Tuesday, December 31, 2013

{ goodbye 2013 ; hello 2014 }

2013 has been a rough year & I'm ready to say goodbye to such a trying year.

I'm ready for 2014 and am linking up with Simply Alli and her New Years Link Up Party

A bad habit I’m going to break: 
Disconnecting from people when things get to hard.  When times get tough I tend to become a hermit and withdrawal into myself and it's time to get over that.

A new skill I’d like to learn:
To knit

A person I hope to be more like:
My grandmother Nancy.  Although she passed away when I was still a child, she had this way of being loving and supportive to those who needed it most.

A good deed I’m going to do:
On my 29th birthday in July I'm planning on doing 29 RAK's to celebrate.  I'm making a list ranging from sending a card to a random person who needs a "pick me up" to paying for someone's meal/drink. I'm hoping to involve Evan in some way so he can learn that the simplest acts of kindness mean the most.

A place I’d like to visit:
I'm not really sure.  We have a family reunion planned for the summer in Utah and it's been forever since I have been there and seen many of my cousins.

A book I’d like to read:
Oh the list I have...but I'll probably start with Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin or  1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

A letter I’m going to write:
I'm planning just like Alli to spend more time writing to friends and relatives and sending them via snail mail.  I've set a goal writing to my parents once a month since both live out of state.  I'm kinda hoping I can keep with it! 

A new food I’d like to try:
Butterbeer.  Seriously.

I’m going to do better at:
Being happy and learning to love the life I have while working towards the life I want.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

{ not another marriage advice post }

You won't find any marriage tips here.  

Or advice I have pinned on my marriage board on Pinterest.

Or cute pictures of my husband and I at some recent event or photography session.

But this is where I tell you that I'm down in the trenches with you.  

Fighting for the health of my marriage, just like you.

That it's hard coming back from the brink of separation, divorce, or infidelity.

That the good days are very good and the bad days are even worse.

Where trying to get over the "what ifs", the "could've beens", the "should've beens" and learning to "love your choice" can be more difficult than you've ever thought.

But my husband is a good man.  

Who loves me dearly and is fighting for our marriage just like I am.

And it's hard. 

But I'm right here with you.

Monday, December 16, 2013

{ overwhelmed...again }

I sit here with my cup of tea and wonder how we got here…again.  The past few months have been hectic and scary for me, the one who worries about everything and feels uncomfortable when our bank account is less than $100.

Mike’s nervous breakdown back in July led to job loss and his employer fighting us tooth and nail on paying unemployment.  And even in the end, we still never saw a penny.  Lucky for us we have loving parents and siblings who helped in any way they could.  But this summer was also spent with social workers and filling out paper work for SNAP and worrying about how we were going to make it until Mike was working again.

Thankfully we were blessed with Mike getting a job quickly.  And in the beginning it seemed like it was heaven sent.  Mike was home at night.  His anxiety and shaking had diminished.  While I needed to work as much overtime as I could to get us caught up financially – we hoped it would be short lived and started to breathe again…even though it was just a little bit.

Then Mike received an email a month or two ago.  His current employer had been bought out by a national security company.  His job would be safe and as Mike went through the process of transferring to the new company, we figured it would be heaven sent. 

Then Mike told me he would have to bid for his hours and station.  I was optimistic until I looked at the bid schedule and what was available.  It’s not good.  Not even in the slightest.  What makes things worse is Mike was unable to attend bidding today.  A union rep was to bid for him and we still haven’t heard if and what he will get.  In the end worst case scenario is that his hours are cut in half.

I’m trying to stay positive.  I cling onto the fact that we’re both still employed.  We have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies.  The worst it means is I’ll have to continue to work as much overtime as possible and balance an even tighter budget.   The money Mike will receive from financial aid once he starts school next month will help take the edge off and getting Mike through school as quickly as we can will mean better job opportunities for him. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

{ all by myself }

A few weeks ago we had our bishop come over to visit with his lovely wife.  He mainly wanted to check in and see how we were doing as well as give us the soft reminder that Evan is getting closer to becoming baptized next year.  And then the next day I had a visit from the sister missionaries who were just assigned to our ward.  I shared my fears of bring the boys by myself to church and if was it really worth it if I spent a majority of the time walking circles around the church with a 14 month old who wouldn't possibly sit still.  But I promised I would try.

