Tuesday, February 28, 2012

how was i to know part 2

I have been thinking about these kids a lot.
dreaming of holding this baby
I always heard that being a parent was like watching part of your heart leave your body and walk around without you.
It is.
It is all true.
And the older the kids get, the farther my heart walks away.
And it is sad.
And I am happy for them.
And it still hurts.
And the worry sets in.
Did I say enough?
Did I love them enough when they were babies?
Do they know that they can ALWAYS come home?
my baby girl with the sweet sweet smile
And mixed in with the worry is the gut wrenching job of being the bad guy.
We are the meanest, strictest, most nosey parents on the planet.
And as much as I mumble it is because we love you, it is never heard.
As much as I YELL it is because I LOVE YOU, it just can't be heard.
the smell of that skin is only a memory
Gone are the days of naptime, little tikes car washes, the nighttime routine, and sweet angels.
These are the days of peer pressure, alcohol, GPAs and kids that speak only half of the time.
How did that happen?
Where are my babies?
Do they remember that I love them?

my heart
I know it is time to back off.
But I can never back off completely.
They are my babies.
They will always be my babies.

will sleep in our bed forever

And I will never give up on making sure they know we love them.
Even if I smother them a bit.
Or a lot.
Because it is my job.

And because it is not possible to live and be missing 5 parts of your heart.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

how could i know

fancy dinner in galvez hotel
don't judge us cause we were drinking milk
after all, we were just babies
Today is our 21st wedding anniversary.
Wow - we did it.
Just like that, we got married.

When people ask if I would do it again, I never hesitate when I answer YES!!
I love Jeff.
Jeff loves me.
We both love our family.

Please don't confused my thought of never changing a thing with a perception that it has been a walk in the park.
It hasn't.
Marriage is hard.
Sometimes I would even go as far as saying that it is harder than parenting.
But that might not be true - parenting is just hard in a different way.  (another blog post coming)

And even through all of the hard times, I know that I never want to share any of this with another person.
We know each other.
Read it again...

We grew each other up.
We've seen the good and the bad.
We've made it through the joy and the sorrow.
I love him.

And I am willing to work through the hard.
I am willing to fight everyday for this marriage to work.
I am willing to make sacrafices.
I am willing to let my guard down.
I am willing to be real with my Jeff.

One of my girlfriends posted this quote the other day.
"86 percent of unhappily married people who stick it out find that, five years later, their marriages are happier. In fact, nearly 60 percent of those who rated their marriage as unhappy in the late 1980’s, and who stayed married, rated their same marriage “very happy” or “quite happy” when re-interviewed five years later. In comparison, those who divorced and remarried, divorced again at a rate of 60 percent."

I believe this.
How can you really taste victory when you haven't had to work to achieve it?
If it was easy, there would be no fun in doing it.
alvin sun-advertiser

I am so thankful for the last 21 years.
I wish I had been smart enough to document the days better.

I am excited for the next 21 years.
I will be snapping pictures and documenting enough to make my husband good and irritated.

Because I know that these times are worth documenting.
The good and the bad.

Because I love him so much.
And because there in no one that I'd rather spend the next 7,761 days with.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

let the church say amen

I should be ashamed to say this, but I am being totally honest here.
And my current truth is that I haven't gotten anything done today because I have been watching tv.
Not just any program.
Oh no, I have been watching the Whitney Houston funeral.
Yes, I have it recorded.
Yes, I have already watched it once.

I just can't get enough.
I spent many many hours of my life listening to her sing to me.
I am sad that she is dead.
I rooted for her.

I kinda feel like we lived parallel lives.
Oh, except for the fact that I am not magazine beautiful, rich or famous.
But we both grew up in the church.
Every time the doors were open.
(Me, Whitney and Kevin Costner)
Her momma prayed for her.
My momma still prays for me.
Her family prayed for her.
My family prays for me.
I know that they do.

So besides my sadness about Whitney being dead at such a young age - I am also reliving part of my childhood by watching parts of this funeral over and over and over.

I grew up hearing people say 'home going'.
I grew up listening to the Winans.
I feel so lucky that my sweet little white momma from Alabama let me watch The Soul Train and that gospel music was playing on our radio all of the time.
Gospel and Country 24/7 365.  Still to this day.

So naturally, when the Winans came on and sang Tomorrow, I was singing every word at the top of my lungs and bawling my eyeballs out.  Of course, the kids looked at me like I was crazy.

But I love that song.
I always have.

So here ya go.
Two of my very favorite gospel songs.


It Is Well With My Soul
(I highly encourage you to watch this video.  Small explanation of how the song came to be - which is a very moving story.)

hey mister, throw me some beads

While we were home this weekend, we took a break and headed down to a Mardi Gras parade in Galveston.

It is a pretty tame children's parade that runs down the Seawall.
It is fun to see the locals ham it up.

This sheriff spent a good amount of time with his foot on the gas pedal of this trans-am.  I am not sure who got a bigger kick out of it - him or the kids.
burn rubber not weed

There is always a fun band marching through.  This time Wyatt got a one on one visit with the band leader.  I honestly cannot imagine what life would look like from that angle.
6 feet 10 inches - i had to ask

Momma had never been to a Mardi Gras parade before.  In 70 years - not one single Mardi Gras bead caught.  Wow.
no shirts lifted

But she learned fast and made up for the years lost.  She was a bead catching champion!
protect your children

And although the loot was slim (as pointed out by our expert kids) the good times were a plenty.
showing the loot

And we even took a little bit of time to sit on the Seawall and enjoy the calm water.
this lasted about 5 whole minutes

It was the perfect afternoon outing.
Me and Jeff.
The beach.
And plastic beads.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

being born

life of the party
I just got home after being gone for the last four days.
This was my 4th trip home in 21 days.
Our house is quiet.
I have slept in our home 11 of the last 21 days.
Our kids are all snuggled in their beds.
I have slept in my childhood home for 10 of the last 21 days.

