Friday, January 5, 2018

Goals for 2018

I have my Year In Review post in the works right now, but it may take a while! One of these years, I’ll start my Year In Review at the beginning of the year and just add to it as I go...haha

Anyways. Some of my goals for 2018:

WORK ON MY BOOK!!! I barely touched it last year. :-(
Get healthy. I know, I cliche, but it needs to be done, and we’re going to do it as a family.
Try to get back to blogging again. Tried that in 2017 I think...and failed.
Get more focused at work.
Ok. This one is big... I got an A in my first class back to school last semester, so now I want an A in both of the classes I’m taking this semester.

Ok. There are a few other things, but that’s enough for now!

God bless,
Stacy B.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

I Feel So Defeated.

There are a lot of feelings that come along with being a parent.









Feeling lost.

And my latest (repeat) offender...defeat.

I just don't even know what to do or what to think anymore.

A while back, my youngest was diagnosed with an ear infection. No biggie. We started her on antibiotics, and they didn't work. I took her back to the doctor, and we started round two because both ears were "nasty". Her ears cleared up! Yay! Then, early last week, she started not wanting to eat very much. I didn't think anything of it because she goes through these spurts of not wanting to eat.

My son's winter coat went missing last Wednesday. We have no idea where it is. The school doesn't have it, the bus garage doesn't have it, the day care center doesn't have it, and obviously we don't have it. I really hope it was just that my son saw someone in need, and gave them his coat. Heaven help me if I find out that some kid just took his coat, or bullied it away from him.

The day after my son's coat went missing, my youngest was diagnosed with strep. I get it. Strep happens. Colds happens. We started round three of antibiotics (and we're still working on that round). What happened next, though, is what really ticked me off. She developed Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD). We have no idea if she picked it up at school, Religious Education, or day care. But either hasn't been fun. It's now Wednesday again, and her blisters are *just* healing up. I've missed three and a half days of work since last Wednesday, and one day of school.

Today, I kept my son (and my youngest...again) home from school. I had to take him to the doctor because he's had a few new symptoms pop up. Guess what...he has HFMD now, too! I really, really, really hopes my oldest doesn't get it. While there, the doctor asked me three times how I'm holding up.

I guess my stress and frustration is shining brightly through!

I really had high hopes for this school year. The oldest is in her fourth full year in this school, and my son is in his third. The youngest, though, is in her first year in the school. I was hoping that, having been in day care full time since I went back to work, her immune system would have been built up, but I guess I was wrong. Here's hoping that maybe next year is better, and that all the parents at the school actually follow the 24-hour rule. I get that a lot of parents work, because guess what! I do too! But my kids' health comes first, and I sure don't want to be the one responsible for someone else's child getting sick.

Anyways. It's already been a long day. I need to try to get some things done.

I'll try to keep up a bit better. (I've said that for a long time now, haven't I?)

God bless,

Friday, June 30, 2017

"Don't Worry, There Will Be More!"

But, what if there aren't?

What if the last birthday your child celebrated, was their last birthday?

Or your last birthday was your last birthday?

What if you celebrated your first wedding anniversary, only to have it be your last?

What if there weren't any more celebrations?

Somber though, that is.

Live life while you have it.

Love like there's nothing left...

Make sure those that you love know it.

Because one day, there won't be anything left...

This is your life. Your book. Write it your way.

Live your life so you're happy.

You only control yourself.

No one else.

So don't try to force your thoughts on others...let them live, too.

God bless.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Make Time to Slow Down

Hi there, long lost blog followers. I know I've let you down, I've let you go by the wayside, I've 'lost' you a little bit, right along with my other blog. I'm sorry. I will do better. Sometime.

Life gets a little bit crazy, you know? We're always running, doing, going...but not slowing. We need to make time to slow down. For our health. For our own sanity. We're always busy, busy, busy! Unfortunately, not slowing down is just going to make us busy ourselves to death.

We need to take a break.

To stop and smell the roses.

Share some coffee or dinner with a friend or family., you know, that little thing that's always there for you. Do we even realize just how important they are to us? Yeah, there are bumps in the road, we may lose touch every once in a while, but family is family. Period. We should be able to rely on them for things, even if it's just some moral support, or an "I feel ya" when we're struggling. They're your blood. Your lifeline...or maybe they're your whole life. Love them. Appreciate them. Give them the grace that they deserve even when they make you angry or do something you don't agree with. Support them. Thank them. Tell them you love them. Because no one knows how long we have left to live on this Earth.