The morning was hectic.  Chaotic even.  My husband kissed me and reminded me that I didn't need to bring them by myself.  I could easily wait for another time when Mike would accompany me.  But my answer was I did need to do this, because there are going to be weeks when Mike won't be able to attend with me and both boys need to be in church to feel the spirit of our Heavenly Father.

While I parked, I still had my doubts about how this was going to go.  However, it went well.  I was invited to sit with another one of the sisters in the ward who helped manage the boys (really just to watch Evan when I needed to give Alex a "running" break) and both boys behaved as well as I could have hoped for.  After sacrament, Evan went off to primary, leaving me with just Alex, and we spent most of our time the second hour walking the hallways.  I ran into a lot of my old youth leaders and parents of those who I attended youth groups with.  It was so nice to catch up with them.

Eventually I conned Alex into a nap, and he napped for most of the third hour allowing me to sit through Relief Society without much trouble.  I still feel odd sitting there.  I am one of the youngest women in our ward and I still haven't figured out how I fit into our church community.  But I'm hoping by showing up when I can that I will be able to.

I'm surprised how well it all went.  It boosted my confidence, not only in being able to manage my two crazy boys, but that the women of the ward will stand by me and give me a hand.  And I really couldn't ask for more.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

{ only temporary }

Last night was a bad one.  horrible.  It was almost like having a newborn again who was suffering from colic.  restless and cranky.  At the time I sighed and tried to concentrate on the small body in my lap and told myself this is only temporary.  Even though I'm so overwhelmed in it all that I can't even begin to think of time where I won't spend a good portion of my night on the lounge chair with a restless toddler on my lap attempting to sleep.

The past few weeks have been terrible.  Alex has clued in to the uneasy stress that Mike and I have been dealing with from day to day just trying to figure out our next steps.  This has led to EPIC tantrums that last hours where I can't do anything but cling onto the small crying body of Alex and hum songs in hopes he'll calm down.  When we get home after long days, Alex won't let me out of his sight and screams if I even begin to think about making dinner for the family.   Instead of being excited for the few hours I have to play with the boys...even before I get to daycare to get the boys I'm counting down the hours before it's bedtime.

I'm trying to remember if Evan was this way.  It was only two years ago before Evan began routinely sleeping through the night.  I don't think it was ever this bad.  I also was at home more.  Evan was barely in daycare if at all before his preschool years, and now both boys are gone all day.

I often wonder if I'm making the right decisions. If putting in the extra hours to make ends meet and give my husband time to start feeling his way through school is really worth it in the end?  I know it is.  I know that 2 years is really just a short time and will pass more quickly than I realize.  But I hate that Alex is so worked up.  That instead of spending the day at play dates and mommy groups, I'm at work.

Already tonight I'm on edge.  Although it's quiet and both boys are in bed, I'm not sure how long it will last.  I plead that tonight both boys sleep.  That Alex is comfortable and barely makes a peep.  But if not, I'll be on the lounge again, with his warm body curled on my lap and I stroke his hair, telling myself this is only temporary.  And to treasure this time.  And hope that in a few years I'll forget the epic tantrums and mommy issues and just remember the moments in the middle of the night where it only seems like Alex and I exist.

Monday, November 18, 2013

{ new adventures }

This morning was spent at a doctor appointment and researching scholarships for Mike.  In just 2 months Mike will be going back to school to attain his degree in law enforcement.  Mike finally decided that he wanted to work for the DNR as a conservation officer.  Mike has always wanted to work for law enforcement, but I figured he would follow in either his grandfather's or father's footsteps, and work for MN State Patrol or at the county level.

But I'm excited he's finally made a decision.  Being outside and in nature would do Mike's soul some good especially since his breakdown.  But it also means that once he finishes his degree (most likely in 2 and a half years) we won't be in the Twin Cities.  It would mean going north or south, and leaving the safety net of having so much of Mike's family so close.  But a move where we are on our own seems exciting.

