Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday! Happy Dance.

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) This country and the freedoms we enjoy every single day.

2) Friday afternoons and the beginning to the weekend.  We are set to go dress shopping tomorrow and I can't wait!  It should be fun.

From the Camera:

Ground Zero Memorial

From the Craft Room and Other Cool Things:

I'm thinking about making a burlap wreath for this fall.  A friend of mine made one like the one in the first photo.  It's super easy and all you do is fold the burlap kind of like a wonton and pin it to the wreath form.  How cool is that???

I also like the others too.  

Decisions Decisions....

Help me pick one. 

Please.




From the Heart and Spirit:

It is there, and it creeps up like a silent killer. Maybe it is the wet underwear that you found floating in the hallway bathroom. Or the cat food that has been flung out on the floor like tiny marbles waiting to trip up a passerby. Or the loud thumping and yelling and tantruming as if we live in some sort of primal age where roaring and beating your chest were the only way to get other’s attention.
And all of that madness and anger? It wasn’t the kids. It was me.  The mother. The one who left a pair of Superman undies in a bathroom we rarely use for days, fed the cat without my glasses after someone else forgot, and the loud, obnoxious, downright scary human being I can be when I have just had more than I can handle.
That’s the kind of thing that happens when you allow Satan to steal your motherhood.
No, it’s not the mistakes. It’s not the forgetfulness. It is what happens on the inside that no one else sees. And he knows just how to get to you.
He admires you, you know. But only when you yell at your kids, complain about tasks that need to be done regardless of how many people are in your home. He loves it when you wish you were the mom with the skinny jeans and tall boots and shiny hair with the perfectly groomed kids at the mall play area. You look at her and think you are sub-par. Satan loves that.
Satan also loves it when you get scared because someone posted a random video online of how their four year old can read, so you freak out that YOUR four year old is more interested in roaming outdoors and  playing with bobby pins and giving them names, so you panic because books are the last thing on her mind. Satan is clapping now.
Satan also adores you when you get on the phone and ignore your kids, when you hide your true feelings and dreams and frustrations with your husband with a weak “I’m fine”, and when you feel like this fun birthday party at the park for your children isn’t “the best” compared to someone else’s insanely expensive Pinterest celebration.
Satan wants you to fail. And to feel alone. And to feel inadequate to what Someone Else has CALLED you to do.
Because I might as well have left the front door unlocked and allowed a thief to come right in my home yesterday. I mean, why not? I let Satan in. After all the fussing and nagging and utter bone tired exhaustion, I crawled into bed with my three year old for a moment. Just to apologize.
“I am so sorry today was so rough”
“I didn’t think it was rough. I thought it was fun!”
“Really? Which part was fun?”
“The part where we played on the couch like we were on a boat. Where we ‘fished’ with your belt as a fishing line, and used the couch pillows for life boats”.
Tears started rolling down my cheeks.
“Please pray for me. That I can be a better Mommy”.
“Oh, I did! Earlier today. When it was sunny. Right before we played the boat game”.
Today I’m locking the door tight to whatever evil enters my heart and home.
Today I am going to remember the One who GIVES LIFE and knows I am a mess and LOVES ME ANYWAY.
I washed the undies. The cat took care of the food. That four year old is now six and can read like a champ. But she still names random things. And it’s cool that my hair is “shiny” because it is unwashed and I can’t wear tall boots because they make me taller than the guy that loves me to the moon and back.
Roll those cars down a ramp, read one more princess story, forget how “busy” you think you are and what the world thinks you should accomplish in a 24 hour period and for heaven’s sake, LOG OFF OF PINTEREST.
Take your kids and an old, worn blanket, reheat that coffee and hold them tight and just rest at the feet of Jesus for a moment.
Today? It is going to be okay. Take back your motherhood. It is a gift. Listen to the life-giver, NOT the liar.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. {John 10:10}

This post originally appeared at Letters From the Nest.


From the Kitchen:

Apple Coffee Cake

Cooking Spray
Floor as needed

Cake:

1/4 Cup butter, softened
3/4 Cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 Cup sour cream
1/4 Cup vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Cups diced Granny Smith apples

Topping:

1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.

Beat 1/4 cup butter and 3/4 cup brown sugar together with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Beat egg into butter mixture. Add sour cream, vanilla yogurt, and vanilla extract to the mixture; beat to integrate.

