Thursday, November 5, 2015

Margarita Lips

This past week of handling issues and having to be a grown up has KICKED MY A$$. If my mom were still here, I’d have western unioned (is this still a thing?) her some dollars to have her fly out to save me. I'd pass the baton of being an adult on to her so I could crawl into my closet with ice cream and fuzzy blankets and just pretend it all isn’t happening. (And, for the record, she’d have totally taken that dang baton and then still found me in the closet to give me a neck massage.She was so FANFREAKINGTASTIC) I literally closed my eyes several times over the past 7 days and whispered “find your happy place,” “this will be over soon,” and “just do the next right thing here.” At some point as I sank firmly into defeat, I got on to Facebook and saw someone had posted that little inspirational quote that basically said something about how God has created us to be JUST the person our own children need. Lord, please let that be true. Because I worry often that my children got really screwed.

I feel like we are just stepping out of the muck now, and it’s weird how badly, how instinctually, I want to return to Shannon and Jeremiah of 2002. As in, go out, drink and eat and drink some more, laugh with friends— like throw my head back and laugh my size 8,husband-getting bootie off, play shuffle board, come home whenever and only have to be responsible for myself. Back in the day of having time to put on liquid eyeliner, going grocery shopping and ignoring the prices, and having a shoe selection that included more than flip flops.  No drama over nasty child-driven illnesses, no worrying about whether my child is is struggling, no feeling like an incompetent mess of a mother because I keep forgetting to sign forms and return them promptly, no stressing over an electric bill. NONE. OF. THAT. Just endless buckets of chips and salsa and lips that are speckled with sugar from a margarita glass and jeans that fit perfect and dancing to Ja Rule with my girls in a questionable little place until the lights came on and laughing and smiling that came so dang easy it resulted in permanent lip and forehead wrinkles. (That I am now stressing about. How flipping ironic.)

—Y’all know I love my babies fiercely. They are, without a doubt, my heartbeat and my purpose, and the reason I try to be better every single day.  It’s just every now and again, I miss that carefree, figure it out minute by minute, worry about the consequences later girl I was B.B. (before babies). I firmly believe that God lays out every season (some longer than others) before us to teach us, to grow us, to have us hunker down into His Peace, His Promise, His Mercy. My husband can attest to this— when things (little or big) pile on top of me, I always say “what is HE showing me here? I am supposed to be learning something here, I am sure of it…” It’s sort of funny, actually, because often I wish God was just a little more obvious and quick about these lessons. Like, a billboard that says “YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL SHANNON AND YOU NEED TO LET GO. NOW.” Which is obvs exactly why He isn’t like that. It would be too easy. 

I am still digging to find the purpose of this past week. It could be as deep as giving myself more to Him, or maybe as heart-stirring as reminding me how blessed I am to be surrounded by such a loving bunch of people who were on standby this week, ready to help. 

Or maybe I just need a margarita-fueled night with my cute husband.

I will let you know if I figure it out.

p.s we are okay and the issues were totally minor. but you know how sometimes the small things feel like mountains. that. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

About nothing, and about everything

This morning, as I dropped off my 3 middles at school, the principal- who was shutting the car door -said “Looks like it was a rough morning.”

It started when I had to physically remove two of my children from their beds and sit them upright, because tickling and singing Jason Derulo didn’t work. As my alarm chimed that it was time to head out the door I see one of my kids grabbing a Tupperware of leftover meatballs from the fridge and sticking them in the microwave. I said “WHAT is happening- we have to go!!” The meatball-holding child said the meatballs were going in a lunch box since we are out of lunch meat and I didn’t go to the store yesterday. I said “we don’t have time to prepare a meatball sub at 7:19 am, also YUCK! Old meatballs that are cold. Ewww. Lunch is going to have be from the school today, kiddo.”  That’s when it hit the fan.  My kid full on FLIPPED OUT. It went like this: “I am NOT eating the cafeteria food. Are you serious!! I can’t believe you are making me do this. JUST SO YOU KNOW I WILL PROBABLY GET SOME DISEASE FROM EATING THAT TERRIBLE FOOD AND WHEN YOU ARE DRIVING ME TO THE HOSPITAL TONIGHT FOR MY DUH-ZEEEEZ YOU ARE PROBABLY GOING TO BE THIKNING HMMMMM MAYBE THOSE MEATBALLS WERENT SUCH A BAD IDEA!!!” I stood there, gripping my coffee cup because it was the only thing that made sense, just trying to wrap my head around what was occurring in front of me. And my alarm goes off again. And another child is in the background stressing out over a test that I know they will just rock at because we studied together for an hour last night for it. Soooo, just so you have the mental picture, cafeteria disease child LOSING THEIR EVER LOVIN MIND OVER A DANG PIZZA BOAT, test child looking a hot mess of worry and stressing over a test that IS NO BIG DEAL, one child throwing his soggy cheerios out the door at the chickens, and another child trying to put on one aqua and one hot pink converse. So, yes, Mr. Principal, this morning has been interesting.