However, I'm a little itchy about what Mike going back to school means for us.  It means even less time together.  It means late nights helping Mike to study and making sure he has all the tools he needs to be successful.  It means I might be a "single" parent most nights.  And what little time we have together we need to make sure we spend it together.

But in all my hesitance.  I'm ready.  I'm ready for Mike to attain his dreams and succeed.  I'm ready for that meaning finally (hopefully) home ownership and having more babies (well at least one).  I'm ready for that meaning that I could cut my hours and be stay home more with the boys and eventually attaining my degree in nursing or becoming a PA.

So here's to new adventures and jumping in feet first!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

{ our life via instagram }

It's been a while since I've caught up here with all the photos I snap on my phone but here is what we've been up to for the past little while...

::  the boys playing at the park ::  Evan learning to sew  ::  double rainbows always make me smile  ::

::  This is why I love my husband  ::  Alex demanded to sit in this swing  ::  SWING!  ::

::  Whatever brother can do I can do  ::  Alex and MJ  ::  my boys  ::

::  Cuddle time  ::  New winter hat  ::  Me & Evan at Pahl's Market  ::

::  Brothers at Pahl's Market ::  Playing at Pahl's Market  ::

::  Alex believes we should share EVERYTHING  ::  waiting for the milk to warm is just too much ::  New Car  ::

::  Playing at the grandparents'  ::  Trying out Daddy's headphones  ::  playing in the tub while mommy gets ready::

::  COUSINS!  ::  Look at me sit in this chair  ::

::  how much I miss this little girl in this picture.  Ms. Ellie  received her wings 3 years ago.  Her name is heard in our home on a daily basis and I can't believe that all Alex will know of her is this picture (and the many others we have around)  ::

life rearranged

Thursday, October 17, 2013

{ lost }

I caught a glimpse of myself the other day and didn't recognize the woman staring back at me.  Instead of a fresh faced, bright eyed, optimistic girl, I saw a tired, haggard, weary soul and I’m not sure when that happened.

My husband has joked for weeks that he misses the old Emily, and now looking the in the mirror, I miss her too.  I feel the past few years I have lost myself.  Each tragedy I lost a little bit more of myself.  Every hateful word or negative brush off parts of me became more guarded.  And now I sit here not exactly who I am and where to start in finding myself.

I know that all of us go through these moments.  The shit hits the fan and we start putting one foot in front of the other, a big smile on our face and just try to make it through the day without any major problems.  But then we look up and have no idea who we are, or where we are.  And that’s where I am at.

Looking back at where I thought I would be, I laugh.  I’m nowhere near what I thought I would be.  I’m on a completely different path.  Not a bad path, just a different one.  Dreams changed and being a wife and a mother became more important.  But I still feel lost.

I feel so scared to move forward.  To dream bigger dreams as a mother and a wife, heck, even as a person.  I worried of stepping on toes and saying the wrong thing because apparently I do that a lot.  I have kept my head down and just tried to get through the day without putting my foot in my mouth.  To me I feel smaller than whom I was 10 years ago, even though I was dealing with major depression and generalized anxiety back then.

So my big question is where do I go from here?  Because I’m lost and I’m not sure where I am hiding.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

{ remembering charlie }

I don't talk much about Charlie anymore.  Charlie's estimated due date and dates related to the loss of Charlie pass without fanfare.  But I remember.  I feel the pang of the loss.  I feel on those days my heart was ripped out and someone is missing.

Charlie was wanted and was planned.  From the moment we started trying for Charlie, we were dreaming of what it would be like to have 2 children, if we would have another boy, or a girl this time, and all the other possibilities that comes with welcoming a new baby into our family.

Instead those dreams and plans ended all to quickly.  We never heard Charlie's heartbeat. Never found out if Charlie was a boy or a girl.  Never held Charlie.  Never smelled that sweet new baby smell.  And there was nothing we could do about it.