Today is my dad's 83 birthday.
What a weird thought.

As we sat with him today trying to help him understand his new home, I thought about my children being born.
Then I thought alot about my dad being born.

He is the oldest of 5 living children.
Both of his parents are deceased.
He has 3 sibilings that are deceased - they all died as infants.

I wonder what my abuela felt on the day that he was born.
I wonder what the conditions were.
I am sure he was born at home.
I have no idea that they had running water or electricity.

But more importantly, I wonder what her hopes and dreams were for him on the day the he was born.

I think about our babies being born.
Just thinking about it makes my eyes fill up with tears.
OUR babies.
MY babies.
I remember the moments and hours after they were born and the feeling of never ever wanting to put them down.
I think about how I held them and thought to myself that I would do everything I could to love them, and protect them and give them the best life has to offer.

But I never thought about them being 83.
In a nursing home.
Where everyone is a stranger.
Even the people that you know.

I am comforted tonight because he knew who I was.
And he knew it was his birthday.
And he told me he wanted to eat pea soup.

I find comfort in the fact that when I had to leave tonite to come to our home, he looked me directly in the eyes and said 'Katharina - don't cry'.

And then I thought about my grandmother.
And how in his mind she is holding him.
And loving him.
And how in the darkest times, it is her that he calls out.

And I know in my heart that nothing can break the bond between a mother and a child.
And I look at my mom and I know that even in her sadness, she is trying to protect me and my brother.
And I look at my children and I know that every single day, I will tell them 100 more times that I love them and that they are the pleasure of my life.
Because I know, that someday - the dark might come for them too.  And although I might not be around anymore, I will still be with them giving them the love and encouragement that they need.
Like my abuela is doing.

For her baby.

That was born today.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sweet Hearts

I love holidays.
Any holiday makes me happy.
Valentines Day is no exception.

Wyatt spent the last week convincing us that he was having his birthday party, not a valentines party.
He had a blast celebrating at school.
sweet friends with a load of candy

Miles worked hard on his valentines box.  And with a little help from dad, his dream box came to life.  He did admit after school though that the classmates liked the box so much that it was a little bit of a distraction.
i eat valentines
Our sweet Ella received flowers at school.  The school orchestra had a fundraiser selling carnations for $2 each and you could send them to friends.  I can only imagine how proud she felt as walked through the junior high halls holding those flowers.
smartest fundraiser ever

And I am sure that it was even more of a valentines thrill when she received a flower from 'anonymous'.

stalker admirer

Sam's girlfriend gave him chocolates. 

And for dinner I picked out their favorite drinks and bought them each a small box of chocolates.
cream soda
green tea

We all had a nice time eating our yummy chocolates while watching Glee.
sun shine
all star
sweetie pie
number 1

All in all - it was a great family evening.
And I am so glad we were able to sit and be all together before I hit the road to Manvel again tomorrow.
Without even knowing, these people give me strength.
Which is the very best valentine gift ever.
all my valentines

Monday, February 13, 2012

In My Head

It has been a great start to the new year.
It has been a tough start to the new year.

My dad has not been home since the beginning of January.
He is pretty sick.

I think he is most likely coming to the end of his 82+ years.

I have been trying to help my mom some during the week.
This is so hard for her.

There are times when I can't look at him because he already looks dead.
And that sucks.

My mom found a fantastic Elder Law attorney that is helping her and our family.
It is amazing how smart these folks are.
And even more amazing is the kindness and customer service that they provide.

It is weird to go to the attorney office and sit in the waiting room knowing that we will be called in to sit behind the big table.  Me, my brother and my mom on one side - attorney on the other.  All three of us holding our breath while we listen to her gently explain what my dad's future might look like.  And giving us a glimpse into how my mom might be able live out her next 20+ years.

And then I go back to the home and watch my mom love my dad and try to take care of him.  Sometimes he is responsive and other times, the dementia takes over every part of his body and he has no idea who she is.  His wife of 50 years.  Gone in  his mind.

My mom has put pictures all over his room.  I wonder what he thinks when he looks at them?  Does he know that we love him?  Does he feel a connection?  Or are we just wall decor?

On good days, he has physical therapy.  The folks that work with these patients are truly angels sent down to care for these elderly folks.  And even though she still works, my mom is there almost everyday to help him take his baby steps.

I don't know what tomorrow holds.
What I do know is that forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself and those around you.
That I can give myself.

And no matter what, we don't throw people away.

I believe in my heart that when the time comes for him to take his last breathe, I will be at peace.
And I will be there with my mom to help her figure out her new life.
And I will come back to my little family and continue to love them every single day.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Red Face

sweet angel baby

Today's laugh compliments of the boy in the cast...

At the bank yesterday afternoon.
Have Wyatt sitting on counter with my arm resting on his lap.
He says in his loud 3 year old voice
So I move my arm.
He then grabs my face to make me look at him and he says even louder