I feel that should be my new motto for January... "Just keep swimming" - as in what Dory says to Marlin regarding pressing on in their journey to find his son, Nemo.
I think the fact that I'm getting my first blog post up on January 9th should be evidence enough that my "swim" has been looking much more like treading water than it has a Michael Phelp's breast stroke. I'm staying above water, but just barely.
Last week was easy enough. We returned from Sunriver problem-free, reunited with John on New Year's Eve and after a dinner at Red Robin, I finally got to see "Frozen" all the way through. While I'm not sure I could rate it above "Tangled", it's right up there with my all-time favorites. I'm way impressed with "Miss Veronica Mars" in her role as Anna - who knew she could sing?! I could probably spin a whole blog post about that movie alone - the various themes threading through it and how they could apply to my life, but let's just get through the first 9 days of 2014, shall we?
Mikayla and Brayden stayed up until Midnight together:
Michele, Traig, and Ellie arrived the next day. Michael and Nati were off on their second annual hunting adventure - and yes, the shot an elk that first evening. So impressive!
Michele and I set up a table in the living room and merrily decorated our "over-the-top" calendar planners with stickers and rub ons. This decorated planner is kind of a trade-mark in both of our lives - dating as far back as high school. Yes, a little obsessive, but it helps to organize my head and keeps me looking forward. As we organized, we began watching the "Twilight" saga all the way through. (Thank you Black Friday at Target for that $16 4-disk set...). It was cozy, and kept me happily hibernating from reality.
Friday brought much the same. Before any fun began, though, we needed to get Mikayla's ear checked out. It was very painful for her and we suspected "Swimmer's Ear" as all of us who had been in the tub in Sunriver all suffered from some degree of skin rash from being in it. Apparently, Swimmer's Ear often goes along with that. Sure enough, that was the case, and a course of ear drop antibiotics were prescribed. Following that, we went to see "Frozen" again (it gets better every time) for Ellie's benefit and had the Whites over that evening. Good times.
Saturday was a little more of a stretch. We had our first tournament for Mikayla's Webfoot volleyball. We arrived around 7:15am and left at 5:15pm - so it was a very long day. We were all pleased with how the team played, and especially with the coach who is very interactive with them and constantly providing feedback (which was not the case last year). However, what was similar to last year was that their first game was their best game, and after narrowly losing that, they lost momentum. Mikayla's ear started feeling lousy, the day just seemed to drag - and we all just wanted to be home.
Sunday brought the final day of rest for the family before reality would once again set in. We took full advantage of it (along with the indulging before the diet kicks in...) ;)
So - that leads to this week. And, yes, it's been a reality check. It's been a "check-your-attitude-at-the-door", "other-people-have-it-worse-than-this", "but-really-why-does-it-have-to-be-this-hard" kind of week.
That could apply to:
- Exercising again - the elliptical and walking are not as easy as they once were
- The scales (did I expect anything different? My gosh, on New Year's Eve I felt like the Pillsbury Dough Boy in a warming oven...just expanding everywhere!)
- Our finances - in the last three months, we've netted half of what we normally do. That doesn't really cut it at bill paying time - especially with Christmas and a vacation thrown in.
- School. Just even getting up for the kids has been hard, much less reflecting on the work that wasn't all turned in before Christmas ("Brayden, you big-time dropped the ball on that one") or just what Mikayla's math book is asking her to do. I'm really not a fan.
- Health. While I've been relatively free of headaches, John is still struggling with vertigo - and most likely, the medication for his Hypothyroidism isn't yet at the right dosage. He's (thankfully) been able to work through it, but it's an added burden. We also discovered Brayden has an extra bone plate on his chest. That was on Tuesday and let me tell you, it almost sunk me. Yeah, kind of lost my rhythm in the treading water at that point. It's actually a condition called "Pectus carinatum" and is a totally benign scenario where the sternum sticks out a bit on one side. You'd never notice if he was flexing his muscles and not trying to show you...but, I did notice on that evening, and kind of freaked. An extra bone mass where it doesn't belong is a little alarming to discover on your child. Thankfully, "Google Images" led me to the final conclusion, and once I found it, the Whites and Mom and Dad stepped up with their insight to give me assurances that it is NOT a problem. (In fact, Dad has the same thing - and no one has ever commented on it - ever...). The crazy thing, though, was that I had just ordered a book about ADHD in teens on his behalf and was already in the process of berating myself for coming down on Brayden in so many areas that were entirely by-products of this disorder. And, then, something else....really?!
So, that's enough of a list to run with. I'm thankful for Whitley being around that's preventing from just wallowing up in bed each day trying to escape. But, I will say, on the flip side, Whitley keeps forward progress (at least in the physical arena) going at a snail's pace. I'm not sure why, but she isn't a fan of quietly sitting with her toys while I race around the house to clean up or organize. She's kind of "interactive" (as she's screaming at me to pick her up at this very moment!). Consequently, the house is still "living in December" in terms of decor. That will be Sunday. I'm just grateful we got the tree down.
In conclusion - I am abundantly grateful for God's little ways of reminding me that He will not fail and there is light around the corner!