Medical Issues

Life Update for Me

Life Update for MeLife Update for Me

Per my uncle’s wife’s request (does that make her my aunt?  Dang, I think it does.  Well, that was weird.), Here is the Life Update for Me (Actually, for Kim).  School started 6 mths ago for some of my kids.  I posted their update a couple of blog posts ago, so I will not rehash that.  Look below, and I will link that to the bottom of this post.

Life Since Leaving the Homeschool Realm

I really thought I would enjoy the peace.  That I would be having all sorts of moments of sleeping in, running errands alone, making calls, cleaning, petting my dog, massages, moments of just… I can breathe again.  Quickly, I realized that that was not the case.

Who is Still Home

Noah is still home.  Now, he works most days of the week, but he has also started school.  He goes a couple of days a week to school and then comes home and studies.  So, he is still here.  Gigi is still here.  Thankfully, she is working 5 days a week.  We have to be diligent about getting her to and from work.  When she gets home, she works out, does chores, and reads.

For Me

I knew when I started homeschooling 20 years ago, that when my time was up, it would be up.  It was a feeling of taking it moment by moment.  We were in a good flow and things were just moving along.

Then came Hunter.

That was an addition to the table, to say the least.  Honestly, that wasn’t so bad for the first year or so.  We just plugged along.  I would make monthly schedules out and I checked them off, as I graded them.

At 42 years old, I now had a 21 mth old.  To say I was out of the swing of toddlerhood would be an understatement.  We managed.  I got in the groove again.  He licked a lot of cool whip out of the bowl for the first couple of months.

Tired

That was a word I would use.  I mean, who wouldn’t be tired of teaching 4 children, having a toddler, and then all the things that come with adult children.  Then, Hunter got sick and that just threw an entire monkey wrench in my life.  I still tried to plug on and have things prepared.  Victoria, Ben, and Alyssa tried to help.

I traveled so much and was gone so much that I felt I was doing the kids a disservice.  Add that into the fact that I was emotionally spent and physically exhausted.  I knew it was time.  When I made that declaration to Big Daddy…relief spread all throughout me.

Reality

The reality is is that I’m still traveling once a month.  I have to be uber diligent about Epsom salt baths, the symphony of cells, oils, washing clothes, and wiping everything down.  Hunter cannot get sick, so I’m always on guard with that.  Honestly, I can’t prevent it 100% of the time, but I have to be prepared for when it does it.

The issues that we have faced in the past, with some children, are still present now.  That hasn’t changed.  There are a lot of things I keep to myself because I do not want to paint a picture that presents some of my children in a negative light.  It is hard.  So very hard.

What Has Come To Pass

There have been some adoption-related issues that have come up and nipped me on the behind.  I am prepared for some but others…well, let’s just say it was a hit I was not prepared for.  Again, we deal with it but it is a stressor that I do not enjoy.  Yet, it is one that I have to have peace with and deal with.  And, I will.  My children will be better for it, one day.

I still travel a lot.  Cook every day.  We are trying to eat healthier so that has been a challenge.  I feel like my brain is on overload trying to switch up my tried and true recipes with healthier options.

Basketball has been fun, but it has sucked the life out of us all.  He has games or practices 6 days a week.  It is a joy to watch him but it also costs money and lots of time.  Thankfully, it is wrapping up (just as baseball season is kicking off…Lord help).

The Things I Do

I still run errands, get the occasional massage.  Reading has been on my to-do list.  I’m in the stage of purging and organizing again.  Dishwasher died.  Sink exploded.  Truck died.  The garage door is dead.  Narcolepsy is new.  Racism is alive, well, and underhanded.  I’m quite certain the administration cringes when I walk through the door.  It has been a learning curve for all of us.

One thing that Big Daddy has asked that I do is work on myself.  I am never high on my priority list.  It is my husband and my children.  If they are good, I am good.  Yet, I realize I’m not sleeping again.  Depression isn’t on my radar but I’ve been having some anxiety.  Also, it is time that I seek help to deal with some past trauma that I’ve never dealt with.