Stir 1 cup flour, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl; add to the butter mixture and beat to combine into a batter. Fold apples into the batter. Pour batter into prepared baking dish.

Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon together in a bowl using a fork to achieve a crumbly consistency; sprinkle over the top of the batter.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

From the Schmidt's:

Lexi found out that the 2nd person that asked her to Homecoming heard from someone else that she already had a date for the dance and he took back his invite.  Lexi was okay with that since she really didn't want to have to deal with it.  It's not easy to let someone down.

Danielle has been mapping out dress shops today.  We will be visiting a couple tomorrow.  I heard of a big one in Phoenix that specializes in modest wedding dresses in Phoenix that we will have to visit too.  I have to admit, I am excited about tomorrow, but at the same time I am a little sad too.  It's official!  My baby isn't a baby anymore and now she is getting ready to start a family of her own.  It's a happy time, but it's a chapter that is closing in our lives too.  Believe me, I am excited about the future. It's good, I'm just having a small moment as I remember flashes of her childhood.  I'm sure I will experience this as each of my children start to get married too.  It's all good.

Kyle has made most of the necessary arrangements with his gym and teammates to make the trip to Utah for his weight lifting competition soon.  I just wish we could go too, but since we can't I'm glad he has his friends at the gym to go with.  He is excited.  It will be good.  He may also go visit a ward to hear one of the sister's from his mission speak.  She had quite an experience while serving her mission.  She woke up one day and couldn't remember who she was.  She will be speaking about that experience and the things she went through.  I hope Kyle gets to go.  It will be good for him to see some of his mission buddies too.  Then when Kyle gets home he has another phase of the hiring process to go through for a job he is trying to get.  Kyle also has school he is attending right now, and he helps his father too.  I have to say, Kyle has been amazing.  He doesn't complain.  He just quietly does what he needs to do to help his Dad.  It's great! They joke and tease back and forth and it's fun to watch.  If,  When Kyle gets this job his tuition for school will drop significantly, which will be awesome.  Then if he stays there his children could also have the same benefit when they decide to go to college too.  What an awesome benefit!!  

Kevin has another doctor's appointment coming up with the doctor that was in charge of his care at the Neurological Rehab Center.  We need to get some disability paperwork from the Social Security Office and my FMLA paperwork ready to take to that appointment so he can fill it all out.  We need to get the ball rolling again to try and get Kevin covered on disability once and for all.  We keep getting denied.  It's so frustrating!  BUT, the good news is, they should back date the benefits once they finally approve this. We are crossing our fingers. The doctor also need to go ahead and order a permanent wheelchair for Kevin, not exactly our favorite thing to do.

This past Wednesday Kevin had an appointment with the surgeon.  The surgeon didn't have good news for Kevin.  Kevin won't let me share the details.  All I can say is it was not good at all!  This all happened on the day Kevin fell out of bed.  Needless to say, that day was really bad.  In fact, I worried about Kevin the entire next day.  He was so down and taking the news hard.  I had to remind him to not believe everything you hear, especially from someone who does not have a crystal ball and cannot see the future.  This doctor may see the physical findings, but he has no idea what can happen.  We know of a much higher source of power and strength from which to draw from, that will help Kevin walk again if it be His will, and only His.  That is where we have to place our trust and keep working towards that goal.  Keep the faith!
Believe me, this week has not been easy all around.  
I was told by someone very close to us that I was nearly 50 years old and it was time that I learned to stand on my own two feet. (there is more, but we will leave it at that for now.) This person is fully aware of our situation and they know that it requires two incomes for our family to stay afloat.  This person also knows that I have worked my entire married life to help out.  I am not one of those woman that will sit and do nothing and leave it to my husband to support our family.  In fact, I have been the stable one our entire married life.  I have always carried the health insurance because of various reasons.  Health issues mostly.  Sometimes my husband's employer just didn't offer a good plan, and sometimes they just didn't offer insurance.  (this was before Obama Care)  
Now, I am not "keeping score", if you will, to try and make my husband look of feel bad.  I am merely explaining that this person KNOWS all of this.  This person has been a part of our lives for many many years and probably knows better than anyone else does about the struggles we have had. Yet, I'm the one that needs to start standing on my own two feet.  Really??!!!  And you wonder why I have totally withdrawn from you and anyone else that places judgement on our situation.  Wow!  Do you see why I might feel a little hurt?  Do you see that my backing away is a way of protecting myself and my family from further hurtful comments?  My backing away was never more than that, and only that.  Now do you get why I do not feel that I can trust and share anything without it being picked apart and judged with you or the others?  I am doing the best I can.  I am only one person, trying to hold it all together in a situation where it takes two.  Right now, that other person needs all the help he can get to just get showered, dressed, to the bathroom, and then to his countless therapy, gym, and doctors appointments.  He cannot do it alone.  I cannot do it all.  At times it takes someone who can pick Kevin up, or hold up most of the wheelchair.  This hasn't been easy.  It was Kevin' choice to not have tons of company right now while he tries to develop a routine for his bathroom habits.  They have completely changed and he is a little protective of what's left of his dignity.  There are times when he has problems and he doesn't want to have people here when he is going through all of that right now.  You have to let him get comfortable with all of this.  That's only fair.  Kevin is in no shape to work right now, but he wants to.  How on earth can you possibly think that we are not doing everything we can to make sure that if there is a way, that he can return to some kind of employment in the future?  We are doing everything we can to keep our heads above water, and believe me, that is the best we can do right now.  Then, for you to go off on us every chance you get. Especially Kevin!  That just proves to me that you have never been concerned about Kevin at all have you?

