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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

“Are you okay?”

reaching_outThis morning I was disturbed by my alarm clock during a morning dream. I don’t remember where I was in the dream, or all of the people in it, but I do remember how I felt after waking up and thinking about the dream.

A boyfriend of mine from when I was in my 20’s, Todd, showed up where I was with some of his friends.  I also had people around me, with me. I don’t know who they were and I don’t remember where I was, or what I was doing. I do remember him reaching out to me with a smile and concern on his face. Reaching out for my hand and asking, “are you okay?” He did this more than once throughout the dream. His concern was sincere and reassuring. He kept coming back to find me.

When I woke up and thought about the dream, I felt peaceful, tired, groggy. I also felt reassured. I know that Todd being there wasn’t about him, he was just a figure of calm, happiness and confirmation.  There to remind me of all of the good. Reassuring me that everything is going to be okay, that my stress and feelings are perfectly normal. That life will come back in full happiness swing. This is temporary. Not to forget myself and my smile. To look forward to great things ahead and to be patient. For me to not forget about having fun and getting back to my positive self. To be strong and this too all shall pass.

Thank goodness for that dream. It’s been a rough go the past year. I am looking forward to my day. Trying to stay positive and keep busy with the importance in life. Searching for my smile and finding it will be a pleasure today. xoxo

One Day I Hope You Will Appreciate Me

fullsizeoutput_ff72I know having a house full of teenagers can be trying on a parent. Believe me, I feel it every week. It’s not always one of their moods, actions, or something that they say. Some days it is everything that goes along with being a parent that we do for them.

Today I was talking to three of my Son’s and one of their friends. My three oldest are off to college in ten days. Of course I want to discuss the plan to get them moved into their dorms in 10 days. To get their stuff unloaded, set up, etc. It always kind of sucks when they are like, “why do you need to do that? Why do you need to stay?” Especially after just explaining why. Also, when all you are doing is trying to give them everything they will need when they are away from me for the next school year.

I think that my oldest Son is really the only one that is finally getting how much I do for them each and every day. How much attention to details, schedules and situations that only I deal with. For school, for our household, for our lives. Sometimes I think they have no clue what truly has to get done to get from point A to point B. That things aren’t  just magically that way to begin with.

This past year has brought a whole new set of struggles. Ones that I tackle each day head-on. Trying to stay as positive as I can to work through each situation. Sometimes situations that cannot be put on a back burner. Especially when handling college with 3 children all at one time. It’s been trying, but I forge forward each day with great intentions. Some days I cry, some days I am mad, some days I am full of  positive intentions, some days I am scared as hell, some days I am full of pride, some days I have more frustration than I think I can handle, some days I am smiling, but every day I push forward. Every day I look forward to the next day.

I know that some parents never help their children with their college applications, visits, deadlines, financial aide, schedules, orientations, signing up for classes, applying for dorms, signing up for the health care, sending mandatory inoculation records, getting the final transcripts, setting up meal plans, acquiring every thing for their dorm room, making sure they have a state ID in order to get their college OneCard that they will use for everything on campus, school loans, and many other things… is that enough? It’s a lot and that’s just my college kids at this time.  Throw in high school, grades, graduations, summer school, sports, hormones, ACT/SAT testing, blah blah blah into the mix. Everything is for them.

I know that the teenage years are the hardest. Believe me, I was a teenager once and hard to deal with some days. I just hope that my Mother felt appreciated and loved. I remember she would tell me she loved me and how she felt about me even after those teen years. I feel so thankful. I know how much I appreciated her. Especially during the hard times we went though in our household at that time. I’m glad that I told her I loved her each day and I took care of her and told her that I appreciated her. We took care of each other, even on the last day we were together.

I just hope that one day my children will look back and finally appreciate me for everything that I am doing for them. I hope one day they will finally have an, ah-ha moment. I hope they come to me and say, shit, thank you. Just that simple.

Why is it important, you ask? Well, I really just want to know that I raised my children the best I could and if they come to me that day with appreciation, then I will know I did it right. They may not see it now, but I really hope they will one day, because honestly, it is all for them.

