Friday, June 26, 2015

Mako Mermaids!

 *As a reminder, I am part of the  Netflix Streamteam. I am being compensated for sharing with you, but as  always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Today I'm bringing you a special post from my 12 year old. She recently watched a Netflix original: Mako Mermaids and really enjoyed it!


Recently a Netflix Original, Mako Mermaids: an H2O adventure, came out with season 2. In celebration of this news, Netflix sent  me an H2O goody-bag full of everything I need for a fun day of pretending I’m at the beach. The goody-bag including fun items like; Bath And Body Works Pure Paradise, Shea & Vitamin E lotion and body wash, Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea salt Hair Spray and cream, and Essie, Blue Nail Polish!

The Bath And Body Works Pure Paradise, Shea & Vitamin E lotion and body wash is one of the only Bath and Body Works scents I like, it smells amazing! My sister tries to steal it from me all the time, it’s almost gone, refill please! I love it!

The Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea salt Hair Spray and cream makes you get the perfect “just got out of the ocean” curls. I use it all the time. (mother's note: I want to steal it and use it myself!) And, like the lotion and body wash, it’s almost gone. . . if only I could find them in a store or something! The Essie, Blue Nail Polish is beautiful! It’s also the perfect color to match my softball team, Kentucky Wildcats! I also love just wearing it, blue is one of my favorite colors and the sparkle amount is perfect!

The new season for Mako Mermaids is awesome! I love it. Except I’m kind of sad because my two favorite characters left, but they were replaced with people who were just as good. They made tons of startling discoveries and I cannot wait for season 3.  I really hope the Mermaid Council doesn’t find out about this season though (mother's note: she says, if you watch the show, you'll know what she means!)

Miss M really enjoyed watching the show and had a good time! And bonus: season 3 is already out on Netflix too, so it's a good show to binge watch, especially if you are experiencing all the rain we are! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I think I'm more sad than them!

So, as every spring and start of summer, we've had kids playing ball.

One baseball player. One softball player.

I've been to almost all of their games - only missing a couple when they both play on the same night (and husband and I have to split games). I missed a few from not feeling that well. But I've been to almost every single game.

This year, I've also had the pleasure of taking pictures of them playing. Actually, the whole team. Both sets of coaches allowed me to stand on the sidelines of the field and shoot the whole team. And so more game than not I shot anywhere from 800-2000 pictures.

I learned more about my camera during this season than I have since I got it. I was proud of some of the pictures that I took. Every once in a while I get a picture that is just phenomenal and I'm shocked I took it! 

But taking pictures of all these kids, I feel invested in both of their teams.

My husband has been coaching for many years and I think I finally understand how he feels about coaching. I got to really know the kids on the teams this year and it's been a good thing.

But I haven't just gotten to know the kids, I've gotten to chat with a lot of the parents. These might be the best team parents I've had the pleasure of interacting with - not to say past teams have been bad! Because we've never been on a bad team (thankfully!)

I know I've talked about this before, but I struggle to meet people, to make friends, to feel a part of the group.

This year I felt that. I felt a part of the group.

It's been heaven.

Both my kids have either one or two games left.

And I think I might be more sad that the season is ending than my kids are. It's been such a fun season. In a perfect world, we'd stay with these teams for, oh, ever!

If we're lucky, we'll see a few of these kids on our team next year, but it's not guaranteed. And I hope that we can just get together after the season ends - both kids and parents - to keep the friendships growing.

Because it's been a good year. And I'm going to miss it!  

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My 9 Year Old Gets It ....

Sometimes, okay - too much of the time, I feel badly for my kids.

I wish they had a healthier mom who struggles with less things.

I also realize this is an irrational thought. I can't control it, they can't control it, and it's not like other families out there don't have their own struggles - their own up and down moments.

I also realize that I'm not the only mom who feels not good enough. What's that saying? Behind every kid is a mom who thinks she's doing it all wrong? Or something like that.

Still, this is how I feel and I struggle with it.

I suppose my kids will learn empathy and compassion, and might be better able to help someone else who is dealing with similar issues. This is a good thing. They are learning, and they are understanding.

This is the hardest with my 9 year old. He doesn't really remember me from before cancer. This bothers me. I know in time the other two may not remember a before and after either, as childhood memories morph together and become just a bit fuzzy with time.

But he was 5 when I got cancer - and not very far into 5.

Tonight at his baseball game (in which he played quite well if I brag for a few moments) I had an allergic reaction to something. No, I don't know what, and yes, I'd probably be willing to pay you pretty much anything if you knew what it was!

 We got home and he said to me "It's pretty strange that you would get an allergic reaction like that and we don't know why"

Yep, I agreed it is. Then I said my body is just sensitive and works differently then some other people's bodies.

It seemed a simple enough response. He thought for a moment and told me "No, I don't think your body works differently. I think it's the cancer. I know you don't have it in you right now mom, but I think it changed you and changed how your body worked."

Well. From the mouth of babes and all of that.

He gets it. I feel much the same way - cancer, the treatment, all of it, I think it changed me - and not in a I-now-have-meaning-in-my-life-and-I'm-a-better-person-who-appreciates-every-single-moment change. But now I'm a person with migraines, hives, rashes, itchiness, chronic fatigue, low iron, severe insomnia, and some other wonderful medical things.

Cancer left it's mark. The treatment left it's toll. This is what life-post-cancer looks like for me.

Just like that, he explained it. It made sense to him. He didn't seem mad, or angry, or confused. He wasn't worried, or scared, and anything. Just cancer changed me, this is where I'm at. It is strange that it happens, but it just is.

And I thought, my 9 year old is wiser than me. And he's wiser than some other people I know.

