These People

Where do you belong? Where’s your safe space? Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up?

In a big city or small town. On road trips. At museums, zoos, concerts. Inside or outside. Spread out separately all in our own spaces or crowded into a small room together. Hungry, tired, crabby. Happy, silly, adventurous. In tears and laughter.

These people. They are my place in the world.

-Kat

Weekly Photo Challenge: Place in the World

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Favorite Place

Unedited and taken in the moment- anytime spent with this little guy holding my hand ranks at the top of my list of favorite places to be.

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 There’s joy and wonder everywhere, when you see the world through the eyes of a child. …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

Hope your weekend is filled with joy!

-Kat

Lessons Learned From Someone I Used to Know

There are no big revelations in this list. it’s been said before, heard before, lived before. But have you ever walked away from an experience and thought about what you’re taking away from it? A recent encounter reminded me of these things:

  • Family matters- even if you don’t want it to. They know where you came from. They know who you were.
  • Be careful who you trust. Sometimes you might be looking in the wrong direction and never see it coming.
  • It’s never too late to try and fix things. Words spoken in the heat of the moment might hold some truth, or maybe they are all true, but that still doesn’t mean that things have to remain broken.
  • As much as you might want to slam the door and lock it, it can always open. You have the power to unlock it!
  • Unless you hear the words coming from a person’s mouth, you will never know for sure if they said them. People twist or make up things to suit their own purpose- even people you love.
  • If you don’t want to believe what a person says, look at their actions for reinforcement.
  • There is more than one side to every story. Every person has their own story and your hero might be my  villain. You never know.
  • We all have “stuff” and no one’s is more or less than anyone else’s. It’s just theirs.
  • People can change and often do. We are all shaped by our experiences and each one changes us, maybe in small ways but always in some way.
  • Forgiveness is not a dirty word.
  • Letting go of negative feelings isn’t a statement of denial that something happened.
  • Often the truth is staring you in the face- and you just can’t or don’t want to see it.
  • And sometimes the truth hurts.
  • Everyone isn’t in the same place in their journey and sometimes we need to be patient and wait for the other person to catch up. And sometimes we need to do what we need to do, and know that we will get where we need to be in our own time.
  • If a person is determined to hold on to their hurt and anger and lets it fester and spread, they will remain stuck in that place.
  • Being wrongly accused sucks.
  • Not being allowed to defend yourself sucks more.
  • It ain’t over til it’s over.

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”     

Soren Kierkegaard

Spring has arrived…maybe in name only. Enjoy!

-Kat

Catching Up

I did finally make it out of Target in time to celebrate Christmas. Two of my kids were not with us this year so we will be celebrating with them soon. Their absences left a huge hole in our day. Lucky for us, our little guys were with us and there’s nothing like the excitement children have for the holidays!

We shared good times, good food and a cozy fire with some loved ones. And that mischievous elf, Jack, stole my camera and attempted to take a selfie!

I hope this holiday season finds you happy, healthy, safe and warm!

Love, 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

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

 

 

Detour

corner 1

STOP

My plans for the fall have come to a halt. Or maybe just had to be revised. Due to circumstances beyond his control, my son finds himself needing some assistance in caring for CJ (almost 8) and Beej (approaching 3). Working a 24 on/48 off shift means that he needs more than just “keep an eye on the kids for a few hours” help. It requires at least two overnights and now that school has begun, on the average of three mornings getting CJ ready and off to school and then picked up and homework duty.

Cross Traffic Does Not Stop

Crossing the road both figuratively and literally can be quite tricky. I’m dealing with two children, who are quite precious to me, and although I know them almost as well as I knew their dad at these ages, I just never know what we will find around the corner. (or across the street). Whether it’s teething, an inability to sleep due to excitement, or a classic case of missing Daddy, I have to be prepared for anything. 

Detour

My life has taken an unexpected detour. I have always enjoyed spending time with my grandsons, and this takes that togetherness up a notch. I am blessed to have a husband who loves our grandsons as much as I do and brings his own kind of grandfatherly goofiness and priceless assistance to our days and nights. We have easily fallen back into long forgotten routines from years ago. I am happy to give my son peace of mind while he works at a job that requires him to be alert and free from home distractions while on duty. I am lucky to have this special time with these guys! 

