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Some Days It’s Just All Too Much For Me

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Celebrating 84 Years!

Some days it’s just all too much for me. Today was one of those days, although, I didn’t know it until it literally choked me out.

I was driving in my car on my way to work this morning. I turned up a song on the radio that I love, and started to sing along. That always usually helps me feel happier. As soon as I started singing, I went into what felt like an asthma attack. I usually only get them when extremely upset, or when I am overexerted in the cold. Anyway, there I was trying to sing and I couldn’t and then the tears started. It startled me so much I was talking to myself… “what the fuck, Kathleen?!”

I had been up late last night trying to help my second son with a dental issue. All along listening to him argue with me over text. I hate texting. It takes so long to have a normal conversation. I ended up staying up past 2 a.m. and doing the legwork for him. This is my very long story made short.

I woke up this morning and called the dental office and they informed me that since he is 18 now, he has to call himself. Back to texting him again to let him know what had transpired and the arguing started on his part again. With me all along trying to be very clear and helpful. Trying to give him instruction and peace of mind of what he exactly needed to do. All by text. Blah.

He made the appointment in the end, but to get there took hours from the night before and this morning combined. A whole lot of back and forth and an apology from him at the end.

As I was texting my second son, I also started texting my third son that is having another issue. I was trying to guide him after he sent me a very lengthy text. I called his Case Worker in the Dean’s office of the college and left her a voicemail with a follow-up email. Another very long story I am making short. She contacted him immediately, but he didn’t answer the call. Proceeded to argue with me, again one sided, with me trying to be very clear about what he needed to do. In the end, he also had an appointment with her this afternoon.

I guess just everything I have been going through as of late, just buckled inside of me out of the blue. I try to stay calm. I try to keep my head clear. I have so many people asking for my help or needing it. I do the best I can, but I’m not cut out for the back and forth over text. I’m not cut out for the argument and trying to extinguish it to get the best result over text. It is exhausting. Completely and totally exhausting. I guess my body was telling me that this morning and I couldn’t shake it for hours. A damn phone call is so much easier I think.

I am so thankful that I have had 4 people in my life that have been there for me each and every day during everything that has been coming up in my life. I don’t know what I would have done without these amazing women. They have been my rocks. My sounding boards.

At some moments I have even had more support. I am thankful for all of it. I appreciate any little moment that someone is willing to reach out and ask me about my day. Some days it is exactly what has helped me get though that moment.

Today was hard. This evening I am exhausted. My brain is friend.

I was able to come home and cook a very nice 84th Birthday dinner for my Father and we also had a nice little cake. It brought a smile to my face. To all of our faces. Especially FaceTiming my three oldest and watching my Father take to them. I think that made his day. There was a lot of love being felt during those moments. I love that.

Off I go to sink into my bed, quiet my phone and try to sleep. Hopefully, no urgent text messages wake me up tonight. My soul needs a rest. I think I have done my part for the day.

Good night. xoxo

Tears and an Unsettled Heart

r7hepa%9TUOXXfsUuUPjFAI cried the whole way home. My two youngest clueless in the car with me. Trying desperately to sleep since it was after 11:00.

Moving my three oldest Son’s into their dorm rooms today was exhausting physically and emotionally. It was hot, humid and there was a shit-load of stuff to get packed, loaded and then unloaded. I do have to say, It was all successful though.

I didn’t get to finish setting up their rooms like I like. It calms me, helps me to know they are organized and can move on with this new part of their lives. Instead of feeling at ease when I left each one of their dorm rooms, I felt sad, unfinished and unsettled. That wasn’t what I wanted to feel at all. You know what else? I didn’t even get a family photo before I left. That made me even more upset.

The other day, my third Son decided to come back home with me to spend some more time with his girlfriend before classes start. He was pressuring me to leave tonight. I was running out of time and it was getting very late. Unfortunately, we left our house this afternoon two hours after the time I had really wanted too. That left me short for doing what I needed to for them. I had originally planned on staying the night. Helping them organize, take them by the store to stock up on some snacks and give one last celebratory toast to a great year ahead. I guess I will just need to try it all again on Saturday when I take my third Son back.