I’ve always wanted to be a mother and I am so very happy each and every day that I am. I cherish each and every day no matter what it brings me. I take it in. I bask in it’s crazy ups and downs. I wake up each day with a smile. I will keep doing that for the rest of my life. In my eyes there is no other way. It’s the life that I have wanted and the way I want to live. I love my family, I love my life.

XOXO

Parents & Teenagers & Unspoken Words

I worry. I worry consistently about my children. I know they don’t share everything with me. Probably not even half if I am guessing. I find it so strange, then I look back to confiding in my Mother. I guess for some, it just doesn’t happen. Even if we think we are close to them and we know it all, we don’t. We never will and this terrifies me.

I want to be there for them when they are sad, feeling broken, happy, maybe they have met someone new. It doesn’t always happen. I feel like I am pulling teeth and they are giving me a painful look when I ask them about their day, their friends, their relationships, anything. I feel hurt. Maybe I’m selfish? Selfish with wanting them to be happy 29 out of 30 days a month. I want to see them smile. I want to know they are okay.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe I have a strong relationship with all of my children. I know that they love me. They tell me they love me daily. Kiss me good-bye and good night evey day. I take great care of them in all of the “Motherly” ways. I just know there is more to it than that. More going on with them, than what they give me willingly.

I go to bed terrified at night when I haven’t seen one of them smile all day, or even make an effort to talk to me. I can’t stand the distance. Especially when I know something is wrong. I can see it in their eyes, their body stance, the way they hold their mouth. I have a right to feel terrified. I am their Mother and I feel noting but love for them and want to keep them safe in any way that I can.

Some humans don’t discuss what is on their mind, because they don’t want to feel like they are overly talking about themselves, being self-absorbed, complaining, or whining. Sometimes we do it because we don’t want someone to feel sorry for us, feel like we are a burden, or weak. I’m sure I could list a hundred more reasons why we don’t talk to others about our feelings, our thoughts, or what has happened recently in our lives that has made us feel off. Sad. Alone. Even miserable. We’ve all done it. What we forget is, we are not alone. There is always someone who will just listen. The problem is, we are afraid.  Don’t want to seem incapable of handling our emotions. Frankly, it sucks!

We need to talk, we need to express ourselves, we need to vent, we need to cry, we need to wallow, we need to work it out. If we don’t, then it sits in a deep pit. A dangerous pit that the only way out is to climb out of that damn pit yourself, or let someone help you. To grab onto their hand and let them pull you out.

Today I am in worry mode. I have been for several months now. We moved to a new State. It’s been 9 months. I don’t feel in my heart that anyone has really adjusted well. Especially my 4 teenagers. They miss their friends. They miss the ease of our old neighborhood. They miss their daily routine. I bet they even feel like life has been stagnate here, like not much has moved forward.

Sometimes in life you do things for your family, because you think it is the right thing for you all as a whole. California housing prices were sucking us in. Living to just pay for the house you are living in and the bills to keep that house alive, are just not a way to live. Children don’t know that though. They see a well-oiled machine and then their parents just threw a wrench into the engine and broke it.

I never realized it would take this long for them to adjust. To feel happy again. With social media today, I thought that it would be easier for them to keep in touch with their friends. Unfortunately, I believe it has been just as much as a hinderance. Especially with how things are today.

Social media started out as a way to keep in touch. Connect with friends and family and sometimes make new friends. Today it seems that it breaks more relationships than it keeps alive. Especially for our children. Posts and words are taken negatively, texts are misconstrued. Someone is always feeling defensive. People that are being honest are taken as liars. The liars are getting away with causing so much pain and the honest ones are the one’s suffering. Some suffering more than others. It truly breaks my heart.

I remember when we communicated a lot over email. Even our emails started to get taken the wrong way. We all know that 5 people can read the same email and if asked about that email, we would get 5 different interpretations. Imagine that with the short simple texts. It can be hell, I’m sure. It always seems when something is read these days it is deciphered depending on the readers current mood. It’s interesting and detrimental all at the same time. Especially with our teenagers. It scares the hell out of me.

