.  Grandma and I had a good laugh as I explained, pumpkins themselves, obviously, only come in orange once they are ripe and that mama would paint a nice pumpkin teal to put on our porch for Trick or Treaters.

We are blessed that none of our girls have food allergies and that my food issues are only sensitivities.  That is not the case for everyone  For whatever reasons, food allergies are becoming more and more common, and many times can be deadly, so a while back, the Teal Pumpkin campaign started.  Having a Teal Pumpkin at your house, on your porch, lets people know you have peanut/nut free items you are passing out for Trick or Treaters.

My girls have now become experts in finding the candy we can pass out with our Teal Pumpkin.  Patrice was looking at each bag last night at the store, “nope, nope, nope–oh this one is nut free mommy!!”

This is our second year with a Teal Pumpkin.  We have all nut/dairy free candy and a number of non-candy items to give out this year.

I want kids to have a safe, fun place the Trick or Treat.  I want moms and dads to have a safe place to bring their kids for Trick or Treating.

I can’t change the world for everyone, but I can, for at least one moment, let these kids be kids and the parents breathe easier.


Will the Words Come

My mom married young and had me young.  She and my biological dad split when I was 4.  She then met my dad who raised me, right away.  He was a good daddy.  He taught me to tie my shoes, he braided my hair, he painstakingly taught me how to ride a two-wheeled bike.  He could be very harsh and hard to understand, but all in all, he loved me.

I wish I could say the same of my bio dad.  My mom lied to me for many years, taking all the blame for their break up and his lack of involvement in my life.  And I believed her until I got married.

When he declared he couldn’t come up for my wedding, even when my soon to be hubby offered to buy his plane ticket.  He didn’t want to come…to his only child’s wedding.  Did you catch that?  Only.

That’s when it dawned on me that my mom had been lying to me my entire life…she said it was her fault he wasn’t in my life, but it wasn’t.  He could have chosen to be involved, to be a dad, but instead he chose to live several states away, never writing or calling.

He’s never made any effort to see any of my three beautiful girls.  He’s never called to thank  me for sending pictures or ask how they are.  They are his only grandchildren, and they know nothing of him.

And you know what I realized slowly, over the years, he doesn’t love me.  And it is nothing I have done or haven’t done, it just is.  He doesn’t love me.  He has always loved his pets fiercely so maybe if I had four legs, I would be worthy of his love, but as a biped, I am worthy of nothing.  Absolutely, none of his love.

I could tell you it’s okay.  I could tell you I have love from many other people, and I do, but that doesn’t make up for it.

I watch how my hubby loves his daughters, fiercely, daily, constantly.  It is beautiful and I am so glad they have that–so glad.  But sometimes it just serves to remind me what I don’t have from the man who is supposed to be my dad.  It’s gone, maybe it was never there, but it sure won’t be returning.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, it stinks to realize you biological father doesn’t love you.

There She Goes

“Go Caitlyn Go!!”  I have yelled that countless times since August 16 when Caitlyn and Sue started cross country practice.

Caitlyn loved the running, Sue loved the social time.

I ached watching Caitlyn put her heart and soul into the running and see little success.  She ran with such determination at every practice, from her very first step to her last.  But again and again she was beat by her sister and her teammates.  And yet, she never wavered, she never gave up.

She ran at practice, she started running in the mornings with me.  I was so, so proud of her every single time.  All heart and determination.  And right at the end of the season we saw some of her power come out as she plowed through her last meet with just over a 10 minute mile.

2016-10-08 08.27.06

While she was running cross country, she also trained with me for a 5k (3.1 miles).  Yesterday was the day.  We got up before dawn to get a decent breakfast and head on our way.

2016-10-15 06.34.02

Don’t mind the scratches on my nose.  I fell a couple days before the race while taking a short walk.  I landed on my face and managed to break my glasses, scratch up my nose (not broken, as first feared), and bruised up my knee.

