October 31, 2014

Digging Deep for Smiles and Gratitude

I've gotta try to do this.

Because I'm not in a great place right now.

And I really want to pull myself up.

But it's hard when there's so much weighing you down.

Like today being one week since the school shooting in my town. Or this year of continuous health complications for my husband.

I feel like I am surrounded by grief and loss and heartache. Perhaps I'm too empathetic. Maybe I should have a thicker skin.

But I don't. That's not who I am.

I'm walking a fine line between letting myself feel however I feel, and not wallowing in it.

I realize this might not be the best way to begin a happy/thankful list, but it's the truth.

October 29, 2014

9 Quotes to Help with Grieving

Ever since the tragic event that occurred in my town last Friday,
I haven't been able to give a darn about anything I would normally blog about.

Between that and the grief and sadness I've already been feeling from
all the changes in my husband....plus all of the family losses my BFF has experienced this year....

I thought I'd share some helpful, inspiring, VALIDATING
quotes about grief and loss. To help myself, and maybe you too if you need it.

October 27, 2014

There Has Been a School Shooting in My Town

On Friday morning, October 24, 2014, at 10:39 AM, freshman Jaylen Fryberg brought a gun to Marysville-Pilchuck High School, invited five of his friends to have lunch with him, walked into the cafeteria and shot all five, two of whom are his cousins. He then shot himself.

I was 3.9 miles away, welcoming my husband home from dialysis and doing a little housework.

A few minutes later the local news app I use pushed a breaking news notification to my phone. I very often don't even pay much attention to them. I did tap this one and read a headline about a possible school shooting here in Marysville.

"Oh God, no", I muttered.

And immediately went into GET-ALL-THE-INFORMATION mode.

I was holding out hope that the word "possible" would turn out to mean that that's NOT what happened.

Alas, it was true.

October 26, 2014

I've Had Two Babies and I'm 40...so LBL Happens

LBL = light bladder leakage.

That's right, I'm talking about pee.

You know, we are born unable to control our bladders....and then GIVING BIRTH lessons the control we worked so hard at age two or three to gain!

Full circle? Irony? Cruel joke?

Whatever it is, it's really darn annoying.

I promise you, I have done my share of kegel exercises. And I know I'm not alone in this. I think I have, like, one friend who claims to not have this issue even after having four babies.

I think she's lying.

October 23, 2014

Confessions of a Blogger: Spreading Bloggy Social Media Love

Bloggers love getting comments on their posts. As long as they're not from ugly internet trolls or spammers, that is.

I love them too, don't get me wrong.

But here's the thing, another aspect of this blogging gig is the use of social media to tell people about our posts so they will get read in the first place.

The social media platforms are busy, and different from one another. Twitter streams fly by right before our eyes, Facebook continues to change the rules on us and so many of us still don't fully get Google+....

October 22, 2014

Grieving for the Man He Used to Be

My husband is not the same man he used to be. Every health setback he suffers shoves this fact in my face.

It's been on my mind a lot lately.

After a good friend died seven year ago I participated in a grief counseling group with mutual friends of hers. I learned a lot from it.

One of the biggest things I learned, that I didn't already know, is that loss comes in many forms. Death isn't the only way we experience loss.

Mark is alive, but we are most definitely grieving the loss of the healthier man he used to be.

And all the changes.

October 20, 2014

5 Little Ways I Take Time for Myself

I have been asked about how I could possibly find time for myself with all I have on my plate as a mother, wife and caregiver.

I pointed this out in my first Ask Jen post, but I'll just say again, I'm not aiming for any sort of perfect. I'm not going to cry in my Cheerios if something doesn't get done.

In fact, I must admit I completely forgot about my son's school picture day earlier this month. The school sent home the order form and I fully intended to place an order online beforehand and send AJ to school looking sharp. But because I spaced it (the order form got lost under other papers and I didn't write it on the calendar), he wore some graphic tee and probably shorts that day.

That's a bummer, but it's not the end of the world. I got some nice pictures of him last year, and I can try again next year.

I may not be campaigning for the Perfection of Womanhood Award, but we all know it's a pretty universal female trait to think of ourselves last. We are natural nurturers.

October 17, 2014

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

As soon as I saw the topic for this month's Old School Blogging, this song started playing in my head:

And it has been stuck in there for DAYS. Hopefully getting this written and done will purge it from my brain!

Is it in your head now? Mwahaha.