Jen’s Post – The Five Year Plan

As a teenager, I was often challenged to think about my five-year plan. Sometimes that was even extended to a ten-year plan but that was incomprehensible to my young mind. Five years always included high school graduation, college, and a job in the hazy future. I didn’t know exactly what I would do beyond college. I couldn’t quite decipher a career path, but I knew it would be great. Amazing, actually. One of my high school teachers predicted that most of us would be working in a field that hadn’t been developed yet. That’s technically true for me since digital photography hadn’t come around yet. (I was still using film…surely that dates me!!) I may not have known which college was to become my alma mater or that I would graduate with my bachelors in science in three short years, but I knew my path. It sure was easy to sit down and jot out those five years full of potential and awe!

As a newlywed, the five-year plan became pretty simple. It was to put the hubby through the rest of his schooling, work like crazy, save for a house and have fun doing it.

Babies came early on and the five-year plan changed to getting the newborn to sleep through the night, potty training, saving for a bigger house, building a nest egg and starting college funds.

Somewhere in the middle of firsts and diapers, preschool and grade school, buying the bigger house, infertility and life in general, I got stuck. Sadly, the last 5 years have flown by so fast that I feel like I have barely had time to catch my breath. I haven’t thought much about tomorrow or next week, let alone next year.

Until last week when it hit me full in the face that my five-year plan at this moment includes half of my children graduating from high school and MOVING AWAY!! What??! I did not agree to children moving away. When did this happen? How can my five-year plan possibly include losing half of my family?

Even as I write this I realize that my story today began with a younger version of me that is exactly the same age as my oldest child.

Time does funny things. This new five-year plan feels just as hazy and unreal as the first one did all of those years ago. Yet unlike that confident teenager embarking on a new journey, I am uncertain and afraid of letting go.

Sooooo, I’m going to let that five-year plan roll around in the back of my mind while I go and enjoy right now with my kids. Tonight I’m going to kiss all my ‘babies’ goodnight and whisper stories to them about their future. It will be here before I know it.

Jen

Most days I am hanging on by my teeth and praying for a miracle. I’m always trying to do more than I’m able while dreaming of curling up with a book and doing nothing. I get bored of almost everything after an hour and I clean when I am stressed. My husband and I have four awesome kids whom we love dearly and we spend most of our time trying to keep up with them. I can’t remember what free time feels like. I worry about the day when all my kids leave the house, but I’m taking life one day at a time and trying to enjoy the journey! Catch a glimpse of our lives at www.fairbanksphotography.blogspot.com or send me an email at fairbanksphotography2@gmail.com.

dana post – bittersweet

I wish this post was about bittersweet chocolate but sadly it is not.

The sweet…yesterday was my baby’s 5th birthday; we’ll call her Tessa for the sake of anonymity.  Tessa is and will forever be my baby, whether she’s 5 or 55.

Let me start at the beginning.  After Ruby (our oldest) was two years old Kirk and I decided it was time to add on to our little family.   I’ll be completely honest; Ruby was a hard little lady to handle from about 18 months to 4-ish she pretty much had a temper tantrum every day.  I promise I’m not exaggerating, if it wasn’t one thing it was another; goodness those years were hard.  Even considering having another little one to care for was too much for my brain to handle, so we waited a couple years.  I’m the sort of person that once I think something should happen it should just happen.  I came to realize it doesn’t exactly work that way for me with having babies.  From the time we made up our minds to have another baby to the time we got pregnant was about a year and a half.  I know for some that is a short amount of time to try and others that is a lifetime.  For Kirk and me it felt like a lifetime.  We really really wanted another baby and each month it didn’t happen was pretty heartbreaking. We tried to be patient but we were almost to the point of scheduling an appointment with an Endocrinologist, in fact I think I had made an appointment for January of the following year.  Well we didn’t need to go that route, thankfully.

Christmas morning I had the “brilliant” idea to take a pregnancy test; I know not so much a brilliant idea.  I really was just thinking, there is no way I could be pregnant, I’ll just take this so I can go on with my Christmas morning.  Was I surprised; I think I used both tests in the box, just to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.  I WAS PREGNANT!!!  Kirk and I were elated; it seemed too good to be true.