I made my way back home to drop my oldest off at school. My oldest that has zero filter and just says what is in his head because in his mind, since it is not ill-intended, it isn’t rude. He said “It’s funny how every day since the first day of school you drive a little faster and a little faster and now really really fast. Because every day we are more behind schedule.” Yeah. I’m aware, Tyler. Thanks buddy.

I drop him off and head up to Portsmouth Naval Hospital, which stresses me out because its in a city and there is traffic and despite having lived in this general area for 3.5 years (and having had one baby, two leg surgeries, and probably about two dozen appointments at this same exact hospital), I still get lost. Today, my luck turned and I made it there just fine. Leaving, on the other hand, was another story. I used Google Maps, because my husband swears it is better than my iPhone Map app (Spoiler—IT ISN’T). So I ask the map to take me to Moyock, my town. It does it’s thing and calculates and sends me on my way. I sit in tunnel traffic for what felt like hours and finally it starts to move some, which is good because by now Declan had had it, and it tells me to exit. I follow, because clearly Google knows more than I do, and it puts smack dab in front of the MacArthur Center ( a mall in Norfolk that is nowhere near where I live) and announces that I have arrived. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let’s just say I got pretty hot. If I had money to spend or time to kill, it may not have been such a bad directional mistake. But I had neither. So I cuss at the app on my phone and swear to NEVER believe a word that comes out of her mouth again, and switch back to my iPhone map, and maybe apologize for ever straying.

On my way home, now on the correct road, the scene that unfolded in my kitchen this morning comes back to me and I remember to get groceries so we don’t have a repeat tomorrow. I head to walmart, just Declan and I, and we are crossing things off our list, and my shoulders start to unclench. We get most of what we need and head to pay. I get in line to pay when I realize, as I am standing there, that it was the cashiers first time ever ringing people up. It became obvious when the lady in front of me took about 10 minutes to check out when she had only 8 or so items. When it was my turn to get checked out, I noticed the line behind me was pretty full and the people looked a little tense. The cashier was struggling with looking up some of the fruits and vegetables, but she was apologetic and I could tell she was trying to move quickly. The people behind me started voicing their frustration and the lady said “why don’t you just call for help if you don’t know how to do it”. I cringed. The cashier apologized again, to the lady and to me. I kept saying “You’re good. I am in no hurry.” But it didn’t help the people behind me. The lady directly behind me made a huge show of taking every single item she was buying OFF of the conveyor belt and loading it back into her cart. I seriously felt so bad but I didn’t want to say something that might make it worse, so I started talking about French Toast sticks and how my kids would think I was mother of the year for buying three boxes of those things, in an attempt to just distract her from the – in my opinion- obvious rudeness. My attempts were futile. The cashier stopped looking up at us but kept saying “I’m sorry” with her head down, as she tried and tried to get things moving as fast as she could. I wanted to walk around to the open side of the lane and just hug her.

I shared all that to say this. I feel like we have gotten so self-centered and entitled, and maybe even whiny (MYSELF TOTALLY INCLUDED HERE), that in our rush and in our desire to look out for number one, we hurt the people around us. Yesterday I went on social media and complained about having a crappy day. It really wasn’t the best, but after hearing some news from a few friends, there was a major shift in my perspective, and I realized how blessed I am, and how I truly do not have any reason to complain. How even the hard stuff that happens, in some way, shines light on another blessing. (1- Our trampoline was ruined in a storm yesterday as it blew over our fence—but no one was hurt, it didn’t crash through our house, and thankfully our dogs and our chickens were inside at the time. 2- My nerve damage is permanent and I wont ever get my quad back- but I can walk and do things today that I could not even fathom doing two years ago.)  I also thought how pitiful it was that I had to hear very sad news in order to grasp how wonderful my life is. That is a problem.  

I started thinking about my attitude while I was feeling all gloomy, and how that may have affected the people around me. I thought about how being in a hurry and focusing so much on my to do list might make me ignore, overlook, or even be unkind to people right in front of me who could really use a smile or a kind word or a hug. That, in my desire to preserve what I can of my sanity, I might write some things off thinking I need to cushion in a break for myself. It totally makes sense in theory. The idea that  I should not bog myself down with things because I need to focus on my home, my family, myself first to truly be able to help others. It sounds good to me. But is that really who we are supposed to be? I don’t know. 

