23 December 2011

The most wonderful time of the year.

Things have been {for the most part} quite cheery around here.  I have had a stress headache for the last 4 days, but that is my own fault.  Betsy has been peeing on the potty at home A LOT!  Yippee!

Cookies are almost all baked, Harry Potter is on the tele.  Breakfast casseroles for tomorrow morning are up next. 

Sadly, my mom is sick, and probably won't be celebrating tidings of joy with us tomorrow, and maybe not even on Christmas day.  Which sucks, but what can you do?  When you're sick, you're sick.  Oh, and our washing machine is broken, and the part won't be in until next week. 

So, my sick mom has been doing my laundry.  I'm not sure what the hell she's thinking, but sometimes you just don't argue with your sick mother. 

Since this post has, sadly, taken a negative turn, I will also tell you I don't have any present wrapped, and still 3 more things to pick up tonight with all the crazies that will be out. 

We have made time for some Steak-n-Shake Happy Hour.  Which, I'll have to say, is better than Sonic's.  I will argue to the death about that with anyone, anytime, anywhere. 

I'm also ticked that I cropped the above photo the way I did.  I hardly ever crop, and I'm not sure why I did on this photo, but it was such a wonderful shot of my oldest's Lloyd Christmas hair.  The kid is almost 11, and really needs to start styling it.  Otherwise...Lloyd. 

In more uplifting news, the teacher gifts were a hit.

So, you see?  Things have actually been quite pleasant here as of late. 

Perspective, people.

And, finally, to bring this post about nothing to a close...
a big welcome to all the newest followers who found me via Young House Love.

I submitted our kitchen project awhile back, and was pleasantly surprised to see our remodel was featured on their blog-diggity yesterday HERE.  I have been enjoying all of the comments and questions.  Keep them coming.

I am also humbled at some of the wonderful emails I've been receiving about sharing Betsy's story.  If what our family has been through touches any one person, and makes them feel less alone, then this blog has accomplished just what I intended it do when it all started over 3 years ago. 

Thank you, thank you!

13 December 2011


**I wrote this on November 19th.  I wasn't going to publish it.  I've decided that I should.  I am leaving all the typos and spelling mistakes because I was in a fragile state of mind when I wrote it.  I think it should remain just as it is.  I am sure some think I whine too much, but I think it's important to know that tragedy to one person isn't necessarily tragedy to another.  My world has been forever changed, and I'm not sure I will ever get over it.  I try everyday.  It gets easier and easier everyday, but it is always there.  A little black spot on my heart.  The spot where I have laid to rest my idea of what I thought all of my childrens' lives would be like.  Every hope and dream I initially had for Betsy has been buried there, and in it's spot I have planted new hopes and dreams.  Different ones.  It is a learning process.  One step forward, two steps back.  Certain things trigger my mourning to surface all over again, and I quietly push those feeling back into their grave and dust myself off, and carry on.  Yes, I am selfish in that sadness.  I can admit that.  In those moments, I have to remind myself my sadness is pity for myself and the way I thought things would be, or should be.  I definitely have other worries and sadness when I think of what Betsy's future will hold.  Jake and I cannot be there for her forever, but my darkest times are when I let the evil of self-pity grip my broken heart.  Pray for me.  Pray for sweet, sweet Betsy.  And always remember...EVERYONE has a cross to bear.  No one is immune from that.**

So, I've been watching 'American Horror Story'.

Not much to report. I guess I'm still waiting for it to get as scary as everyone says it is.

But, that's not really what this post is about.

There is a character in the show named, Addi. She is an awesome person living with Down's Syndrome.

Jessica Lange plays her kind-of-psychotic-but-has-good-intentions mother. And she plays the role well.

In one of the episodes, she's upset with Addi. She asks her if she knows what people think when they see the two of them walk down the street together. She goes on to tell her that they think two things:

1. That they feel lucky they're not either of them.
2. That she {Jessica Lange} must be a hero.

I watched this episode in one of those rare, rare, rare instances that I was home alone, and I cried.

Like a baby.

I wondered if that's what people think when they see my Betsy and me.

Grateful, and full of pity.

I am no hero.

Jessica Lange's character goes onto to say, "As if I had a choice.".

I didn't. Most mothers's do not.

Oh, well, I'm sure some think there is a choice.

But to the ones that are in it, really in it...they don't.

I had a choice in making her, but not how she turned out. Not how God thought she would be most perfect.

My, how long it's taken me to realize that she is just as she should be. Perfect in every way.

My perfect little girl.

We speak a perfect language only we understand.

She walks a perfect way that only I know when she'll fall.

She loves me so perfectly, sometimes I think I might burst from it.

One day, even she'll want to leave. She'll want to spread her wings in her perfect Betsy way. And, I will have to let her go.

And it will hurt.

More than with the other 3.

And the thing is, they'll understand why it will be harder.

Those other 3 are my hero. They know so much more than the average kid their age. And they didn't have a choice either. But I'm thankful. Thankful they know that kind of love, tolerance, empathy.

They let me love her the way I need to, and they get it. Even at their tender age. They know without being told why. Sure, they will resent me, or Betsy one day, for something, at some point for having to be so patient, and lenient. But it will be fleeting.

After 7 long years, I think I'm starting to get it. Why Betsy is all mine.

And the answere is simple...because she is supposed to be.

That's it.

Whatever I learn from it, no matter what I decide to so with those lessons, it's just 'to be'.

It's exactly what I needed exactly right now.

Maybe that doesn't make sense to anyone but me.

And that's okay.

Maybe it shouldn't make sense to anyone but me.

And her perfection is what I will always need right at that very moment

12 December 2011

It's been awhile...

I have not fallen off the face of the Earth.  Quite the opposite.  I've been firmly planted on the ground trying to get things done for the holidays.  My goal was to have the non-glamorous stuff out of the way 2 weeks before Christmas Day.  For the most part, I've accomplished that, but there is little stuff that pops up along the way.  The little detail bits that I always seem to forget year after year.

Once school let's out, I will breathe a bit easier. 

But sharing details about my schedule is a total bore.  So, I will tell you what I'm making all of the teachers, bus drivers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists, and teacher assistants for Christmas gifts. 

I insist on handmade when possible, and useful in some way.  You can imagine my difficulty every year in coming up with something.  Honestly, if I could give them all $100 in a card I would.  We love our teachers, etc.  They deserve it without a doubt, but my pockets do not run that deep.  :(

For the men on the list above, we are doing THIS.
Assembly will take place later this week.  If you want to know where any of my supplies came from they came from here and here.  I am making some cute, vintagey red & white labels for the spice containers with clip art from here.

For the ladies on the list, we are making THESE.

They are coming along nicely.  I was able to find fun wooden spools at Hobby Lobby, and I think they make the kits look much better than the cheap plastic ones. 

These gifts are turning out cheaper than I originally budgeted for, but I think since our blood sweat and tears {mostly mine} is going into them, they are more meaningful, even if it's just a little bit.

What do you do for teacher gifts?  Do you give to your mailman, trash men, etc?  If so, what do you give?  In the past, we've given those peeps fast food bucks for a quick lunch.  You'd be amazed at what good service you'll receive when you let them know they are appreciated, too. 

If you have any questions about these projects just let me know...