EMDR

EMDR Therapy begins next week for me.  I’m leaning on Nehemiah and I’m believing that in 52 days (the amount of time it took him to suck dirt, stand up, fight, and build the wall) that I will have these things resolved.

The Lord has been preparing me for a while.  My “word for the year” is healing.  I want to see healing across the board for me and my family.  There are children I have lost.  Issues within my marriage.  Also, issues with my children’s diagnosis’.  Jude’s adoption is something I rarely can speak of and it has been 8 years.  Hunter’s illness.  So another trauma that I have to deal with.  I don’t want to put a bandaid on it anymore.  That sucker is being ripped off and I’m going to deal with it.  Process it.  Heal.  Forgive.  Move on.

Then, I want to get certified in doing this type of therapy for others.  God is good.  He has prepared a way for me too, not only to keep my eyes above the ways but to stand on dry ground.

March 6th is 52 days from when I began.  I hope I like myself when this is finished!

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Scrambled and a Bit Confused Intentions

Scrambled and a Bit Confused Intentions

Bart and I went on a little weekend getaway, this past weekend.  I am refreshed and relaxed and I slept SO well last night.  Today, however, these were my Scrambled and a Bit Confused Intentions.

My original intention, today, was to finish work stuff. There was some paperwork that I had to get finished and emailed off.  Thankfully, I got it finished and emailed. Then I remembered 2 upcoming hospital trips I needed paperwork for. It took me a hot minute to find what I needed.  Thankfully, found it and got that ready to send.

Once I finished, I came downstairs and the dogs needed a snuggle or two. I did that while playing with Hunter and talking to Martha.  Serious multitasker. While I was sitting, my thoughts went to supper…at 9:30 in the morning.

Working on Supper

I had Jude get a frozen dinner out of the freezer for it to thaw out.  It was a turkey tetrazzini that I had made after Thanksgiving.  I used all my leftover turkey, dressing, and stuffing in it.  Then, I pulled out some bread.  As I was preheating the oven, I thought the stovetop needed to be cleaned.

Squirrel

I went to the junk drawer to pull out my blade I use and when I pulled out that drawer, I felt that it was a bit messy, so I straightened that up.  Walking back to the stove, I noticed the magnets on the fridge was in disarray, so I straightened that up.  As I was cleaning up the mess on the stove, I had to grab some paper towels. When I got to the pantry, I noticed it was a hot mess, so I cleaned and organized it, while the paper towels were under my arm.

I finally finished the stove and thought that I should just load the dishwasher with the few dishes in the sink.  Started that and then remembered the leak under the sink, so I quickly got that water cleaned up and I organized that.  For some reason, I walked away from those 2 jobs, neither quite down, and thought I needed to clean my diffusers and then get them started.

As I was getting one, I pulled out all my oils.

That spurred a moment of wanting to alphabetize them all and check to see if I needed to order anything.  I had oils from stem to sternum on my counter.  Seeing that, I thought I needed to go upstairs and get that diffuser going as well.  So I headed back up and cleaned it out in the sink and grabbed the oil to put in it.  I had it in the closet up here but noticed that I had not put anything from our weekend getaway, so I cleaned that up a bit.

Once I walked out of the bathroom, my desk had stuff on it, so I got it all put away.  Then, I remembered my cord bag.  I wanted to try and charge up a battery pack, but I quickly realized that my cord bag was a mess, so I took it downstairs and cleared away my oils to pull out all the cords and reorganize them.

I did finish that little task and I looked around and saw about 10 things I had started and had never finished.  In Brandi fashion, I stopped everything and ate my Lambert’s leftovers, and watched a video on Youtube.

Squirrel Part 2

Once I ate, I remembered I had not had my antibiotics (bladder infections are zero fun).  So, I hunted that bottle down and took that but then remembered that Hunter needed to start on his meds too, so I had to find those and get him to take them.

