Archive | June, 2013

Impossible is not a word

I got to attend Saturday’s 5:00 mass with only child next to me.  I love being surrounded by my children (even when they hang on me ) at church. Church is an intimate hour with God and who better to spend that intimate moment than my family.  However, when I’m actually able to sit quietly and LISTEN, it is awesome.

I wish I was better at listening to God but I think he brought me some peace.

IMG_6214After apologizing…pleading… making offers to the owner of the house, Saturday morning we received official word via certified letter that we, indeed, have to vacate this house by August 1st.  Our home for 4 years.

32 days we have to find a home and move our 5 children.  I don’t understand how a person, a man and his wife, could do this?  We made a mistake, yes. We shouldn’t have removed the bushes without his consent.  But is this reason to evict a family within a month?

We were/are angry. Sad. Confused.  My kids saw me upset and asked questions.  The neighbor kids saw me cry.

Here we are. scrambling.  We had plans this summer. Gabi had no scheduled procedures. We were focused on her feeding clinic getting started, actually considering taking a short vacation. And laughing, a lot. I was grieving my summer.

BUT

Then I went to mass.   Fr. Bill said we have to remember to always.. WALK IN FAITH, LIVE IN HOPE, and ACT IN LOVE.

WALK IN FAITH: Live our catholic faith boldly. Find a friend that will encourage you to live against the grain, against the media, and be proud to  accept the eucharist every week.

LIVE IN HOPE:  Trust in God… always.

ACT IN LOVE: forgive, and always be a joyous Christian.  I have heard criticisms that the Catholic mass is so boring.  There is NOTHING boring about the mass.  The mass is joyous and our lives our joyous and we need to find that smile… always.

So, I came home, gushing with love watching my son serve mass and sitting my with daughter and listening to our pastor with renewed spirit.IMG_6253

Impossible is not a word. We can do this. This is happening for a reason and we might never understand.

Buy or rent?  So many benefits and drawbacks of each.  I was hoping we could scrape together finances and be able to put a home purchase together. However, I think renting is again in our close future.

Side note: I was SO excited to be able to officially put down roots and live under our own rules. This is so hard for me. It is difficult for me to admit that we rent; I feel like I always have something to justify. I was really excited to fit in and control our home decisions.

Our children know something is going on. We plan to have a family meeting today. They keep asking if we are moving and plead with us not to.  It’s tearing my heart apart.

We aren’t moving far, so it’s going to be fine. But, it’s a forced change and it’s uneasy for everyone.

I am keeping Fr. Bill’s words close to my heart and remember to live them.  SO, a smile will be on my face and we will focus on the excitement of moving. Hey- maybe we’ll have a basement or more space! We have to focus on the silver lining…Good thing God always provides perspective.

We so appreciate all the thoughts and prayers. I’ll keep you all posted. Thanks for reading.

BTW- Gabi is doing really great. Still little progress with eating or potty training but all in good God’s time. Her records finally got transferred to the new feeding clinic, so we are awaiting for review of those and then an evaluation appt.

Much love,

Teri

BLACKHAWKS WIN!!

BLACKHAWKS WIN!!

 

 

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Gabi’s birthday and prayers needed

I am behind. Way behind.  But I’m ok with it.

Happy 4th Birthday sweet Gabi!

Happy 4th Birthday sweet Gabi!

Gabi celebrated her 4th birthday on June 9th and on June 15th, we celebrated with her  friends and a few of our neighbors.  It was a great celebration that also kicked off our block party.  4 years ago, on June 15th, was the day of her first surgery. She was 6 days old.

She is doing well.  We are at a maintenance stand still.  I am waiting for her records to be transferred from the GI dept in Milwaukee to a feeding clinic out of Central Dupage hospital. Nothing has changed. She still throws up at least 3 times a week but is maintaining hydration and her weight. So all is good.

Many of you know how much we love our neighborhood. They have been a lifeline for us.  We need payers that we can stay here.  We rent this house.  Yes, it’s a small small house for all 7 of us, but it works, for now.  A few weeks ago, we made some improvements on the house (taking out some incredibly horrendous bushes that lined the front sidewalk).  The new front yard is beautiful!  Shaggy and needs some weeding, but it’s clear and the new grass is growing!

The owner of the house stopped by last week and isn’t too thrilled with our improvement.  He kicked us out of the house giving us until August 1st.  He was furious. Livid. We felt terrible.

Our previous financial report is very depressing.  But Ethan has a GREAT job and we were finally able to catch up on medical bills and actually start saving money. We were on our way to our second homeownership with a savings cushion. Our goal was to call a realtor next Spring. We even had a financial counseling appt on Thursday to go over our 401k’s and start a  forced down payment savings account!!

After our landlord left us in shock. I immediately thought of the quote “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

S0, with nothing in the bank, bills piled up, we are once again walking off a cliff trusting that God will provide us a parachute or at least have a trampoline when we land. We won’t move far but I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next 3 weeks of our life and I will terribly miss seeing our friends everyday.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope ~Jeremiah 29:11

Pictures from Gabi’s birthday. Little did we know, it may have been our going away party too.

Gabi and her heart friend, Caden. LOVE!

