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Who you were before…

fullsizeoutput_c6c8What a great question this poses. “Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?” Can you? I can.

I think I have always tried to be pretty true to myself. I mostly do what I want, with giving myself just a few restrictions. It makes me seem a kinder person. Ha!

I did always want to be a mother. I’m super happy with that party of my life. Even though some days can be really, really hard. I love being a mother so much. My Boys are amazing. I do cry not wanting them to grow older, but I wonder what amazing men they will be one day.

I had a friend from the past message me on Facebook several years ago. He said something like… “You are the only person I know that had done what you said that you were going to when you got older. You always told us that you wanted a family. To have children and be married. But, you still always wanted to have fun. See your friends. Dance, laugh, enjoy life. You did it. I’m so happy to still know you.” I cherish those words. Especially coming from someone who knew me when I was living it to the fullest and partying and working in San Francisco. Party every night, work every day. It was a wild and fun time.

I always try to be a good wife, family member, friend and mentor. People seem to like me, other’s, not so much. It is what it is. Sometimes I wish that I knew why those others didn’t like me sometimes, or why they were cold and distant. It’s that honesty thing again I suppose. Not everone has it. Some people treat it like a game.

The only thing I really struggle with is wanting to be honest and true to myself all of the time. A lot of people are so, so very defensive when you are honest with them. I always explain it as… having to walk on egg shells. It sucks actually. I feel like it makes me hold back. Makes me not always have a smile on my face. Makes me not communicate like I want to and like I would like to. I do it just to avoid conflict, when I feel in my heart that I shouldn’t have to ever try to avoid anything. To me it isn’t negative, or trying to create conflict, it is just honest communication. To others, I am mean, one-sided, bossy, blah, blah, blah.

When did honesty turn into something negative? I know when. When the other person turns it into something negative, that’s when.

Anyway, I’m happy 95% of the time. I think that is pretty damn good. I try not to let the world and others dictate how I live my life, how I feel, what I say or how I think. The other 5% I give in, mostly because I care too damn much. 🙂

xo

 

 

Now Home… New Hikes

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​Today I went on my first hike in our new home area. It was amazing!

We did just under 5 miles at the William B. Umstead State Park. We walked the Loblolly trail. Isn’t that a funny name? Ha!

Anyway. My new friend, Sharon, and I met up with two gals (sisters) from a local hiking MeetUp group. The 4 of us had a great time. Hiking. Chatting. Enjoying the gorgeous morning.

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After our hike we enjoyed a burger and beer lunch. Hung out and chatted. It was so nice to get out with some girls and just hang out.

I look forward to doing it again soon! 🤓

❌⭕️

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 

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

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