I still can’t get over leaving my kids and knowing that I won’t get to see them every day. Give them a good morning hug and love on them. I’m going to have three gone this year and it is working me over. I’m so stuffed up from crying the whole drive home. I even had to keep wiping my nose on my shirt, because I didn’t have any Kleenex in the car. It kept bringing me back to when they were little. Them always cleaning their face on the front of my shirt. Those memories just made me cry harder. Damnit!

I’m home now and it’s almost 1:30 in the morning. My eyes are swollen and my nose is raw. I feel sad. A bit empty. The week ahead is a busy one. I guess I will just need to try again on Saturday. This time sticking with my own plan and not letting my children influence me for doing what they want. I know better than to give in. It never seems to make me feel good.

I’m a fucking sappy mess and need to go and sleep this off. Cry myself to sleep, I guess. Let’s just hope I can do just that.

xoxo

His First Day of Class, My First-Born, My Freshman in College

The alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. Today was the day. It was five days ago when we all got up to shower, eat breakfast and do a little last-minute car packing. We piled into the cars at 6:30 in the morning. All six of us. In anticipation for the day ahead. The day we were moving our first-born into his dorm at East Carolina University.

I didn’t sleep well the night before. Anticipation? Sadness? Concern? Did I get him everything he needs? Did I pack that? Is he happy? When will he come home the first time? Tons of thoughts swirling though my head. Keep in mind, I am a great sleeper, but from time-to-time, I am just awake. For no reason at all. Well, I think my first-born leaving home is a pretty good reason for not being able to sleep that night. Ha!

The drive is just under two hours. He drove with me. His younger brother falling asleep in the backseat. Head bobbing. Hair flipping around. He finally lays down since he has the whole backseat to himself. Alex is with me in the front. We are chatting, listening to My Favorite Murder Podcast. He announces that he is going to sleep a little too. I smile and drive into the sunrise. Checking out my surroundings, listening to the podcast. Looking at Pierce in the backseat sleeping, then looking over at Alex. He is crashed out, mouth wide open, obviously napping wonderfully. I snap a photo of me smiling and him sleeping with his mouth wide open. I can’t help myself. I want to cherish every moment.

We arrive to the huge parking lot at the stadium and get our place in line. Talking, joking and me taking photos. Waiting to get inside and get his keys.

After the stadium and picking up his keys, we drove over and arrived at his dorm. The six of us got all of his things up to his dorm and the organization started. As a mother, I want my children to always be comfortable. To have all that they need. From the 3-inch mattress pad, to the rug on the floor. I’m hoping I got him everything that he will need for the whole year, but not too much to clutter and sit in the same spot all year and not get used. It’s all I can hope for.

Once I have him set up and I am finished with my part. You know, the part that makes us moms feel good. It was kind of like nesting for our babies again. Setting up their room, making sure they have everything to get by. All organized and ready to go. Once you are done you stop and look around. Ask yourself, am I missing anything? Will he be comfortable? Does this make him happy? I look around and it hasn’t hit me yet that this is his room now. He won’t be sleeping at home any more. Nope, it hadn’t hit me yet at all. Not like I thought it would for the months leading up to this.

My Husband and our youngest three Boys said our goodbyes with hugs and see-you-tonights. We walked back to our cars and I was still fine. No tears, no anticipation. No concern.

We had lunch, checked in to our hotel and relaxed for a bit.

Later that evening, our youngest, my Husband and I went out for beers and a soda. We chatted, the three of us. After a bit, we met up with another set of parents that I met during orientation in the library a couple of months prior. They dropped off their son that day as well. After a little conversation, we learned that we were all feeling the same. Even my youngest. We are proud, but will miss them. We are concerned, but they will succeed. We are nervous, but know that they will be able to handle themselves. So many emotions flying around that table.  We laughed and had serious moments too. It was wonderful to share with other parents that were going through the same thing.

