Tuesday, January 31, 2017

On Grief

It seems like no time and a long time since we lost the Double B's Dad. Like any great loss, there is a 'before' and an 'after'.
Because he'd lived such a good life and was so old and had many brushes with death, it wasn't totally unexpected, but it still came quickly when it came and left us without that pillar.
I am thankful for the tender times that came with that in our marriage, that I could be there for my beloved and he could be there for me with such an emotional loss. But I also knew it would cause some turbulence, even if his passing was not totally unexpected. And it has.
It just occurred to me tonight how much it is affecting us, really.
Maybe more for me then for my BB, because he's been preparing for this from a very early age. But maybe not. For the most part the Double B feels very at peace and relieved his Dad is not suffering, so I believe it is really on a subconscious level that it shakes things for him (he'll probably disagree with me when he finally reads this in fifty years or so. But too bad. I'm the author here).
But I know it is deeply needling me, and I haven't realized how very much.
The whole reason I started this blog eight years ago was so I could deal with my grief over losing my grandma. I had to write, I had to let it out. I had to be real. I need to do that again. Embrace the writing and the need to express instead of running from it. That it's okay, and normal, and if I let it out it could be cathartic and healing.
As a couple, we are certainly more aggrevated with each other then usual. More petty annoyances, and things said a little more sharply then normal. A general lack of communication. This has troubled me and annoyed the heck out of me, but when I look back, the same thing happened in our marriage in other times of grief. It's almost like our symptom.
As an individual, I am seeing it's effects. I have been dealing with massive anxiety lately. And have made a revisit into the old land of panic attacks brought on by nothing, like I haven't had for almost ten years. It is incredibly frustrating. I sincerely hate panic attacks. I realized this morning at five o'clock after panicking in my bed (while minding my own business and doing nothing to bring it on), that I truly hate them. It happens at lightning speed -- so fast. As I'm at that apex and then finally coming down from it -- feeling like I need to run and fight for my own life and I'm not even in danger -- I feel an absolute loathing and even tell God in my anger that I hate this life. In that moment it is painful and briefly true. Which makes me sad, because I've always been a lover of life. Then I come back, so I tell him sorry, I don't hate life, I just really hate that experience.
I was sitting here tonight feeling very tightly wound and wondering what on earth is creating that unrest in me. And then I realized. We had a big shake up in September. I miss Dad a lot. He was my friend, and I loved him, and I miss him a lot. I need to expect and understand it will influence me deeply, on the outside and on the inside. Physical loss, emotional loss, mental loss. Even when it's not obvious, even to yourself, it is lying underneath. If there is some mental anguish that follows losing him, it's a small price to pay for having had him.
I am glad I realized tonight it all fits together so that I can try to be patient with the after shocks.
The Double B and I process things very differently. Times like this just really emphasize that. And why would that not be okay? It IS okay. We'll just keep loving each other. I'll keep taking deep breaths and practicing my yoga poses, or whatever new fangled idea I've come up with that day.
Dad is loved. And that's not a bad thing. It's a very, very good thing.

Monday, January 30, 2017


On the 27th Katelyn lost a tooth! Right there on the bottom. You can see it through the hole in the top from her missing front tooth. 
We were quite surprised to realize that she had lost her first tooth on this EXACT DAY one year ago! So we are excited to proclaim January 27th as "National Katee Jill Loses A Tooth Day," or NKJLATD for short. 
The tiny card she made for the Tooth Fairy just melted me -- the Tooth Fairy kindly always leaves any notes for us to enjoy, too. Chocolate smeared and everything. On the front cover Kate had made a drawing of herself and the Tooth Fairy.
Inside it says "Dear Tooth Fairy, Today was awesome because literally I lost my tooth! Love, Katelyn."
Come on, now. What an angel girl.  

I am also proclaiming the last week of January "Annual Everyone Get Super Sick All At Once Week." My poor three youngest are all sick with a bad bug going around. Fevers, cough, upset tummy, runny/stuffy nose. Today was a Mom doozy! But it's supposed to last three days and this is day 2/3, so I'm hopeful we'll all survive. Benson fusses and falls asleep, Katelyn cries and thrashes because she can't breath out of her nose, Liv is stoic and sleepy. And nobody wants to eat. Poor little birds. Poor Momma and Daddy. Poor KJ who hates to be left out in the cold of good health. Benny even threw up on his beloved blankie this morning, and if you don't think that was insult to injury! 
Something tells me we'll make it through, though. Health and clear breathing noises to you all! 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Nap Musings

