Tag Archive | Blog

3 Weeks Today I Left My First Born at College.

It’s been 3 weeks today! Oh man, I’m dying! Hahaha!! Laugh if you will, laugh at me, go ahead. I don’t care. I’m laughing at myself a little bit too. I can’t help it though. I miss him!

I was walking upstairs last night and glanced down the hall to his room. I shouted, “Where’s Alex?!” From the office I hear, “what?” from my husband. I started to laugh and said, “I’m just kidding, but I was hoping that he was just in his room taking a nap.” Oh man did I.

On the other hand, I know he is exactly where he needs to be. He is working hard, starting to feel the stress of his classes, making friends, found the grocery store, took a friend out to sushi, learning the bus system, attended his first football game (that got delayed, then canceled and rescheduled for the next day) and sat in the sweltering metal stands, joined his first club, feels bored from time-to-time and so much more. Yes, he is exactly where he needs to be. I just keep telling myself that.

Each day I expect to see him come downstairs to take his shower. Come into the kitchen with his wet hair and a smile on his face, hug me and tell me good morning. Ask me how I am. Fill up his bowl with Cheerios and warm them up in the oven. Filling the kitchen with scents of oats. Watch him tiptoe to the kitchen table to eat and read his fan fiction sites. I miss those morning. I miss it all.

It’s so odd to be so torn as a parent. Knowing you are doing the right thing and feeling sad in your heart all at once. Remembering that you are doing the right thing, but feeling the sadness of the persons absence. Especially for a person like me that doesn’t usually feel separation anxiety. Ever. I guess there is a first for everything.

Over this past weekend, a long 3-day weekend, he didn’t want to come home. We were on a FaceTime call and I mentioned him coming home. I could tell he didn’t want to say that he didn’t want to by the look on his face. Also, that he didn’t want to hurt my feelings. He is so sweet that way. I let it go and said we could chat about it again another time and to just think about it, knowing that I knew didn’t want to come home yet.  I talked myself though it in my head… ‘Okay, he is happy, having fun, him not wanting not come home is a good thing. Right? Right! Keep remembering that, Kathleen.’ That went on for a long time. Over several days. Hahaha!! Yes, several days.

Guess what I am doing tomorrow? Going to see him!! Damn straight! When we spoke last night I told him that I was coming for a visit. That I missed him and that I couldn’t stand it any more! Hahaha!! He looked happy. (He also told me that his friend Zoei was dying to meet me. That’s pretty cool!) When I told him I was bringing my camping pad to sleep on his dorm floor, he kind of snickered and didn’t now what to say or how to react. Hahaha!! I left it in his court to come up with one. Told him that I would call him today. What he doesn’t know is that I have already looked at AirBNB for places to stay in town. Hahaha!! I just want to see if he can come up with a plan, because he knows that I WILL sleep on his floor. If you know me, you know I am super good at flying by at the seat of my pants, but always have some type of plans in my head just in case.

I must say, with the sadness of missing my Son, the proud and happy feelings of him happy supersedes the sadness by far.  🙂

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

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

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

What is my definition of success?

On to Day 2 of The Self Love Revolution series.

At the end of the video they asked… “What is your NEW definition of success where you can always win? OR, in times of binge eating, what are you really hungry for and what can you do to remedy that?”

Isabel Duke spoke a lot about binge eating.  I don’t have a problem there.  Thank goodness!  I do think that a have a problem with completing tasks for myself and not being a goal finisher with my own personal self.  Being that said, I’ve been trying to work on this.

What this consists of for me is… getting out the door for a walk, finishing tasks on my to-do list, cleaning the house, complaining that something doesn’t get done, but not doing it myself, doing the laundry, making appointments for myself, setting aside time for myself to blog, to paint, learn something new.  Stuff along those lines.

I like to think that I am already tackling this.  25 pounds down the past year. Setting up dates to hike with a friend. Taking ‘ukulele lessons once a week. Keeping my room cleaned up. Keeping my children on task with their chores. Crossing things off my to-do list in a more timely fashion.

What am I going to do to keep going? One foot in front of the other. Just do it, don’t wait. Don’t wait until later. Don’t push “snooze” when my to-do, or reminder, pops up on my phone. Get out the door. Pick-up the phone. Turn on the vacuum. Carry that laundry downstairs and get it going. Good stuff like that.

The big thing for me is though, to keep it up.  To keep doing these actions and moving forward each and every day.

I also wanted to talk about what I decided to do about Day 1. Day 1 was about me setting up 2 new daily “Rituals” for myself. Have I done that yet? Um, I don’t think so. Not in the way that I understood that I am supposed to. To set one up in the morning and then another in the evening.

The thing is, I think I already have established a pretty good routine of rituals for myself lately. In the morning, after I get the kids to school, I make myself a nice breakfast and I sit and just relax for a while and enjoy my breakfast. Be that on my computer cleaning out my e-mails. Checking on Facebook. Reading a news article on-line. Doing bills. No matter what it may be, it’s me time. After that, I move on to what I have in mind next.

In the evenings I have been plopping my fanny on the couch to get in some relaxation time.  Watching a show that I have on the DVR. If I’m not doing that, I have been getting my family to play a board game with me.  I also read in bed, or watch a show that I have on the DVR in my bedroom.

This is all acceptable to me. I think that I definitely find time for myself.

Some things that I would like to see change are… getting out for more walks and spending time with my Husband, and setting up more family time. Three things that I really miss.  🙂

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