Doing the best she can to raise happy, healthy children

Tag Archives: reflection

You ever have one of those moments when your kid says something that just hits home with you? I had that moment this weekend. We were in the car going from one activity to the next when the conversation started. I love talking with my kids in the car. None of us are going anywhere. We’re all stuck in a small space which encourages all sorts of conversations. I’ve seriously had some of the BEST conversations with my kids in the car.

But back to the specific conversation this weekend.

Darling Daughter: I’m so glad you and Daddy are friends and like each other.

Me: Of we course we’re friends!

Darling Daughter: Yeah. I’m also glad you’re friends with Little Ducky’s mommie and daddy. (Little duckie is a baby who goes to our church. She was dressed as a duck last Halloween and hence forth is called Little Duckie by my kids).

I’m so glad you and Daddy are friends and like each other.

Wow. That hit home. My little 8 year-old notices a lot. I’ve always known without a doubt she and her brother know they are loved by their parents and each other. I’d always said kids pick-up on things even when parents are trying to hide it. I’d say that, because I’d learned that in school. I’d say that because I knew kids often, without thinking, share how their parents fight or when money is tight. But for some reason when it came out of her mouth, it really hit home.

I’m so glad you and Daddy are friends and like each other.

Such simple words made a huge impact on me. Yes, my husband and I love each other. Our marriage isn’t perfect. He annoys me sometimes, I annoy him sometimes. I can HONESTLY say we don’t really fight. We bicker every once in a while. But that’s not common at all. We have this MUTUAL respect for each other. We try very hard to talk things out before they become a BIG issue. I pray everyday that we can continue to do this. That we can WORK together to continue to build a wonderful marriage.

We’re not PERFECT. At all. But we sure do work hard at this thing called marriage. We don’t put on a face for the kids. We are real. We work hard to do family things together. My husband and I laugh together, tease each other, and work through things. All in front of our kids. They see us having a good time and problem solving together.

I never realized those little things, impressed on her. But she noticed.

Mommie and Daddy are friends. They like each other. 

What are your kids noticing from you? What do they think of your relationship with your spouse?


So, I’m slow to join the leggings conversation. Are they pants or are they not? Can you wear them and not cover up your bum? Must you wear a long shirt or a short skin? Can a slightly larger lady wear them? Or, even more important, is there an age limit on the appropriateness of leggings?

I don’t know the answers to any questions. Not really anyway. I will admit, for the longest time, I’d say you weren’t completely dressed in leggings. Then I discovered running leggings. They make running so much more enjoyable. So, I adjusted my thinking to include, running leggings are pants if you’re running or going to or from the gym. I stand by that. My opinion hasn’t changed on that.

Last fall, I noticed some super cute outfits that include leggings as pants. I wanted to see if this fad would go away or if anyone would answer the question, are leggings pants? Well, they seem to be sticking around and many have accepted them to, indeed be paints.So, I begin contemplating if I could really get away with wearing them.

Then I found LuLaRoe leggings. Ah-Mazing. Super soft and crazy comfy. I purchased my first pair and was so excited when I tried them on and they were really comfortable. I fell in love. The pair I was able to obtain has a bit more design on it then things I normally wear. So my husband has labeled them as my “clown pants”.

After purchasing them and trying them on, I noticed I didn’t have any long shirts. But, I wanted to wear them out last Christmas shopping on Black Friday. With some encouragement from some Facebook friends, I paired them up with a normal length shirt and a long sweater. This had my backside covered but my front was normal. I didn’t think this looked horrible, but maybe not quite awesome. I do after all have some extra weight I carry mostly in my thighs and bum.

I’ve since been looking for longer shirts that I don’t mind and don’t think look too frumpy. I’m having some difficulty deciding on what to get. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on clothing. I try to be as frugal as possible. I’m still searching.

So, my question for all of you lovelies, do you wear leggings as pants? Do you always cover up? If you have a picture of you rockin’ your leggings please share I’d love to see how “real” people pair up their leggings.

Disclaimer: any unkind or mean statements will be deleted.

All my life I’ve had stains on my teeth. These stains were the point of many cruel comments both when I was a teenager and as an adult. Even though many people were curious or trying to be kind by suggesting ways to fix my teeth, it still hurt. I’ve had doctors examine my teeth like I was an animal up for auction. Sadly I’m not exaggerating. I’ve learn to be self-conscious of the stains.

I’ve always assumed the stains were the first and only thing people saw. I was careful to not show my teeth in pictures. I dreaded meeting new people. Every job interview had the normal nervousness but also had the an extra nervousness. I worried that people judged me when they saw my teeth. I assumed people thought I was uneducated. I was certain people judged me my by teeth.