Finally, I gathered myself and looked at my mess, and thought “now is the perfect time to clean out the fridge.”  So, in my logical squirrel brain, I threw the casserole in the oven on low, threw the bread on the island, finished loading the dishwasher.  Then, I cleaned out the sink and washed the diffusers.  I found a good “get rid of colds” diffuser recipe blend and got them started.  Next, I tackled the fridge.

The part I really enjoyed is playing in my oils.  I got them all fixed up, some roller bottles made, alphabetized the crap out of them, and tucked them away.  Sat down, checked my emails, and placed my order for January so I didn’t forget. Then, I got my calendar all situated and now…my squirrel is dead.

Tomorrow is a brand new day with a brand new squirrel ready to tackle it all.  Big Daddy will be home, so I get to sleep in!  I hope everyone has a day when their minds are as crazy as mine is!

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Mini Goal for my Sanity

Mini Goal for my SanityMini Goal for my Sanity

In an effort to feel like an adult, I have made a Mini Goal for my Sanity.  Since the kids started school, I have not done much.  I mean, I have but then again, I haven’t.  Does that even make sense?

Day to Day

Normally, once my feet hit the floor it is, quite literally, balls to the walls all day long.  I am a pirate when I cook supper fighting off a foe.  Then, I become a racecar driving like in Nascar.  Somedays, I’m a physician while grading papers.  I’m a teacher while I play with play-doh and field the 4562 questions that come every moment from other kids.

I dole out medications.  Then, I fill diffusers.  I haul kids from here to there to yonder.  My head is subject to many braids and ponytails.  We play cards, I go to the grocery, running errands is commonplace.

New Normal

Now, I wake up to the dogs barking and wanting attention.  I have one child who is still here and she is quite demanding.  So, I still have the feeling of always being on my toes.  Lately, I have held her to a higher standard.  She knows what she needs to do/eat/etc and I’m no longer micromanaging her.

She is over 18 and there are many things she needs to figure out on her own.  That may sound harsh, but unless you have raised a child from trauma, keep your opinions to yourself.  I simply do not want to hear your crap.

Oh, that was harsh.

Sadly, judgy people are commonplace in my life.  I have a lot of well-meaning people saying a lot of well-meaning things.  Yes, I know my child is overweight.  I realize that, thank you.  How is your weight?  Why yes, we exercise and eat good food.  Thank you for asking.  Oh, you are diabetic?  I’m so sorry…why are there donuts, bread, pasta, and such in your buggy?  Oh, that is none of my business, right?  Right, of course, that is NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

I Have Gone off on a Tangent

So, in my “down” time, I’m going to start reading books again!  Like big girl books.  Books with no pictures!  I’m sort of excited.  I tend to read fast so I hope I can meet my goal.  We shall see.  My goal is to read 30 books before the end of the year.

Book #1

“My Name is Mahtob” is by Mahtob Mahmoody.  That is the first book I chose and finished in a day.  This book is close to my heart for many personal reasons.  There is a movie based on her story called “Not Without My Daughter.”  This movie came out during a very pivotal time in our family’s lives.  I choose not to delve into that to protect my family.

About the Book

I highly encourage this book.  It is an autobiography from a little girl’s perspective.  She was 4 when she and her mom were taken to Iran by her father.  He was of Iranian descent and they were going on “vacation.”  That vacation turned into 18-month captivity for this mom and Mahtob.  It is the story of their escape.

When interviewed and asked how they got out of Iran, Mahtob states “simply by God’s grace.”  She gives God all the glory, as does her mom, Betty Mahmoody.  I will begin “Not Without My Daughter” (the book) which is by her mom Betty Mahmoody tomorrow.

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The Little Squares of Life

The Little Squares of Life

The Little Squares of Life

In The Little Squares of Life, what do you see?  I see skinny people with flawless makeup (the women anyway).  Also, I see homemade meals and clean, organized houses.  Pets that can speak 3 languages and never need walking because they can use the toilet.  Little humans wearing matching clothes and never shed a tear or throw a royal fit.  They are always smiling with their perfectly cut hair.