Gabi and her heart friend, Caden. LOVE!

Our amazing neighbor, Stephanie... Gabi's favorite person in the whole world!

Our amazing neighbor, Stephanie… Gabi’s favorite person in the whole world!

My beloved friends across the street, Karie and her beautiful daughter, Emily.

My beloved friends across the street, Karie and her beautiful daughter, Emily.

My Ethan and Mark, who belongs to Karie :)

My Ethan and Mark, who belongs to Karie :)

 

My oldest handsome boy

My oldest handsome boy

 

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With her new favorite teddy bear

With her new favorite teddy bear

Not a block party until someone pees on the tree!

Not a block party until someone pees on the tree!

Balloon launcher!!

Balloon launcher!!

 

Loving her Dora cake

Loving her Dora cake

Thanks for reading. Prayers for all of you out there with life going on….

Love,
Teri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tried and Tested

Hello faith.  Are you there today?

I’m running on empty.  Cub Scouts, baseball, end of school picnics, graduation parties, teacher presents, keeping up with friends that need just that… a friend, rushing home for the toddler’s nap, signing up for summer actives, facing summer activities, planning a reading/chore schedule for the summer, girl scouts meetings, block party planning, ortho appts, alter server schedules,trying to find carpools… phew.

These are all things I tremendously enjoy. It’s when there’s a feeding pump thrown into the mix and remembering to carry the vomit bucket with us in the car, or it’s comforting my child’s social phobias and trying to quiet his anxiety, it’s trying not to snap at my son’s lack of remembering his brain.  It’s the last day of school today and I am running on fumes.

I had the absolute pleasure of seeing my friends from our old house in Oswego this past weekend. Three families with 21 kids between them (5 adopted from Ethiopia). When I say amazing people… I truly mean it. They are my inspiration.

After talking with them for only a few minutes, their words wrapped me up in a warm hug filled with God’s grace. They have many issues with their kids, like we all do.  Each one takes a turn of the one that you worry about.  Whether it’s the teenage girl that was left out of her group of friends and has withdrawn from the family, or the autistic Kindergartner that needed to go away for a few days of intense behavior treatment, or the grade schooler that has symptoms of ADD and you don’t know whether to act on them, or the child that scores so low on testing that the school district is failing you and your options look bleak, or maybe it’s the siblings that lost their baby sister and will never feel complete, or the teenage daughter that has cardio myopathy and insists on running track.

We are all happy, filled with so many blessings, yet we are all so lonely. It’s not that any of us would change our children, of course not, but why God would entrust me with them completely bewilders me.  I feel inadequate most of the time. We are all on our own on this crazy journey called parenting. The moment to moment decisions will make or break your child.  There is no manual, there are no guidelines.  And to make parenting more stressful, the married couple disagrees on how to discipline or what to take seriously.

Gabi was so tired yesterday morning and was coughing a lot- like a nasty croupy cough.  Sure enough, I had to pull over and let her puke in the acclaimed tupperware bowl that was ready at the waiting.  The tears burned as I drove her to school and thought how exhausted I was taking care of her.   I thought of my friend caring for her autistic daughter along with her other 6 children and felt her strength wrap me up again.  I texted my husband (when I stopped the car :) ) that it was a difficult morning.  I’m so tired.  I put my sunglasses on so that no one could see my tears.

Gabi cried as I took her out of the car and I instantly knew, she couldn’t go to school. I told the teacher that I would just take her home.  So lonely.  As I caught the puke moments before, I thought, is she just tired? is she getting sick? Are we headed to the hospital?

I grieve who she is not- but try to not let that overwhelm me. But sometimes I think I am more resentful than I want to admit.  A healthy four year old would be running and riding a bike and be potty trained and EATING.  Gabi does none of those things.  We are stuck in toddlerhood. Resentful towards whom… I resent the people that should be supportive but aren’t. I resent people that pretend to not be lonely. I resent those that have an easy life. I resent those that can afford to hire help. I resent those that are able to volunteer at  their kids’ school. I pray for God to take the resentment and anger from me because it’s not fair to those individuals then I drink a cold beer.

But what am I going to do?  Sit here and be miserable? Of course not.  Like I have told myself  a million times, happiness is a choice. I pray continuously for God to help me because I can’t do it on my own and I can’t rely on others to rescue me just as I can’t rescue my friends.

Just to cheer myself up a bit, I made a list of things I am grateful for:

1. My husband- although I feel like sometimes we live separate lives, he works so hard for us.

2. A smile from my son after he pitched a good inning. He needed that.  Even though I couldn’t be there, my husband assured me, he got a smile.

3. My book club- I have read some amazing books and I am getting to know a new group of friends

4. My sisters

5. Sunshine

6. My shop vac- it cleans everything!

7. My  jogging stroller

8. K-Love

9. Pandora

10. This note from my daughter, Marissa. (She still thinks I’m nice :) )

photo

 

BTW- Gabi is fine.  She was just really tired. She is still coughing a lot.  Stayed tuned for my daring plan for Gabi that is against doctors orders…. Happy Happy Summer!!

Love,

Teri

Last Day of school!!

Last Day of school!!

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