Friday, November 27, 2015

There'll Be Music, There'll Be Light

     The title of this post was taken from the song For the First Time In Forever from the Frozen soundtrack.

      We put up our Christmas tree tonight. Five kids, one tree, conflicting ideas about how it should look, and four different arguments at the same time made me want to drink all the left over wine we used to cook a sauce for Thanksgiving. Good grief! Now that the tree is up and the kids are kind of settled, I'm a little more calm and totally enjoying the lights and the traditions. I am excited about this Christmas. John has a special gift planned for Sebastian, Tyler and Mason and, when he told me, I cried. I love that he works so hard to be the best dad that he can be. I'll post pictures when it all gets worked out. Sometimes it's really easy for me to forget how blessed I am but the quiet moments like this remind me that, even at the craziest, I truly have so much to be thankful for. Here are some recent family pictures that we had taken.

Mason, Jaxon, and Blake at my grandpas house.

Blake - 10 months old

Jaxon - 2 years old

Mason - 9 years old

Sebastian - 16 years old

Tyler - 14 years old

All five of my beautiful children. I love them all so very very much.

Uncle Dale and Aunt Joyce

Our traditional picture

Have some fun!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Time Will Take Our Place

      The title of this post was taken from the song Failure by Breaking Benjamin.

     It's been almost three months since my last post. I needed a break from writing and it was good for me to just focus on my family without feeling like I needed to share everything. I do hate that there are so many funny, sad, and amazing things that have happened that I haven't recorded anywhere and I'll probably never remember. 
     Sebastian is a sophomore in high school, Tyler is in 8th grade and at the high school, Mason is in 4th grade and back at Mountain View with me, Jaxon turns two tomorrow and Blake is almost 9 months old. They are all growing up so fast. So far they are all loving school and all the amazing things they get to do. Sebastian is taking all honors classes and playing travel league soccer. Tyler made A/B honor roll this six weeks and is top of her class in math. She is also in the marching band, on the JV Cheerleading team and she is taking karate. Mason made A/B honor roll this six weeks and scored the most AR points for reading in his class. He is playing soccer and takes karate. They are so busy but we manage to hold things together. I love watching them in all they do.
      I'll end this post with a funny story. My uncle Dale had knee replacement surgery almost a month ago and he's been staying with my aunt while he recovers. On Sunday we went and cleaned his house so it would be ready for him when he came home today. Tyler was sorting things and every so often she would ask me if she could throw something away. We had this conversation.

"Mom, come here. I don't know what to do with this."

"What is it?"

"It's a book with a lot of numbers."

"But what is it?"

"I can't explain it. I don't know. Come and look at it."

I go in the living room and she is flipping through the yellow pages of a phone book. HAHAHAHAHA!!!! I couldn't stop laughing. Poor child has never used a phone book!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I Had A Dream So Big And Loud

     The title of this post was taken from the song Best Day Of My Life by American Authors.

I have the most amazing daughter. I love her fierce independent nature and her desire to be who she is regardless of how society says she should be. Here is a conversation we had today.


"Yes sweetie"

"When I get married I don't want to take my husbands last name. I want to keep the name Dawson."

"You don't have to change your name if you don't want to."

"I don't want to make Dawson my middle name either. I want it to stay my last name."

"It's totally up to you. I know several people who have done that and some that choose to hyphenate their last name."

"Hmmm...maybe I could do that. I just refuse to lose that part of me."

"Just be who you are and find a spouse that honors that about you."

"And mom, I only want maybe two kids. I don't want as many as you have. I mean I love our family but it's just not for me."

"I'm glad that you know that about yourself. If you decided that you didn't want kids at all that would be okay too. It's a deeply personal choice."

"I also don't think I want to marry before I finish college. I really want to be a veterinarian. I don't have a back up plan. I can't see myself doing anything else and I want a career and then a family."

"Sweetie, there is no right or wrong way to do these things. Your dad and I married really young and I had you kids as I went to college. It was really hard but having kids only made me more determined to finish school. I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher and here I am. If you want to finish school first then do it. There will always be people to tell you how you should be doing things but your happiness is what matters. Follow your heart and you will never go wrong."