So today is for you sweet Charlie.  We remember you.  And miss you.  I know that you are looking down on us and sent us your brother Alexander.  I know that one day we'll meet and I'll get all the time I missed with you.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

{ welcome to the family... }

About a week after Mike came home from the hospital and I killed the Accord.  I was idling while finishing up a quick phone call with a client and then all a sudden I heard a boom and saw steam shooting out from under the hood. I immediately turned it off and called my husband down to take a look at the damage.

Initially we thought it was just a hose...maybe a head gasket at the worst.  But no.  Last week the poor Accord was finally going to be fixed when we got the news that no...I hadn't blown a head gasket, the engine block had cracked meaning that the Accord had gone to car heaven.  Or at least was going to be signed over to the guy who was going to fix it for all his trouble.

So yesterday Mike and his dad went out looking for cars.   We had spent night after night looking through ads on different cars and had hoped that one we had liked (at least on the internet) would work out.  But then I got the call that no...the ones I had "pined" over didn't work out and that we would be getting a Ford Taurus.  Or as it is called in my husband's family a "Taursadies".
  And then when it appeared...I realized that it's as long as our van so it's going to be like driving a boat around. 

So welcome to the family S.S. Taursadies.  You may not be what I had hoped for but I think you'll do just fine...

Monday, October 7, 2013

{ you've survived 385 days }

{alex @ 6 days old }

Dear Mr. Alex,

You're first birthday was 3 weeks ago.  And in spite of a lot of things, you survived.  You've proven you are a force to be wrecked with and anyone that calls you meek and mild really doesn't have a clue.

{ me & my boys }

You are wild, crazy, and seem to think that the laws of gravity and physics don't apply to you.  After your hairline skull fracture and minor concussion and I can tell we have stitches and broken bones in your future.  You are stubborn, impulsive, and have no fear.  This has led to accident after accident.  In fact your daycare no longer calls me for every bump and bruise and a day without an incident report is a good day.

{ evan & alex }

You are also so very brave.  Going through test after test for your hydronephrosis.  You laid perfectly still for an hour both at 2 months and then at 10 months for your renogram.  You've aced ultrasounds and other imaging.  You were a champ through your surgery for tubes, and have mastered how to handle ear pain from all your ear infections.

{ daddy & alex }

You are incredible sweet.  Freely giving out hugs and kisses to all of us.  We love your cuddles and your big goofy grins hidden behind your nuks.  You are smart.  You have figured out how to pop open baby gates and how to get onto furniture by pushing pillows or stools next to whatever you want to climb on.  While you still haven't figured sleep out (your brother at that age hadn't either) you eat like I can't even believe, with blueberries (berries) and pancakes being your favorite.  Although you seem to think that whatever we eat or drink we really should be sharing with you.

{ our family }

I love calling you mine, Mr. Alex.  You are one heck of a one year old.  I can't even imagine all the grey hairs you are going to give your father and me through out the years. 

Love you to the moon and back,


{  happy birthday! }

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

{ dear husband... }

Dear Husband,

On September 24th we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary.  It wasn't grand by any means.  You ended up working all day and it was easier for me to just pick up so I wouldn't spend the day alone.  We exchanged cards and you surprised me with roses and promised that soon we would find a time to go out and celebrate...even if it was to a brunch or late lunch before we had to go get the boys from daycare.

{ my rings }

To be honest, once your seizures happened back in July, I wasn't sure we would be standing here.  You now working with a new employer that has been better for all of us, but especially you, and you are ready to take on the world (with the right medications and therapy). When you first came home, I had questioned myself about your course of care and if we were making the right decisions for you and for us as a family.  But I know we are now on the right track.

{ your ring }

This past year, we almost lost everything we had ever dreamed of.  Our marriage was broken and we had both checked out from it all for different reasons.  I'm so very sorry that our "wake-up" call came the way it did...but I'm glad that it woke us up.  I know that we are just barely into repairing our marriage, but I can already see the difference.  You are becoming the "husband" I married.  Not the same, but I can at least recognize you now. I know you say you miss the "old" Emily.  I miss her too.  I know that I will never be the same as that naive, glass half full, ready to take on the world girl you married, but I hope that by us working on our marriage and ourselves that I'll find her again.  Or at least one you can recognize.

