Thursday, April 13, 2017

But My Words Like Silent Raindrops Fell

The title of this post was taken from the song The Sound Of Silence by Disturbed.

My Dearest Mike,    
     April 14th marks six years. Six years since I've seen you, heard your voice, or held your warm hand in mine. There are still so many things I want to tell you. So many things I want to share. So many questions. Why don't I ever feel like I have the answers I need? I cycle through so many emotions from moment to moment and nothing makes sense. I keep thinking about our early years together. I was 16 when we first met and barely 18 when we married. I had never met anyone like you and I wanted to be your everything because you were mine. As our relationship progressed and we got married we grew up together. We had no idea what we were doing, but most of the time we knew we would make it through together. And then one day 15 years later I was alone. My everything was gone. We had plenty of ups and downs through the years, but my constant companion through it all was just gone. I still feel your loss so deeply. Sometimes I yell at you. I yell at you for leaving me, for leaving us. It's completely irrational, I know it is. You wouldn't want this for me and I cry over that as well. You would be so mad at me for not dealing with this better. I've written this stupid post nine times and I still feel like nothing I say matches the whirlwind of emotions I'm feeling inside. Please watch over us. The kids miss you. We talk about you all the time because I'm determined they will never forget. Sebastian is a carbon copy of you and sometimes when he hugs me it's almost as if you were there...I can't do this tonight. I'll just go cry myself to sleep.
           
                                        Love,
                                           Mel




Fall of 1996



Fall of 1997


Fall of 2009


Fall of 2010


Fall of 2011


Fall of 2012


Fall of 2013


Fall of 2014


Fall of 2015


Fall of 2016


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Welcome To A New Kind Of Tension. All Across The Alienation.

The title of this post was taken from the song American Idiot by Green Day.

     It's been a rough week. I absolutely cannot believe Trump was elected President and I held out a very small hope that something would change that before the inauguration this week. I don't want to talk about politics tonight. We are a nation divided. I am exhausted from debating or biting my tongue to keep from debating. I had an aunt, that I haven't talked to in 10 years attack a post I made on FB in regards to the nomination for Secretary of Education. I ended up deleting my posts because it was clear she wasn't looking for a debate. She was hell bent on being right and was trying to convince me just how wrong I was. I wish I had just deleted her comments. Instead I allowed her to wear me down. I've since deleted the FB app from my phone. I still get on from my computer, but I've significantly decreased the amount of time I spend on social media. In conjunction with that I've started tailoring my friends list and getting rid of people that I don't really know or talk to. It's a work in progress.
     This coming week will be the first full week of school since before Christmas. It's going to be a busy one. On Thursday Mason gets braces on his top teeth. I'm excited for him because I think the gaps in his front teeth bother him and it's going to be a process to get his teeth where they need to be. He will have to have an expander put in to widen his upper jaw. All of this will be done in stages, but we start on Thursday. Tomorrow would have been Mike's 41st birthday. It's still so hard for me to believe he is gone. We plan on getting helium balloons so the kids can write him notes and we will let them go outside. Maybe we will go out to dinner. Tyler asked if we could go to the cemetery, but it's supposed to rain really hard tomorrow so we will see. Thursday is also Blake's second birthday. I can't believe my little man will be two. He has the sweetest disposition about him and I love him so very much. 
    
I'll end with a two pictures from this week.


Sebastian will often get in the floor and let the little boys wrestle with him. They absolutely love it!


The other day Jaxon went upstairs, got in Tyler's closet, and put on one of her dresses :) I had to snap a picture.

      

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tearing Off Pieces Of Myself Just For The Time It Buys Me

The title of this post was taken from the song When You Go by Jonathan  Coulton     

On December 31, 2010 Mike made the following Facebook post.


"These are your last hours of this year. Are they gonna waste or will you do something worthwhile with them? Think about it."

When I saw that on New Years Eve I lost it. I had already been struggling through the Holiday break and this had me balled up on the bathroom floor unable to do anything but cry. His words made me think about not just that night, but the years to come. In my head I changed his words just a little..."These are the best years of your life. Are they gonna waste or will you do something worthwhile with them? Think about it." While I've accomplished a lot in my life and I have a lot to be thankful for I still feel incomplete. What the heck am I doing and who the heck am I? I didn't make any New Year's resolutions, but I started some new habits that happen to coincide with the start of a new year. I started reading the book The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. I work so hard at being who I think I need to be rather than who I am. I've traded my authentic self for approval of those around me. Anyway, I'm working on me. 
     Here are some of my favorite pictures from the last several weeks.


Me and my littles. 
This wasn't a good day, but it was a good moment. I captured a moment with an actual smile and only trace amounts of anxiety. 


Sebastian will make an incredible father one day. I love watching them run up to him and call him by name. The little boys struggle to say Sebastian so it always sounds like "mashun". 


Jaxon and Mason playing together. I love these moments. All to often I find myself reminding Mason that he is 10 and Jaxon is 3 and we don't treat our brothers like that, sigh. This makes those moments worth it.


Blake loves this hat. It's now missing an eye and the nose, but he wears it all the time.


