Two Weeks Is Not Enough Time

Have you ever had so many conflicting emotions? Feeling all the feels all at once? So many different things pulling at you that you don’t know which way is up? Thats been me the last few weeks. I feel so emotionally drained and raw right now. I feel like emotionally hung over. It is so hard to explain. So bare with me as I try.

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An old picture of all 4 kids together. With my daughter actually sitting on the lap of my oldest sons (adoptive) moms lap. This picture means the world to me.

I got to spend 2 weeks with my oldest son. My son I gave up for adoption. I am so blessed to have a relationship with him. To get to know him, see him, talk to him. I am forever thankful that his mom allows him to come visit us. She is truly the most incredible woman ever.

My 3 younger kids absolutely love it when their big brother comes to visit. They look up to him so much. They all get along SO well. It’s amazing to see them together. It makes my heart so incredibly happy to see them all together. But it also hurts so much. It is so cliche to say that its bitter sweet, but basically, yeah it is. I am so happy to see them all together, to have all my kids under one roof, to sit down to family meals. I feel complete. But I also feel like there is a giant hole in my chest. I feel like my chest is being ripped apart with every breathe I take.

Here is my son. Someone I carried within me for 9 months. Someone who I love so fiercely. Someone who looks like me. Sounds like me. Someone who is apart of me. And yet that isn’t my son. I didn’t raise him. I don’t know him the way I know my other kids. I don’t get to hold him like I can my other kids. He doesn’t call me mom, because again, I’m not his mom. I see a scar on him and I have no clue how he got it. Yet when I look at my other kids I can tell you every story behind every scar. I don’t know his likes and dislikes. I don’t know what those subtile faces mean. I’m looking at my son who isn’t my son. It’s hard. So incredibly freakin hard.

I love having him here. I love being around him. I love spending time with him. I’m over joyed every time he comes to visit. There are no words to properly describe the love and joy I feel. But there are also no words to describe how equally heart wrenching it is. How much it breaks me every time I say goodbye to him. How much is breaks me when he’s here and seeing him with his siblings, sitting at our family table and knowing it won’t last, knowings it is only for a few days.

I got to spend two awesome weeks with all my kids together. Two weeks that went by in the blink of an eye. Two weeks I will forever be thankful for.

~ Michelle

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Why I Consider Myself an Overland

Why do I consider myself an Overlander?

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Ever since I got my drivers license, I’ve been on the road travelling as much as I physically could. I love talking long drives, finding roads less travelled and seeing where they take me. I love the outdoors; camping, fishing, hiking & outdoor photography. The most basic definition of Overlanding is self reliant travel to remote destinations where the journey is the goal & my hobbies fit right in with this.
I may not be tackling tough trails that haven’t seen travel in decades, bushwhacking my way from point A to B, nor crossing many country borders but I am out there, enjoying the drive and places/people I meet along the way. Also, it is a pretty cool way of teaching your kids all of the things that they don’t learn while stuck within 4 walls at school everyday. It’s cool to watch those ‘lucky’ ones on YouTube that can Overland full-time (as they’ve found a niche way to fund their journey while on the road) and dream of exotic locations with super-cool rigs loaded with the latest gear and gadgets, you have to remember that you don’t need any of that to hit the road and explore.
Use what you have, improvise with what you’ve got and slowly build out as you go. It doesn’t take much other than some very basic camping gear and a reliable vehicle to drive.

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Jason

When my kids asked me not to post their photos

I blog, clearly. I am also on InstagramFacebook and even on Twitter. I post photos almost daily. I share on some form of social media almost daily. Two years ago I wrote a post about not sharing my kids faces and personal stories on social media. You can read that post here.

My 13 year old and soon to be 12 year old don’t have any social media accounts. Shocking, I know. A lot of their friends do however. So when my son turned 13 I asked him if he wanted an account. We talked about it. He asked me about the kind of stuff I post, so I told him. As we were talking it come up that he knows a lot of kids who’s parents have posted about them for years, pictures and stories, including personal and embarrassing stories and photos. During the conversation my son thanked me. He explained how he was so thankful to not have his life put out there for everyone else to know before he could share it himself.

In the conversation I asked him how he would feel if I did start posting photos of him on social media. He thought about it, and ended up asking me not to. And I totally respect that and my childs decision.

So when you look at my photos and wondering why my kids aren’t in them, why their backs are turned or I full on cropped their heads out of the photos, you know why. Its a fine balance trying to share my stories, my life, my motherhood journey without actually sharing information and pictures of them. But out of respect for them and their wishes, I will continue to crop their heads out of pictures. At least just the pictures I post online. Not to worry I have plenty (thousands and thousands) of pictures of them. In realty I am basically my kids own personal paparazzi.

Like this photo: 

I really wish I could show the world how incredibly happy she was. The giant smile on her face as she jumped and splashed us all. But the picture I’m showing you, I had to crop out her head. But trust me when I say her smile was radiant and she was having a blast.