     I am so proud of her for standing up for what she wants in her life. I know she is only 13 and things will change as she continues to grow, but at her age these things had never occurred to me. I didn't have a plan for my life and I had no idea what I wanted for myself. I went with the flow for so long and did what I thought I should be doing. I am proud of her for already developing a sense of who she is and where she wants to go in life. She is an amazing young woman and I am beyond luck to be her mother. I can't wait to see where her life takes her.

This was taken at her 7th grade graduation. Smart, beautiful and all around amazing.

This was taken before her 7th grade dance.

She is an amazing sister. 
She often complains about having four brothers but it is evident how much she loves them all. I watched this year as she cheered on Sebastian during his soccer games while chasing Jaxon around and eating popcorn in the stands with Mason. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I Wouldn't Even Try

     The title of this post was taken from the song What Do You Want From Me by Adam Lambert.

     I write blog posts in my head all the time. I know what I would say if I just sat down to write it, but then the day comes to an end and I'm just so tired. All I can think about is sleep. I feel like my days play in a constant loop. There are things I should write about though. Moments in our lives that I've failed to capture. I should write about the end of the school year and how Sebastian, Tyler and Mason all made the A/B honor roll for the year. Sebastian is completing a Governors School Program this summer and earning college credits. He just got his learners permit. Tyler made the JV Cheerleading team and will be in high school next year as an 8th grader. Mason survived a horrible school year and is looking forward to switching schools next year. Jaxon is talking a lot and never fails to make me smile. Blake has started rolling over and can no longer stand being confined to his bouncer seat. I ended my 8th year teaching as a special education teacher. The end of the school year brought about some challenges for me but I'm looking ahead and planning for the new year.
     There have been some moments of agonizing grief. For Father's Day we visited the cemetery and Tyler sat by Mike's grave and just cried. She asked for some quiet time to just talk to him. I watched as my baby girl poured her soul out to him and then just sit there because he wouldn't be answering her. A few days ago Mason told me one time he put his hands around his neck and tried to choke himself hard enough that he would stop breathing. He couldn't tell me how long ago this was but it was sometime after Mike passed away. Can you picture the pure devastation on my face as the horror of his words hit me. How could I not have known about this? That made me feel like an utter and complete failure as his mother. Or how about the day I curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor and cried until I couldn't catch my breath. That particular day I had picked Sebastian up from his camping trip and he excitedly showed me all the pictures of spiders he had taken. It was like listening to Mike and the grief hit me like a wave. Then there was Tyler's 7th grade graduation. I cried for many many reasons but couldn't hold it in when she received an Art Superlative Award. Her dad would be so proud and no matter how much I tell her that it's just not the same. 
     It's hard. It will always be hard. There are moments of pure joy and happiness and then we have times when I feel like we are free falling into misery. I need to do a better job of recording all of it. Someday I would like to think the kids will find value in what I write.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

When Angels Fall With Broken Wings

     The title of this post was taken from the song Angels Fall by Breaking Benjamin.

     Here we are again. The anniversary of Mike's passing. I've been an emotional mess here lately and today I'm just drained. This time of year I find myself feeling very angry. I'm angry over losing him, I'm angry that I wasn't able to stop it from happening...I'm just angry. Today I'm to exhausted to be angry. I've spent the last two weeks keeping my rage on a low simmer and now I'm just exhausted. I don't even know what to say. What is left to say?
     Several nights ago Sebastian came upstairs, sat beside me on the couch and put his head on my shoulder. His mess of brown hair tickled my face as he let himself relax. I wrapped my arms around him and just held him tight. Dear heavens almighty he reminds me so much of Mike. We just talked or rather I talked.

"You are so much like your Dad."

"Mom, I just don't see it."

"You look like him, you have the same mannerisms, and you often say things that I could hear coming out of his mouth. Do you miss him? Do you think of him often."

"I do."

"I have to believe he's watching over us and I know he is so proud of the young man you have become."


"You are growing up to be everything he ever wanted you to be. I wish he were here to tell you all of that himself."

Silence from Sebastian as tears roll down my cheeks and land on his head.

