Friday, May 22, 2009

How we got here.

SO I know people are wondering how we got here. I've also been asked why I call Jerry, my mom's husband and not my step-dad. I guess my answer would be sheer habit. I can say now that unfortunately Jerry and I never had much of a bond. He came into my life at age 15 by 18, I couldn't wait to get out of the house. I had always felt I didn't have the decision to live with him or not so, when I was old enough I booted out of there. For years, I blamed him for "ruining" my mom's life. As time went by, the years changed him. They changed me. My children coming into the world changed everyone. Jerry turned into the world's best Grandpa- hands down.

After I had Isabella, all my mom could think about was getting out of Quartzsite, AZ and being closer to me & our growing family. Bill & I were in a great financial place & made the decision, let's open up a family business so everyone could be here. We plunked down $75K and purchased a little gym franchise. Months later, the same day in 2006 that my little t-shirt company, Bella Baby Designs hit a spread in Parents Magazine, we also got the diagnosis on Jerry, he had a horrible lung disease & he would decline quickly if he did not have a lung transplant. Bill and I had to make an immediate decision to stop both the shirt company & plans with our gym in order to save any money we needed for what was about to happen. It seems like in the blink of an eye, my mom & Jerry had to pack up & leave Arizona. Before we knew it, they were broke, & there was only us to carry them. They were living with us and for a time, we thought it would be indefinate. We did what we thought was right for the entire family & plunked down another $75K to buy the house of our "DREAMS" that would accommodate everyone- forever if needed. Well, we all know where that went, we're still fighting to get that money back. Over the course of the next few years, we happlily took care of my mom & Jerry's needs, never once to hear from his family, never once an offer of help, let alone a telephone call. There were huge implications to us financially and our young marriage that barely survied sometimes. The mortgage industry had taken a dump by now. Eventually Jerry received his lung transplant & began to get better. It's now been a year this past April that they have been living on their own, they have been struggling. They've been living month to month, really aside from us taking care of their car, they were doing it all on their own.

The past several months since the diagnosis of cancer, we wish we could do so much more for them only now we are not in a place to be able to do so. It's very disheartening. I've asked pretty much everyone locally I know to chip stuff in for a garage sale tomorrow morning to help my mom with upcoming funeral costs (there is a considerable discount if paying for it pre-need) It's aweful that we just can't write out a check to fix everything. It's even akward asking friends to pitch in. The people I expected to hear from, are front & center wanting to help. Others are surprisingly void of anything going on on my end of the world which I'm trying to not let be hurtful.

So, that is how we got here. Wish us luck on the garage sale tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm back!

So, last night was the last meeting of 2009 Spring Semester of M2M which means, I'm officially back! This was a very interesting year. I took the first semester off to get aquainted to baby Alyssa and to get us moved to South Corona. I felt called back to join the second semester and go somewhere totally new, the Monday morning group. I didn't really know anyone (accept Lisa & Kim) and to be honest after the first meeting, I didn't really want to go back. It's so akward being the new girl - anywhere, even at my age! But when we closed out yesterday, I had nothing short of a completely greatful heart for the semester spent with this new group of ladies. I made several new friends.. great friends. During this time, so many answers were revealed to me. (You can go back to my first blog post of the year). It was decided that yes, Mom2Mom is a priority in my life...held higher than anything else I could possibly find to do with my life aside from my family. It's with this ministry that my heart truly belongs. I was able to into a new group, in a new position and in the end was told, "be thankful for what it was, but you belong back in your old position, in your old group" which was the furthest thing I would have ever imagined 5 months ago.

If you don't know what M2M is, it is a group of women formally called MOPS. Our church just decided to take it on our own & get rid of the MOPS chapter. In the nearly 5 years I've served with this group, I've literally seen more lives change that I could ever count. I've made more of the closet relationships that I've ever had. I myself, have changed so much that I don't even recognize the person that I was prior to being in this group. I have a new set of eyes. I have a greatfulness in my heart & a love for other people (moms in particular) that I can't explain. It's a lot of unpaid work, but payment comes in a different form. It is here that I learned to not be selfserving. It's where I learned what it was really like to serve others. Knowing that I'm a small part in making big life changes for other women, that trickles down into marriages and into raising children, feels amazing. It feels amazing to be back apart of something so meaningful. I can't wait to start out the new year... big things are coming!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wishing things weren't as they are

I woke up this morning and in the first 10 seconds didn't think about what I saw last night when I sent to visit Jerry in the hospital. But as soon as I turned my head, I realized what is going on, is really going on. I guess I wished it was just a bad dream. I wish that I could tell my mom that everything was going to be okay and she would beleive me. I wish I could tell my girls that their only grandpa, who's only in his mid 50's will be around to see them grow old. I wish that when I saw Jerry in that bed last night, that he had peace. There was no peace in his behavior, only a very scared man who didn't want to shut his eyes out of fear that he wouldn't wake up. Even someone with faith as strong as I have has a hard time processing the reason for so much suffering. I can't imagine how someone with little to no faith processes a situation like this. Right now, I'm praying that the Lord will give Jerry peace. I'm praying that the Lord will give my mom a miracle and heal him or that his suffering will end and the Lord will take him quickly. I'm praying that I have the right words to ease anything that my girls are going to go through. If you haven't seen the blog on Jerry, it's I'll be putting the latest updates there.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Having a greatful heart this Mother's day weekend.

Ten years ago I would have never thought I would be celebrating mother's day then you meet the man who is perfect for you and in the blink of an eye, you have three little faces staring back at you. I've been blessed to celebrate 5 mother's days now, and I'm always in awe of the people we've brought into this world. My husband has blessed me by allowing me to stay home and raise them. He works so hard that even in financially pressing times, our children are still able to continue with their daily lives and have no clue of the stresses going on around them. He works 12 hour days and still accommodates his schedule so that I can make the most of time spent with our kids.

I'm so grateful to the amazing mothers that I have in my life. It's because of them, that I think I have it better than so many who haven't quite "got it" yet. Because of what other moms have taught me, I've learned to appreciate every day, every moment. I'll always remember rocking my girls to sleep, remember how they smell, remember each giggle, how they look in their favorite pajamas. I take tons of photos, I take lots of videos, I let them help with cooking or laundry even when I'd rather just get it over with, I read that extra book to them at night if they ask. I'm doing my best to absorb every moment all being acutely aware that this stage in life will be over in a heartbeat. The thought of not having little feet running around the house playing, is devastating to me.

I have to give thanks to some moms in my life who have made a big impact. My mom has taught me the true meaning of strength. She's also taught me how NOT to raise a teenager LOL. My friend Anita has taught me true faith of all situations. My friend Jen Powell has taught me that no matter what obstacle you are facing, you can press forward. My friend Debbie, has a daughter with a genetic disease, and has no idea how much she inspires me. Momsie, Julie Smith has taught me about redemption. Kim Burke was the FIRST person to ever teach me about Proverbs 22:6. My friend Jamie was the first person to show me what it truly meant to be a Godly parent & redefined my entire life. My friend Lisa reaffirms me every day that yes, we can do it all through Christ who gives us strength. I think I could go on and on. Because of these women, I'm blessed, my children are blessed. I think of that every day, not just Mother's day. I'm so grateful to them.