The three of us got back to Alex’s dorm to meet his roommate and his parents. They were so nice and we met his roommates older brother as well, that lives off campus and is an ECU junior.

I think we felt a little relief. Well, at least I did, knowing that his roommate was a nice kid. Happy and smiling. They seemed to be communicating well. At ease with each other. Their room set up comfortably. The whole atmosphere just seemed calm. Thank goodness! Ha!

The three of us, once again, said our goodbyes to let Alex hang out with his new roommate, head to dinner and finish organizing his desk. Tons more hugs and I love you’s were had, of course. Then we were on our way back to our hotel.

Still no tears. No trepidation.

The next morning we had a date to meet Alex around 9 for breakfast. We gathered our things from the hotel and started to make our way. The 6 of us. For the last meal that we would share together until I don’t know when.

We found a couple of parking spots on the street and headed over to his dorm. He was ready and waiting. Roommate still asleep, so we met outside. We made our way to Einsteins on campus for bagels and some time together.

It was a great breakfast. Everyone at ease. Having great conversations. Laughing, poking fun and enjoying our time. We made it last for as long as we could, then it was time to head back to his dorm.

Once back to Alex’s dorm we hung out a bit. Introduced his middle brothers to his roommate and chatted a little while. It wasn’t until I asked the roommate to take a photo of us all that it hit me. “This is it! Hold it together!” The thoughts going through my head. Taking deep slow breathes.

Photos were taken, then hugs started to happen. I started to lose is. Slowly and quietly. Once that happens, everyone seems to know… here goes Mom. She is going to start to cry. I have to say I have the sweetest family ever though.

We said our goodbyes with a ton for hugs and I love you’s. I just feel like it is never enough, Then we walked out of his room and down the back stairs to the outside. I put my sunglasses on even before we left the room. The tears were already welling up.  Streaming down my cheeks as we descended the stairs. Already hearing the, “Mom are you okay,” questions from one of my boys. Which one, I can’t remember. Then walking out into the heat and sunlight through the parking lot and my second oldest put his arm around me as we walked to the street. I remember feeling the comfort of his arm around me and thinking how lucky I am. After crossing the street, grabbing my husband’s hand and holding on, for what felt like dear life. The tears still flowing. Trying not to sniffle and silently wiping my tears. Getting to my car and my husband and I crying in each others arms. Feeling so proud of our wonderful first-born. Feeling so sad for us. Like something so dear has been taken away. Crying and holding on tight. My husband let go and kissed me, then started down the street after our two middle boys to his car. My youngest son took his place and he and I cried together. Holding each other tight on that sidewalk. I know he was feeling the same. At loss already. Crying into each others arms quietly. Reassuring each other with sweet words that we will be okay. That HE will be okay. That we will come and see him soon and hope that he will want to come home and see us too.

It isn’t just hard on the parents it is hard on the other kids in the family too. Even though the older ones don’t show it, a mother knows. I could see it as we all walked away from his dorm that day. Every one of us quiet. Every one of us somber with our heads down. Not our usual silly selves. It’s hard on us as a family. I’m sure Alex felt it too. I hope one day he will fill us in on how he was feeling that day we left him for his new adventure.

As we drove out-of-town, I cried. My youngest held my hand. I held his. We were full of tears together. Then we smiled at each other with those reassuring smiles. Trying to just get though our feelings of the moment. Of the morning that we had just had.

IMG_3163It’s been 5 days since we moved him in last Wednesday. Those feelings haven’t gone away. Our first-born started his first two classes at college this morning. I am crying steadily and having to take breaks while typing this. Blowing my nose. Wiping my tears. Hoping that I don’t get a sinus infection. Hahaha! Feeling so excited for Alex. Hoping his ‘first day of classes’ were amazing and that his teachers aren’t assholes. Hoping that he got smiled at and that someone new introduced themselves. That he made a new friend and shook his teachers hand. My emotions and thoughts are all positive ones of accomplishment for my son and ease to get though the day.