"I'm proud of you too. I know these last few years have been really hard and I know you don't like to talk about things, but I'm always here if you need me."


"Am I talking to much?"

"Well...I really just came upstairs to get a drink."

     I had to laugh just a little at this. I guess maybe I cry enough for the whole family. The kids have had to watch me struggle and seeing me cry no longer phases them. It makes me sad to think about all they have had to go through. I think about how fast they had to grow up. I often wonder if Sebastian would have an easier time talking about his feelings if he hadn't lost his Dad. He's an amazing young man and here lately I often feel like I only know surface stuff about him. I only know what he allows me to see. Sometimes, this leaves me feeling like a failure as a parent. I wonder if I've handled things the way I should have. Have I given them the tools they need to cope with their loss? I just don't know and most of the time I just feel like I'm screwing things up, but maybe that's because I feel so lost and conflicted in my own life. I don't know.
     So, here's to having survived one more year. Here's to only having my memories of him. Here's to the privilege of raising our children and watching parts of him grow within them. Here's to all the things I just don't know how to say.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Make A Wish As You Close Your Eyes

     The title of this post was taken from the song Gone Too Soon by Chris Daughtry.

     I've been feeling a bit down and overwhelmed this last week. April is quickly approaching and with that comes the anniversary of Mike's passing. I just don't want to think about it. I think of him every day and he is always with me, but this time of year forces me to think about the day he died and I just don't want to think about it. I don't want to remember that day. I don't want to replay those memories. I have this crazy overwhelming need to do something on the 14th. I can't just sit around the house with Blake. I don't want time alone with my thoughts. I don't want to distract myself with housework or mundane tasks. I just don't want to freaking think about it at all! I don't know what to do, and maybe that's my problem. I don't want to be alone but I don't want to be with people. I just want to turn it all off for a day. I just want one day, one day when I'm not reminded that he's gone. I just want one moment when I'm not haunted by all I've lost while at the same time trying to rebuild my life. I just don't want to feel.
     I was thinking the other day about how much I would love one last conversation with Mike. Our marriage wasn't perfect and we both had faults, but I desperately want to tell him how sorry I am for anything and everything I ever did to cause him pain. I want him to know how I replay those bitter moments over and over again and how I torture myself for not always being patient and understanding with him. Oh how easy it is to remember all the hard times and all the things I should have done. It's so much harder to remember all the things I did right. I just want him to hold me in his arms and tell me it's okay. I like to believe he is watching over us and there are times when I swear I feel him close by, but sometimes that's not good enough. I want more than that...I want more than I'll ever get and that leaves me feeling pretty empty some days.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

When I Was Young I Knew Everything

The title of this post was taken from the song The Freshman by The Verve Pipe.

     I'm feeling lost this morning. I struggle so much with knowing who I am as a person. My goal this year was to figure that out, to just focus on me for a bit. I'm finding that to be increasingly difficult because I am so devoted to everything that has to do with my kids. Maybe this is sleep deprivation at it's finest. I still feel so broken and the only constant in my life are the needs of my kids. I can totally count on them needing to be driven to their practices, needing to eat, needing help with homework, needing forms filled out, needing to go to doctors appointments, and a thousand other things. I can count on those things, they are ever present. When it comes to taking care of me or living life beyond them, well that's when I struggle. I have moments though, early morning moments, when I have all the time in the world to think about my life and I can't help but wonder, is this it? Don't get me wrong I love my life, but is this it? I feel this lack of connection with myself. I feel like every day is a rat race and I've lost track of me while running it. I'm not making much sense. I used to have passions of my own. I did things because they were fun and I enjoyed them. I don't have those things now and as much as I tell myself I'm going to recapture that part of me, I don't. There isn't time for me. At the start of the year I tried to do at least one thing a day that was just for me. Do you know what I found? I couldn't even come up with one thing that I could do for myself because I have no idea what I would do. I don't know what that would look like. Ultimately I would organize or clean something that had been neglected and I would try to convince myself that this was something I did for myself. What?! Since when has cleaning house become my "me" time.  Like I said maybe it's sleep deprivation or maybe I just over think things, but I really just want to connect with who I am at the core...but I'm not sure who that is anymore.