Make some time to slow down today. Step away from your schedule, and reach out to someone else. You may just make their day!

God bless,
Stacy B.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

I'm not cut out to be a stay-at-home-mom. And that's ok.

Almost six years ago, I left a job that I loved in order to become a stay-at-home-mom. It's something that I've always wanted.

Always dreamed of.

Always felt was my calling.

My first daughter was only 3 months old at the time, and man did I struggle just to keep up with day-to-day things. I kept wondering to myself 'Why is this so hard?! She's a fraction of my size, but SO demanding!' I got frustrated. I got angry. I felt defeated, worthless, depressed. However, I plugged on because it was what I wanted. Or so I thought. Not 4 months later, I became pregnant with our son. I felt there was no need to try to go back to work then, why would someone hire a pregnant lady that would be back out of work after 8 or 9 short months? I shoved those feelings aside for what seemed like an eternity.

     I discounted my own feelings!

However, I also felt justified hearing a handful of other mothers sharing the same frustration, anger, and worthless feeling, so I just chalked it up to being "normal".

                 I didn't feel normal, though.

                              I felt so low... Lower than I had ever felt before.

Still, I shoved it aside, and tried to delve into my babies. See, the problem with me just trying to force myself to be happy, to play with my kids whenever possible, feeding, changing diapers, bouncing, singing, shushing, walking, changing diapers again, feeding some more, and crying myself, is that I lost myself. I lost who *I* was. Who *I* wanted to be, which at that point, was not to be a stay-at-home-mom. Did I love them? Yes. Did I cherish my time with them? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely not. At least not all of the time. There were good times, sure. But more often than not, I hated myself. I hated myself for having these thoughts of wanting to just run away and never come back. Of wanting to scream at them for crying...even when they were so young. Looking back it was probably a bit of post partum depression. I had gone to my doctor about it, too. He told me it was probably just a vitamin deficiency, and sent me on my way with instructions to take certain vitamin supplements.

I felt worse after that.

     Like I was a monster.

           Like I didn't deserve to have these beautiful babies of mine.

Then, the mother load of drama hit, I lost track of my cycle, and we wound up pregnant with baby three, five months before we wanted to. God has a sense of humor, I tell you!!! How on EARTH was I going to tolerate THREE kids, when the two I had almost drove me over the edge every day?! How was I going to get anything done with three? How were my husband and I supposed to connect ever again with three kids? I know, I know. There are families with more than three that are perfectly happy! GOD BLESS THEM. I didn't know how they did it, honestly.

I wasn't happy. I wasn't happy at all. I could no longer put my finger on why, though, because I had lost myself so long before. I was stressed beyond belief because I felt smothered, claustrophobic, stretched too thin. We decided to move, and started to look for a bigger house. All while I was at home. Every day. Dealing with two toddlers while seven months pregnant. It was my responsibility to keep the house clean and presentable on showing days. To drag two young kids and my pregnant butt out of the house upwards of seven times a day so we could move. I was exhausted. I wanted to cry, scream, kick, hit, claw...but I stuck it out. We had an offer, and accepted it within a week. We had also been out house shopping during all of this, and had put a contingency offer on our new house. THANK GOD it worked out the way it did. We signed off on our house, had a baby, signed on our new house, and moved...all within a month. It was insane and stressful, but we did it!

Once that was all done, we were living in this beautiful home (with GOBS of wallpaper...which, mind nearly all still up three years later...haha), near my sisters and my mom, and only a short distance from my dad. I thought "YAY! Maybe I'll get out sometime! Maybe I'll meet new people!" Man, was I wrong. Yes, I got out to spend time with some family a little more often, which was nice, but I was stuck in this new area, in this new house, with new responsibilities, two toddlers and a newborn...and no friends. I dealt with it, but had this nagging feeling that I needed more. I wanted to go back to work, but kept reminding myself "this is what you wanted!" So, again, I shoved it aside. Made a promise to myself to get out more, try to meet some more people, make new friends, all that jazz. I'm an introvert. I'm shy. I have anxiety when it comes to meeting new people, so needless to say, getting out didn't happen. Ever, really. I was a hermit.