What I See

I see manicured yards, perfectly educated children.  These children speak the same languages as their pets plus one more for fun.  They are involved in 25 sports each and excel at each sport.  People who *love* Jesus and are the holy ones of the world.  Most certainly, they are blessed with new cars, new houses, and healthy.  Everyone seems to be healthy.  Happy…all photos are of happy people.

What a delusion!

Behind The Little Squares of Life is the reality.  Marriages falling apart behind the smiles.  Kids with dirt under their fingernails and enough earwax to make a candle.  Sickness behind the smiles…whether that is life-altering illnesses or mental illnesses and anything in between.  It could be a chronic thing or a thing they are too embarrassed to even see a doctor for.  In that scenario, they are too ashamed to go and ask because they are afraid of what they will find.  Taking that further, they are afraid nothing is wrong and they have embarrassed themselves in front of their doctor and now have a bill to pay.

Reality

Burnt dinners, mailboxes with something green growing on them.  Weeds are hidden amongst the hostas.  Addictions, hatefulness, spikes in anger run rampant.  People who are broken and tired because of a wayward child.  Adult children now turning into the parents for their parents who are sick.

Green for a Reason

Yes, a beautiful green yard can be seen from across the way.  Lush green grass that looks like it is taunting you to come across the street and walk barefoot through it.  What you don’t realize is that as you take your shoes off and tiptoe in the neighbor’s yard…you suddenly feel the truth.  That lush green grass is lush for a reason.  They have a septic issue and you are walking through feces water.

Good times.

When are we going to start living in the reality of life?  Why do we (I) continue to compare myself to others when I *know* the story behind the picture.  I get so tired of this little game that may just be in my head.

Take a Moment

Behind every picture is pain a lot of times.  The one who loves her pets more than the typical person may be the one who struggles with infertility.  There is the one that smiles through daily death or near-death experiences due to a calling of her life.  One who is always all smiles, with her children, yet divorce is on the horizon due to addiction.

Every picture is different.

Also, every person is different.  Do not ever assume something based on a snapshot.  Please, for the love, do not judge those who think he/she should “know” better.  Someone who “should not have” adopted children.  Thoughts on if a person is too overweight or underweight.

People hide their pain behind humor and smiles.

They want you to think about all the good things about them because they are hurting so deeply.  If you get too close, you will smell fear on them or pain.  Then the questions come that they may or may not know the answer to.

You Can Help

Ask someone (a friend, family, acquaintance, or a stranger) how their day is BUT mean it.  Maybe they will be honest with you.  From that point on, pra for them.  Now, don’t just say you will pray for them.  Honestly, most people say that and they never do it.  You can be different.  Lay your hands on them and pray for them.  Send them off with a smile.

Ask how you can help.  Do they need children’s care?   A meal or a ride?  Is there some spot that you can be the hands and feet of Jesus for that person?  Send them Scripture through text or FB messaging.  Take the sin out of social media and interject Jesus all over it!

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Thoughts Swirling Through My Head

Thoughts Swirling Through My Head

Thoughts Swirling Through My Head

These are the Thoughts Swirling Through My Head.  If you want to go Back to the Beginning, you can click there.  I have been traveling many hours in vans, cars, planes, and buses.  There have been 7 hospitals, in 3 states, that I have slept in…oh…and one nursing home.  I have stood in more funeral homes than I would like to.  Also, I have cared for and prepared the bodies of too many people I love.  I have cried many tears.

It should be said that I have learned so much.  Possibly that I have found the meaning of life through births and deaths.  Sadly, I haven’t.  I would be remiss if I didn’t say something about growing closer to Christ.  Maybe that I have found the secret to peace in the midst of chaos.  Yep, haven’t felt or done those things either.

All The Things

This year, I vowed that I would not spend ANY time in hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, or funeral homes.  Guess what…that vow flew out the window as soon as it could.  Panic ensued when my mom said that daddy might need a “procedure.”  After he had a stroke and then quadruple bypass the following year…he needs no one to touch him because he is fine.

