Grateful Tuesday? Never heard of it.

Entry # 3

“I may not always be with you 

But when we’re far apart

Remember you will be with me

Right inside my heart”

Marc Wambolt, Poems from the Heart

Blogging about my extended family hasn’t always worked well for me. If anything it has made me super cautious about sharing others stories and being really careful about being sure to lay claim to only my portion of the story.

But Webster and google both define story as: “an account of past events in someone’s life or in the evolution of something”. So my version of the story is my account and mine only. I don’t claim it for others and I wouldn’t.

However, none of that is what this entry is supposed to be about. It is finding gratefulness and gratitude in family or a family member. And my response is just it is complicated, ya know? Do I love my family? Yes, beyond measure. But honestly are they are a part of my every day? Sadly, no. The story of all of that doesn’t belong on the internet. It shouldn’t either.

But I am grateful for a lot of things and my family is one of them. My life has been a journey, as most lives tend to be, of figuring out who I am in this world. That road hasn’t always been easy for me or for my family. I am grateful for the journey though.

I am grateful I know how and why I exist. I am grateful that I am a part of something bigger than me. I am grateful that the journey has provided me with much strength and love along the way. And yes I am even grateful it is complicated. I tend to be one that flourishes in complicated circumstances.

I also see the sunshine through the rain. It is my personality. And all of that wouldn’t happen without my family. Extended. Immediate. Friends that I have made family. My village is and has always been large. Some have passed. Some have just passed on me. Some love what I bring to this world. I am grateful for it all.

Yes I eat {Summer Hiatus}

I eat too much probably.

Summer Hiatus 2.0 # 4 

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Followed by what happened when I eat crap.

Summer Hiatus 2.0 # 5 

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You can’t tell from the picture…but I am sporting the migraine of the year. A two pill migraine (meaning I have taken 2 of my overly priced migraine pills and still feel awful). The good news is an early night and hopefully a lesson learned (EAT CLEAN MR!!!) I am feeling much better this am.

Moving that body…{Summer Hiatus # 3}

IMG_0616“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”
Plutarch

I have literally lived outside with my children for the last three days. Since school has been out I have been with them moving, moving myself and moving forward. What I love about this is I would have never done any of this before. I hated bugs, heat and sweating. Now if I am not sweating outside I feel lazy, unmotivated and blah.

The past three days I have been a upping my running game (time and pace) and weight lifting. My body is so stinking sore. But it feels good. It is me. It is where I have always been. I just found it. Over a year ago I could have said all of these exact same things. That isn’t a fad. That is following Plutarch’s advice. Changing my insides changed my outsides. LITERALLY.

Same Old Love Song (Grateful)

Entry # 2 

I don’t get many things right. But I got him right. I didn’t believe in fate, God, a higher being and then my life worked out the way it was supposed to. That didn’t happen until he came into my life.

There are two stories I tell of how we met. The one people expect to hear and the one few truly know. Both a chance meeting and fate intervening. One way more romantic and unbelievable than the other. That one is true though. A story so precious it is rarely uttered because who would believe it anyway?

All I can say is life, God, the world, the universe it figures out what you need and it sends it your way. If you are ready for it, it will blow up your world. If you aren’t it walks on by maybe until the time is right or maybe not again. I am not sure. All I know is that is what I believe.

Every single MOMENT I have had in the last 19 years I have had the same hand to hold. The same voice to sooth. The same arms around me. The same smile and sense of humor. The same love. I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t even really want it. But it came and for that I am grateful. It made me believe in something better. It made me want to be better.

I am grateful for his life. I am grateful for each and every breath we take together. I am grateful that we care enough to fight for each other even if sometimes it is against each other. I am grateful for our life. Our beautiful mundane life of mowing grass, working to pay bills, hurried dinners and the quiet moments where it is just us.

He is a the man I love. He is the man I chose as a father to my precious babies. He is the man I chose for forever and for that I am grateful. Forever and always….LOVE WILL WIN.

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And the song that will forever and always remain my marriage anthem to my guy. Ben Fold’s sing “Luckiest” because I am the Luckiest.

Summer Hiatus 2.0 #1

Most people are stronger than they know. They just forget to believe in it sometimes. 

– Brooke Davis 

This is pretty much what I live for. The solitary moments in my home in the morning when it seems like the whole world is asleep.

Me…I sit in the recliner with my chocolate covered doughnut coffee and One Tree Hill on repeat. 

I am rewatching my favorite show because well it is my favorite and because I bonded with some of my favorite students (and honestly people) over this show. 

And summer hiatus 2.0 begins…Day #1 

Today I am grateful for…

ENTRY # 1 

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Yes boys and girls and whoever else you want to be…you changed my life in so many ways. But no boys and girls, I won’t share specifics ever of my students. That isn’t just for me, it is for you. You didn’t ask to be published and I didn’t ask for permission, so if and when I share about my classroom experiences typically they are very broad and definitely not identifiable.

But I decided this summer to write more. Much, much more. Much like Stella, I seemed to have gotten my groove back and lost about 75-80lbs. The one groove I didn’t manage to find is my writing self. I hardly blog anymore. I rarely creatively write. And when I stop all of that, I lose bits and pieces of myself.

Alas comes, “Today I am grateful for…” Entry # 1. It is solely dedicated to the students who walked into my school four years ago. Not just that…they walked into my classroom and changed my life forever. I want to be real clear here because like any parent (or teacher) you always hear, “You like them better…” And that would never be the case.