From the mouth of babes. This sweet boy who loves me no matter what. This sweet boy who wants to help me feel better, and yet, is just able to accept that this is what it is, and can I have dessert now?

And yes, he got a dessert.

Which reminds me, last week I had a knock-me-down migraine. In a rare twist of my migraines, it left me very very sensitive to sound. All sounds pretty much hurt. I didn't want to hear anyone talking to me, or clocks chiming, or music, or the sounds of the tv. I needed silence.

I rested for a while and rejoined the family. My boy asked me what he should draw. I said he should draw a pair of headphones that would make it so my head didn't hurt when people talk to me. So, he drew headphones, told me to hold the paper up to my head, and when I did, he whispered he loved me and wanted to make better.

And then ran off to play.

He's a sweet kid. All three of them are. I think most kids are actually.

I hate that my kids have to live through my medical stuff. But I'm pretty glad, and proud, of how they seem to handle it and take it in stride. I don't think I could have done that at his age. Or the way my 12yo takes it all. Or the way my 15yo takes it all.

But they just roll with what life hands our way, and even my 9 year old gets it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Time to Drive

Eric and Brandie
If my husband's and my marriage were a person, today we'd be old enough to drive.

That's right, it's our 16 year anniversary today.

16 years ago, on a Thursday afternoon, at the backyard of his parents house, in front of 18 other people, we said I do and began this journey.

We didn't know back then what we would face. We were warned the road would be hard - I was pregnant when we got married. We were young. People reminded us of that often, almost always to tell us how when people get married young, the marriage might not last.

Honestly, that first year didn't seem as hard as everyone predicted. Even when our first daughter was born and decided to never sleep - somehow it didn't seem hard. It just seemed normal and our marriage just seemed like it was meant to be, and we worked together really well.

That's not to say there haven't been any bumpy paths along the way. When our second daughter was born, that was a hard time for a while. But we worked through it. There have been other points in the marriage where it's been really hard, where we have to fight a little harder to like each other. Because life isn't always easy. But even if we are stressed, or tired, or sick, or mad, we are pretty good at talking it out and working through it.

I don't know a single marriage that hasn't had moments where you have to work harder than others. And there are moments where everything seems so easy, you wish they'd last forever.

Naturally, I think the hardest part of the marriage has been me being sick. It wears on me. It stresses him. He has to pick up my slack. I feel guilty. Some days, my husband is my caregiver first and husband second. Some days, I'm the patient first and the wife second. Some times, he feels like my father (no, people, not in a creepy way thank you very much). Sometimes I have a tendency to mother him - it's hard to turn that off when he walks in the door and I've been mom all day!

But at the end of the day, I can climb into bed and lay down next to this person who I love so dearly. And most of the nights, I can say I even like him too! It's my thing - I will always love him, I know that. Sometimes I don't like him. I'm sure if he were to talk about our marriage, he'd say something similar. I'm hard to like some days. Recently, after he helped me with things he wasn't even supposed to and missed doing his own work, I snapped at him. Nice, huh? Not one of my prouder moments. And I (tearfully) apologized later. He accepted, we hugged, and both still liked each other.

So today we celebrate 16 years. We have company over - his mom and stepdad from out of town. If the storms hold off, we'll be at Miss 12's softball game tonight. We will be watching the hockey game being played tonight. We will mostly hang out with everyone and talk. Eric and I will try to catch each other's eyes between it all and give each other those googly eye looks. We'll try to hold hands a bit more today than normal. There will be some stolen kisses mixed in amongst the moments of the day.

This is what 16 years looks like for us. We know the vows ... we've walked through most of them now: good times and bad, we've been richer and poorer, we've known health and sickness in ways we've never imagined. We've survived mood swings, job loss, sleepless nights, stress, worry, and fear. But we've also had moments of pure joy - times where you laugh until tears stream down your face, shared moments of pride over our children, moments where you can just sit together - no words needed to fill the silence.

It's been a wonderful 16 years. Some parts of the road have been bumpier than others - but overall it's been a great ride so far. And now that we're old enough to drive, I can't wait to see what roads we will find ourselves in the future!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

MIA ... again

Hello friends!

I know, I've been MIA again, despite my best efforts to not be.

I don't mean to go missing for a bit. It's just that life happens and what can you do? Or, what can you not do? And for me that means blogging.

May was an up and down month.

We finished the landscaping in the yard. It was good. But so very much work, that was accomplished with a lot of help!

I turned 36. Which was good.

We had out of town guests. Which was good. But tiring. And busy.

I hosted 37 people here on Memorial Day (for a potluck thankfully) and we took family pictures. That was amazing. But a lot of work. And time. And effort. And stress.

The kids had some great ball games which I enjoy watching - except for when it's cold and rainy.

Those were the good moments.

May also came with it's own sad moments as well.

There was (and still is) grief as we mourn those who we are now missing.

I had a lymphedema flare-up worse than I've ever had. Complete with swelling and pain and the inability to basically use my right hand/arm for a few days. Physically, I was unable to sit and type on the computer with both hands. And I couldn't manage to stop using my right hand, so I had to walk away from everything completely for a few days to rest and heal.

This also meant no knitting, taking pictures, crocheting and other things. This may deserve it's own post about anger and not accepting things very well.

In addition there has been other pain. Doctor's appointments. Tests.

I have a lot to be grateful for. A lot of good moments. I've got good people in my life.

I've also got some things I need to work on: acceptance, patience, and not pushing my body's limits.

Time. I keep saying I need time. I just wish there was a way to not need time to get through it all.

But I'm here. My arm still isn't perfect, so I need to continue to take it easy.