I’d been thinking about stain removal for several years. I’d looked into so many options. I finally found one that would help the stains and maintain the tooth structure which was very important to me. I struggled emotionally with this decision. I wondered what I would be telling my kids if I did the procedure. Would it seem like I was being vain? And, two months ago, I had the procedure done. I was so excited with my results. I was certain everyone I knew would notice.

Now, two months out, no one’s commented. I’ll admit,  I was disappointed. This had been such a big decision for me. I spent years and many hours debating the pros and cons to stain removal. I realized tonight there was two possible reasons for this 1) I have really polite friends or 2) people really didn’t care as much as I cared about the stains. Don’t get me wrong, I do have wonderful and polite friends. However, I honestly believe, I cared about my stains more than anyone else.

I believe I was more self-conscious about my stains then anyone cared about it. Getting my stains removed was the right thing for me. I’m more confident and feel better about my smile with the stains gone. I wish someone told me or I realized before for my own emotional security  I was more obsessed about it than others. I don’t think knowing would’ve changed my mind about getting the treatment, but it would have helped me emotionally all those years.

I’m telling you, whatever your self-conscious about, people are not noticing nearly as often as you think. There may be people who notice and comment. But honestly, no one cares as much as you do. May that give you peace and may it help you to worry a little less about your imperfections. Please know you don’t have to fix the problem, you just need to accept that simple truth. It is hard, but its true. Embrace the insecurity and your self-consciousness. But remember, to not use the world as your definition of beauty or self-worth. Place your self-worth in the One who  placed the stars in the sky.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


This year has been a hard year for me. I’ve not written much about it here because my emotions are still very raw. Last spring I my father died. I and him were not close, I actually only referred to him by his first name. Despite not being close and not have a significant conversation with him for years, it was still very painful. My heart ached for what will never be. I was hurt by all the kind words people said about him, because those words were not true to me. Then five months later, Mom died. My mom and I were close. I helped organize her care for the last 5 years. I talked with her weekly and often went to see her in the nursing home. We had been close when I was growing up and I loved my mom dearly. That was a hard week.

I also started graduate school this last year. I decided that after many years of contemplating becoming a Nurse Practitioner, I should to dive-in. Wow. Life has gotten turned upside down from school. My evenings are almost 100% consumed with studying after the kids go to bed and studying tends to occur during the weekends. Since I’m also trying to be a decent mommie to two young ones, I squeeze in family time and push studying late into the night. So, basically, I’m always tired.

Due to all those changes, I gained weight this last year. Sadly, every pound I’d lost found its way back onto my body. It hardly seems fair that 6 -9 months can undue two years of dieting! Around the time my mom died, I joined Weight Watchers again and decided to focus on losing weight. My efforts were feeble to say the least and I bounced around a 3-4 pounds weight lost between then and Christmas. At Christmas, I’d been steadily losing a pound a week for a few weeks.

Christmas came and so did the time for the white elephant exchange. I ended up with 18 Snickers, you could imagine some of my disappointment. I couldn’t eat them and lose weight. I was extremely disappointed. I was still feeling down and depressed about everything that happened. However, a couple of days after we’d gotten home, I was working and thinking about my mom.

You see, my mom’s favorite candy bar was Snickers. I realized the gift of Snickers was probably one of the best Christmas gifts I could’ve received. I decided to freeze them (that was mom’s favorite way to eat them) and I would eat one once a month to help me remember my mom.

So, now I’m very grateful for the 18 Snickers I received at Christmas.

Have you gotten a gift that seemed poorly timed but turned out

So this year has been beyond crazy and stressful. It’s also been an amazing year of growth for me. This year will be know as the year I tested myself and pursued a dream. It will also be know as the year of death and sadness.

In the spring, Joe, my father passed away. It was such an odd emotional experience for me. I and my father had a strained relationship to say the least. We spoke minimally and only when it revolved around my mom’s care. I was saddened because of the loss of a relationship that will never be. I was sad because, part of me, really wanted resolution to some of our issues. I knew our relationship would never be close and he would never be in my children’s lives. But I wanted to feel like if we saw each other in public or at an event, we’d acknowledge each other. That was now never going to happen. I also found myself very angry. I was angry when people told me he was a wonderful man.

Approximately two months after his passing, I started a nurse practitioner program. The decision to pursue my NP has been one I’ve wrestled with for a while. I prayed about it, and ultimately decided it was a good time to go back. The summer classes were killer, Advance Pathophysiology and Healthcare Statistics. This second semester has been much better. I have my MSN so I had some ideas on how this would play out, but seriously, there’s a reason people do this when they’re younger!

