This Place in Time

The last month in photos. The days have been filled with waiting rooms, parking lots, hallways, vending machines, elevators, and faces- some kind and compassionate, some indifferent. There have been setbacks and improvements, sometimes one pushing the other out of the way. I know this is not permanent. I believe I will come out of this experience having grown and changed in many ways. My loved one continues to grow stronger and for this I am grateful.

“Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?” -Rumi

Weekly Photo Challenge: Temporary

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I Always Feel Like…

somebody’s watching me! As you may or may not know, my house is filled with the pitter patter of little (2 year old) and bigger (8 year old) feet and along with the  pitter patter comes toys- lots of toys. And these sneaky little guys manage to leave them in the most unexpected places.

I have these dolls in a wire basket and an old Weeble hiding on a shelf in my office.

I never know when a Lego guy will be peaking out from his hiding spot.

peeking lego guy

This rabbit that 2 year old Beej swears came from Teletubby land is always sticking his head out from behind his newest hiding place- today’s being the lid to the train box. And Teletubby Dipsy, who usually sleeps with Beej, snuck down and peeked out at me from behind Pooh the other day.

I don’t remember encountering tricky toys like these the first time I went through the kid thing. Maybe I was just too busy raising the kids to stop and notice. These little surprise faces peeking up at me always make me smile. They are always a welcome reminder of my special boys- as if I could ever forget them!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Peek

Have a great week!

-Kat

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Pets

Our dog, Ari, is the star of Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Pets this week. Ari entered our lives when she was less than a year old and now she is a mature lady of 8! She is affectionate, impertinent, obnoxious, nurturing to her baby (Beej), loyal and determined. Her personality is so much larger than her 25 lb body and it’s hard to remember a time when she wasn’t with us. She makes us laugh. She has given us heart failure when she has gotten lost (2 times). For such a small pup, she takes up a huge place in our hearts.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” -Charles M. Schulz

black-white-banner

Have a great day!

-Kat

One Phone Call

IMG_0473Let me start by saying- everything will be okay. Ten days ago when I answered the phone and was greeted with the words’ “Okay, so before you worry, everything is okay”- my first reaction was to panic and think the worst. Why does that happen? I’m pretty sure my knee-jerk reaction is fairly common, too.

One of my loved ones had an accident and just like that, my life shifted a bit. Posts half-written were forgotten and I have spent days at the hospital.

My loved one will be fine. Surgery was performed. Recovery will take time. Loved one will make it and so will the rest of us. I will have to make minor adjustments to my schedule and juggle little guy time with rehab and support visits.

I will have to fight to find writing time. This presents me with a challenge that I’ve struggled with for years. As I watch my loved one fight to regain every day activities, it’s inspiration to me. It also gives me hope. The progress made in such a short time- moving relatively pain-free from bed to wheelchair with one person’s help is huge!

It gives me perspective. What seemed monumental less than two weeks ago hardly matters now. Having the people you love in your life- that’s what counts.

This experience has been humbling and made me realize that everything can change with one phone call. You would be surprised at what you can let go of when the big picture comes into focus and your entire world seems to be the confines of a hospital room and the well-being of someone you love.

Before this big event I had been working on a series of posts on forgiveness. Still a work in progress, I have found that I have so much to learn. (But more on that later!)

My plan is to write more, photograph more and take advantage of this therapeutic outlet that I have at my fingertips.

I hope you are all well and your loved ones and yourselves healthy!

Talk soon

-Kat 

My Three Little Birds

This week’s song, Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and the Wailers (1977), never fails to bring me a renewed sense of determination and a feeling that I can overcome anything as long as I keep my priorities straight. As long as I can remember, what makes me happiest is my family. The combination of this reassuring song and my love for my “three little birds” gives me motivation to keep moving.

“Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying’, (this is my message to you)
Singing’ don’t worry ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright”
Three Little Birds, Bob Marley and the Wailers

 

This post is working double duty for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Happy and 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past. 

It Never Ends

Near the beginning of this clip from the movie Parenthood, Frank Buckman talks about a time when he and his wife thought their son had polio and the feelings that experience evoked.

Soon I will be celebrating the birthday of my youngest child, my baby, Andrew. He will turn 22 years old. When Andrew was nearly two months old, his doctor was concerned that he might have a narrowed aorta which would be considered a critical congenital heart defect. I will never forget that feeling- I already loved this little guy so much and he might be suffering or at risk for a lifetime of health problems. Oh, my heart. Yes, I understand what Frank meant.