Then, Hunter got worse and we traveled for answers.  We got our answers.  Now, I travel monthly just so he can receive the medications he needs.  Another person, whom I love deeply, is facing the battle of her life.  All I can do is to cook and send cards or call.  Another dear person to my heart had tongue cancer.  Oh, then there are 2 people that were in my “tribe” growing up and they both have Alzheimer’s.

Hits Just Keep On Coming

I mean, seriously, it goes on and on and on.  In the face of it all…all the travels…all the tears, I have seen the face of Jesus.  We have argued, a lot (by we, I mean me).  I have cried so many tears but then I am reminded of this verse:

When I read that, I realize that He has not left me or forsaken me.  He has the perfect provisions in mind for every single moment that something comes up.  I have learned how to trust Him, most times.  Also, I have learned how strong my family is and how protective they are of their tribe.  Lastly, I have learned to let go…for the most part.

So, with all that being said

Why does it take a life-altering condition, a life-threatening disease, an accident, or a death to fully tell the ones that you love how you feel about them?

Take a moment and call, text, write a letter to someone.  Tell them that you love them.  Tell them what they mean to you. Don’t let another moment pass.  If you need to forgive someone, forgive them.  If you need to hug someone, hug them.

Life is too short.

Treat those around you with love and respect. Quit the judgment, quit the lecturing, quit the hate. Speak with kindness.  Who cares if that person is gay, straight, black, white, male, female, family, friend, someone you do not like, or acquaintance.  The Lord places every single human you see, in your visual sight, for a reason.

Have you ever thought about that?  It is all purposeful to Him.  How are you using that knowledge?  I set out to do better, but then satan whispers in my ear.  My goal has been to retrain my thoughts and words.

Stop focusing on the negative and giving Satan more power than what he needs.  I’ve been rewording things in a positive manner.

Life is but a vapor.

Today, I got a call from a friend.  We have been friends for about 10 years or so.  I was incredibly close to her daughter.  Her daughter chose to end her life a few months back.  I had the privilege of preparing my friend’s body for her mom and children to see.

That was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  I still struggle…but those pains will stay within me for only Jesus to see and deal with.

However, today, she called to tell me she loved me.  She thanked me for all the years that I have been there for her and her family.  I heard how special I was, in her eyes.  What a precious thing to hear.

A Long Time Ago

I found out a friend of mine…her mom…had cancer and was dying.  Now, we all went to church together growing up.  Parents, kids, we were all friends.  One of her daughters was at my wedding.  The other daughter came, as well.  I love her family.

When I found out, though I had not talked to her in 10 years, I called.  First, I spoke with her husband.  It had been a long time, so I used my maiden name.  Of course, he remembered me.  I explained why I was calling.  I got the privilege to speak to Frieda and fully tell her how much I loved and appreciated her when I was growing up.

Months later, she died.  I thought no one knew of that phone call and that her husband was so grief-stricken…it didn’t really matter at that point.  I went to the visitation.  When I saw Buck, her husband, he looked at me and cried.  He hugged me and then told me how much he thought of me.  He said that that phone made Frieda’s day.  That he could never thank me enough for my words to her during that time.

What took 10 minutes out of my day meant the world to her and her husband.  That’s what it is all about.  Step out of self and reach out to someone from church, from your childhood, an estranged family member or friend.

Challenge

Reach out to 3 people a day.  Write a letter, send a text, call, send an email to someone that you love. Tell them 3 things you love or admire about them.  God will bless you and you will be blessed.

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Reflecting on Nesting Bird Wisdom

Reflecting on Nesting Bird Wisdom

Reflecting on Nesting Bird Wisdom

Reflecting on Nesting Bird Wisdom from my sister a year ago.  After a *tough* weekend, emotionally, I had my early Monday morning chat with my sister.  We chit chatted about nothing and everything, then we moved into what my triggers were from the past weekend.