It all dwindles down to the way we communicate with each other. I’m for sure a talker. I want to talk about everything. Know everything. I love honesty and truth. I love having a conversation of the heart. I always ask a lot of questions. I love to learn. I love having a conversation about the weather. I love having a conversation about the color of the dirt. I love hearing about your day. I love hearing about your successes for the day. I love hearing about the argument you had with your friend. I love hearing about what your plans are for the weekend. I love hearing about how your girlfriend pissed you off. I love hearing about how dumb you thought that kid was in your class today. I love hearing about what scares you. I love hearing about what made you angry today. I love hearing about your job. I love hearing about your dreams. I love hearing about it all and I just want to talk to my kids and Husband all day long.

I want them to need me. I want them to want to spend time with me. I want them to know how much I care about them. How much I want to listen to them when they are hurting. I am always here. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen. Then I am back here hoping, wanting, poking, prodding and begging them to let me in.

I am their Mother, so I know they don’t want to tell me everything, but I would hope that they would let me in a little. Show me the honesty and sharing that I have taught them. Come to me when they are happy and when they are also feeling down. Let me help them. Give me a chance to tell them that there is always another wonderful road to explore, even though sometimes we take a wrong turn.

The unspoken words are the ones that worry me. No, they truly scare the hell out of me. xoxo

Not Even 30

Yesterday came and went

It would have been your Birthday

Your 30th

A day to celebrate

Celebrate your wonder

Your Smile

How cherished you are

Not a day for tears

To ‘cheers’ without you

Without hearing you laugh

And without seeing that contagious smirk

We still toast you though

Your loving memory

A memory of a life lost

Forever lost

Lost

I wish I knew that you were lost

I wish I knew your pain

I wish I knew when you were scared

Or mad

Or over it all

I wish I knew it all

Now I just feel sadness

Shocked is the only way to describe

Loss

Lost

Full of a bucket of tears that keeps refilling itself

With no end

No end

I love you

My sweet little Brother

I love you.

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

52 Hike Challenge – Hike 1

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Good morning!

A few weeks back I broke my toe and metatarsal during the night, as I was going back to bed from the restroom. Lovely! Anyway, it is pretty much healed now. A few discomforts , but nothing to really complain about.img_5162

I decided once my foot was feeling better I would join the 52 Hike Challenge on this past Monday. Well, I did it! I joined on Monday. Educated myself on the challenge and am going for it. I had been wanting to do it for months and am so glad that I finally did!

First off, I love to hike. I don’t get out enough and this is just the little extra push that I need.

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My favorite photo of the day. Looking up at the big, big trees.

I don’t get out as much as I like, because I have a busy family life. No complaints here though, I wouldn’t change a thing. I just need to fit in more time for me, which can be hard certain days. I am fortunate to live in an area where I can find a great hiking spot rather easily at the last minute.  Woot!img_5168

Tuesday was the first day I had a hike planned. I was thinking a 6 miler up at the Land of Medicine Buddha. I have a favorite hike there that I haven’t done in quite a long while. Well, bam, I am gifted with watching my Great Niece for the rest of the week. No worries! I’ll just take her with me for our first hike together. So, that’s what we did.

It’s fun and challenging hiking with a 2-year-old. Challenging, because they are very slow and rarely do you get to do more than a mile if they are walking on their own. Fun, because they are so fun to teach about the woods and see the wonder through their eyes.

It was a GREAT morning hiking with her and nostalgic. I use to take her older sisters hiking with me when they were little. I can’t wait for the 4 of us to all hike together. What a wonderful day that will be!

I’m just so excited that I got my first hike in, even though, only just over a mile, I got it done. It was a gorgeous day and exactly what Madison and I both needed.  🙂

xo

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 

Exhausted Mother and it’s only 7:47 a.m.

Waking up my chilthe_secretdren is the least of my concerns in the morning. Wanting them to leave with a smile on their face is a whole different concern in itself. Maybe I shouldn’t say concern. Maybe it is more like a need that I have?

We all worry about our children’s happiness. Well, I hope as hell you do! I do. Every single moment that I look at them, I want a sign that they are happy. It’s in me and I can’t help myself.

