bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Tough Times

My favorite time of year is over.  Bummer. The time between Christmas and New Year’s is my smiling time. There is always something to look forward to.

It starts out on Christmas Eve. Dinner with the folks, then off to church, then back home to open presents. This year we didn’t go to church because of the snow. We stayed home and had our own service. Each person chose a Christmas song, and Tom read the Christmas story from the Bible. It was pretty neat, actually.

Then CHRISTMAS DAY! This is my favorite part of my favorite part of the season. We drove down to Marshfield, MO (which we have done as long as I can remember. Unless someone was sick) to be with my extended family on my mom’s side. We always have a great time. Lots of laughing, lots to eat, and lots of love.

The day after Christmas means lunch with several kinds of soup at my aunt’s house. Then we are off to visit Tom’s side of the family. His brother lives in Springfield, so we stopped there first and visited with them and met baby Charlie! After that, we headed to Tom’s mom’s in Joplin. As always, she fixed a delicious meal. No one makes mashed potatoes as good as she does.

The next day we head home for some rest and relaxation, since Tom almost always takes the rest of the days off until the new year.

New Year’s Eve means a wonderful party that our family is invited to hosted by our friends at church. We have a great time playing games, and of course, eating. Now that our kids are old enough, they play games with us, or go off and play other games on their own. This year the “new game” was Just Dance 2. Hilarious, and fun. Yes, of course, I played. Those young whippersnappers nearly wore me out. I may have to get that game just to get some exercise. It’s not as complicated as DDR.

New Year’s Day is a day to relax and enjoy the last day off. (At least most years. This year we got another day, but you know what I mean.) Some people make resolutions. I just start trying to do something better. I cleaned up 1/4 of the basement. That’s saying a lot. Seriously. No, really.

Now, that is all over. (sigh) Wow. I really did just sigh. The kids have the day off tomorrow, Tom is back to work, and the usual routine will start soon enough. We’ll get back to our hurried schedules, which we do because we choose to. But, for one short period of time, we got a break from that. A time where we didn’t have to keep looking at our watches (except for that New Year’s Eve countdown, of course), but just enjoyed being together.

Our Father Knows Best

Lately, for some unknown reason, I’ve been looking back on various times of my life.

Yesterday, my former boyfriends was my thought topic. Some of the memories brought a smile to my face, others…not so much. I started doing the “what if…” game.   “What if I had married “Hercules” instead of Tom?” Every time I would insert a different name, a thousand reasons that Tom was better would come to mind. He’s obviously the best choice.

I only told one person “I love you.” And, yes, that was Tom, obviously. I didn’t realize people said it to more than one person. I just never did. I will still remember the feeling that came over me when Tom told me he loved me. My heart leapt out of my chest. I quickly responded with “I love you too!” and then we both hung up the phone really fast. You see, he was calling me to wish me a Happy New Year when he was living in Virginia, and I was living in Missouri.  We’d never dated. Just wrote letters and made expensive long distance calls. But, I knew then that Tom was THE guy for me.

So, as I reminisced about my past boyfriends, I really did come back to Tom as the winner over all those guys. I don’t regret dating those guys, because each relationship taught me something. (I feel like I have to put that disclaimer there. Some of those guys were really sweet, great guys. Others…(rolling eyes))

See, God had Tom out there for me. I couldn’t imagine any of those other guys dealing with my bipolar disorder with the calmness and love that Tom has. Right now, I have tears in my eyes because I know how very lucky I am. But, it’s not luck. It’s God. He’s got the plan. I just have to follow it. He hasn’t let me down yet.

The Ol’ Wells Place

I was cleaning up my desk today, and found a black and white picture of my dad sitting in his recliner in the house I grew up in. I have no idea when the picture was taken, but I do know that there was no tv in the corner, so it had to be in the late 60’s.

The picture brought back so many memories. The peg and plank floor in the family room where I used to stand up playing cards between the boards. I think I did that for hours. In my mind, the Queen of Hearts was of course The Queen, but her love was the Jack of Clubs. The King of Spades was the bad guy.  And 7 always loved 6, but 8 was jealous.  Yep. All that with a hardwood floor and a deck of cards. We didn’t have a Wii or computers. Heck, our tv was black and white and rolled across the floor on a metal cart.  AND you had to GET UP to change the channels, kids!

Wow, I got off track there. I played on the floor a lot in family room of that house. I liked being around my parents and my brother. We didn’t have to be doing stuff together, just being in the same room worked for me.

The rug in the picture also brings back memories. I think everyone had one of those rugs in their houses. It was oval, and it was braided and had different colored ovals. This made for a great race track for my Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars. Yes, I played with cars. And cards. And, don’t worry, Barbies too. (I didn’t play much with dolls. I had a lot of stuffed animals that took up my time. I didn’t have time to take care of babies too.)

I also can see the french doors that led out to our patio. Everyone else had a sliding glass door. We had french doors. I always wanted a sliding glass door. Do I have one in my house now? No. What does Karen wish we had? Sliding glass doors. Tree, meet your apple.