I once was asked if there were ever a student I have had that I have hated. The answer is an easy no. I have  loved every single student that has ever crossed the threshold to my door. The first class is like your first child. You both walk into something completely blind having no idea what you are actually doing or if it will even work. But somehow each of you have blind faith in where the road leads.

My graduating seniors (even the ones who left) took as big of a risk as I took (maybe more) on our school. We were innovative, cutting edge and a big FAT risk. My risk was not as cringe worthy because if the school failed I could go back to teaching college and move on. They couldn’t go back and get their education back.

But the reality has hit and the goal we all strove for has arrived. In a week from tomorrow you will walk across the stage. Your parents will cry, your friends will cheer. Your families will beam with pride. Our fearless leaders and creators will feel affirmed.

But me. I am just a teacher. I didn’t build this legacy and it wasn’t my idea. It was just something I read about in a textbook and I felt the need and calling to pursue. So what I feel on this day is grateful for each and everyone of you for your blind faith not just in our school, but in me.

I was book smart in the ways of teaching high school kids college, but in no way was I life smart. You were patient and kind and recognized this was a part of my dream too. You helped to make it a reality.  The students who walk into my room every single day are an amazing opportunity for me to pursue what I love. Teaching writing. But you gave me that first chance (and if I am honest probably the first six or seven), so thank you!

As you all head your separate ways just know you will always and forever be a part of the “E gang”. It started as survival, but it ended with love. You are amazing people and I want you to go out and write and tell your stories. Best of luck to you my class of 2016! You will always be loved by Mrs. E (Eich) and today I am grateful for you!

TN Gut Punches.

Here I am living in the “normal” world where TN doesn’t rule the day. It doesn’t rule my thoughts and actions. Then SMACK it does. It rules all of those things.

And in almost an instant I turn into a zombie. I just feel like with TN sometimes we always live on the edge of living and waiting for the next bad thing to happen.

On Monday it started happening the contortion of my guy’s face. He holds it all weird in hopes to eliminate or ease the pain. Most of the time he doesn’t even realize he does this. But I do. The girls do. It was just once or twice and then it was once or twice an hour. And now it is regular.

I also noticed pretty quickly his eating habits drop. He won’t eat. If he does it is barely. His mood changes. He is so grumpy. He took the day off this week and called his neuro which I know is indicative of it bugging him. Typically, I have to nag for him to call.

He got more meds. But the reality we know is that more meds rarely work. They turn him into a shadow of who he is. He becomes tired, lethargic and irritable. He sleeps….A lot. What is supposed to be a “promised” seasonal remission turns into not that.

We always go out to dinner with my in laws on Thursdays. I was worried because I knew he wouldn’t let the girls down and not go. He went. He ate. He suffered through. That is the thing. People would see him and think he is okay and I suppose he is. He whispers to me, “It is doing it’s usual”.

I guess it’s usual is painful. Disruptive. Worrisome. Making me lose sleep. Making me tired.

I hate TN.

Since TN works extra hard to let me know who is in charge….THIS IS A REBLOG and a RINSE and REPEAT!

Mommy Rhetoric

I want normal.

I don’t want a new normal. I want normal.

Sometimes I just need to admit this isn’t easy.

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#lovealwayswins

#tnawareness

#trigeminalawareness

#chronicpainadvocate

#tnsucks

I will hashtag whatever I have to to fight this stupid freaking disease. I will use my mouth, my writing, my love and will forever and always support this cause. I am feeling that incessant hibernating need I had last year in order to protect my family and my guy. If you love someone with a chronic illness and you start to ever think to yourself they are making it up stop yourself right there and thank God that you don’t deal with it. If you are tired of hearing about it stop yourself there and thank God you don’t have watch someone you love suffer. I am so grateful for this life, but I miss normal. I will take this new normal over the…

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The Dark Is a Thing.

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Two years ago you wrote in the middle of the night. At my table you laid the blame of the world. The blame of the anxiety I have dealt with for years. The blame of not being able to find my way out of the dark. The blame and burden of years and years of hurt.

I didn’t have the time then to care. It wasn’t that I didn’t. It was that I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I couldn’t believe that someone that I believed to be so connected to me couldn’t find me in the dark.

I struggled daily to get out of bed. I foundered and faltered. I held the tears back with gates. I held myself together with tape. You knew that. I told you that. I told you that over and over and over. I lost myself.

I called you crying in the middle of the night. “I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this.” You sighed. You laid your burdens on me as if I needed more. You never even convinced me I could do it. You never even tried. You sighed. You sighed again and again and said, “I understand.” But you didn’t.

I sat alone watching my husband being kept alive by machines. I heard the hush and purr of oxygen and computer working in sync and there was an empty chair. No one to hold my hand. No one to see how desperate I was. Meal after meal in that sterile smelling room, I sat across from an empty chair.

I held my husband’s lifeless hand with no grip back. No one could ever understand what that felt like. No one. That is dark. That is the darkness taking over. I fought it off hard and I finally won. But the battle wasn’t easily fought and most certainly wasn’t easily won. I don’t even think that is a possibility to truly win.

What happened in the last two years was an un-jaded girl married to a boy living happily ever after turned into a skeptical but gratefully married woman married to a man who has had to suffer more than any human should ever have to and decided that living on love and knowing it can all be gone in a minute is exactly how she wanted to live.

I am not the same which I guess is what bothers you. But I can’t apologize for who I have become. I am who I am meant to be. God didn’t give me this storm to come out the same on the other side. He gave me this storm to show myself I am a fighter and that I don’t need anyone else to tell me I can do this. Because I did it. I am doing it and I tell myself every single day because there is an existence of a better day.

-Jewel (words in italics and in the picture)