Until the day my kids decide to share their own photos and stories, I will crop their heads out or take double the amount of photos trying to stage them so you can’t see their faces.

~ Michelle

Perspective

This week I don’t know if the planets have aligned just so, or the moon is in the perfect location or bigger forces are at work here. I am going to go with bigger forces are at work here. This week has been insane. This week has been all about putting my life and my situations into perspective.

We’ve all heard the sayings “You better eat your food, there are starving kids in this world you know” or “don’t be so upset, you know someone out there in the world has it worse than you”. I’ve heard those sayings so much, that honestly I am kind of desensitized to them. Of course there is always something going on in the world, there are what like 7 billion people. So of course the chances that at this very moment someone is finding out good news, finding out bad news, welcoming a new life, saying goodbye, having a great time, having a bad time, someone is laughing while someone else is crying and hurting. Just because someone else out there is having a worse time, or a better time, doesn’t under value what you are experiencing at this moment.

In saying all that, I do think that sometimes other experiences can help put your own into perspective. Not undermine them, but give you a chance to come to terms and deal with your emotions and to reevaluate and adjust you’re point of view.

This week I forgot to pay for school pizza lunch for my kids. Not that we couldn’t afford it, but I just forgot to pay for it. And my kids were super upset at first. And honestly I stepped back and looked at them. This was their biggest issue. Not getting pizza lunch at school. They still had a lunch to take, but it wasn’t a pizza lunch. And this is what my kids have to get upset about? Damn, my kids have it pretty good if this is their biggest problem right now. My kids don’t have to worry about their next meal, they don’t have to worry about being taken out of their home, about being hurt, or scared. They are safe and happy, and they know it, because lack of pizza lunch one time is their biggest problem.

Then I was doing the endless piles of laundry. Like seriously people have to be living here that I don’t know about for the endless supply of clothes I have to wash and fold every freakin week. And I was folding a pile of my daughters clothes and something hit me. I was overcome with emotions. I am actually sitting here complaining about this?! About clothes?! I was actually complaining about folding clothes for a child that my husband and I tried for for so many years. We fought with fertility issues for years. We miscarried. We had our hearts broken. And then we were blessed with our beautiful daughter after a high risk pregnancy, where we thought we would lose her multiple times. And here I am, after going through all that, complaining about her clothes?! Seems kind of ridiculous in comparison doesn’t it? Don’t get my wrong, I still hate doing laundry. But that laundry represents the tiny lives I fought to bring into this world, all my pregnancies were high risk. And as much as I hate it, I am so thankful for my kids, and the ability to be their mom, to be home during the day so I can do the laundry while listening to my own music and dancing around like an idiot.

Its all the mundane things around the house. All the things I complain about, the things I hate, all those things I get to do because I have 3 beautiful children that I have been blessed with and an amazing hard working husband, that makes all this possible. The mess, the endless laundry, the forever filled sink with dirty dishes, the mess of toys every where, the sleepless nights, the list goes on.

I have anxiety and depression, so it is super easy for me to get wrapped up in my head with my emotions. Sometimes they are very big, very scary emotions. So for all these things to come together this week to get me out of my head, its been pretty eye opening. It doesn’t mean I will stop complaining about the endless messes, the dirty dishes I find all over the house, it just means I know why those things are happening and I love and appreciate the tiny humans behind the messes. I’m grateful for them. I’m grateful for the chance to do all these mundane things. It’s all about perspective. Finding joy in the little things. Enjoying the moment.

~Michelle

Reality Came Crashing Back In

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

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Last week I wrote about how I was extremely hopeful and still riding on the New Years high, however reality has come crashing in. Well to be honest, not so much reality per say, but rather anxiety. The planets and stars must have all aligned and anxiety has now been released in full force.

Anxiety sucks. Its horrible. Its numbing. Its deafening. Its isolating. Its a monster screaming in my head. Its a constant violent storm raging inside my mind and body, depleting myself of all energy and focus. I’m not sure how to even describe it. Its strange how you can experience something every day, to different degrees, and yet still have trouble explaining what exactly it is to people.

This week will be hard. There is no denying it. There is no sugar coating it. This week will be a struggle, more so than last week. This week I will have to remind my self to breathe. This week I will have to tell myself that I’m ok when my body and mind is screaming that I’m not. This week I will be fighting a constant monster inside my head, that will be me aching and sore and so very tired, but still unable to sleep.

You know what is strange, that writing about anxiety, gives me anxiety, but at the same time it gives me comfort. Comfort in hopes that someone else may feel the same in their own way, and that means I’m not alone. Anxiety is a strange creature like that.

So if you have anxiety, how do you deal with it? Please SHARE SHARE SHARE!

This week I will rely on bubble baths, hot coffee, yummy tea, yoga, deep breathes, comfy blankets, and my happy light.