Then basically 5 months to the date, my mom died. I was surprised. I and my mom were close. We talked weekly and I managed all of her medical needs. I arranged everything for her. She was living in a nursing home and had been on hospice 5 years ago. Her health had been good for the most part. But cognitively she wasn’t there. Even though it had been a few years since she recognized me as her daughter, she always knew I and my children were important to her. Despite feeling like my mom had left years ago, I was still very emotional about my loss. Even now, months after she’s been gone, I find myself wishing she was here. I’m not sure that will ever go away.

Since the death of my mom, I’ve also had the death of an aunt on my father’s side and a dear friend from nursing school. So, as you can see this year has been a challenging one. I, however, view life as a chance to grow and learn. I know I could easily look at this and dwell on all the stress and problems. However, I refuse to do this. I will stay positive and focus on the amazing things going on in my life.

It’s funny how life changes. In college back when I was twenty-something, we had to make goals. 1, 5, & 10 year goals. To be honest, I have no idea exactly what I put on my goals. I am certain where I am now is not where I thought I’d be in my my twenties. Not that where I am or where I thought I’d be is bad. It’s just, different.

In my twenties, I thought by now professionally I’d be someone important. I envisioned me running a hospital, I seriously wanted to be the nurse making the BIG decisions. I was undecided about children but given my career thoughts, raising children wasn’t really on my radar. Being married was though. I also imagined a well-traveled woman would be looking back at me in the mirror. I was also 100% certain I’d have a large house that included a pool. I was after all someone important professionally.

Go back a few years into my teens, I envisioned a much different woman. I lived in some remote place that had mountains in the background.I owned about 5 dogs. I was financially sound and didn’t have to work- how in the world that happened, I have no idea. I had no children and no kids. My skin was weathered from spending most of my time on the land and hanging out with my dogs. I pretty much was pioneer woman meets hippie.

Fast forward to today. I’m still in nursing but didn’t climb any ladders. I’ve done just about everything a nurse can do. I’m now working from home and going to school part-time. I have two wonderful children and a pretty great husband. We own a house but it’s modest and (sadly) without a swimming pool. I have traveled in the US and have made one trip abroad.

As you can see, my life is very different from anything I could imagine. Its good and better than I could imagine. I couldn’t imagine being a cooperate person or not having kids. Although, I’d gladly move into the country and have a couple of acres and the pool, I don’t really want to be either of those women I’d imagined in my youth.

There are still hopes and dreams from my youth that I’d love to fulfill. And a few things I’ve added as I’ve gone. So, I’ve decided to publish my bucket list. I may never get to everything on this list and some I’ve checked off. But, if I’m able, these are the things I want to accomplish. I think all imaginary and real forms of myself would be happy with this list.

My Bucket List

1) Live in another state

2) Visit a country that doesn’t speak English

3) Visit a country that does speak English

4) Own land

5) Obtain an advanced degree- working on my 2nd advanced degree

6) Save a life

7) Ride Ragbrai

8) Complete a marathon

9) Witness the beginning and the end of life

10) Become fluent in a second language

General Life Goals (Because these don’t fit on a bucket list):

1) Be a good mom

2) Be a good wife

3) Be a good friend

4) Be compassionate

5) Know when to walk away

6) Know when to stand up

7) Remember there’s more to this life than life

8) Always have integrity

9) Ensure other’s have enough

10) Be generous

I went out on a four-mile run today. As I ran, my mind wondered. It jumped from why I started running and my initial fears about running to what I’d accomplished. I thought about the running community and how welcoming and embracing it is. I thought of all the people the supported me and gave me encouragement.

I started running on a whim while sitting around my cousin’s table having a couple of glasses of wine. I do believe a lot of my best ideas come after having a few glasses of wine. This resulted in my training for running my first 5K. I was pretty nervous about running in front of people. What would people think if I came in last? Well, several races later, I will say no one has pointed and laughed at my slow running. I’ve come in dead last at a race and again no one cared. Well, no one but me because I was too proud of myself that I finished my first 10K.

It took a while for me to call myself a runner. I still revert back to saying a jogger. I don’t know if it really matters except in my mind. When I call myself a jogger it’s usually when I’m fell down about my abilities. But I am a runner. I go out there and do it. I’m slower than some and faster than others. Running isn’t about my competing with others, it’s about my competition with myself and beating my last time.

I’ve found the running community to be more than welcoming. I was nervous about talking with other runners. I don’t look like a running. My times are much slower than many of my running friends. The more runners I talked to I began realizing most runners love when other’s embrace their sport. Most are willing to give out their advice and recommendation. Most will help cheer you on and encourage. Granted, there are some who don’t fall into this category, however, they have been few and far between.

If you are thinking about starting to run. Do it! It has so many rewards. And none of my worries or fears were ever validated. I found running to be therapeutic. I find it gives me energy and makes me happy. One last time, if you’re thinking about running, Just Do IT. You won’t regret it.