I feel so lucky that I got a text this morning from him saying, “Morning”. To quietly let me know in his own way and he is up and ready for his day. That meant the world to me, more than he will probably ever know.

It is so odd to have to raise a child and then let them go, so to speak. I don’t want to let them go. I always will want them in my day-to-day life one way or another. A phone call, a hug, a text, lunch, a walk, to FaceTime, a letter in the mail, anything. I’ll take anything I can get. My children are my world. Why would I want that to end when they turn 18? I don’t and if it’s up to me, I won’t let that happen. I will always love them, nurture them, advise them, reassure them, let them know that they are loved and supported. Even as adults

My children are not my best friends, they are the loves of my life, my little boys, my children. Now and forever. That will never change. I feel lucky to have them in my life. I feel excited and happy when I see them each day. I am not a parent that looks forward to having an “empty nest”. Not because I don’t want them to succeed and have amazing adult lives, but because I feel like they will always have our home. The home we all have when we were together. Something to look forward to, coming home to when every they want. Home is where you are loved. Home is where your family is. Home is your anchor.

To all of you parents and siblings out there sending your loved-one off to college. I send you love and hugs. You are not alone. And to all of you off to college… YOU, are not alone. 🙂

xoxo

Raising Husbands & Fathers

I don’t know whose photo this is, but I hope they don’t mind me using it.15032168_255671434847402_4705620029773180601_n.jpg

I love this photo. I’m always worrying about who my children are and what types of adults they will be. I want them to be kind, strong, stable and loving towards their own family one day. To support and defend their family. All I can do is my best.

I love my 4 Boys and know that some days I really feel like I am screwing them up. I hope that isn’t the truth. I know I can be hard on myself and them as well some days. I can only hope that I have instilled something amazing in them. Something wonderful that others will see, so that people gravitate towards them and they are surround with love, always.  🙂

xoxo

Photos Are Our History

Good morning!☀️🌞😃 

This is such a true statement. I’ve talked to people that have burned, thrown away or tore up old photos. I don’t believe in that. I think that photos are your history. With good memories, or bad. They are still your history and something that should be cherished.

I wish that I had more photos of myself when I was young. I have one of myself with my father. I have another of myself with my Mother. Another of my Grandmother, myself and my Cousin Keith. A couple of myself while very young alone while enjoying summer vacation. A couple teenage ones. Now, a lot as an adult. 

I take tons of photos of my children. They hold so many memories for me. One day when they look at them, I hope they will hold wonderful memories for them and show them their history.

That brings me to another subject. Don’t forget to save and also print out the photos on your phones. I think thousands, even millions, of photos are getting lost each day, because we dont download them and print them out. What a waste. Take some time and do it. You will be happy you did. 🙂

xoxo 

Rituals

Good morning!  This was my comment after watching this video this morning.  You’re going to laugh!

“May 6, 2013… that’s how long I have been saving this video in my email inbox. Today is January 25, 2016! It’s about time right?!?! Yes! So, I watched this 1st wonderful video (while chopping an acorn squash in my kitchen, instead of sitting on my butt. Which is how I started it.) and am thinking… hmmmm… what kind of ritual would I like to have in the morning? Something different than I already have from my amazing life? Ha!! I’ll let you know when I figure that out. Thanks for all you do ladies! Can’t wait for day 2 tomorrow. 🙂 ‪#‎Healthy‬ ‪#‎TheLifeOfAMother‬ ‪#‎JustForMe‬ #TheSelfLoveRevolution”

I’ve been saving them for the right time to focus on “Me”.  Haha, can you believe it!  Focus on me? You would think I would have watched these a very, very long time ago.

The truth is, I try and focus on myself as much as I can.  Yes, I have a super busy life, yes, I like it that way. Husband, Father, 4 Children, Myself… all in one house. Believe it, or not, we have a pretty damn good balance.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t get off kilter from time-to-time, because, believe me I do.  It just means that this wasn’t first on my list.  Does that also mean that, I am not first on my list?  No, I definitely try, I just get sidetracked.

