Me, My Family

Perseverance, unicorns and just a little pixie dust

Life is messy, and hard and sometimes downright  mean.  I would like to be able to tell my kids that it is filled with unicorns and roses but that would be silly, untrue and would not prepare them for the reality of the future.  I would like to tell them that they can just shut the door until the hard stuff is over but that would just make them victims to the evils that would eventually consume them.  I would like to tell them that they could close their eyes and wish it all away but in my opinion that would ensure them a future of failure.

unicorn-11273No, I tell my girls the truth.  The cold, hard and often ugly truth.  Life is unfair, hard and dirty at times and often it will disappoint you.  With that truth comes the real lesson, a lesson of perseverance that those who keep their heads up, those who work hard, those who strap in for the rough ride will succeed in the end and be the stronger for it!  My girls have lived this lesson from early ages.  I am sure they feel that their lives have been often unfair to this point, Madison being witness to my miscarriage, major health scares for both of their parents and more hospital visits than any child should have to endure.  They have seen their father work non stop only to have his pay cut and eventually be laid off by the same company.   I am fully aware that our lives are a paradise when compared to others.  We all have our struggles, how you deal with them makes us who we are.

I try to teach the girls that when life gets tough to face it and never give up.  I hope that my husband and I have modeled this same lesson for them.  There is often an easier way but it does not make it right.  Never run and never bury your head in the sand. Do not be afraid to try, to  fail, but NEVER stop trying, learn and grow and always keep smiling.

29a8d7a59eec706135ac1eb9fe9e26d1As meaningful as those lesson are, it is also important, more important  to celebrate the wins, the glass is half full side of things.  The fact that my girls are healthy and smart, athletic and kind.  The fact that after a tough search my husband has found a wonderful new job. From time to time, it is nice to live in a world of unicorns and when life is on an upswing you grab on with both hands!  How do you best celebrate the positive turn in events?  With a trip to Disney World of course!  Very soon we will be off to see that amazing Mouse!  For our family Disney is that place where you get to close your eyes and wish it away, that world where fantasy is reality and pixie dust rules the land!  I can not wait….Mickey we will be there soon!

2013 Magic!
2013 Magic!
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Me, My Family

A never ending cycle, STOP

Our entire lives are spent working to prepare for the next thing.  Kindergarten is spent getting kids ready for first grade.  Stand in any first grade classroom throughout the day and you will hear continually that they will need to know this for second grade.  Elementary school is all about preparing for middle school, middle school for high school and the four years spent there is all about getting into the right college (or for many of what you could afford).  We go to college to be prepared for the real world and once there many feel they are totally not prepared!

What no one ever tells you is that there is just no end to the cycle.  When we are young we assume that it is all for a purpose, as if we will be rewarded as a result of our years of preparation.  Once out of school it is about working to get ahead or more the norm just to stay afloat.  Work hard, hard, harder just to pay your bills and don’t forget the outstretched hand of the government.  Property taxes, sales taxes, federal income taxes and for many of us state income taxes and now a presidential election where some say we still don’t pay enough.

Our lives lived as if we were merely hamsters on a wheel, running in circles.  images

Recently there has been much sadness around us.  Cancer, a very rare medical situation and a massive heart attack.  Taken much too young,  a friend, an acquaintance , a relative of a friend, all under 50 years.  Why does it take such tragedy to make you say STOP, if even for just a little while.  We spent the weekend as a family enjoying beautiful weather and some great soccer.

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Sure the bills must be paid and the tests taken.  The days will pass but we all need to make a conscience effort to enjoy the little things.  To stop and recognize the beauty of each day.  I am not an extremely religious person but I thank God for each morning I get to kiss the girls as I wake them or see them smile with each new achievement.  Life is too short, before you know it you are looking back wishing for one more moment.  Enjoy the moments while in them, smile more and worry less.  It’s easy enough to say right? I am willing to put in the effort!

 

 

Me, My Family

Cheers to a new year!

At the end of the year WordPress sent a recap. I glanced at it but did not really read it. I have not posted regularly in a while.  Honestly it sat unread in my inbox until the other day.  The recap itself was not too interesting since it only covers what I posted, which was not much, but it brought to mind a very stressful year.  It brought to mind laughter and tears, memories that were at times busy, frustrating, exciting, painful, stressful and of course love filled.  At many times I thought of posting to help me clear my head but for so many reasons at the time it just did not seem right.

Sometimes the weight on your shoulders seems too heavy. It often seems to great to bear but when you are about to scream, it is good idea to step back and take a second to look down the road you have just traveled if for nothing else than perspective.

Watching winning returns come in on Primary night
Watching winning returns come in on Primary night

Early in the year I was approached to run for political office with 2 others for township council.  We won the primary but in the end I fell short by about 30 votes of winning in the general election.  Months of meetings, greetings, hand shakes and campaigning.  Politics can be ugly.  It was a very interesting experience that I am thrilled I attempted but to be fully honest I am just as thrilled to leave behind.  It was time consuming and stressful on my family especially my girls who have grown accustomed to my being home every night to put them to bed.  We could have done good things for our township had we won but each day I know I do great things for my girls, and in the end that is enough for me.

Megan's dingy cast right before removal
Megan’s dingy cast right before removal

At the end of  May I received an emergency phone call from school to pick-up Megan after a recess accident.  During a kick ball game she had run into another student and had fallen.  She hit her head on the concrete and was cut up pretty good.   An urgent care visit and many tears later we realized we had our first broken bone of the family.  Much celebration came when the cast was off at the end of June in time for swimming.

Sadly this was actually the second experience with emergency rooms for us in the year.  One of the more stressful and downright terrifying events of the year was in early May when Frank fell short of breath and began having chest pains.  Within a few short minutes he could barely stand on his own.  We rushed him to the hospital where he stayed for several days.  After a cardiac catheterization, a heart attack,  along with any heart issue was ruled out thankfully.  No perfect answer was ever fully provided to us as to the exact cause but again, thankfully, he has been fine ever since.

IMG_6244Of course we had the normal hustle and bustle of travel soccer, basketball, music lessons and Karate.  Both girls achieved their red belts this year.  Years of work and focus, not an easy achievement.

We went to Niagara falls Canada in July and had a wonderful time, although the 10532776_10202345983271454_9206650645340516440_nprices were ridiculous.  We did the normal tourists things and enjoyed some nice family time.  We also took a ride to the Toronto Zoo to see the Giant Panda’s.  Amazing creatures! IMG_6086

During the holidays we were treated to a performance of the school’s fifth grade chorus, of which Megan is a member, singing along with the South Jersey Philharmonic Symphony.  Megan was so thrilled to be on stage.  It was something special to witness!Whitman Philharmonic

My husband worked for a well know large company which I will not name.  Over the years he was subjected to pay cuts in the name of streamlining which we accepted.  Things over the last year had been stressful but came to a head in mid November when he was notified that the decision had been made to lay him off along with hundreds of others.  (Yes the media says things are so much better, question what you are told). Christmas was both a blessing where he was able to enjoy the girls without work but also extremely stressful since he had not landed a job.    Tomorrow  2/9 he starts a new chapter in our lives with a new company.  Good luck to my Frank and we love you!

I continue to turn to this forum as a sounding board and I apologize if this is a bit rambling.  I realize it is late but I wish everyone a happy New Year and say cheers to new starts, new years and new opportunities!