When I hear negative words out of their mouthes, no matter the subject matter, see a sad face, eyes watering up, I worry. Plain and simple, it affects me.

Last night I downloaded an app that allows me to “pause” my children’s phones. It simply makes it so that they can only make, or receive, a phone call. All of the rest is paused, until I un-pause it.

After putting it on my oldest Sons phone, apparently it moved some of his apps all around and jumbled it a bit. He freaked out.

A little background on my oldest son. He is the sweetest kid you will ever meet. He is loving, sensitive, honest to a fault, highly intelligent, if you are a friend of his he super committed to that friendship. I could go on and on. Not because he is my Son, but because I like to see the beauty in everyone and I just think that he is just an all around amazing person. Period.

He is also happy, sad, outgoing, introverted, smart, skeptical, trusting and untrusting. Just to name a few. When he is in one of those pessimistic moods, all I want to do is hug him. Tell him to smile. Ask him to work on his happiness. Remind him that he is so loved and there is no reason for him to be angry or feel defensive.

He is my one that I tend to worry about the most. The one that I hope that I am not screwing him up in some way. The one that I want to take any pain away that I feel like he has in his heart, and just make it all better for him. I try, but I know deep in my heart that I can not.

He was bullied when he was younger. This already sensitive soul, was bullied verbally, and it has affected him deeply. To a point that now when sometimes you make a suggestion of something, point something out, ask him to change something, he is super defensive. To the point, that if you ask him to not wear his beanie to school today, he feels like I am picking on him. Even though, I point out that he is super gorgeous, because he is, and that I just thought that not wearing his beanie today, because it is going to be 83 degrees, would be a better idea.

I’m coming to find out, that I just need to let him be. Let him be who he is. Let him wear what he wants. To be his own person. Which, I think I have been pretty good about, but I am still his Mother and always want what I think is best. Even though, it isn’t what HE thinks is best. I am truly finding that balance.

Back to last night and the app that I installed on mine and their phones to “pause” them. When I gave him his phone back, and it looked a bit disheveled, he lost it. He cried, explained why he was upset and I felt terrible. He felt betrayed. He felt untrusted. He felt like one of his lifelines (his phone that he reads on every single day) was now not going to be the same. It broke my heart to hear his words and see how upset he was with me. When is Brother told him, “it’s just a phone”, he went into how lonely he is and how his social life is not like his (as in his Brother that he was talking too), that his life is through reading and the stories that he enjoys so much. It made me so sad, but it made total sense. Especially since I know that he is still hurting from losing his best friend a bit over a year ago. She was having her own personal issues and just cut their friendship off all at once and he still hasn’t recovered. He hurt him to his core.

I called him into the privacy of my room for us to chat. Explained what I was doing. That I wasn’t invading his privacy, that I trusted him with all of my being, that this was to simply pause them, when and if we needed too. Frankly, because there are times when I wish their computers and phones were gone. I feel like they are too highly used and an expansion of their lives. Too relied on. I also explained to him that I never meant to hurt his feelings, to make him feel like I would be betraying his privacy, that I trusted him and I never meant for him to lose any of his reading, or music, that I know he feels like are a lifeline and stress reliever for him.

Once we talked and looked over his phone, everything seemed to be there. I hope that he went to bed knowing that everything would be okay and that I loved him. I really did feel awful. Being a Mother is hard sometimes. Really hard other times and amazing the rest of the time.

This morning, after he thought money was missing from his wallet, because he thought I had given him $20 last week and the change wasn’t there this morning. I reminded him, that I had only given him a 5 or a 10 dollar bill and not a 20. That would explain why there was less in his wallet then he was thinking. Well, before I told him that, he had already gone down the wrong path. This is a good example of the hardship that he puts on his brain and his soul. He is now upset, clearly. The whole house can feel it. I put my hands on his shoulders and asked him to do something for me. Not only for me, but for himself. To go on a mission. A mission to only laugh, smile, think good thoughts, admire others, make positive comments, to make a change. To feel good. They say a change takes 3 months, right? That it is scientifically proven. Well, I told him that. I told him to see what happens when he does it, how he can watch his life change before him. He grunted. He’s 16. I’m a Mom that tries too hard. Ha! Well, at least I try. I try only out of love.