I still felt unhappy, worthless, angry with myself and with my kids even though they're just kids. I started toying with the idea of going back to work again once all three kids were in school full time. I had dealt with these feelings for three years already, what was four more, right? I would push the thought away, let it creep in, push it away again, over and over and over again. I remember a phone call with my sister one day. I was at one of my lowest points, and was in tears. She said to me "Stacy, you need to get out of the house. You need to get a job. Get some adult interaction." I remember yelling at her saying "I DON'T WANT A JOB!!! I want to feel good! I want friends! I want people to come visit me!" I really felt like that was true, too. How could I not since this was exactly what I had been telling myself for so long! Well, I decided to start applying for jobs as they came up and met my exact criteria. I could be picky because I didn't have to have a job. We were doing alright on one income. Applied - rejected. Applied - rejected. Applied - no response. Applied - no response. Applied - no response. I decided to go ahead and update my resume on Monster, and applied for a receptionist position with a local Attorney office. I received a few phone calls and emails from other people, but none of them panned out (I'm looking at you, "you have to come to Lansing first thing in the morning for an interview,

Then...then it happened.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from the Attorney office I had applied to. They wanted me to come in for an interview the next day. So, I checked with Michael to make sure he would be home, and I got it all set up. I was offered the job on the spot. I accepted it on Friday, and started the following Monday. It was full-time, not part-time. I was scared, excited, worried, afraid of how the kids would adjust. It happened so fast...and you know what?

I couldn't be happier.

I am not cut out to be a stay-at-home-mom. And that's ok. And I'm ok with that. The last two weeks have been overwhelmingly enjoyable, but I wouldn't change it for anything! I feel like I've been working at this office, with these amazingly helpful, hilarious people forever. Guess what? The kids are doing just fine, too. Michael is doing just fine as well. Things are getting done around the house when he gets home before me.

And...I'm doing just fine. I'm doing more than fine.

I'm feeling fantastic.

God bless

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 Year In Review - Pic Heavy!

I sat here thinking to myself "I didn't get nearly enough photos to document this year...". Then, I started looking through some of the pictures that I did take, and there are definitely enough to document the year! Warning, this is very pic heavy, wordless, and in no particular order. :-)

Hope you had as great a year as we did!
God bless,

Links to past Year in Review posts:
2014 Year in Review
2013 Year in Review
2012 Year in Review
2010 Year in Review
2009 Year in Review

Thursday, December 31, 2015

I am a walking contradiction

You know, I've been thinking about this for quite a while. I LOVE some things, and dislike pretty much identical things. It's weird. Let me tell you...

1: I don't really like peppermint, but I love those little pastel colored after dinner mints.
2: I'm afraid of the dark, but I love looking at the stars.
3: I love a clean house, but I don't clean it nearly enough.
4: I don't like clutter, but I have a really hard time letting go of things.
5: I love organized places, but I can't organize myself for squat.
6: I'm extremely shy, but I want to meet some friends! (I've been in this house for 2 1/2 years and have maybe 2 people I might be able to call a friend out here.)
7: I want to get involved in school stuff, but I'm terrified of the commitment.
8: I'm not a huge fan of black licorice, but I like Jegermeister.
9: I really want to get into photography, but I can't get the motivation to do it. Though I have gone through and come up with price lists and such.
10: I really don't like storms and they kick my anxiety into overdrive, but I would love to be a storm chaser.

I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can come up with right now!

Stay tuned for a "2015 Year in Review" post and a "Goals for 2016" post.

God bless!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I think it's time for me to do something.

Actually, I know it is. And I feel absolutely terrible that I haven't done it sooner.

See, I let my "social life", which is entirely online, completely consume me. I'm always checking my phone seeing if anything new has happened on BabyCenter, Instagram, games, and the many Facebook groups I'm in. It needs to slow way down, and it needs to happen now. My kids are starting to ask to play games on my old phone and the tablet I scored from my brother-in-law for super cheap. They're always asking to watch TV or movies. To me, it's unacceptable for them to get too much screen time, so why should it be any different for me? They learn from me. They mimic me. They look up to me for  guidance, so why not act myself, the way that I want them to act. Learn by example. Do as I DO. Not do as I SAY.

It's time to change. I have to do this. For me. For my kids. For my marriage.

It won't be easy for me, believe me. I find myself obsessing over things, and it really needs to stop. For now, I'm aiming for an hour a day consecutively of no screen time with myself. Maybe more! Once I get past that first hour, it's generally pretty easy to ignore the pull, but sometimes it gets the best of me. I don't need to walk around with my phone in my hand again. They don't need to learn that habit. Not now. Not at 2, 4, and 5 years old. They need to be running, playing, learning...I need that, too. So from here on out, I'm giving myself to them as much as I can. I'm going to work on my bravery (or lack thereof) with taking all three of them outside to play. We all need sun, fresh air, and play. I need them, and they need me. Not a distracted me. Just. ME. I'll try to blog about my successes, my failures, and I encourage you to do the same! I'll still be doing things I want to do because none of us deserve to lose ourselves in any way, but I'll definitely be focusing more on my children. After all...I was blessed with them, why not truly cherish that, and be thankful?