{ our rings }

You, my husband, are the love of my life.  My soul.  My heart.  My home.  We married young and started a family even quicker than we anticipated.  But I wouldn't change the past 8 years.  Not a moment.  I know we have so much more ahead of us.  I really can't wait to see what the next 8 years will bring us.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

{ his timing }

I had found this quote on pinterest and laughed.

Earlier in the day I had found myself kneeling in our room pouring my heart out to our Heavenly Father with tears streaming down my face.  

We had finally received some good news on Mike's unemployment appeal and he was getting his first pay check from his new employer.  Our financial issues were going to be settled and we would be caught up on all of our bills and could start fresh with October working on Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace baby steps.  But then I checked our account and his paycheck had not been deposited.  Mike called to see when we would receive the partial payment we had been granted from unemployment had was told he was ineligible because a form was never filled out - they would send another one and then we MAY receive something but it was highly unlikely.

At that point I was broken.  I had held on to hope and prayers, knowing that if we could just get through the roughest parts of the past few months, we would be okay.  We've began repairing our broken marriage.  We spent more time as family.  God and faith became regular topics of discussion in our home again.  I had felt like we were finally finding our footing and could see a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. 

My battered heart and soul couldn't anymore.  Being positive and believing something, anything good would happen disappeared, and then I began to plead with Heavenly Father.  With a broken heart and tears streaming down my face I prayed.  For relieve (even in the tiniest degree).  For faith.  For love.  For comfort.  For knowledge that He has a plan and soon I will see.

...and after my pleading I felt peace and comfort.  I still had no idea how I was going to pay bills, put gas in our cars, and feed our children.  But I felt like it was all going to be okay.  

And it is.

Not on my time or even my way.

But in His time and His way.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

{ fall }

I can’t believe that it’s September 1st already. I have been so busy with one tragedy after another that I haven’t had a moment to look up, and now that I have, I can’t believe summer is already gone.  I had such hope for our summer being filled with parks, lazy evening walks, and one activity after another.  Instead it was filled with hospital stays, doctor appointments, job loss and drastic changes to how we operate as a family (for the better, in time).

But I have always liked the coming of September.  It’s another new start to the year, full of its own promises and dreams.  And after the summer we've had…I can only hope that these changes are for good and we can finally find our footing as individuals, a couple, and a family.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

{ marriage is hard }

For the past few years our marriage had been going down a dark path that neither of us recognized until it was almost too late.  It led to this...

The stress of our marriage problems landed us an ER visit after MJ having a series of seizures and a bought of confusion.  3 days on the med/surg floor at one hospital before being transferred to the University hospital for another 2 days.  Series of blood work, seizure medications, scans, and a video EEG.  Luckily it wasn't a seizure disorder.  But it made us both realize how close we were to losing everything we had wanted and ever dreamed of as husband and wife.

When MJ and I said "I do" almost 8 years ago, I would have never imagined this where we would ever end up.  Both of us so checked out from our marriage and each other that when we "woke up" we didn't recognize who we had married.  Neither one of us carries more of the blame than the other, we are both equally responsible, just in different ways.

The past few weeks since MJ has come home, we have spent trying to get things back to a steady routine, with major changes.  It has resulted in MJ needing to find a new job, the boys going to daycare full time, and me working as much as possible to make ends meet until MJ can start a new job.  But it's also blessed us.  We've had more time as a family.  Our nights are filled with games, movies, and parks.  I go to sleep every night with my husband next to me.  I have a partner to rely on in the middle of the night when no one is sleeping.  Days off where it's just MJ and I are spent getting to know each other again.

It feels like we are on a better track and on the same page.  It's going to be rocky while we still find our footing as a couple and a family, but I couldn't picture anyone else by my side.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

{ catching up }

It's been quite a while since I've blogged.  The break from blogging wasn't intentional...but life seems to happen whether or not you really want it to.  So I figured I would write a quick (well - maybe long) post of what we've been up to for the past couple of weeks...