All those memories from a 3×3 black and white photo.

Zzzzzz’s? OH YEAH!

The alarm went off at 6 am.  I got out of bed to wake up Mark. As I came back into the bedroom I said, “THIS is how it feels to get a good night’s sleep!”  I actually felt refreshed!  Rejuvenated!  Revitalized!  What a wonderful feeling.  And, what a difference one night makes.

All morning long, I was filled with energy!  Mark ran in his second cross country meet, and ROCKED!  He medaled and beat his personal record by 2 minutes!  (Please note the use of exclamation points.  They are how I felt at the time.  AND FEEL NOW!  Woooooooo!)

We didn’t get home until 1:30, but it didn’t matter.  I didn’t fall asleep once on the ride there or home. Karen was practically begging me to not make her audition for show choir tomorrow, but I didn’t lose my cool.  Nope.  I didn’t go off into my room because I couldn’t handle it.  These are things that would have happened last week without sleep.  With sleep, I was gentle, but firm.  I suggested she call her friend that was in show choir with her last year and ask her which audition time she would be attending, and told her that maybe talking to her friend might make her more excited and less nervous. 

I hope you are sitting down for this next part…Karen actually came into the room and said, “Mom, I just wanted you to know that you were right. I talked to Katherine and now I’m kind of excited about tomorrow.”  Yes.  You read that right.  Without any coaxing or “I told you so’s” exiting my mouth, this child said those actual words to me.

Yes, today is a WONDERFUL day! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. They worked!

Like a Baby

Ever wonder why people use the phrase “slept like a baby?”  In my experience, babies aren’t that great of sleepers.  They wake up several times a night.  What’s so wonderful about that?

But, the phrase, “cry like a baby” makes a lot more sense.  Babies cry.  Hard.  And, so did I yesterday.  I sent my son off to high school as a Freshman.  Sometimes he looks so grown-up and other times, like yesterday, he looked so young. As soon as I shut the door as he walked to school, I bawled my head off.  Tom looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.  So many things were swirling in my head.  Would he actually find his locker in time? (As of that morning, he still didn’t know exactly where it was.) Would he have someone to sit with at lunch? Since he forgot his lunch and left it at home, would he be able to figure out how buying lunch worked?  Would he find all his classes?  And, finally, how did my little baby grow up so fast?

I’m happy to report that he had a good day.  Even though I had to wait until 5:30 to find out.  He has joined the Cross Country team this year, and, in fact said that was his favorite part of the day.  🙂 

And, yes, I waited and waited for him to come home.  I was out in the front yard “pulling weeds” so that I could see him when he was coming down the sidewalk.

God at Work

Today’s Monday link is of a personal nature.  Mark was confirmed yesterday.  And as I mentioned in a previous post, his testimony was about my brother. 

When I read his testimony on Wednesday, I cried.  I told him it was amazing, and that he really has a gift of putting into words how he feels.  I also told him to be prepared for there to be tears in the congregation of those who know the situation.  He said, “I know.  I’m kind of expecting that.  In fact, I knew when I came down here and you read it today, that you would cry.” 

He wanted to make sure he wasn’t being “mean.”  I assured him he was not.  He said that he had thought of being more specific about the “personal issues,” but thought it best not to elaborate.

So, without further ado, I give you the link to his testimony

I am so proud of him.  I cried a little when he delivered the testimony, because I was amazed at what a strong Christian Mark is.  And, how I truly fall short.  My friend told me that Tom and I had built a strong foundation for him.  Thank you, Liz.  But, still I wondered how I would be able to prevent what happened with my brother to happen with Mark. 

Then, I remembered Mark’s verse.  And, I’m following Mark’s example.

Mrs. Clean

Yep.  I’m cleaning the house.  Thoroughly.

As I mentioned earlier, Mark’s Confirmation is this weekend.  We will be having 24 people here at the house for lunch afterward.  Which is great.  Really.  It is!  I’m honestly looking forward to it.

But, of course, before everyone arrives, we’ve got to clean this house.  As I was cleaning the inside of the china cabinet today, it hit me.  No one is going to notice that it’s clean.  No one.  (Yes, the majority of the people attending the luncheon read this blog.  No, I didn’t write this so you would notice the cleanliness of my china cabinet.)

What people do notice is when it’s not clean.  Would anyone have noticed that there was an inch (or so) of dust on the glass shelves?  Maybe not.  But, yeah, they probably would.

I’m sure I’m supposed to get satisfaction from having it clean, not relying on other people’s praise for gratification.  But, seriously, if it were up to me, I would have done something else. 

Actually, I did stand back and admire my work.  Turns out vinegar and water really do work great for cleaning glass.  There were no streaks and everything did seem to shine.  So, I am glad that I did it.  I’m glad that my dining room is picked up, dusted, and ready for company. 

Now, just 10 more rooms to go.  ugh.  Maybe I can just cram all 24 of them in the dining room.

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