Sorry, I had to rant a bit.  It's out of my system for now.
It's hard because my husband will only talk about this stuff a little bit with me.  He is too hurt and it gets him all worked up and he has other things he needs to deal with right now.  So, we keep him in the loop, but when I am having a bad day and upset about stuff like this, I tend to take it here on my blog, or to my friends at work, to my children, to my therapist, and sometimes to my Bishop or Relief Society President.  Thank goodness for these people in my life!  They have been awesome.  I do not know how WE would ever get through any of this without them.  

I will admit, there are times when I feel very much alone. But as I work through these things and spend time on my knees, reading my scriptures,and sometimes conference talks, that feeling disappears and I am filled with this sense of peace and comfort that fills my heart and mind.  It is an amazing experience, one I am very grateful for.  See.  Even when things get hard, I am living proof that our Heavenly Father has not left us alone to muddle through life aimlessly to find our way.  He has given us so much to help us along the way if we will only take the time to use those things.  He is ready to do EVERYTHING He can to make this life's journey worthwhile and good.  We just have to ask.  He will never force our hand.  He has given us free agency to choose to let him into our lives.  What a blessing.  I couldn't make it without my Heavenly Father's help and the knowledge of his gospel in my life.  

The other day I overheard a co-worker talking about a question his Bible study group was asked to think about over the next week and then come back with answers.  The question, "What is more important, doing what is right, or happiness?  It was another one of those moments that I just couldn't help but answer that question.  My answer was, Don't the two go hand in hand?  If we are doing what is right and following the teachings of the gospel, doesn't that bring happiness?  My co-worker looked at me and could see that I was right.  The problem is that he is of another faith and does not believe the same things that I do.  So, he doesn't understand the full meaning of my answer, but it got him thinking.  It was good.  Last Sunday I gave one of the prayers in Sacrament and I asked Heavenly Father to help us all have missionary moments in our lives.  I guess this was one of my missionary moments this week.  It was good.  We only discussed this for a brief time, but I could tell there was something about what I said that made this co-worker want to know more.  

Speaking of missionary moments.  For a while now Danielle has been taking her Non-member roommate with her to church.  She and Danielle have been friends since Junior High.  They are really good friends.  Danielle's Bishop even refers to Brittney as a "dry" Mormon.  (that's a Mormon that just hasn't been baptized yet)  She is a good girl and we know when the time is right for her, she will get baptized.  Well, last week Danielle had the missionaries over for dinner, with a male friend of Brittney's who also isn't a member.  While the missionaries were at their home they asked a few questions.  The male friend agreed to start taking the missionary discussions, and so did Brittney.  SO, Danielle may be seeing two baptisms down the road soon.  We are just excited that the missionaries were able to get Brittney to agree to hear what they had to say, AND bonus with the other friend too.  How cool is that???  Love it!

Well, it's getting late.  I have  busy day ahead of me and I know you need to get to bed too.  Take care my friends and we will talk soon.

From the Missionary:

Nothing from our Missionary today

Quote of the Day:

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