As this years summer winds down, I am in awe at how little we have accomplished this year. We went into the summer with grandiose plans and everyone made a list. Similar to our bucket lists of past summers. However, we never really focused on checking anything off! But you want to know what they really gained this summer? It was something I didn't plan on, but I am so glad I noticed it in action. My Kids Gained Valuable, Real-Life Social Skills.
My oldest daughter loves being in the kitchen. She also LOVES to sing and perform, create new things with fabric, glue and paint, and design fashions fit for a runway. Over the weekend, she decided to make a variety of different items.
As this year comes to a close, I have come to the realization that although parts of 2016 totally sucked. Not all of it did. Before the promise of a new year rolls around, I wanted to take some time to reflect on what I learned from 2016. You better believe that my New Years Resolutions will include fun and fewer hospital stays than 2016 permitted!
To say I was a nervous wreck that first day in the hospital, is an understatement. I was so down and throwing myself a big ol' pity party...but that's not really my style. I promised myself that I would only focus on the positive. There are moments that I get totally discouraged and wonder why this happened. I know that it is a combination of many things. But I also know that I can't do anything about what happened except move forward, learn from it, inform others, and reach out to those around me to pay their kindness forward.
I entered August optimistically. I was scared and nervous for my upcoming preventive mastectomy and breast reconstruction, but ultimately optimistic for the outcome that was being laid out in front of me. On the way to the hospital I felt nothing but gratefulness and luck. Surgery was seemingly uneventful, but my recovery at home was anything but. I was having a hard time. Read on and share my story if you think it could help someone else. ~Love to you all!!
I started to actually think about being "prepared" I realized that I don't know as much about this next step as I thought I did. My husband and I have a great understanding of the "what" and the "how" of what's to come, but we don't really have a good handle on the aftermath of it all. Everybody's experiences are different and reading different women's journeys is both helpful and frightening at the same time. So, this morning I started to think of everything I didn't know. My head was spinning.
I never expected anyone to pay attention to my little blog (again, it's therapy- but thank you for reading and following it) and I really didn't expect the amount of community support that came with it. People checked in on me, made our little family dinner, dropped off milk, offered my kids fun days, and sent me messages via Facebook, texts, and phone calls. I even got a handful of beautiful cards from friends and family; near and far. Friends and neighbors dropped off surprise flowers, homemade cookies and breads, mochas, and even prosecco. I loved the sweet intentions that went with each one, but more importantly I appreciated the time that people took to even think of us during their busy days, let alone to drop something off. From the bottom of my heart (and the four others in my home), thank you. Even though it doesn't seem like enough.
My kids have not even been out of school a full week yet and they are already bored, fighting, and expecting big plans daily. There was a time when I wanted to schedule "fun" things for them everyday or at least a few times a week. Then last year we made an End of Summer Bucket…
My 9 year old daughter took on some new extra-curricular activities this school year, and that meant putting some other activities on "hold." She determined that she was just too busy to do it all and needed some time to adjust to life as a 4th grader. She had been playing travel soccer, but right as the season was revving up, she panicked. When she came to us and said she needed downtime, we were surprised, but ultimately we understood and allowed her to step back from the team and gave her the space she needed to grow and figure things out.
We are constantly in awe of our children, but sometimes we need reminders to see them.. I mean really see them. It is in the long days that I stop noticing all of their quirks, special qualities, and gifts. And it is in moments like today when I am reminded to slow down and pay attention. Today was a good wake-up call.