I have never been very much into a New Years celebration. Going to Times Square or any NYE Party was never on my bucket list and never will be. I prefer a much laid back count down. One with just close friends and/or family. And a bathroom I can easily get to and a blanket I can easily bundle up in.
The countdown starts and the hugs, kisses, and well wishes for the new year begin. After all that is done and the sounds of fireworks that give me a damn near heart attack have calmed down, I always say to myself and then to my husband “Wow. I can’t believe it’s (enter year here)” without fail. It is at that point when I reflect on yesteryear and feel the necessary emotions that go along with that year’s memories. We all have our good years and our bad years and 2017 wasn’t one of the greatest for me. I went in and out of my depression moods. Watching the news everyday definitely didn’t bring me one ounce of peace but just another notch on my anxiety belt. It was a rough year for me and Ryan as husband and wife. I didn’t get to do/experience anything I wanted. Whether it be reading a book I said I wanted to read or going on holiday to a city I have never been to before. Don’t get me wrong, there were a handful of moments last year that were wonderful. Ones I will never forget. But it’s not just about everything that has happened around me but a lot more of what I did or (mostly) didn’t do for myself. There is nothing and no one to blame but me. I didn’t work hard or even enough for my own happiness.
My world, love, and attention is set around my family and friends but I have to remind myself I deserve all that for me too.
How can I can make my 2018 a year I’ll look fondly back on? What can I do to FEEL better so I can BE better?
•Love myself. Set some time me time away from kids and pamper myself. Read the books I want to or just sit back and mask!
•Vision board. Make a vision board to get to the places I want to visit and if I can’t get to those places don’t get discouraged. Keep the dream alive! I’ll get there one day but know I’ve got to get up and do something about it. And tack on experiences I want to have. Like a promise to myself to explore my own city. I have to remember adventure doesn’t always have to be expensive or far. It can just be a hike away.
•Plan. As much as I love to plan and be organized I somehow stopped writing things down and making lists and appointments last year. Envision it, write it down, and (hopefully definitely) check it off!
•Be calm. Meditate. Going from 0-100 isn’t always the best way to go. I must remind myself counting 1-10 should be my first go to before I fly off the handle and that a nice calm chat can work wonders. Who needs to yell at the top of their lungs over constantly stepping on toys you’ve told your kids to put away 100 times before they actually listen?
Life is getting shorter. My kids are getting older. I try to do the best I can to make sure they get to live their happiest life. They deserve to see me live mine the same exact way and I deserve to actually live it.
One of Kole’s favorite “holidays” is fast approaching. Halloween!! The parts he loves most are pumpkin patching, painting the pumpkins, and of course, the costumes! This year, because Ryan was off training and because of the dreadful beginning of fall colds, we didn’t get a chance to paint pumpkins just yet but we nailed the other two so far!
For the past few years we’ve gone to the same pumpkin patch because Kole is a creature of habit. It isn’t the biggest or the most active but we get to do exactly what we want, a quick hunt for a few pumpkins and the most difficult family selfie photo shoot. We never stay too long but we always leave making memories and feeling that family time high.
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Every year I love putting together little goody bags for Kole’s classmates (as per usual, for every and any occasion I can 🙄). I know that’s not news but, you know, segway. Kole is not much into candy and we hate hoarding them, usually because Ryan and I fall victim to candy coma, so I try to stay away from giving too much. I tend to pack the goody bags with bubbles, stickers, or spider rings, etc.
This Halloween goody bag giveaway, I decided to go crafty. I crocheted skull ornaments and Kole picked the little lollipop treat to go with it. I got some little spiderweb printed baggies to hold those two things in and there you go. A simple and not too sugary goody bag!
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Kole has been so into Ninjago even before it was a movie. He definitely binged on the Ninjago show and all things Ninjago on YouTube. His 6th Birthday was even Ninjago themed, which I’ll blog about in the future. But since the movie came out, his love for the squad sprouted up again in full force. His favorite character always changes but for Halloween he chose to dress up as Lloyd, The Chosen One and Master of Energy!
“Ghosts and goblins, spooks galore. Scary witches at your door. Jack-o-lanterns shining bright. Wishing you a haunting night.”