After watching this video, I really feel like I need to stop and figure out a ritual that I would like to have that is different from what I already to. Take today for instance… My Husband kissed me goodbye. I got up, used the restroom, put my contacts on, combed any lasting lice eggs out of my youngest Son’s just-washed-hair, cleaned up, washed my face, flossed my teeth, brushed my teeth, put on my skincare products, brushed my hair, then got dressed. Kissed my 3rd Son goodbye for school, cooked 5 scrambled eggs for the 4th Son, ate a yogurt, powdered the two dogs with flea powder, put them in their kennel, then was off to take my 4th Son to school. There was my morning, thus far.

If I just look at that little part of my morning, I think that it was pretty productive.

I didn’t even mention everything that I did after I got back from that school drop off. Let the dogs out of the kennel, the 3 of us made our way upstairs to my room, chatted with the cable company, chatted with the sales guy, Alec, at the gym my boys want to join, cleaned my room, text with my 4 of my girlfriends and 2 of my Nieces, did Day 1 of a 30 day Squat Challenge, vacuumed my bedroom, watched this 1st video while chopping an acorn squash and putting it away for later, then made myself a yummy #LunchForOne, said good morning to my two oldest that have today off from school, had an intense conversation with my 2nd Son about his behavior towards others and how it makes them feel, then finally sat down to blog.

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Phew! Haha! Yes, a pretty normal day for me.  Now that I read back through all of that, what have I really done for me?  Perfect reason for me to find a new ritual.  Time to get my head together and figure that out ASAP. Maybe on the drive over to pick up my little Cousin from school?  Or, maybe while I’m sitting in the carpool line picking up my youngest Son and 2 others that I drive home on the daily?  Haha!

I’ll figure it out. I love to journal. I love to paint. I am a woman who goes through spurts and doesn’t really stick to the thinks I love, unless it is washing my face and tending to myself that way.  At least I can say that I take care of myself with using amazing skincare products, having clean and nice clothes, a beautiful closet that I love to dress out of, books that I love to read and living in a town that I can never get enough of.  🙂

xoxo

16 Years Ago Today…

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Thanksgiving 2015

16 years ago today I was had been in the hospital since two days before, trying desperately have my first Son. Later in the evening, after 52 hours of labor, two hours of pushing and an awful experience with a c-section, Alex was born.

They handed him directly to us, Andrew and I. His little head of hair was glowing golden and I started to cry, then everything went blank.

I remember waking up to my Niece, Charmaine’s, voice. “Kathleen wake up. Kathleen.”

I remember hearing voices in the hall, which I think were my Sister and my Husband.

I remember him trying to latch-on for the first time.  It took a few tries, but he was a big eater.  Just wanted to lay there all the time.  Eat and sleep. When he wasn’t in my arms he was with Andrew.

The new love in our lives.

I can’t believe that was 16 years ago. It is so sweet the love that I had for him and how much more it is today.

He is an amazing child. Strong, gorgeous, serious, happy, athletic, grumpy, analytical, witty, independent and so much more.

I want to write about all the things I remember, but that would take a world of time. Instead, I am going to just keep it short and say that I love him with all of my heart.

I know him better than he knows himself. I know his quirks, sighs, deer-in-the-headlight-look, smile, walk, body movement and all.

When I think about how much he has grown and what a wonderful young man he has become, it brings tears to my eyes.

This may not be a very flowing and great post, but I am emotional today. It’s all so bittersweet and goes by too quickly. I truly always wish that time would just slow down.

I miss all the little smiles, naked carefree littles, that my children were. They aren’t like that any more.  I was hoping that would never change, but it does. I will attempt to say, that it did, even through I tried to keep their silliness in tact. I try to remind them all the time of who they were then, how they were then, how they smiled, loved and were carefree. I want them to remember that that doesn’t have to go away. I do my best, but they will become who they will. I just know that they will be amazing. As they always were.

I love you, Alex! Happy 16th Birthday. 🙂

xoxo