~ Michelle

Riding On The New Years High

Hello New Year.
Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

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Lets just get right to it. I am totally riding on some sort of New Years high. I’m not sure how to explain it. I’m hopeful, I’m energetic, I’m getting things accomplished, I’m happy, I’m content, I’m just overall extremely hopeful. Hopeful that I will meet my goals, hopefully that things will be good, hopefully that things will continue going up from here.

I’m not usually such a hopeful person. I’m more of an anxiety, depressed, paranoid, everything is bleak and everything goes wrong but always looking for the bright side – the silver lining, kinda person. So the only way I can explain what is happening is that it is some sort of New Years high. Or maybe its the moon phases. Expect I have no clue about that, or what phase the moon is in right now… Or maybe its a sugar high from all the Christmas junk food?

Perhaps maybe I’m just excited because the kids go back to school tomorrow! Kidding. Sort of. It is honestly a bitter sweet thing. I love having them home. But I also like when they are at school and not driving each other crazy and fighting constantly which in turn drives me crazy and makes me use my ‘mom voice’ a whole lot. “Mom voice” is no fun for anyone involved.

Whatever the case, New Years, moon phases, sugar, school starting… I’m hopeful. And honestly it is kinda scary, because I have so much to be hopeful about, and that means there is so much more at risk of failing and losing. And that is super scary. But I think it will be ok. I’m not sure why, but for the last few weeks I have had a quote stuck in my head ‘ “What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, what if you fly?’ (I’m not sure who exactly said that, as I’ve seen different names quoted, so if you know, let me know!)

So then that always brings up the point; am I more scared of failing, or am I actually scared of succeeding?
And why am I scared of succeeding? Which if I am going to be totally honest, thats a scary thing…but why? How can succeeding at something be scary? Its such a confusing feeling to experience. I often wonder if its just me that ever feels this way? Anyone else? Let me know if you have ever felt this way and why! Anyone have any insight on it? I guess I should have paid more attention in psych class, they probably explained it.

Regardless of that, I’m super hopeful. And I like that feeling. Its new and exciting. So whether it is some sort of New Years high, moon phase, sugar high, or whatever, I’m going to run with it. I’m going to run wild with it. Maybe I will fall, but maybe I will fly. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?

~Michelle

Hello 2018

Its time. Its time to brush off the dust and get back to this. Its time to face it, face all of it. Lets just start by saying that 2017 was a hell of a year. It was a crap show. It was anxiety filled. It was hard. It wasn’t all bad, there were good parts don’t get me wrong, but most of it, a lot of it, was hard and filled with anxiety. 2017 was a depression and anxiety filled blur. I retreated into myself so much in 2017. I hid. I hid from the world, I hid from my family, and especially myself.

I don’t normally take much stock in New Years, new start and all that stuff. But this year, I do. This year I have to. I can’t keep going on like this. Every part of my body aches, all the time. I’m done. I’m ready to rise, I’m ready to shine. I’m ready to claim what is mine, what belongs to me, what I deserve – Happiness.

I love to blog, but as you can clearly see its been a while, last year nearly destroyed me and I’ve been trying to claw my way back to myself. When I hid from myself, I closed myself off to my blog, and a lot of social media. I just couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t bring myself to write happy things and pretend to be happy, and I most defiantly couldn’t not bring myself to write how anxiety filled I was. So instead I just didn’t write anything. Hindsight being what it is, that was a mistake, I should have kept writing.

So this year I’m writing again. This time I’m writing for me. This year I will find myself. This year I will challenge myself. This year will be an amazing year. This year I will take control of my anxiety, just kidding, thats impossible, but I will damn well fight as hard as I can.

I can’t believe I’m going to write this, because I honestly think its such a joke, after years of chasing it down, it never happens, but this year I hope I can find something that at least resembles it: Balance. I need balance. I don’t know how I will get it, because I have never truly had it. I’ve tricked myself into believing it sometimes but it never lasts. This year something has to change. Something has to happen this year. If I have learned anything, its that I can not keep going the way that I am. I need balance. I need self care. I need to put my needs first (sometimes) and not feel horribly guilty about it. So maybe I’m not really looking for balance, maybe I’m looking for peace? Truth be told, I don’t even know for sure at this point. I just know something has to change.

So in conclusion, 2018 has got to be better than 2017. It has to. This year I hope to find balance, Peace, and Harmony, but most importantly I want to find myself. I want to find my voice.

Its truly a horrible, and depressing thing when you look in the mirror and you don’t even know the reflection looking back at you. I’ve become a stranger to myself. A stranger without a voice. This year I will find me. It may take longer than a year, if we are going to be honest here, but I am going to start.

This is my year.

I hope to see you on my journey. And I truly hope you all have a fabulous year.

To the people that came to my blog while I was ‘away’, thank you. Thank you for your messages, and support.

2018, you’re mine.

Lets do this!

~ Michelle