Have a sweet and safe Halloween from us and the Green Ninja.
September was a crazy, crazy month. Between Ryan being gone, parenting alone, and being sick, I survived. Huge shouts to my parents for helping me every single moment I needed and need them. Through all the chaotic moments that happened this month I still had my favorites.
Ryan & Kat | If you read my last blog you know that Ryan and I reached our nine year wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a simple greeting over FaceTime and it was just fine with us. He was (and still is) off training for a new job and we wouldn’t want our nine year anniversary to be any different. We realized so much about ourselves individually during this time apart. We reintroduced ourselves to ourselves and have discovered we are stronger than we thought, more persistent to survive, and just more capable. We’ve been so used to being Ryan and Kat we forgot how it was to be Ryan and to be Kat. It was pretty nice to get to know me a little bit again.
Ryan is on the last leg of his training. He has a couple of more weeks left (hopefully) but at least he’s back in the same time zone. I am extremely proud of him for working so hard. He graduated last week after vigorous studying and testing. He has never studied so much in his life! There were days he loved his score and other days he wished he did better but he never let that consume him. Although we didn’t talk for long periods of time we were still able to talk here and there, nothing more than 8-10 minutes but when we did talk, it was all words of encouragement from me and all words of faith from him. We had to remind each other to take it day by day and test by test. We knew if we kept God in mind, everything will be all right. I mean, who are we? Better people I hope that stick around.
Kole & Monroe | As I watch how things are unfolding in the world today, I watch closely on how Kole and Monroe are socially. Yes, at home these kids can drive me up the wall, refuse to listen, and test my patience to the max but when I see them interact with other people I have a glimmer of hope for a better future. I have always taught Kole how to be a little gentleman. For example: Reminders of opening doors for people, why you open doors and how they make other people feel. As Kole is getting older he started opening doors for me and letting me and his little brother go first. And now it is grown to opening doors for strangers, especially women. And because Monroe looks up to his brother more than anyone else in the entire world, I witnessed Monroe try to open the door for someone for the first time at the post office. It brought a huge smile to this women to see a seven year old and a two year old try and open the door for her. Moments like that remind me that even though I have mommy breakdowns (quite often) I’m not doing too bad as a parent. Not at all.
Summertime is coming to a close and the school year is about to begin. When school let out back in June I was so excited. I get to spend all my summer days with my oldest as well as my youngest! Then a week into summer vacation I realized peace was all lost. Quiet and calm was a distant memory. I was ready for vacation to be over. But as much as I yearned for peace and quiet and as much as I was so over and done with each day, the night ended with me and Ryan talking about how much we loved seeing Kole and Monroe together, the way they interacted, and the way they played. We watched them sleep and wished they were awake because we realized we missed the noise. Oh, but of course never spoke of it too out loud in case the universe actually listened. We didn’t miss the noise THAT much! Monroe seemed to be playing his own game of shadow and followed every single thing Kole did. Every word and movement was mimicked. Even right down to when Kole sneezed Monroe tried to sneeze. You know, what every younger sibling does with their older siblings. The last couple of months Monroe has learned so many things and for the most part it was Kole teaching him. I’m going to miss their all day interaction with each other. I’m especially going to miss watching their imagination on high speed and hearing it at the highest volume possible.And I know, most of all, Monroe is going to miss seeing his brother all day. His best bud. His ace. But it’s time to have Kole go and learn second grade things and I’m excited to listen to all his second grade stories. Next week we say goodbye to summer and hello to second grade. Bye, Summer 2017. Thanks for the memories.
Faith | There have been some things that happened this month that tested our faith. Ryan had his heart set on a career change. He was banking on this new position because it was something he felt will give him a better quality of life. A chance to spend more time with me and the boys and an opportunity to grow within the company and help us better financially in the future. Sadly, under circumstances not in his control, it fell through. With the disappointment with that and the loss of the matriarch in his family, he was under a mini dark cloud.
