Sunday, August 19, 2012

Family Time

Summertime at our house is usually very busy. We kick off our summer activities by honoring Mother's Day. Shortly after that we celebrate six birthdays and then Father's Day. The kids go off to camp for a week or two. Then there is Fourth of July followed by three more birthdays and that brings us to the third week in August. This year we threw in the birth of our first granddaughter in late July. Needless to say we are exhausted by the time September rolls around each year. 

This weekend we decided to have some quality family time. We rented a nearby hotel and decided to just be together. Luckily for us we live close to Disney World and have many activities and opportunities to choose from, not to mention a plethora of hotels. So far we have had a wonderful dinner together. Worked out together. At the moment my husband is watching Sponge Bob with the kids. Our plan for the rest of the day is to play miniature golf and then have dinner and see the fireworks at Epcot. No rushing. No fighting. No stress. Just making memories and taking a breather from our summer.

I think that short trips like these are so necessary for busy families. We need to reconnect with one another. Parents to children. Sibling to sibling. Husband to wife. We need to get away from the daily routines and obligations. We need to stop and smell the roses. If a weekend sounds like too much time why not an afternoon or an hour.  Go to the park. Go for a bike ride or a swim. The point is to stop and enjoy each other.

When was the last time you took a day to spend with your loved ones? Time goes by so quickly. Treasure the moments you have presently. Treasure the people God has brought to your life. 

Well it's putt putt time. I hope I get a hole in one!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's a new dawn, It's a new day...

Have you ever listened to a song hundreds of time and never really gotten the message? Funny how circumstances have a way of changing your perspective and giving you a new type of clarity.

I am what you would refer to as a night owl. Early mornings are much dreaded in this household. My children included. It's not that I set out to be a night owl. I actually do pretty well in the winter and early spring months. Then the dreaded daylights savings time comes and throws off my internal clock.

Once April rolls around my sleeping pattern is all over the place. I missed an hour here. I slept an extra hour there. The day is not over and I am running on empty so I catch a little nap, or at least the intention is for it to be little and it turns into a two hour drool fest. Of course that night I'm not tired so I start going to bed later and later. Before I know it, June rolls around and my new bedtime is past two in the morning.

So here we are in August and I have been going to bed anywhere between two and four in the morning, pretty much for the last four months. However this week I had to go for some medical testing. I made the appointment and the receptionist tells me since I want a first available appointment it will be at 7am. That just means be here at 6:40am to fill out paperwork. The office is about twenty minutes away so that means I have to leave the house around 6:20am. Goodness what if there is traffic? That means I have to leave at least ten minutes earlier. So how do I wake up at 5:00am when I have been going to bed at 4:00am? Preparation is necessary to pull off this Hudini trick.

Three days before the much dreaded 7:00am appointment I have to sacrifice sleep and wake up early. I need to reset my internal clock. That day I wake up three to four hours earlier than usual. It takes me about forty-five minutes to actually get out of bed. Forty of which I am just telling myself that I need to get out of bed.
 I start my day. All of this early morning sunshine is foreign to me. My eyes can hardly focus and now I have this spotlight shining right in my face. No matter which way I turn it is there. This first day is horrible. My heart is beating in my chest as if it is trying to escape. My body is dragging every second of the day. Food is not even a factor considering my eyes are the only thing awake on my body. I turn to my old friend coffee. I drink all eleven ounces with such hope and such love. It feels amazing to finally have some positive feeling in my body.

The day lasts forever and it is now 10:00pm and my bed had been calling to me about the past three hours. I go to sleep before eleven that night. I sleep longer than anticipated, about ten hours. It feels good waking up before noon.  I feel like I can get so much done because I have so many extra hours.

So today my streak continues and I woke up at 8:00am. Suddenly I want to go for a walk and get some exercise. I want to be one with nature. I want to feel the hot morning sun on my skin.

This new appreciation for morning hours pops song lyrics into my head. Oh, Michael Buble, you make me smile. It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me and I'm feeling good. Oh yes, the song takes on new meaning today. So in the famous words of Mr. Buble...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hiatus Over

There has been so much excitement in our household in the past three weeks. Shortly after my last post we celebrated my dear daughter, Jade's 12th birthday. We invited her closest friends and spend a day of fun and laughter. Her party theme this year was a Tiki Luau. We had everything from lei's to fruit kabobs to a volcano birthday cake. We played pin the coconut on the palm tree for the little ones and had a full on Cool Whip fight with the older ones. It was messy but they had a blast. We were so happy to have shared her special day with family and friends.

We actually spend the next day July 22nd recovering and trying to clean the last traces of candy and Cool Whip we had missed the day before. Needless to say we were exhausted. That night my husband and I spent many hours talking about how fast our kids have grown. We could not believe our oldest daughter, Josie, was already married with a toddler and a baby on the way. Our son, Jevan, was about to start his second year in college. Our sweet Jade, was going to be a teenager in just one year. Our youngest child, Jaime, was already ten and turning into such a handsome young man. We almost broke night, but it was so nice to reminisce. We finally fell asleep around four in the morning, knowing we could sleep in the next morning. Two hours after we fell asleep we get "the" phone call.  It was our daughter Josie, she was at the hospital ready to have our first granddaughter!
I was so excited. It took me about thirty minutes to get ready and grab the camera. I tried waking my hubby but it was no use. He tried, really he did, but at last sleep overcame him. So I kissed him ever so gently and then I left.

Once at the hospital we went from the triage room to the labor room. It was about eight that morning when I finally had the heart to call my husband and wake him up to come to the hospital. By ten that morning Josie was half way dilated. She decided to have her second baby naturally. No pain medicine, no medicines to speed up her contractions. She is an amazing woman. She is strong both physically and emotionally. I was so proud of her decision and supported her all the way.

I watched her and her husband, Luis, as they hugged one another every time she started a contraction. He would reassure her that she could do this and they were so focused on each other. I think at that moment I finally realized that she was not my little girl anymore. It was a bittersweet moment. I will always treasure the memories I have of her as a child. I will always know that she changed my life for the better. She made me a parent and I learned along the way how to be her mom. Now it is her turn to be a mother to a daughter. She will have that girl bond that I have with her. She will one day see her little girl grow up. She will one day miss the days of buying flowy dresses just to see them twirl. She will one day ground her daughter for missing curfew. She will one day meet the man that will marry her baby. She will one day become a grandmother.

Life goes by so quickly. We need to treasure every moment. The good times along with the bad times. The happy times along with the sad times. I see how fast the past twenty two years have gone with my first two children and it makes me want to hold on to every second with my youngest ones. I try to look at the beauty each day brings to this household. I kiss and hug and tell my kids I love them everyday. I kiss and hug and tell my husband I love him everyday. I also tell him that if I had it all to do again, I would choose him every time. Sometimes jokingly I tell him, "I love you so much, I want to marry you and have your babies."

In the midst of the everyday mundane. In the midst of the chaos that can accumulate around us at times. In the midst of our lives. We actually need to live. So tell someone you love them today. Kiss your husbands, your wives,  your children, your parents, your pets. Do something as simple as give someone a smile. You never know if that is exactly what they needed. You never know if that is exactly what you needed.