TT: Normal Life

Thankful Thursday Logo bAnother week… yep still in a hotel. Hotel living gives you an appreciation of normal life. And maybe that’s what I’ve been needing to learn here. In everyday life it’s easy to get into ruts, things to be boring, and for us to become ungrateful for the blessings we have. In the “bla” of everyday we stop seeing those smaller blessings that really make our everyday wonderful, and functional.

Having a proper kitchen, I have always been grateful of a good kitchen, but not having one for a month and a half lets me know how much I truly appreciate it. And it also lets me know that you really can get by with much less than we have. And we take it all for granted.

We have so much luxury, so much technology to make our lives easier, it all becomes the everyday to us and we don’t see how truly miraculous it all really is. How lucky we really are to have it in our lives.

Yes we’re going to forget, and start to take things for granted. We’ll get in our ruts, and complain. But then we’ll get to have something happen to help us remember how blessed we are, and how much we have. We just have to realize that bad days help us see, and appreciate the good ones. Use them to re-adjust our perspective, not seeing the bad day today, but the blessings that are always around us. Even in bad days we have many blessings. And I’m grateful to have these moments of realization to change my perspective. And get out of my self pity parties. Because there are so many miracles in everyday life for me to appreciate.

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TT:

Thankful Thursday Logo bThis week has been rough. Really rough. Lots of different issues and stresses to deal with. Having things wait and be on hold till one thing is taken care of. Looking at homes is somewhat stressful for us anyway, but it’s also been on a partial hold until this week. One thing after another, and several odd things altogether, making it feel like everyone is dishonest and trying to nickel and dime us. I know that’s not the case, but it can seem that way when there are several unexpected expenses close together. Seems too much for coincidence, but it is just coincidence. Ugh.

But on the bright side (which is what Thankful Thursday posts are about) we got to start making some new friends a little this week. We went over to their house for dinner, the kids played great together, and we all had fun. Yay! Cuz putting myself out there to make new friends super stresses me out. Introvert! (Don’t you wish you lived by our new friends? They are super lucky with these views!)LWRES_2175LWRES_2180Also on Tuesday a friend came out to see us. We met them in New England, then they moved for fellowship (the last possible stage of residency). They have lived in the next state over from where we just moved for the last year, and are moving out west this weekend. So it was super fun to have a small overlap of time where we lived only a few hours away. Since all their stuff is basically packed they road tripped it over here to hang with us on our new beach and have some fun for the day before driving back home. Being able to hang out and see them again, plus have fun socializing with new people has really been what’s made this tough week possible to get through. So grateful for those tender mercies.

Oh and on the fun stressful side, I get to go solo with the kids in the hotel starting next week as DrH starts residency… (a very feeble) Yay. But then we’ll get some money coming in instead of JUST going out. So that’s good.

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Pulling the penguin back out to help me through this transition.

Its Coming!

2 weeks!!!! Ahhhhhh, that’s all we have left before we move. Moving is one of those things that always seems like it’s next month. But then you realize it’s for real happening, and not in the dreamy future, but now! Always a weird feeling, that.

When I got married I moved out of the parent’s house and never looked back. Would have liked to move out sooner, but couldn’t afford rent AND film/processing (photo major). But we still lived around the same area that I knew. Fast forward a bunch of years, when we found out we got into Med School in New England… Well that was truly my first time moving away from home. It was hard. I felt sad that I couldn’t take all the good things with me and continue on. Life was going to go on without me there, and I was going to miss it all.

My family was having a family reunion the week we moved and posting pictures on Facebook. It kinda really sucked the first few weeks. And it was harder than I thought it would be. When we went home for Christmas that first year, I was just barely starting to feel like we belonged in New England. But then going home was weird. It didn’t feel like home for the first time in my life. And when we got back to New England, it didn’t quite feel like home anymore either. For a few months I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. And then it was home, and going to the west was visiting.

And now I have to leave home again. But this time I know better what type of emotions to expect, and that I can get through it. It’s sad leaving, but we aren’t the only ones moving on this time. Nor are we the first in our group of friends from out here. I still expect to feel homesick and all that, but I feel more excited and ready emotionally this time. And I’m excited to see what adventures will come our way from this move. T-2 weeks till real Mexican food! Bigger beaches! And a whole lot of unknown fun!

TT: Selling

Thankful Thursday Logo bSo we have a house out West. We bought it long before med school was on the table. And when we moved to New England for school, we couldn’t sell our house at the time. So we rented it out. These last renters were pretty hard on the property. So it took way longer to get on the market than we thought it would. But we finally got it on last week, and in the first 2 days we had 17 showings and 2 offers, with the 3rd day giving 4 more showings and 2 more offers.

We knew the market was good for selling right now, but we still didn’t expect everything to happen so quickly or for the 1st 2 offers to be above asking. Huzzah! Here’s hoping everything goes through with this contract, it’ll give us a way to have a down payment in our new area. Yay for not paying rent (which is higher than mortgages) over the next 5 years!

God knows what He’s doing. Knowing that selling now was going to be way better for us than selling 4 years ago. Not just because of the market, but because the sale gives a way to have our own home in the Mid West. I am thankful for times like these, when the Lord allows me to see why dealing with certain trials is actually better for me temporally. And that’s not to mention it helping me grow stronger in life, grow closer to the Lord, and have more faith.

TT: The Match!

Thankful Thursday Logo bIt’s finally here! Tomorrow we find out where we match for residency. It’s so weird to think that we are at the end of the med school portion of this journey. It always seemed like something in the distant future. And now it’s actually our turn, we’re not seeing it happen to someone else, it’s happening to us!