2016-10-15 08.03.09

A couple days before, my sweet girl had asked me if it was okay if she ran ahead of me for the first mile “you’ll catch up to me in mile 2 I’m sure.”  Well, she sure did pull ahead of me–and I never saw her again.  My Caitlyn finished the race in 34 minutes and 6 seconds.  She ran a mile pace of 10 minutes 58 seconds!!!  She finished in 2 place of the girls ages 10-13 who ran.  I couldn’t be more proud.  Honestly, I couldn’t.

She finished WAYYYYY ahead of me yesterday and as I finally ran up to the finish line, I heard a voice yelling, “go MOMMY go!!!!”

2016-10-15 09.27.52

I can’t wait to run with her again–and watch out cross country, we’ll be unleashing a powerhouse on you next season!


Over the Sink

Tonight I stood over the sink crying.

Yesterday, I sat in a car praying I would not be sick all over myself.

I’ve lost a pound this week, not the way you are supposed to.

Sick. Sick. Sick.

I’m 98% sure it is due to a recent dose increase on one of my meds.  I vaguely remember being sick like this when I first started lithium 5 years ago.  I refuse to remember how long being this sick last.

Lithium is one of my mainstays.  It has kept me solid and steady like no other, but I kid you not, I am *this* close to calling the doctor tomorrow and throwing in the towel.

I am a grumpy, wimpy mess when I am this sick.  I do not soldier on well.

Well, that’s not entirely true…Caitlyn was looking forward to our run today so I gathered up all my courage and we pounded out 3.1 miles.  When we started running together, just a month ago, I could do a decent job of pulling away from her in mile 2 and 3.  Not today.  I could get a few paces ahead, but she took over the stride right away.  I no longer sound like a dying cow while running the first mile and she no longer gets lost behind me.  We’ve both gotten stronger.  I can’t believe our first 5k together is just 6 days away.  We are both pretty excited.

I made it to the last cross country meet of the season yesterday.

Both girls did very well.  It was amazing to see their progress since we started this in August.

Caitlyn was looking forward to our run today so I gathered up all my courage and we pounded out 3.1 miles.  When we started running together, just a month ago, I could do a decent job of pulling away from her in mile 2 and 3.  Not today.  I could get a few paces ahead, but she took over the stride right away.  I no longer sound like a dying cow while running the first mile and she no longer gets lost behind me.  We’ve both gotten stronger.  I can’t believe our first 5k together is just 6 days away.  We are both pretty excited.

I did my best to get through today, and I think did a decent job, went running, went pumpkin picking as a family, I pressed on.  But the reserves are pretty depleted.  And I am kind of freaking out.  What if a night’s sleep doesn’t get me ready for tomorrow?  How will I wrangle three little girls?  How will I get us to piano lessons?

Every day is so full.

Good, but full.


All That Falls

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

2016-10-04 16.00.14 2016-10-04 16.00.27 2016-10-04 16.00.37 2016-10-04 16.06.51 2016-10-04 16.07.01 2016-10-04 16.07.09 2016-10-04 16.07.22 2016-10-05 10.00.04 2016-10-05 10.00.11 2016-10-05 10.00.20

We painted q-tip fall trees 🙂


Anxiety is

The girls, particularly Caitlyn, have loved doing cross country this year.  And I have enjoyed getting to know the coach’s wife.  She is so sweet and she is one tough cookie…she has been to just about every practice and meet while wrangling three small children and being overdue with baby number 9.

Well baby #9, their second girl, finally came!!!  And it is time to sign up to bring meals.  I have taken meals to tons of people over the years.  It has always brought me so much joy.  Until Patrice came.  And then, like everything else, the joy got twisted into anxiety and stress.

But I shoved down as much of my anxiety and signed up for a meal as quickly as I could before the anxiety freaked me out again…and then laid awake worrying last night.

What if I don’t cook enough for a family of 11 (yes, I understand the baby won’t actually be eating what I bring), what if I accidently include a food allergen, then they will have to cook for some of the family anyway and it won’t really help, and is butter a dairy allergen, and what if they don’t eat pork?

All of this has put my anxiety at high alert.  And it is still at high alert.  I’m not even signed up to take the meal until October 22.  Thinking about it makes me want to vomit.  Repeatedly.

I have shoved down this fear and anxiety more times than I can count and I still have weeks to go.

Anxiety is a jerk.  A big jerk.