What I felt for Andy all those years ago was just the tiniest fraction of how much I love him (and his siblings) today. I know there are people who do not have more than one or two children because they love them so much, they can’t imagine being able to love more. But love isn’t given to you in a limited quantity to dole out to everyone in your life and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Loving one person doesn’t take any love away from someone else you love. And I’m here to tell you that if you think you have an enormous amount of love for that one child, you don’t have three times that for three kids. It just grows and grows to such an incredible size. And that growing takes place as they grow. That overwhelming feeling of love you might feel for that little guy when he’s two months old is going to expand and fill your life in a way you never thought possible.

It won’t be easy. Their problems will grow with them and sometimes you will have to “be there” but let them handle it on their own and sometimes they will let you help them. No, it won’t be easy but it will definitely be worth it.

And as I tend to do around my children’s birthdays, I’m feeling very nostalgic and very blessed. Oh, and Andrew ended up being the healthiest of all my children- so there you go. Just another reason to be happy.

But a word to those who haven’t reached this realization yet, to quote Frank Buckham- “IT NEVER ENDS!” (And that’s a good thing, right? Right?)

Have a great day!

-Kat

 

 

 

I wish I could freeze time or go back in time and watch my kids grow up all over again because it is just going by too fast.” – Robert Rodriguez

Time in a Bottle

I don’t dance. This might come as a shock to you if you read my post about teen Kat putting on basement performances way back but it’s true. I’m way too self-conscious and clumsy to enjoy dancing so it should come to no surprise to you that I don’t have your standard “first dance” story.

My first dance with my future husband took place at his best friend’s wedding, where he was doing duty as the best man. Me, as old friend of the groom and best man’s future intended, was so inconsequential that I did not even receive a seat at the reception. No lie. As I searched the place cards with guests’ names and table numbers on them, mine was nowhere to be found. My husband was very busy doing best man stuff and I didn’t know where to turn. Lucky for me, I would be marrying into a kind, welcoming family and upon hearing that I had nowhere to sit, they scooted closer together and found me a chair, a place setting and a place to feel welcome at their already full table. And when the dancing began, they insisted I dance so dance I did- with my future husband’s father and brother. I even ended up dancing with my old friend, the groom. And all of these dances took place before I ever shared a dance with my husband. That wedding remains a blur in my memory and the songs are long forgotten.

The one song I will never forget is the first dance my husband and I shared at our wedding to Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle. Croce wrote the song after finding out that his wife was pregnant in 1970. Sadly, he was killed in a plane crash in 1973 before this song became his second #1 hit.

This post is inspired by Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 38. where he talks about a song that says “first dance” to him.

51-weeks-51-songs-from-the-past

Thanks for stopping in!

-Kat

 

 

A Boy and a Backhoe

Beej and the backhoe

“If I had influence with the good fairy… I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.”

-Rachel Carson

Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

6 Things I Don’t Miss About Driving Kids to School

school drop offAs I mentioned earlier this week, I drove my kids to school for more years than I would like to remember or count and I have recently found myself back in the role of chauffeur once again. I’m having flashbacks of all sorts which has caused a short circuit in my brain resulting in some of the most complex and confusing run-on sentences ever created.  Here are the things that I do not miss about school drop offs and pick ups:

  • Sitting in line for 15 minutes waiting for the staff to come out only to have to wait an additional few minutes while the person at the front of the line proceeds to have a lengthy, emotional good-bye conversation with their child complete with darling student climbing over the seat to hug and kiss mom good bye before having to flip back into the back seat, bulky backpack and all, to climb out the car door, which she is too small to open on her own, requiring the staff member to finally head over to assist the student while the rest of us who were parked in sidewalk range have let our passengers out of our cars and are just waiting to get out of the blasted parking lot (because quite frankly, the reason we were waiting for 15 minutes was because we wanted to get near the beginning of the line so we could just get out quickly!)
  • The crossing guard who stands with one foot on the sidewalk and the other in the street holding the stop sign at a slightly outstretched/partially raised level, looking as if she is going to step out in front of you at any second to stop traffic and let people cross so you slow down to let her know that you see that she might be in motion and she just stands there frozen in that confusing position while staring RIGHT at you so you slowly coast past her (and the large group of parents, children, younger siblings who have gathered next to her on the sidewalk) giving them all a timid (and hopefully friendly) smile.
  • Having to tell your own darling child that “No, you cannot play on the dirt pile” with the other kids whose parents obviously don’t care if their kids walk in covered from head to toe in a fine coating of dust and dirt….and having to repeat the answer each and every time of the 25 times that your child asks in that 15 minute period while waiting for staff to come out and drop off to officially begin. (And why exactly is there a pile of dirt conveniently located next to sidewalk in the drop off/pick up area anyway??)
  • The soft voice of the two year old behind you telling you all of his innermost thoughts and feelings and not being able to decipher a single word!
  • Having your child stare at you blankly when the time has arrived for him to depart the car after the endless 15 minute wait and after being told by you no less than five times that “When I tell you it’s time to go, grab your backpack and get out of the car” in the last 2 minutes and when he finally does begin to move, his every action is in slow motion…..(with you cringing in anticipation of impatient beeping horns coming from the cars behind you then realizing they won’t come because those people are also trying to shoo their own kids out of their cars- phew!)
  • Hitting a few red lights and pokey traffic so that you are running behind (which is still before the actual drop off time because you’re a little bit anal that way) reaching the school parking lot too late to pull in leaving you on the street with your left turn signal on waiting to turn in when the line starts to move but each time you think you’ll be able to make that turn, oncoming cars turn right and fill up the line so you are stuck out on the street and when the line has moved and there are no oncoming cars five families of different assortments (parents, parents with strollers, kids on bikes, kids walking, toddlers running, kids running to the edge of the sidewalk only to come to a screeching halt when their parents yell at them to stop) approach the crosswalk SO by the time they all cross safely to the other side, there is traffic coming from the other direction AGAIN….which is why we will be leaving even earlier tomorrow morning—oh wait- it’s Saturday!

Needless to say, this is why, when my kids were in school I parked down the street and made them walk over and find the car!

I need to run now. It’s time for me to rouse Beej from his nap so I can get him settled into his car seat so we can be first in line at pick up! (I sure hope Cj doesn’t get on the bus by mistake!)

-Kat

Thankful Thursday

dandelion on patio 7.2.17When I sat down in front of my computer today, my mind skittered around in an attempt to decide on a post. I wasn’t prepared for any of the photo challenges- at least not quite yet. A quick scroll through pins on my “In the works” board on Pinterest didn’t spark anything. I felt my spirits droop and an unwelcome thought entered my mind. “Why does everything suck?”

This made me sit up in my chair and do a quick examination of my life at that exact minute. As my thoughts darted around my head touching on this issue or that area, I quickly realized that I could only think of one thing that could be categorized as sucking.

As I ran down my laundry list of usual problem areas, it dawned on me that things were pretty darn good and truthfully, I had so much to be thankful for. I gave that “sucky” thought a kick in the pants and settled down to share my thankful list with you:

  • My two college kids are in good places- both of them! They are both finishing up their last year of undergrad studies. Despite a little adversity, both are facing these obstacles in a more mature manner. And they are thinking past graduation! Score!!!
  • My dear friend, Hugh, who writes Hugh’s Views & News so kindly shared a post of mine that he enjoyed- Yesterday Once More. What makes this act so special to me is that I was feeling a bit vulnerable writing it. I’ve been playing it safe for awhile now and when Hugh’s own post inspired me to write mine, I was hesitant to hit that “Publish” button. Every insecurity I have as a writer rose to the surface. Hugh sharing that post was the gentle nudge I desperately needed and I’m eternally thankful to him for this.
  • I met new people through my blog at a time when I’ve been feeling quite cut off from the world both behind the keyboard and out. It’s been so much fun!
  • The infernal heat broke and it’s a breezy 70 degrees here in the Midwest- absolutely perfect!
  • I’m feeling more pulled together than I have in a long time. Being in limbo can be draining and scary and frustrating but today I don’t feel so disconnected.
  • I chose (and purchased) a paint color for my front door that was referred to as a “bold” choice by the cashier and although she said it in a way that implied it was over the top, it only confirmed to me that I had, indeed, picked the perfect color!

What are you thankful for today?

“I have a lot to be thankful for. I am healthy, happy and I am loved.” -Reba McEntire

Happy Friday Thursday!

-Kat