  • Alex has tubes!  I can't tell you how relieved we are.  We've already seem quite a difference in him.  He had his surgery 2 weeks ago.   We spent more time in pre-op then the actual procedure took.  My  MIL and I barely had time to sit down and talk before the ENT appeared out of no where.  He has had some drainage.  Nothing drastic and nothing that appears to be an infection - but we can tell he's already a much happier guy!

  • Another note on Alex - we had another follow up with his Urologist.  I can't tell you how frustrated I was after this visit.  Mike and I had agreed that at this point in time we were ready for surgery if Alex's kidney hadn't improved.  Which it hasn't, in fact, it's measuring a little bigger.  But now it seems like her story has changed.  Before we were told we would have seen some improvement - even on a small scale.  She's now saying it maybe up to 2 years.  So...in July we go back for another renogram to see what function is left in his kidney.  Hopefully we will see some improvement.  If not, and our urologist doesn't have a better game plan...we're going to go get a second opinion.  It's not that I want to put Alex through unnecessary surgery - but at what cost to the function in his kidney are we doing by continuing to wait.

  • Evan's school year is coming to a close.  In fact, he only has 2 weeks left.  He's absolutely loved his school and his teacher.  As luck would have it, he'll go there again next year.  This summer, we've planned for him to attend summer camp once a week per month until he goes back to school.  I know he's excited.  I'm sure he'll have a blast.

  • We're in the middle of planning our very first family vacation.  We've gone a few places since Mike and I have been married - but never on our own.  So this time we're going to venture on our own for a week or so.  It won't be until September - but I'm already looking forward to making memories with the boys (even if Alex is too young to remember).

  • Lastly, after some tear-filled conversations with the Hubby, we've made the decision to move out of state.  We've talked about it for years and have come to the conclusion, it's now or never.  Mike isn't happy here.  It's time for him to spread his wings and see what he can accomplish on his own away from family.  I'm excited for this adventure.  It would mean a lot of sacrificing - but Mike will be able to be in the career field of his choice, and I would be able to stay at home with the boys (at least for some time).

Hopefully things will start to calm down - or at least I'll be able to stay on top of things since Alex seems to be feeling a lot better!

Monday, April 15, 2013

{ ENT }

The past three and a half months have been hell.  It's been full of urgent care visits, ear drops, antibiotics, and an on going schedule for tynenol and ibprofen.  We haven't slept.  Our days and nights have been nothing but rocking a sick baby and trying to comfort him any way that we possibly can. 

Alexander has now had S.E.V.E.N. ear infections.  As soon as one would clear up, another one would pop up.  We've been through 4 different antibiotics. F.O.U.R.  Most babies maybe will have to take one before they are a year old, Alex's gone through 4.  And he's in pain.  Constant pain.  Yes, there are some moments where he's happy and agreeable, we just chalk those up to the fact that his pain medication is working.

Our home is in shambles.  All of our energy and time has gone into these ear infections.  And it's getting a little old. 

So finally we were referred to the ENT who we saw today.  I knew that this point that we would be talking tubes.  I made the mistake of posting about us finally going to the ENT on Facebook (I seriously think about just deleting my account once a day).  I got some well meaning advise for alternatives to tubes.  We have used homeopathic garlic oil in Alex's ears twice a day and it has seemed to help.  We have been urged by both family and friends to look into chiropractic care for Alex's ears.  After doing research and reading stories from some parenting boards, I haven't been sold that it will be a 100% cure all for Alex.

Personally I believe there needs to be a balance between both modern and holistic medicines.  And I believe that we'll have to do a combination of tubes and chiropractic care.  Not one single path is going to solve Alex's ear issues - but I think by finding that balance we'll finally have some peace in our home.

Monday, April 1, 2013

{ brothers :: a photo montague }

 Evan and Alex have an interesting relationship.  It's been fun to watch it grow.  Alex loves watching his big brother and is starting to get really get interested in whatever Evan is doing...whether or not Evan really wants him to.
But Evan is a really good big brother.  Always making sure Alex has a nuk, bottle or toy.
They just love each other and it just warms my heart!