I made my Grandma's bread again. 
I don't know what it is, but when I make her bread recipe, I feel like a freaking champion.
I sent a picture to my Dad, as a good daughter should. It was pretty darn good, and I'm getting better at it. I realized recently that I was letting it rise for too long, and so I had to make it again to test my theory. I was correct (naturally).
It's amazing how I can just sit there and think about recipes. I don't crazy love to cook or bake, but it's a big part of my job, and the better I am at it, the more I like it. I like the problem solving aspect of it. I think that's why budgeting has become such a fun thing to me. I never thought I'd say it, but I love paying bills, because it's fun. I like the numbers (which is also something I never thought I'd say). A couple of weeks ago I presented the Double B with our new proposed 2017 budget for his acceptance or tweaking, and it got the thumbs up first try! Woot. But now I'm a little sad I have no new numbers to tweek.
Basically, for fun I think about recipes, budgets, and new diseases I'm probably dying from. What can I say? I'm a well-rounded and delightful individual. 
Yesterday I got a root canal. Every girls dream. But the awesome great news is, I found a dentist I love! He is nice, he is funny, he didn't make me feel like poo for having teeth that do their best but are "D" students, and it was the least pain ever for a root canal. He stayed right on top of the pain and sent me home with a prescription for lots of drugs. The lady at the Costco pharmacy was CLEARLY suspicious of me and asked kind of rude questions about what I would need those drugs for since I just had dental work. When I told the Double B, he was so mad at that lady! He was ready to march down to Costco and tell on her. Which makes me feel both dainty and protected, as is acceptable even though I'm a feminist. This morning my new dentist even called to check on me and make sure I'd been able to sleep last night. Dental dream boat, ladies and gentlemen. Yes, good sir, I will happily pay for your retirement! 
Well, I've been blogging on my phone laying on KJ's bed, waiting for Benson to fall asleep for my well-deserved nap break. He's asleep, and my job here is done. 

And... scene. 

Missy Foo Foo Turns Ten

Olivia turned ten. I sure wish she wouldn't grow up, but she keeps doing it, anyway! 
She had fancy pancakes for breakfast and Daddy and I picked her up from school for her birthday lunch. She picked Costco! Ha ha. A slice of cheese pizza, a drink, and a vanilla yogurt for the win. 
All she wanted party wise was her BFF Hadley to come over and have a scavenger hunt, which I did indeed accomplished (world's best mom, I guess!). They had a fun afternoon playing their pie in the face game and playing with their American Girl dolls. 
She picked Raising Cane's for dinner, based on her deep love of chicken strips. Daddy has no use for cluckers these days, so he was a martyr to the cause. Only fries and root beer for him, but he (almost) took it like a champion. 
Our other almost champion was Benson, whose life was ruined when Daddy wouldn't let him take off his shoes in the restaurant. He's like me and has absolutely no use for foot covering. So not being allowed to remove them was deeply emotional, as you can imagine. 
It was such a fun day. We love our kids and we are thankful they have good friends. 
Olivia is a profound joy to us. She is a darling girl -- charming, imaginative, and so extremely funny. And honestly, a talented rapper! She is one of the great loves of my life. She has my heart. 
And since ten is as old as my children are ever allowed to get, she'll be ten forever. Great plan, Marie. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Auld Lang Syne

The end of the 2016 has come upon us. 
It's always interesting to look back on the year. This one was a successful one for our family. It came with several big jolts, some just challenging and some very painful. It was at many times a hard year mentally. It was a good year with lots of very happy and sweet moments. My children grew and changed and are thriving beautifully. My husband has found continued success at work. We are striving more all the time to be wise stewards. And me, I'm still here, figuring it out. In many ways and in many moments, it's been great. 
Looking forward to many more adventures ahead...

Christmas 2016

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...
Christmas morning aftermath. 
Santa pulled through for us once again. Everyone received gifts they enjoyed and the most reasonable amount of sleep yet. 
Everyone came over for breakfast, we enjoyed church, visited Grandma B and exchanged gifts. 
It was a perfect Christmas day. I loved it so much. When I went in to check on the kids that night they were happily snoring away... in their fancy new sleep masks. My heart smiled. 

Christmas Eve

We went up to Grandma's the Tuesday before Christmas to support Mariah in some things and since the kids were out of school, we decided to go up and have Christmas with the family. It was lots of fun -- the only downside of this is that Benson was under the weather the whole week and I've never seen him so out of control and hard to help. It was both tragic and aggravating for everyone! Here he is sleeping behind the couch after throwing an epic fit. Grandma was watching him for a minute when it happened and couldn't coax him out. When I got back I just cracked up! What a handful. 
Since we'd be at Grandma's for Christmas Eve dinner, we went out for our annual dinner on the 23rd. We took our parents and Ben's Mom and we went to a Japanese hibachi grill. It was so fun to watch the kids experience that! Definitely a very special treat. 

Christmas Eve we relaxed and cooked and all gathered in the late afternoon. 
It was our first time being at my families Christmas Eve dinner in five years. It was so magical to be there! 
The Christmas spirit was strong and the company was great and the food was delicious! 
KJ and Addie officially graduated to the big table. These two are two peas in a pod. 
We played a fun game opening a gift with mittens on and a hilarious game we called "poop the potato" where we had to carry potatoes between our legs and drop them in buckets. Honestly so, so funny. Trina and Sil are the all time Champs. 
Both the kids and the grownups had fun with this one. 
Benson was playing with my phone and got this picture of three generations of feet. His, mine, and Grandma's. I totally love it, but I'm funny like that. 
The kids climbed into bed hoping Santa would appear! And late that night, the most magical sight of all... snow! It would be a white Christmas after all. I was so excited, because I knew how thrilled the kids would be. It was magic.