From a time in my life when I adamantly fought for who I was and what I wanted. 
Where did she go?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Remember When I Broke You Down To Tears

The title of this post was taken from the song I Bet My Life by Imagine Dragons.     

     Today was not the best day ever. In fact, it was far from it. Tyler had a doctors appointment this morning for a check up. They ran some tests and found glucose in her urine so she had to have blood work done to check her blood sugar. We are waiting for those test results. While we were at the doctor, I noticed that Blake had white crusty looking stuff on his tongue so I had the doctor look at him as well. Turns out he has thrush. As the doctor checked him over, she noticed that he had a heart murmur and is having him sent for an echocardiogram. Several weeks ago, Sebastian had a sports physical. Due to family history of heart disease, the doctor sent him for an EKG and an echocardiogram. I got the results while at the doctors office today. His EKG showed his heart rate was lower than normal but he's an athlete so its understandable. His echo showed he has a bicuspid aortic valve. Instead of having three leaflets his only has two. The valve opens and closes properly so there are no major issues there but this does warrant a trip to a cardiologist for further evaluation. I was a bit overwhelmed by the time we left. Let's add to this one very angry teenager who is in trouble because he doesn't want to follow my rules and then gets mad when there are consequences. Love Sebastian beyond anything possible and so when he gets angry with me it's hard to handle. I should take this time to apologize for all the times I said mean things to my mom and dad. I hate to think of the pain I must have caused them as a teenager. Let's add to this day a couple of mean and sarcastic comments directed my way by people I don't care about. I let them bother me way more than I should have. I'm ready to curl up in a dark room and listen to music. The end.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Open Your Heart And Push The Limits

The title of this post was taken from the song Push the Limits by Enigma.

January 26, 2015 at 3:32 pm Blake Edward Mullineaux was born. He weighed 7 lbs 7 oz and was 19.5 inches long. He is beautiful! I had a c-section with him and this was my choice. I had to have one with Jaxon and I opted for a repeat this time around. The only complication was that my spinal didn't take and so they had to put me under for the surgery. I didn't get to hear his first cry and I had to spend four hours afterwards in recovery. The worst part was that John couldn't be in there with me for the surgery. They did allow him to come into the operating room to give me a kiss before they started. I was determined not to cry but a single tear managed to escape and roll down my cheek. When John came in he gently wiped it away, gave me a kiss, and reassured me it would all be okay. They put the mask on my face and told me to take several deep breaths, and as they did I thought to myself "I'm going to fight this and see just how long I can stay awake before the meds knock me out." I started counting and I made it to three :) 

Recovery from the c-section itself has been so much easier than the last time and thank heavens because ain't no one got time for that. Blake is adorable and I'm so happy to have him as part of our family. I am absolutely totally exhausted 98% of the time. In fact according to the sleep tracker on my Fitbit I average between 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours of sleep a night. I'm exhausted and it shows but I love my family and I wouldn't trade any of this for anything. So here are some pictures from the last few weeks. Oh! I forgot to mention that my parents came in from their mission in Kansas for two weeks meet Blake and spend some time with the family. It was amazing having them here. I am beyond grateful for all that they do for me and everyone else around them. Both of my parents ran themselves crazy helping and doing for us and others. I wish I could be more like them. They left yesterday to go back to Kansas and I miss them so very much already. The kids really miss them too. Mom came over every morning she was here and helped get the kids off to school. They usually eat cereal for breakfast but mom fixed them eggs and french toast most mornings. Sebastian kindly asked if I would start doing that for them, and I laughed at him. Anyway, okay here's some pictures.

Me two days before delivery

My precious Blake.

Mommy and baby

Blake sporting his Little Brother outfit that Aunt Mandaly bought him.

Dear heavens Jaxon seems huge compared to him!

My Mom and Dad!!! The kids were so excited!

Say what?!
He makes the funniest faces!

The outfit he is wearing has now been worn by all four of my boys. Having things that they all share makes my heart happy.

One tired momma and one very handsome young man.

Our family dinner before mom and dad left. Mandaly and Mikie aren't in the picture because she wasn't feeling well :(