Today in the grocery store, I was totally impatient just the like the people behind me. And I am sure I made some facial expressions like HURRY THE HECK UP WOMAN I DON’T HAVE ALL DAY. But when the cashier looked up and apologized to me, I felt like an ass. I was sitting there being a jerk and getting all riled up  because AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THIS when clearly this woman was doing the best she could and was aware that she was not moving as fast as people would have liked her to. And instead of seeing that right away, I was getting pissy.  It took me a minute to soften and realize how rude and unkind my attitude was.
THAT is what I am working on. Trying to be more present and really LOOK at people and genuinely talk with them and not just ask the obligatory “hey how are you?” while thinking ‘please just say fine, ‘cause I don’t have time to hear it all right now…’. Yep. Good gosh, does my heart need some fine tuning. Lord, please help me be love and goodness. And help me to make less of myself and more of others. Because I am really failing at that these days.

So, friends, that is where I am right now. Doing a lot of thinking, trying to be more intentional with how I communicate and listen to others, stopping to take time to really SEE people and not just glance as I rush on by. And with that, I leave you. I have some chores to finish up before I go pick up my cafeteria diseased child from school. I am sort of tempted to show up eating the cold meatballs and remarking about delicious they are…… (I better add that to my list of things I need to work on…)


Friday, August 23, 2013

I need to change my blog name.... nelsonpartyofseven. We've been busy.

So that was a really long, unintentional blogging break. 6 months. So much has happened. So I am just gonnna give it to you highlight reel style.

My husband left for a month ish. We missed him a lot.

He came home. Tyler played baseball. Jack played t ball. Both boys did awesome and I loved watching them grow and learn. And Jack got what he so desperately needed- his own thing to be the star of. Awesome.

I started going into labor. But not really because my cervix is lazy. So one month of daily, uncomfortable contractions, but our little guy wasn't budging.

Until May 6th. The day he was evicted. It was so amazing. We had to be transferred to a different hospital because the one I was at was not equipped to help the baby if need be. (The medication I was on to manage the tumor was intense and there was a good chance of some residual effects on the baby.)

Anyways. I was sent to a different hospital with a great NICU. And when he was born, he didn't spend much time there at all. We named our sweet little boy Declan Andrew. He weighed 7 lbs 6 oz, and measured in 19.5 inches. He was born at 8:40 a.m. and I have to say, he was amazing from the very start.

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I will share his birth experience later. I don't have pictures of he and I together because my body didn't handle the c-section very well. In short, I barfed. The entire time. They kept trying to put Declan near me but the barfing. It was out of control. And not how I wanted my first picture with my son to be. Blech. So this is how I saw my son- with my husband holding his phone in my face.

Here he is later that day, after mama got her hands on him. And stopped puking.

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My husband and his baby boy.

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Just he and I in the early morning. So in love. I wonder what he was thinking about. I'm going to guess donuts.

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So that was our amazing start to May. Shortly after I had Declan, I went back to the hospital to have the tumor from my leg removed. I was anxious and excited to be done, but the morning of surgery was awful. Having to leave your nursing newborn and worry whether you pumped enough or if he'd even take a pumped bottle.....sitting in a hospital bed as you soak the gown you are wearing for all to see.....being alone in that hospital room because Jeremiah had to take care of all of the was a crappy experience. But I had the most amazing doctor. And he got that nasty thing out.

The day after surgery- tumor free!!!

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So Declan has been the star of the show recently, the way new babies tend to be, but my other littles have been incredible these past few months of many changes.

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She stole my chocolate. I love her, anyway.

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Those freckles. That mischievous smile. If you sleep on the job, this boy will TAKE. YOU. DOWN.

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This girl of mine. Her heart is the most beautiful.

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This boy who made me a mama. I am so proud of him. He never gives up. And his smile lights me up.

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In awe of how we have been blessed.

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Hubba. Hubba.

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Oh baby boy. We just dig you.

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For serious. I cannot handle it.

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They really are.

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sigh. He is just soooooo good.

So after the surgery, we finished school for the year, said goodbye to some amazing Navy friends, MOVED AGAIN!!!., Jeremiah went for some desert training, and while he was there we found out he made CHIEF! If you're Navy, you get how awesome this is and how proud we are. And you also know that with initiation in full swing, we DON'T SEE HIM. EVER. EVER EVER. That's where we are now. Super proud. But really wanting this process over because I miss my man.

We are still getting settled in our new home. We love our new area-- which is about 2 tenths of a mile from the North Carolina border. It is so country, so quiet, and so peaceful out here. It's been like a nice warm blanket to my soul.

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From my front porch.

I will share more about our crazy life in a bit. But I have 5 children who are waiting for lunch and arguing over who gets the last 6 drops of lemonade. Toodalooo.

This is my "5 kids & a husband who is gone can be hard" face.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

some lovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hey friends! From the bloggy world chatter, I've learned that Google Reader will soon be gone. So people are turning to alternative readers-- enter Bloglovin.

If you happen to read my blog, or any other blog, through google reader, you should check out bloglovin, because it will basically move all of your blogs over so you can still keep up with them long after Google Reader says peace out.