It’s a bit like having kids get older and hit certain milestones. You think to yourself “I’m not old enough to have a kid ___ age, or doing _______” I keep thinking I’m dreaming and that DrH still has endless years of school. But no, this is his last few months of Med School, and of College of any kind! (only 12 years of college total). I don’t even know what it feels like for him not to be going to school, lol. But I’m super excited for the recognition of all our hard work. And mostly just excited to finally find out where we’re going for residency. And to finally start making plans about it.

Good luck to all 2016 med grads/matches!

Not What I Expected PT 1

A long time ago in a land far away (ie 2003 in another state) I was nearing the end of classes for my Associate’s. And as I sat in the business class I just had this thought come to me, “I won’t be doing this as a profession, it’s going to be more important to have a family.” The type of photography I wanted to do at the time was photojournalism of some sort. And I knew that in that type of work it would be really hard to start and mother a family. At least for me, I’m not that great at distance relationships. Always going places for assignment, or being out shooting all the time so I could get a few freelance jobs. There wouldn’t  be enough time for me to also devote to my family.

Do know what makes this really crazy?! I wasn’t even dating anyone at the time. What?! But I knew how important it would be for me to have a family, so I started trying to think of what else I could do in life. I really struggled, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought from age 16 that I would do some type of photography for my work. I freaked out inside a lot of days, my personality likes to plan and I couldn’t plan anything since I had no idea what else really interested me. So when I suddenly found myself engaged a few months later I had a huge sigh of relief. I knew what my future was to an extent and I didn’t need to worry anymore about any of that growing up nonsense. I would get married, we’d work and have fun, and eventually have kids. So I was set for the next 10-15 years at least right? I would be a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) and I would think about what I want to be when I grow up later.

It took some time and emotional toll, but eventually we had a baby. And he was beautiful! At the time I worked part time as a crossing guard. And I continued this until just before the birth of our second son. And then I knew I needed to stay home full time with them. And so I did. And it wasn’t anything like I expected. My days weren’t that full, I wasn’t feeling fulfilled, my friends worked so I had no one to hang out with during the day. The second pregnancy and birth threw off my hormones a lot too, our second car died right around that time. So I found myself, stuck at home, lonely, nothing to do, no one to do it with, and even if there would have been something I would still have no way to get there to do it. And I was depressed. I mean all that is depressing enough on it’s own, but I had depression as well.

Parent Expectations

Credit: Pict one,  Pict two

I’ve struggled over the years. I liked being a SAHM, but it was also lonely, and somewhat unfulfilling. Seriously, kids don’t thank you for all your hard work, and it started seeming as if nothing I did really mattered. And the few times I was with other adults, ha, my contribution to the convo was how I’d seen a Curious George episode about that. Don’t get me wrong, I love Curious George, but he’s not really adult kind of talk.

A few weeks ago I found this post on Facebook. And it really got me thinking about my experiences as a SAHM. It’s called 10 Dark Parenting Truths. #4 and 5 really struck me.

4. You might give up pieces of yourself that you once loved

No one has it all. No mother. No father. No person. All of life involves sacrifice, and parenting always demands its share of it.

It’s like those friends who stay, or return, or never come back at all. Some dreams and passions and loves stay even after the babies are born. Some return. Others don’t.

 

As a SAHM struggling with depression and other fun stuff, I had lost some of my identity. One day I realized I didn’t know who I was besides a Mom. I didn’t know what I liked anymore. Mothering and depression had taken over and I lost all other identity. It was overwhelming! I prayed a lot, and cried a lot. Then I started to write some. What I liked about myself (I love my long hair). Things I used to like. Things I felt I still liked. Things that interested me, things I wanted to do some day. Things others saw in me. It’s taken some time, and I’m still not fully there, but over the past 5-6 years I’ve been piecing me together again, and seeing who I am today. Finding that I am a mom, and a wife, but also so much more. Getting help with the depression made a HUGE difference in this.

5. You might find parenting unfulfilling

In fact, I would argue that parenting is not completely fulfilling for anyone—nor should it be. Our children’s lives cannot and should not consume our own (much as they might devour our time and attention). Our children are not and should not be viewed as extensions of ourselves.

Parenting can fill one with love and wonder and joy. But it cannot take the place of all the other possible loves and wonders and joys in the world.

Reading about these two things has helped put all the past crap I went through into perspective, and also taught me I’m not alone or abnormal in these feelings. Being a SAHM wasn’t what I thought it would be, but I’m still so glad that I did it. Not much in life ever happens the way we think it will, or feel the way we thought/want. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it, in fact somewhere along the way we find out a little bit more about ourselves, life, and those we love. And it’s great! Different than we though, but great!

 

TT: Happy New Year

Thankful Thursday Logo bWhen my blog alarm went off the boys were having fun on the computer so I let them, and then promptly got distracted. So here it is two days later, but the feelings haven’t changed.

Starting a new year always leads to reflection (at least I think it does for everyone, maybe I’m wrong). We think back on the year and see the good, the highlights, sometimes with a few low lights. And then we think on to what might be this year.

This year we let the boys stay up until 10pm and did a little countdown and party with sparkling cider. It was a lot of fun seeing them excited and having fun. And yes they were very grumpy the next morning- they don’t know how to sleep in. This year we missed seeing the ball drop, but better than that I got to play games late into wee hours with my very best friend, DrH. We had some great family time on New Years, finally have some snow, and I only had to work half day on New Years Eve. And with the snow the boys got to go out back and snowboard down the hill. Santa brought another so now they don’t have to take turns.

And in all this reflection and looking forward to new adventures I got to have one of those awesome moments when you feel incredible blessed and happy. And it got to last. I still feel nervous about where we’ll match, and I have no idea what this year will bring, but I know there will be plenty of blessings stuffed in along the way.

Happy New Year!