“See any detour as an opportunity to experience new things.”

-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Happy Saturday!

-Kat

This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Corner.

 

Two Time

readingDo you want to know what I’ve been up to for the past five days? Just a little summer reading. According to my calculations, I have read over 90 books* in a five day period.

Yes, I’ve been on two year old duty on and off for a good part of the week, including many sleepovers, which explains my absence here on the blog. But if you think we were just sitting around reading books the entire time, you would be mistaken. Little Beej remains the busiest two year old around.

In addition to reading endless books, he played with cars (big and small), trains (Thomas and others), play food, puzzle letters, xylophone, piano, figures, and as you can see from the photos above- he re-distributed the fluff that Ari removed from her stuffed animal after I gathered it into a handful and he assigned the Teletubbies their positions on the fire engine.

We spent a lot of time in the bathroom and we talked about going potty a lot. We made little to no progress in that area but it really does provide some memorable conversations. He knows all the right answers. He informs me when he has pooped. He is holding it when he’s sitting on the potty chair. He has peed next to the potty chair, on his blanket and socks, on the rug in the bathroom…. Yes, it’s been a bonding experience for us- as if we needed any more of that!

“A toddler believes that if you love a person, you stay with that person 100 percent of the time.”          -Lawrence Balter

Although the last week was unusual, at any given moment, I might find myself spending lots of  time with Beej. I don’t mind. I love this little guy more than anything and I think he feels the same. When his Daddy came to pick him up, I explained that he was going home. “To Daddy’s house,” he clarified to himself. I corrected, “To your house where you live with Daddy.” Beej threw his head back and wailed in pure two year fashion, “Noooooooo. It’s not my’se (the two year old word for “my”) house. It’s Daddy’s house. I want to stay here.”  This story has a happy ending. Beej is two (meaning his mood changes on a dime) and loves his Daddy and was happy to go home with him.

I know this time with Beej is precious and a gift and something I will always treasure. I also know it’s necessary and what’s best for Beej and I’m so grateful that I’m able to be here. Although it cuts into my writing time, it also gives me space, perspective and time to think while I’m enjoying this special little person that my son created (reminding me of a special little person I created so many years ago).

“Sometimes you need to talk to a 2 year old just so you can understand life again.”                       -Patricia Love

I’m working on finding a healthy balance. Writing and my blog is calling to me. I hope to get it right soon!

-Kat

*Here is a list of the books B and I read- Ten Apples Up On Top (3 times), ABC Drive (+5 times), Star Wars A to Z (1 time), A You’re Adorable (4 times), The Golden Egg Book (2 times), Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (5+ times), Hooper Humperdink? Not Him! (5+ times), Where the Wild Things Are (3 times), Do Princess Wear Hiking Boots? (5 times), Jake Baked the Cake (2 times), Giggle, Giggle, Quack (5 times), Have You Seen My Potty? (3 times), Even Firefighters Go to the Potty (5+ times), Potty Time (2 times), Too Big For Diapers (2 times), I Can Go Potty (3 times), Your Personal Penguin (5+ times), Time For Bed (3 times), The Going to Bed  Book (3 times), Goodnight Moon (3 times), Click Clack, 1-2-3 (5 times), Pajama Time, The Bunny Rabbit Show, and I know I’m forgetting a few more titles.

 

 

 

#AtoZChallenge J is for Joy

J

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” – Marianne Williamson

I don’t talk about my mother here on my blog. There is only one reason-  she is part of an elite group- the people I don’t discuss here. I can tell you that she is still alive. She lives nearby me. She is still part of my life. And she loves me with a fierceness that is not easily expressed but never doubted. She is a strong person who is quite private. What most people might not realize is that she is a fighter, with determination that could rival the toughest in town. She cares very deeply, but rarely lets those emotions bubble to the surface. Although I know she loves us all, we take it on faith, not expecting her to say those words out loud. beej gg

And it is because of all this that I have absolutely savored the time I get to spend with my mom when Beej, my little grandson is around. More than once my mother has expressed how much of joy he brings to her life. It fills my heart with joy to watch great-grandson and great-grandmother together. It brings back memories of the days when my firstborn, Michael, was young and all of the special times we spent with my mom then.

I know that this time is fleeting and I love being a part of the happiness Beej brings to her life.

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

TTFN

-Kat