It starts today. Why don't you join me?

God bless,

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ya know....

Instead of worrying about a piece of fabric, a little bit of metal, or some about we worry about our homeless and hungry???


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Strange Happenings

Ever since we moved into this house, a few random little weird things have happened periodically. It doesn't really happen that often, but when it it hits like a brick wall!

One of the first things that I remember happening was within the first month of moving in. Alaina woke up really early (3:30 or 4 am), and I wasn't ready to get out of bed yet. I decided I would bring her to bed with me and snuggle for a while. Well, as soon as I was beside my bed, I got this huge whiff of cigarette smoke. It smelled so strong that I would have sworn there was someone standing right behind me with a lit cigarette. I turned around and there wasn't anyone there, so I crawled into bed until Alaina went to sleep. I definitely did not go back to sleep though!

A "recurring" thing we have actually relates to a puzzle that the kids have had for quite some time. It's one of those farm animal sound puzzles. Each piece makes a specific sound - cat, horse, cow, duck, etc. If the pieces don't get put back in for an extended period of time, it will make noise. Not a big deal now that we understand what's going on. However...within the first few months of being here, one of the pieces got left out, and at about 9 pm, when all the kids were in bed, but we were still up, it just started meowing. Michael and I looked at each other thinking "What. the. heck". Now it's an ongoing joke, and we've started yelling "Bob!!!" whenever it makes noise. Turning off the dining room light makes it react, too. It's kind of funny now, but that first time...holy cow!

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at the bus stop with all the kids waiting for Julia's bus to come. I could tell that Julia wasn't feeling well, and kept asking if she wanted to stay home. She kept saying 'no', but I knew better. We sat there waiting for about 5 minutes, and something just felt off. I made a comment that maybe we should just go back home, and Justin said "We can't, mommy." So I asked him why and he said "Because there's something behind us.". That combined with my "off" feeling, and what I'm guessing was a perfectly timed gust of wind that actually rocked my car forward, I was a bit freaked out. Right when the bus was due to arrive (thank goodness she was late), Julia said "Mommy, I don't feel good. I want to stay home." I didn't argue, and got the car parked before the bus came down the hill.

Yesterday morning (March 2) was quite possibly one of thee strangest things to have happened. Once again, Alaina had woken up way too early (about 4:30 am), and I went into the girls' bedroom to get her calmed down and back to sleep. I crawled back into bed around 4:40, and laid there thinking 'should I just get up? My alarm is going to go off soon...". I decided to just stay in bed, and closed my eyes. About 2 minutes later, I am about 98% sure that I was not asleep yet, I heard what sounded like a man's voice, inside my house, yell "NO!!!". Needless to say I did not go back to sleep...

What kind of strange things have happened in your house? If any.

God bless!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

My "50 Shades of Grey" Post

You know, I really wanted to stay out of all of the drama (I'm using that word loosely), because I believe everyone is allowed to make their own decisions, and everyone can form their own opinions. I want to share mine because frankly, I'm tired of both sides right now.

50 Shades of Gray. Anastasia Steele. Christian Grey. A book. Now a movie. FICTION. It's not real. It's a story. Yes, it has an extremely sexual story line. Yes, it's written about BDSM. But it's just a story. And personally, I enjoyed the books! Does that make me any less of a Christian woman? No. Does it make me a bad person? No. Does it mean I agree with what was written and portrayed in the book? Gosh no. But you know what? I'm not judging anyone if they do agree with what's in the book. Know why? It's their choice. Heck, if someone is into actually doing that kind of stuff, it's their choice. I'm not going to judge them or shun them because of how they live their lives. More power to them, really!

I love reading. I've read some really great books in the past. Some are about violent crimes, murders, rapes, prostitution, you name it. I enjoyed reading all of them! It doesn't make me any less of a person. My life. My choice.

I'm really tired of seeing people rip each other down because "Oh my GOSH!!! Suzie doesn't agree with my view point and she read those books!" Or "Oh my GOSH!!! Did you see that Jane doesn't raise her kids the way I do?!?!" Shame on them, right? No, more like shame on you for pushing your agenda on others. There's a difference between believing what you believe, sharing what you believe, and shaming others for not believing or doing what you do. My one hang up, the one thing I will tell people that they're doing wrong is when they're putting their babies in their car seats the wrong way. It breaks my heart to see them unsafe, but that's not what this point is about.