On our way to school I told him a little about myself when I was young. I told him that when I was somewhere between the ages of 8 and 10, I did ‘t like what I was seeing all around me. Arguing, infidelity, drug addicts, lying, fighting, all within my home with my parents and brothers. I didn’t want to be like that. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to have positive things in my life. I wanted to laugh, smile, hug, have fun and bring happiness to my life. I told him that I work hard at it every single day. It isn’t always easy, but there is no reason that I can’t keep trying and doing it for myself. It is what he need, or else we will down in all the crap. That I strive to be happy every day and I know that he can do it too.

What it all comes down to, is keeping my children safe, hoping that I can help them always be happy and helping them in anyway that I can. I would do anything for them. It doesn’t change the fact that I get sad too. I get sad when I feel like they are sad, or lonely. I feel it all.

My children are the loves of my life. 🙂

xoxo

P.S. Thoughts and comments would be appreciated here at the WordPress site, rather than on Facebook, or Google+.  Thank you!

Subject: Stufff

I just wanted to share something from my Son.

I had received a text message while out running errands that read…

Can I please have 50$ of my report card money, the total is 105 but I only need 50 currently.

Mommmm plz

?

I responded back with a, 👍 (thumbs-up emoticon). I was out and about and don’t like to text while driving.

After I got home from my errands, he and I had a conversation regarding, what he wanted the money for. He told me it was for some type of upgrade for his Minecraft game. He knows how I feel about wasting (I think it is a waste) on things like this. It should be used on things that you hold and use physically. Later,  I received this email…

To: Kathleen Shelfer                                                   March 13, 2016 at 5:07 PM

From: Pierce Shelfer

Subject: Stufff

                     Why People Like Things
     Recently I asked you if I could get a game “upgrade” as you say it, and you said it’s a waste of money if you’re not going to use it frequently for example I’m using this upgrade for Minecraft. I like playing games, I like playing sports, and this is for a reason as this study shows. By Ted O’Callahan A piece of chocolate is among life’s simple, certain pleasures. The cocoa smell, the velvety feel as it melts on your tongue, and the taste—sweet and bitter—that stays in the mouth, all combine to create a heady experience. But what about the experience of carefully selecting and anticipating a favorite brand—peeling back gold foil wrapping, feeling the shape of the bar in your fingers. How much is that part of why you enjoy your favorite chocolate? Yale psychologist Paul Bloom argues that it’s easy to miss the complexity that underlies pleasure. His work looks at the subtleties of everyday behaviors like distinguishing art from everything else, the intuitive sense of fairness that children display, and the feeling of pleasure. That last topic resulted in a book, How Pleasure Works, in which Bloom shows how the most obvious factors—a catchy melody or mouthwatering smells—don’t explain pleasure fully. “Pleasure is affected by deeper factors, including what the person thinks about the true essence of what he or she is getting pleasure from,” he notes in the book. You see mom and dad, I have a reason for liking these things physiologically. I have fun with these things I buy with games, I know Mom that you wouldn’t understand why I like to do these things but I’ll do an example of why you like to do something. For example, you like to go hiking or buy makeup. Life is your game and you like to buy these “upgrades” such as makeup. You buy makeup because it makes you feel good, well mom and dad buying these “upgrades” for these games make me feel good, and so it is not a waste because it makes us feel good that makes it not a waste of money since we all use “upgrades”.
     Mischievously,
     Pierce Shelfer
                     ^^Please Read All of the Above^^

I must say, this child-of-mine, always has an amazing argument. That we have taught him well. Thoughtful, smart, witty, and well thought through. I love him with every breath I take.

At 13, he talks about becoming an Attorney or a Radiologist. Owning his own practice. When we were in the pediatricians office the other day, he looked at me and said, “This isn’t what my medical office is going to look like.” What a cool conversation that was. All of the equipment he would have, the technology, the decor. He has his head in the right direction. I can’t wait to see what he becomes. I know it will be great. 🙂

xoxo