Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dear Albert

Dear Albert,
I thought of you this morning, just as I still do most every day. I laid there wondering if you're around, or what important task the Lord has you working on right now. I know it's selfish of me, but I just wished you were here. It's hard for me to fathom there's any place more important you could be than here with us on Earth, helping us find the way. I know you're around, I know you still care, I know this is how it's supposed to be right now, but I can't understand. I can't understand how we are supposed to navigate all that's going on without your support, encouragement, and words of wisdom. I'd give anything to just be able to pick up the phone and call again, I have so many questions and so few answers right now.
Grandpa, where do I put each thing in my garden to make it grow best? The water pressure in my sink is so low, how can we fix it? And Grandpa, Jon's truck gives us trouble- the brakes are still loud, what should we do? And while we are at it, Grandpa, who should I call about a quote on our windows, they're drafty and I'd like to move Chase to his bedroom soon but can't until it's fixed. Please Grandpa, we are thinking of moving and need your advice, I just know you know best, and I'm feeling so lost. I miss your guidance and times now are tough.
It's been nearly a year, and some days are good. I find comfort in knowing there's life after death, but sometimes life without you is brutal and I find myself doubting every decision without your input.  I'd give anything for just one more conversation, just a bit more advice. To drive to your house on that hill and know you'd be there, in your big leather chair, with a listening ear and endless advice.
I miss you Grandpa, I miss you so much. I'm trying, I am, to accept what can not be changed, to remember the eternal perspective and keep priorities straight. But it's hard to do, on days I just really need you. 


I participate in a few online groups somewhat regularly and last week a question was asked that has been on my mind a lot this week.

What makes you feel successful? 

I read through the responses, all very valid. A promotion at work. Finishing a project. Buying a house. But it made me think of how differently we all define success, and how only our own personal definitions matter. 
So all week I've thought: what makes me feel successful? 
It's funny, because by the world's standards, Jon and I are wildly successful for our age. 
At 20 & 23, we bought half of a small business. 
Shortly after, we purchased the other half. 
At 21 & 24 we bought our first home. 
At 22 & 25 we purchased our first boat. 
Jon got his degree in Forensics and landed a job working in a lab within a reasonable amount of time. 

I do consider us successful, but not for these reasons. When I think of the successes in my life, it's a different set of reasons.
I don't care about business. Sure, yes, I have a passion for animals and am incredibly blessed to have our doggy daycare in my life. Without it, there is NO WAY that we would be able to support ourselves AND me be a full-time stay at home mom to Chase. Being his mama is the biggest blessing in my life, it gives me purpose, enjoyment, fulfillment, and I wouldn't change it for the world. I am so so glad that Ruff House is a successful business, not because I dream of being a successful businesswoman but because I care to be home and present for Chase and any future babies to come. As much as I wish our economy was such that a family could make ends meet by one adult being the college-educated provider and one being the nurturer and homemaker, it's not that simple. We need supplemental income to Jon's job and business ownership has made that possible without the requirement of me going to work out of our home on a daily basis. 
Being a stay-at-home, present mother makes me feel successful. 

When buying or selling property there's a lot of talk about value, equity, profit, loss, value, etc. I don't care about any of that. I am just thankful to have a safe place to call home and a place I am comfortable raising my babies. Equity doesn't matter. It's our home. The comfort and peace that comes from that is not measurable by dollars. Owning it allows me to explore my passion for ethical dog breeding, something I could not do renting. 
Having a place to call home makes me feel successful. 

Days I feel most successful are when my husband comes home to a clean house, my baby is happy, and I can get healthy, home cooked food on the table. It doesn't always happen, in fact, it hardly ever all happens on the same day, but it's what I aim for. It is important to me to fulfill the role I feel I was put here to do. I feel successful when I fulfill my duties as the homemaker in our family.

I find things get in the way of what's important to me. I get sucked into technology and spend too much time looking at a screen when I should be looking at my sweet little boy who is growing up way too fast. The definition of success and what makes someone feel that way is not universal but I am pleased to have found what does it for me in my life.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Disney World

We planned for months and months and our family trip to Disney World has come and gone. Funny how time works. Unfortunately Mitch's family wasn't able to come along due to an unfortunate death in Jeannene's family, but we were able to go and have a fun trip even so.
Can I just say that 5 hours on a plane with a baby isn't the most fun I've ever had? Thankfully Chase was pretty good for the flight there, and he did nap for a small part of it. We took the red eye so I had hoped he would sleep the whole way but no such luck.
I could probably write pages upon pages about the eleven day trip. But I won't. It was nice to be away with family, and we made some good memories. I am happy to have had an opportunity to go once, I think it's something everyone should go do once in a lifetime! I was a little bit afraid that after experiencing Disney World in Florida that Disneyland wouldn't be as neat anymore but thank goodness the opposite is true! I like Disneyland quite a bit better, for a laundry list of reasons. None of which matter. Crowds aren't really my thing- anyone who knows me knows this- but I had a lot of fun watching Chase discover more of the world around him. He won't remember this as he grows up but we took lots of pictures. His age bracket made it easy for Jon and I to still have fun doing things we wanted to because little man didn't care about meeting characters or anything like that. He's one. We did meet Mickey, which is the *only* animated character he's taken any kind of liking to, and he was pretty amused by that. We don't really do TV in our house, not that we are above it by any means, there's just no time and Chase has no interest unless there's music involved. But he likes Mickey, therefore I like Mickey.
It's funny how things change in different chapters of life. I have never been one to attach emotions to items, so I have never been a souviner person. I just don't like stuff for the sake of stuff and prefer to keep life simple and not excessive. I have found clutter in my house tend to equate to clutter in my mind and I don't like that. I didn't care to buy anything for me, but when Chase would light up at the sight of something- that's a different ballgame, so he did indeed come home with a build a bear Dinosaur. When I asked him what he wanted to name it, he said "Albert" which I am refusing to believe has anything to do with the fact that's one of the two words he even knows. So Albert came home with us and is now Chase;s absolute favorite toy in the whole world, and that makes it worth it.
I love my family, and I am thankful that we were able to make this trip happen. I wish so much that Mitch & Jeannene's family could have been there with us, but that just means we need to plan something else in the near future! I am thankful that we have opportunities to make memories like this together and recognize that not everyone is so lucky. Even so, we don't need the flashy trips to have an appreciation for one another, and I think that is what makes it even better. I am so, SO glad my Grandma was able to be there as well. How lucky are we, FOUR generations on one trip! And she was a trooper. Despite a bruised hip she went on just about every single ride those parks had to offer and kept up with everyone. She really is a rockstar in my eyes.
But like all good things do, our trip came to an end. Our flight home didn't go quite as smoothly as our flight there. Chase began cutting molars and not being able to understand the pain and discomfort in his mouth meant an unhappy boy, but we made it home and back to reality.