Anyways. Whether or not you read the books (I did!), or if you're going to see the movie (I probably won't), I hope you enjoy your freedom of choice, and if you liked the books, good for you! If you enjoy the movie, good for you!

God bless!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Been contemplating...

If you have done a Joy Jar in the past, would you consider sharing the snippits on a blog post? Is that something you (my readers) would be interested in reading? I think maybe it would help some to see what positive/happy things others remember, but I'm not sure.

What do you think?

God bless,

Monday, January 19, 2015

It happened again...

I caught myself smiling while driving the other day! An entire 25 minute drive each direction.

That's all. :-)


Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 Year In Review

Well, another year is winding down, and since I've already shared my goals for 2015, I guess it's time to share my 2014 year in review! Past years can be found here: 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009,

I'm not sure if I'll have anything really note-worthy for every single month, but I'm going to try!

It was decided that Justin was officially day time potty trained.
Julia and I tackled the "kangaroo" puzzle that Jennie bought me while on her World Youth Day trip in Australia.

The generator that we bought (thanks to the week long power outage due to this storm) came in! Yay!
I signed up as a Wildtree sales rep. The stuff is delicious!

Julia went to her first daddy daughter dance with Michael.

I turned 33. Whoop!

Julia turned FOUR!!! (I'm still trying to figure out how time goes so fast...)

Alaina turned ONE!!! (Again, with the time thing...)

I managed to get back on the treadmill - for a little while at least.

Julia received the "Star Student" and "Star of the Month" award in gymnastics.

My step-mom wound up in the ICU on life support. Thanks be to God that she recovered!
Alaina started walking...yikes!
I hosted a "Stop 'N Shop" vendor type event in my home. It was fun, but the turn out was pretty dismal.

I donated my hair to Wigz4Kids!

Michael and I took a much needed vacation for our 5 year wedding anniversary. It was amazing.

We found out that we qualified for the GSRP program for Julia!

Michael turned 34.
We found a new pediatrician and family doctor. After many multiple-hours-long waits with the old doctor, it was time.
Alaina finally got her third and fourth tooth - at 14 1/2 months old.
Turtle watch began.

I was introduced - and blew through - the Hunger Games books. They were so good!
We had a baby deer!

Justin turned THREE!!! (Hello, time?!?!!)

I was introduced to - and blew through - The Twilight Saga.
I decided to walk away from the Wildtree biz. It made me sad, but the support just wasn't there.
Michael accepted a job with a new company. It was a much better opportunity for our family, but he wound up taking a pretty significant pay cut.
The bench that we had sitting down by the pond when we moved into this house was "the bench" from the dream I had when Adam paid me a visit.

We all went to "Protect and Serve Day" in town. There were lots of cool things to do and check out there!
Michael started his new job.
The great Robin Williams committed suicide. RIP.
We discovered that the poison ivy at the bottom of the hill had made it's way to the top of the hill.
We met Julia's preschool teacher, and saw the room that she would be in.

The epic spider battle ensued. Well. It was one very large spider between the screen and glass of the living room window. But I beat it!
I was introduced to - and blew through - the Divergent series.
Polka fest!

Julia started preschool!

Justin had his first dentist appointment.

We got to go to another Tigers game thanks to Michael's brother! Said game just so happened to end with the Tigers being the ALC champs!

I did a road rally through my old church with some awesome ladies. It was so fun!

We finally got the trim taken out of the third bathroom.
I started crocheting again :-)

Julia had her first field trip, and I took all three kids to it.


I was thrown into the abyss of nail stamping, and I haven't looked back!

I was gifted a speedlight for my camera. Holy moly.
I attempted to do the "30 days of thanks" again and failed. Miserably.
PHONE PROBLEMS!!! It was semi-amusing hearing someone else's conversation, but totally annoying at the same time.

I hosted my first ever cookie exchange. It was so fun! Hoping it becomes an annual thing. :-)
I won the Bucket Fillers, Inc. giveaway that was hosted by Mrs. Weber's Neighborhood! Exciting!!!

I decided to co-administrate the P52 group that I've been a part of for the last few years for the 2015 year. Here's hoping I can stick with it this time!
Julia read a STOP sign on our way to her second field trip (Elf on Ice). *tear*

Julia started riding the bus!!! My little big girl is growing up...

I saw a movie - The Mocking Jay Part 1 - in a theater! For the first time in seven years.

So, there you have it! My year in review. How was your year? Was it what you hoped it would be?
God bless,