Our baby sitter quit on us unexpectedly just before Christmas break. There was a disagreement about some of the things involving the kids and she quit. At the time I was hurt and very angry, but everything worked out and this picture is the outcome of everything. Jaxon is now in the preschool program at the Y, which is at the school I teach in. He comes to school with me and I pick him up right after school. On this day He played on an iPad while I got some work done. I am so glad I get to see him a little more. Blake is spending his days with my mom and they are both loving it!



There's that hat again. He liked being outside with us but he did not like getting snow on his shoes or his hands :)


We all went sledding at Megan's house and the kids had so much fun! I'll admit that it took a lot to talk myself into getting five kids and myself bundled up and out the door into the cold. I'm so glad we went because we made memories.


All five kiddos checking out the hill.


Jaxon was my little daredevil. He went down the hill over and over again and laughed the whole time. He even managed to carry his penguin sled back up. He stole my hat because his hood wouldn't stay up, and when I put it on his head he said "Mommy, this is the best!"

Saturday, December 24, 2016

You Touched My Heart You Touched My Soul. You Changed My Life And All My Goals.

    The title of this post was taken from the song Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt.

      I think about Mike everyday, but this last week I've thought about him in almost everything I do. Mike hated being wasteful. I remember us wrapping Christmas presents together and he would constantly get on me about how much tape I used. He'd seen a documentary on gift wrapping and how if you wrapped a gift perfectly it could be done using one piece of tape. I always called bull hockey. I like using a lot of tape. This week every piece of tape I placed on a gift kept him in the forefront of my mind. He would also organize things so that they would take up the least amount of space, including trash. As I organized our recycling, I broke down boxes and put boxes inside of boxes so that it took up the least amount of room. He would have been proud. In December 2009 I graduated with my second Masters degree. Mike threw a party for me. He was so glad I was done with school because it consumed so much of my time. He was not amused when I joked about going back to school. Nine years later he's gone and I passed my BCBA exam. I had a panic attack the other day, because I just can't fathom not being in school. My self worth is so tied to my education that I can't imagine not formally working towards some kind of educational goal. I can picture Mike rolling his eyes.
      It's Christmas Eve and I've also obsessed about not having enough gifts for the kids to open tomorrow. I do this every year, and every year I yell at myself for giving in and thinking that it's the gifts that make Christmas important. Yesterday my family got together. It was incredibly crazy and my house isn't nearly big enough to hold everyone, but we had such a good time. Dad brought a Christmas movie for us to watch and it was just what I needed to remind me of the true meaning of Christmas. I'm so grateful for the memories I have to cherish and the future I have to look forward to. I'm really looking forward to watching It's A Wonderful Life tonight as we finish wrapping gifts. I'm looking forward to going to church in the morning and listening to Sebastian and Tyler sing with the church choir. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Only One Thought Of Mine. Only At Christmas Time

The title of this post was taken from the song Only At Christmas Time by Sufjan Stevens.

     It's been an incredibly stressful couple of months and I've struggled with all of my insecurities about everything I do. Sebastian has struggled with Governor's School and I have worried that maybe I pushed him into it when he wasn't ready for it. Tyler has struggled with her honors English class, but I'm the one who pushed her to challenge herself. Jaxon is three and when he tantrums I wonder why in the world I can't handle my own child. It's just been a long couple of months.
     On November 29 I finally took my BCBA exam. My original goal had been to take it in May, but I didn't get my paperwork ready in time. I could have taken it in August, but I was terrified and felt totally unprepared. I pushed it all off until the November testing session and then took it on the last possible day. I studied in spurts. I would do really well for a few weeks and then life would happen and I would slack off a little. I'd beat myself up for being a slacker and then study some more. The test was on a Tuesday. There were 160 questions and I had four hours to complete the test. I walked out of the exam feeling really good about how I had done, but as I analyzed questions I started to second guess myself. I was then sure I had either passed or failed miserably, but honestly I was okay either way. I knew I had given it everything I had and if that wasn't enough I was okay with it. I was expecting the scores to come out the week of Christmas so I've kept myself busy with other things. I've been focusing on the kids, work and catching up on things I had let slip through the cracks. This week I had a lot going on and I've been extra stressed. Sebastian has his final exams, Tyler had an SOL test, I had several things going on at work, and I haven't done much Christmas shopping. Yesterday, I picked up my phone to see I had six emails. One of them was from the BACB. I had passed my exam. I immediately went to my desk and opened up my BACB portal and sure enough it said passed beside my test date. I cried. I called John. 

"Hey, guess what?"

"What?"

"I passed my exam!"

"I know."

"No, seriously. I just got the email. I passed it...it's official."

"I knew you would. I'm not surprised."

I'm glad he was so confident :) I keep logging into my account to make sure my pass hasn't changed to a fail. I'm still in shock. Now I'm nervous about being able to say I'm a BCBA. I still don't feel like I know enough. I never feel like I know enough.
     On top of this good news Sebastian texted me yesterday to tell me he got a 568 on his history SOL. He passed with an advanced score. He also made an 82 on his college chemistry final and will finish with a B in that class. I'm so proud of him. Tyler got in the van yesterday to tell me she passed her algebra SOL. She was so excited. I'm so proud of both of them. We all had something to celebrate yesterday.
     I'm ready to wrap up these last few days of school before Christmas break and then enjoy some family time. Maybe now I'll let myself relax a little.