Here is where the bitter comes in…yesterday as we celebrated Tessa being five and starting her own five year old adventures of kindergarten in about a month and just getting older, I was sad.  I know, what do I have to be sad about?  I have two healthy happy girls.  I understand that there are thousands of couples who don’t even have one child and suffer everyday because of it.  I’m sad because for 3 years now Kirk and I have been trying to have another baby.  My heart is sad today because I didn’t see myself here, still trying, still feeling that ache that another baby is suppose to be in our family.  I’m trying to be patient, but there are days I want to throw a big ole’ pity party.  I try not to let the negative thoughts consume me, but to be completely honest those thoughts creep in and I get sad.  Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for the two beautiful girls that I do have and I truly do cherish them.  But I also feel in every part of my being that there is another little one that is meant to be here.  One day, I’m not sure when, but one day we will have another baby.  For now, I’ll be a little sad.  Tomorrow I’ll get myself out of bed, hug, snuggle and kiss those cute girls and keep on going.  What else is there to do?

 

DanaI am a stay at home Mom of two sweet girls.  I am a half Asian half Hispanic girl who grew up in Southern California married to a white boy from Colorado. I am an identical twin.  To be perfectly honest, I feel completely inadequate to even attempt to write down my thoughts, but here I am regardless.  This opportunity is me trying to put a small part of myself outside of the box.  There are a few things I know for sure but many things I feel passionate about.  I hope that through this experience not only can I grow but someone somewhere can relate to the things I share.  I would love to hear from you, you can reach me at danavehar@aol.com! Happy reading!

Why I Say Yes

 

At the age of 19, after four months of rotating between bed and couch, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. What that really means is that the doctors weren’t really sure what was going on but I didn’t have Lupus or any other disease they could put their finger on. I was unexplainably tired ALL of the time. I had burned the candle at both ends for five years as an active teenager and my body just gave up. I spent the next fifteen years learning how to manage my condition and still (almost) lead the life that I wanted to have. I married, had babies and found a way to cope with a body that just wouldn’t keep up with the demands I put on it. Those child-bearing years were really rough but with many miracles and a patient, helpful husband, we not only got through them but we enjoyed them!

I have spent many days lying on the couch while my kids played around me. I would get up in the mornings, turn on a movie for the little ones and then lay back down. I found that napping children was a good excuse for me to sleep. I had a baby that I could use as justification for being so tired all of the time. But then one day I didn’t have a baby or even a toddler anymore. Naps weren’t part of our vocabulary. My routine of going back to bed whenever possible was over. There just wasn’t time for sleep in my day with school schedules and life’s demands. So I started saying yes to stuff. Yes to things that I’ve always been scared of in the past. I was terrified that people would ask me to commit to things that I wouldn’t be able to do. I had carefully guarded my energy, my time and my calendar for over a decade. But I started saying yes. And do you know what? Having a reason to get out of bed in the morning and get dressed helped me to do just that. Slowly I started adding appointments and meetings to those mornings that I had fiercely protected before. I could no longer get back in bed. And it helped. Knowing that others depended on me helped me to pull it together. In full disclosure, I have made a lot of other changes over the years to facilitate my health. However, letting go of my fear and just saying yes opened a door that I thought had been sealed shut forever. Sometimes we just need to say yes to stuff and let God show us what we are really capable of. Open your heart, let go of your fear and just say yes.

KStL

Kendra

KStLMy name is Kendra and I am a 29-year-old stroke survivor who has a new lease on life.  You can call me Stroked to Life.

After suffering a cerebral venous thrombosis at 25 I have found myself trying to drink in life, knowing that life is a gift and truly but a moment.  (For my entire stroke story you can click here and here)
I’m a mother, a writer, an art lover, a design appreciator, and in my spare time I love to curl up with a book.
I want people to know that even after the worst of experiences there is life after the ickiness and it can filled with as much beauty as you choose.
If you can’t find me here you can reach me at strokedtolife@gmail.com.

I hope you’ll stop by weekly to see what me and the fabulous StL contributors have to say!

 

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