Saturday, February 21, 2009

The me I used to be

I can't remember the last time I saw her, face relaxed and smiling, eyes sparkling. I know it was before stress and tension caused the night time teeth grinding and clenching, before it forever changed the line of her jaw into something tight, tense, older looking.

I know she used to laugh more, smile more, and go entire days at a time without feeling as if her stomach were turning inside out. Those wrinkles weren't around her eyes. Tears were almost always close to the surface, but they could just as easily be from laughter, joy or simply being moved as from grief, pain or fear. I know there were times she felt broken, but there were times in between that she either felt whole or felt confident she would be again.

I want to tell her it's going to be okay again. That all this sucks, it really really sucks, but God is there even if he feels far away. That he is carrying her through this even if she feels so weighed down she struggles to lift her legs to climb the stairs. I know she knows the only way out is through, and I watch her struggle to open her mouth to talk about it, watch her struggle to hold it together when it feels as if everything has shattered into a million pieces. I want to remind her she is loved, that there is always hope, and the sun will come up tomorrow even if it's still cold outside.

I watch her grasp at the moments that make her happy - playing with the children, moments of laughter with her husband, and I want to point to those things and say, "see! even with all of this, look at the miracles you hold in your hands. They haven't slipped away yet, you can keep this family together. You can."

I tell her, as much as I can, but I say it softly....for fear that these conversations in the mirror might just really prove that she has cracked once and for all.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I keep meaning to update, but the truth of what's going on for us right now is harsh enough without seeing it in writing.

The kids are doing well, for which I am eternally grateful. The rest seems to be falling apart and we're barely holding it together.

The economy stinks and our business is seeing the effects big time, my health is still not right and I'm also fighting the effects of an increased dose of antidepressants in hopes that the bad effects are temporary and the good ones kick in soon.

Mentally it's the worst possible time for me to take on more, but I've had to. I'm lucky to have found two great kids to watch alongside my own for some supplemental income, but at the end of the day I'm absolutely spent. I have no energy left and I can only hope that gets a bit better soon. I think once we hit a groove, it will, but meanwhile I'm treading water. My dad's health issues don't really help matters.

It's not all bad -I love my husband and my children immensely and each day we have found several things to laugh about. I thank God for that, and hope he helps us hold this all together.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A girl and her daddy.

We now live about a mile from my husband's office, making it easy for him to come home for lunch most days. For the family cook (me) it has meant an adjustment to what lunch means, in general. He'd grown used to leftovers being sent for lunch - complete with a main dish, fruit, vegetable and sometimes even a treat. Meanwhile, it wasn't uncommon for me to fix a mixed plate at home - a bit of cheese, a handful of grapes, some baby carrots and a chunk of cooked chicken or turkey. Sometimes it was just a reheated waffle and some fruit. With all of us eating together, those worlds have collided and the family cook (me) has needed to adjust to being prepared to serve a full meal.

There have been some benefits - leftovers never go to waste now, I've learned to plan for each meal to count at least twice. My husband's wasitline has gotten smaller as he can no longer forget his lunch (conveniently or otherwise) and dash out to the fast food place down the street. Our house is closer than any of them.

There have also been drawbacks. I'm not always in the mood for a full lunch, but the opportunity to sit down as a family has meant that's what I do. I've learned to use the small plate from our set instead of the full dinner plate and that has helped. Our routine is off at times, as often Joseph wants a nap right as daddy is coming home for lunch, and there are days I'd like to put Emily down a bit earlier but she is NOT about to go down for a nap while Daddy is still home for lunch.

The best part, I think, has been the opportunity for the kids to see their dad in the middle of the day. Sometimes he has to work late. At the old house that could easily mean he didn't see them at all that day. This way, he's guaranteed to see them and when they are in good spirits. Well, most of the time. He gets to see how excited they are to see him and he gets to hear my daughter squeal with delight when he opens the garage door. I don't think any of us would trade the newest part of our routine.

Garage door opens, he walks inside. He hears Emily squeal and yell, "hide! hide!" and she races to one of three hiding spots. No matter how I've tried to talk to her about how hide and seek is supposed to work, her next step is usually to yell, "come find me, Daddy!" often followed by "I'm hiding...." and tells him exactly where.

He finds her. They laugh. Then she asks, "will you marry me?"

I don't remember how that last part started, but it's such proof of her love for her Dad.....and it makes them both light up when she asks and he accepts.

No matter how hard things have been around here at times, those moments make my day.