Just CLICK ON THIS HERE LINK to get the party started.

And, thank you Sarah, for me getting me all squared away!

Friday, March 15, 2013

My friends call me Valerie

Hi friends! Friday's are usually very woo-hoo, but with my husband gone again, it's less of a woo and more of a boo. So happy boo-hoo Friday peeps. I am watching Battleship {I DON'T KNOW}, sucking on a cough drop, and playing Song Pop on my phone. Etsy might  be open in the background.

This week was an eventful one. I changed my name- ladies and gentleman, meet Princess Consuela Bananahammock, but I'm going to have my friends call me Valerie. Okay, not really- I merged my maiden name with my husband's last name, after 12 years of marriage. But-- and this is a fun but- I do have all of my techie things (laptop, ipad, phone) attached to the name Princess Consuela Bananahammock. Which was intended to be a little funny that would make me giggle. Little did I know that assigning it to my Apple ID would be a little embarrassing when heading to the Apple store, and they call out Princess Consuela??? Oh HI, here I am!

Back to my busy week. Changed my name, got a VA drivers license, got a tooth extracted- during which, I am pretty sure my dentist hit me in the face with a crow bar-- I had my eyes closed, so it could have been a mallet, or even a big hole puncher (I once used that when I couldn't find a hammer. My husband thought it was weird).... Tyler has the flu- again, I finished piecing the baby's quilt top, I organized all my fabric, my knee started acting jerky- again, I got a new job responsibility, I got Tyler's germs, and I said goodbye to my husband. He's only gone for a little bit this time, which I am sure I am supposed to be thankful for, but really I'm just bummed he had to leave again and I may have given the Navy the middle finger today. I said MAY.

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Organized fabric makes me so happy.

I had high hopes of being productive with my sewing while Jeremiah's gone, but with the knee being craptastic again, I find myself wishing I had a sewing area set up in my bedroom. That's sexy, right?

I have all these ideas buzzing through my head and I want to start working on them before baby boy shows up. (Like he's just gonna ring the doorbell and have a tiny little suitcase and the necessary paperwork...) I at least had the foresight to write my ideas down as they have popped into my head. Is it totally weird that I am planning a quilt based on a cute cup I bought from Target? The voice in my head says yes, considering I have yet to actually COMPLETE a quilt. I have discovered that the piecing and sewing the top, I love.

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Quilt Top #1

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Quilt Top #2 (my favorite)

The rolling the thing out on the floor to baste and then actually quilt, I am freaking out about. The other night at 3am I was checking out sewing machines online because I am such an *avid quilter* now (I said avid to make me sound more legit) and emailed my husband this handsome Juki  I've had my eyes (both) on for a while. It's only about a grand.....and St. Patricks day IS coming up, sooooo. For St. Patty's day, I am getting my husband a baby, in case you were wondering. So it seems like a fair exchange. And my gift hurts more. Does anyone know if Amazon has layaway? And if you could lay-something-away, say, for 6 years?

I just had to stop typing to shout down to my children "All four of you are inside the house, right?". I thought I heard a door open, but I got four yeses in response. Moving on.

My birthday is coming up. In August. Today, I dreamily planned my perfect birthday party. I'd have all my lovely girlfriends, near and far, over to my house (but not this house, the great big farm house my husband is going to buy me for Earth Day) and we'd have a fun night in the yard filled with wine or sweet tea, Bunko and poker, and a playlist of MY making. Under a starry sky, paper lanterns, candles all around, yummy food to eat, chatting with my favorite people, 2Pac and Ace of Base crooning in the background, and a couple dozen babysitters to corral all the little people. Doesn't that sound wonderful? And then the next day we could go shopping at a craft store and hit up Target, and end the day with a bonfire on the beach.

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Oh, Target. I'm in love with you.

Speaking of wonderful, I was also thinking how neat it would be to have a little sewing/crafty club, like a book club, where ladies get together over the phone, by texting, using IG, through blogs, or whatever, to tackle a sewing or crafty project. Say, for example, the first week of the month, the topic is emailed out (an apron, for instance), the middle weeks we share pictures and questions and tips back and forth via whatever forum works best, and then the final week of the month we post our pictures of the finished product. No rush, because we would have an entire month, and we get to benefit from learning from others and being inspired by the creativity of others. Also, we get to stay motivated because we are held accountable. Does something like that already exist? It wouldn't surprise me if I was the last to know. I just found out that Seal and Heidi Klum are no longer together?!?!

If it doesn't exist, is anyone interested? There are a bunch of wonderful FREE tutorials on the www and we could use items we have on hand to save money. If that sounds like fun, would you let me know?

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This is not the back of my head. I don't know whose back of the head this is, I found it on pinterest. But I really love the back of this head. My hair is long enough now to make the back of my head look like this. 

Okay, time for me to round up the herd and get them all ready for bed.

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