Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One Year Down

By the end of this week I will be done with my first year of graduate school at Western. It has been an interesting year. It has been a great year. It has been a year unlike any I have ever known. I have learned so much about myself during this past year. I have learned there are some really crazy people out there and some of them end up teaching you in graduate school. I have learned that I love helping people who are hurting, going through difficult times and need a person to help them through the foggy abyss that life can sometimes feel like. I have learned that I love hospital social work. I have learned that the world of neurological rehabilitation is fascinating and terrifying all at the same time. I have realized that I really should never take one moment of my life for granted. That my health and that of those I love is such a precious gift. I have learned just how much a medical crisis can impact your life and those who love you. I have met some wonderful new friends who have reminded me of what it's like to be younger and idealistic. I have learned that even though I have 37 years of knowledge and experience, I don't know it all. I have learned that sometimes you just have to shut up and listen. I have learned that you can take something, whether it is a lesson in what you should never do again or what you aspire to be like ,from everyone you're privileged to know and interact with in this world. I have learned that sometimes there are situations in this world that are unfair and sometimes there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. Still, even through the disbelief and the anger, you can choose to learn from the crap that happens too, that there are lessons in all of the moments that make up your life. I have learned that I love being a student. I love having something for myself. I have learned that I do not miss being a stay at home mom. I have learned that dreams change. I have learned that I am blessed beyond measure to have a husband that is so supportive of me and my goals. I have learned that not everyone is so lucky. I have learned to just let the little things that bug me about being in relationship and marriage for nearly ten years because the big things are really what counts. I have learned that when challenged about my morals and values and faith that I am able to proudly hold my head high and speak MY truth. I have learned that sometimes my TRUTH isn't others and that's o.k. too! And finally, I have learned that I  am more REPUBLICAN than DEMOCRAT! Gasp!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Matthew!

Matthew will be seven on Saturday. How can that be?? I started this blog when he was just 8 months old. Has that much time passed??? Oh, Matthew. What a boy he has become over this last year. He has matured so much. In fact, if you were to tell me what our boy would be like now, when he was 18 months old, I would have called you a big ol'liar! I can hardly believe the toddler that once drove me to the brink of insanity could become such an obedient, follow the rules at all costs kind of a kid. He had really come into his own this past year. Matthew continues to be thoughtful and patient and considerate. Although Caroline may beg to differ sometimes:) Ellie adores him and he is such a wonderful big brother to both Caroline and Ellie.
He continues to love Star Wars, Indiana Jones, hockey, and Wii!! He has many friends at school and seems to get along no matter where he goes. Matthew is a home body. He is most content when he is home in his pj's, playing Wii or hanging out with his Daddy. Speaking of which, Matthew is very much a Daddy's boy. He loves to have spend time with Jeff playing sports, watching movies, reading, playing games and beating him on the Wii!
Lately I find myself just wanting to hug him and love on him as much as I can. I know that as he gets older the more likely it is that he won't want his mommy to hug him randomly. I hope not but I am preparing myself. Matthew adds so much to our lives. I am so grateful that seven years ago we were blessed with our special, sweet, kind little buddy. Happy 7th Birthday sweet boy!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Dear Caroline and Ellie (when you're in college)

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the fact that I have daughters. Well, I guess not so much that I have them, but that they will grow up to be teenagers. The thought frightens me to my core. I think back to my teen years and feel like I really wasn't all that awful to deal with. Although I think if you asked my parents, especially my dad, he would say I certainly had my moments. In fact, I have seen him laughing ever so slyly under his breath when Caroline sasses me. It's like he's thinking, "Payback, baby, PAYBACK!" I still get made fun of for my overuse of the word "Whatever" to them whenever I was annoyed by their disregard for what I wanted to do. I don't remember being overly rebellious. I hung out with a great group of girls who had my best interest at heart. I guess that is the first thing I would tell my girls, choose your friends wisely. I remember so many times, hearing my dad say, usually to my brother," If you hang around garbage you start to stink!" So true. The thing about being a teenager/young adult,what have you, is that your are sometimes drawn to the bad girls. Please, sweet girls, RUN from them! I pray they find great, solid, Christian friends who share their faith and yet want to have adventures.
I also remember thinking to myself before I left for college at Central Michigan University, " I am going to drink and have such a good time!" and we're not talking lemonade, folks. Well, maybe it was lemonade but it was heavily spiked with vodka.Drinking and doing it to excess was at the root of every bad decision I ever made in college. I am not saying that I expect my kids will never drink. Will I be the kind of parent who gives my kids alcohol in our basement or turns the other way when they do it underage? No, I won't. My parents didn't and I always felt that it set appropriate boundaries. I never stole alcohol from my parents. I would say to my girls and my boy, for that matter, be very careful with alcohol. It is very alluring and a fair weather friend that turns into a foe very quickly.
Speaking of drinking and bad decisions. I certainly want my girls to guard their hearts and their virtue. That's all I have to say about that.
At the end of the day, I desire for my girls to know their own hearts and convictions. I want them to follow the path I have tried to set before them because THEY have a desire to do so. I want them to be faith filled and Christ filled because they are. Do I expect perfection? Certainly not! Do I know they will stumble and even be led astray, sadly, yes I know this is probable. Yet, I believe that if we build a solid foundation and model this in our own lives, that they will come back to what they know, in the end, is right for them.
There is a song by Mumford and Sons called "Roll away your stone" it is an awesome song and there is a line in there that sums the grace I always want to extend to my children,
It seems that all my bridges have been burnt
But you say that's exactly how this grace thing works
It's not the long walk home that will change this heart
But the welcome I receive with the restart

Dear Caroline and Ellie and Matthew too, Know you can always come home. NO matter where you've been or what you've done. Grace will always be here for you.