Feeling negative about things is human nature. That moment of weakness when you feel like you can’t catch a break because when it rains it POURS, you can’t help but feel like you’re drowning. One of the things that I think is very important in a relationship/partnership is that two people can’t be swimming in that pool of negativity. I felt everything he was feeling. I understood why he felt as such but I couldn’t let him believe there wasn’t a good reason. Although we are Catholic, we are not constant church goers or avidly practice Catholicism but our faith in God is big and strong. But we are human, and when our faith touches rocky ground we tend to get lost.
First thing’s first. Dealing with the passing of his grandmother was tough. But through all the heartache and tears came out more opportunities to see family he hasn’t seen in years. Times spent with his siblings were longer and much more frequent. After every weekend we see family, Ryan seems more uplifted and more thankful. Grandma Julie loves that. I promise you.
Second on the list: getting past not getting the opportunity that he so much had his heart set on. We had lots of conversations on keeping faith, letting us let go and accept that God has a bigger and better plan, and we’ve gotten through worse so we can get through this. After those many faith centered conversations and after Ryan finally accepted his fate, he gets a phone call. The recruiters called Ryan and extended an offer to continue on with their company. They even went ahead and told him they pulled it together because they didn’t want to lose such a good candidate.
Faith was tested but in the end, our higher power was on our side reminding us that even though we go through struggle down here, He’s up there working his heavenly magic.
I am a person who didn’t necessarily get on with people, especially females, off the bat. The smiles and hellos and how are yous were me being cordial and not me wanting to be life long friends or even acquaintances for that matter. I could be very guarded and stone faced if I don’t know you or am not comfortable upon the first greeting. I have gotten much better throughout the years and have been more open and definitely more kind. You know, trying to lead by example so my kids don’t go around muggin’ everybody.
I went to an all girls high school where many alpha females were in attendance and honesty, loyalty, and respect were lacking. We didn’t like each other for the most meaningless reasons, then got along well after a retreat or something, right back to hating each other all over just because of much hearsay. Hella hearsay. Oh, high school! But we were kids. We didn’t know better. At the time, people giving us advice were our peers who were going through the same things and you just learn to Trust. No. One.
Fast forward to adulthood and marriage. When you marry a person with siblings you gain sister in laws. Women you must learn to love and/or at least to understand and respect. Thank God, I got good ones. We try to spend as much time together as we can. We laugh. We gab. We cling together at family parties. Most importantly, we are there for one another. I grew up with a brother so having sisters in laws that I actually like is treat for me! Ha!
Of course, as in every tight group, there are misunderstandings, miscommunication, and disagreements but we are sisters by marriage but very much friends by choice. We are all alpha females in our own right and still get along quite well. We enjoy each other’s company. We respect each other, support each other and we sincerely love each other. They came with the marriage and our friendship is also very much til’ death do us part.
“She stands firmly on her own two feet and I just behind her; should she ever need me.”
A very dear friend of mine called me one day and surprised me with some amazing news. She’s pregnant! She was a person who fiddled around the idea of having children but didn’t particularly plan on it. She is excited nontheless and I am excited for her. Like, hella. As I’m enjoying her news, it takes me through the memories of when I was pregnant.
First, let me say, I was not one of those women who enjoyed pregnancy. I complained all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. I was uncomfortable, irritable, and always tired. I annoyingly received comments on my body, on how tired I looked, and (my favorite) the comparisons with other pregnant women. Not to mention the anxiety of thinking of the labor. Which I still felt the second time around adding the anxiety of feeling I wouldn’t know how to be a mother to two kids. I was a mess! You know, the pregnancy usual. These stuck to me and are sometimes the first things I think about when I look back on pregnancy but what sticks out the most is the connection I had with my babies.
Yes, two people started the process but we, as women, are the ones that see it through. Love and security are what home is and I was their first idea of home. We were in this together. We ate the same things. We felt the same feelings. We were one.
Although the kicking has a slight hint of creepiness to it, the feeling of a tiny human being growing inside me letting me know “Sup, I’m here mommy and I love you as much as you love me” with a quick roundhouse is pretty amazing.
Despite my list of pregnancy negatives, the positives still shine bright. I took part in creating two human beings. I never knew my heart could pump more blood and love than it already did before I became a mother. Pregnancy may not have been the most enjoyable experience for me but I’m pretty sure the motherhood part suits me just right.