A statement that swirls around in my head, from another friend, that I told to Tera.  My friend said, “Brandi, you have to have a release.  You have to find someone you can trust. Get this stuff off your chest.  Cry if you need to cry.”  My statement back to her was “I had that person.  She died.  Now I don’t share or talk.  I stuff stuff stuff it all down.”

Tera agreed with my friend.  We talked about the stages of grief.  Also, the fact that I have had no time to truly grieve anything over the past several years.  I’ve gone from one hit to another.  There has been little time to breathe.  Sadly, no time to grieve.  Sadly, there was no time to release the pain and emotion from everything that has happened.

Then, she took it one step further.

She said:  “Brandi, it’s okay to have birds fly around your head (referring, of course, to grief, depression, anxiety, etc), but you can’t let them make a nest in your hair.”

I agreed.  Then, I wiped my tears and got off the phone.  Next, I went to the bathroom.

What I saw was a thing of fear and horror.  My hair was straight up (circa 80-90s) in that great curly, let it be free, windblown hair.

I texted my sister and asked her to define “Nest in Hair.”

So, my birds have nested and now it is time for them to fly south.

Bye, Bye Birdie.  So, Reflecting on Nesting Bird Wisdom, the bird has flown away!

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Oh My Word Becky

Oh My Word Becky

Rainy Days

Oh, my word, Becky, it has already been a day and it is only 2 pm.  It has rained all weekend, and that is not a bad thing.  Well, the flooding part is not great, but the rain was much needed.

I love listening to the gentle rain on our metal roof.  The sound makes me want to just stay in bed and snuggle up with a warm cup of chicken broth.  Alas, this was not what my day entailed.

Therapy

We (meaning Hunter and me) had to get going to therapy, this morning.  OT, SLP, and PT are about 35 minutes away, so we had to hustle.  With the rain, it is hard to hustle because, at some points, I could not see the road.

He did really well, in therapy.  I got teary watching him struggle, though.  It is hard for me to think that this is the only life he remembers.  He does not remember being a healthy, busy toddler.  Shaking, compensating for his shaking, that’s what he remembers.

I had to call it a day during PT because he began drooling.  Drooling is a sign that he has overdone it and that his body is fixing to shut down.  Once the drooling starts, the belching begins, and then we are done for the day.

I hate this condition.

Coming Home

Heading home, I decided I would stop and get him lunch.  It was already afternoon and he had had a couple of peanut butter power bites, but he was hungry.  I stopped by Burger King and prepared to get him a salad (his choice) but at the last minute, he wanted a burger.

He ate the burger and my fries, on the way home.  I had forgotten his sippy cup so he could not have his juice.  He can’t hold those little packets of juice to his face, squeeze and drink at the same time.  That is just too much for him.

How sad is that?

Once Home

Kids are doing their schoolwork, though one of my children “forgot” that he lied about doing some work, from last week.  Now, I grade everything at the end of the week, except the Bible.  That, I ask where they got to and they tell me.

This particular child stated that XYZ was done, so when I asked him again today (to make his new schedule), he suddenly realized that he lied to me and now he is backtracking in a  big way.

So, he sits, thumbing through his Bible to see where he actually stopped and how big of a lie he decided to tell me.

I can’t even.

Shaving a Cat’s Butt

In the midst of Lie-Gate, I decided that Karole (our cat) needed her butt shaved.  She was getting a bit unruly and since she is older than dirt, she smears on her fur.  I really just wanted to make a safe exit from point A to get point B on the mat without smearing it from here to high heaven.

Have you ever shaved a cat’s butt?  It was not one of my best moments.  I have a kid crying because he needs someone to feed him his applesauce, one kid crying because they lied, one rushing through and washing every dish known to man (I have no idea why), and one jumping up and down because they lost 1 lb…then, there is Karole, her butt, fur flying, and a turd smeared.

Good times.

In the Midst

I received a sad email from my niece, my youngest son’s biological mom.  Broke my heart.  My heart is heavy for one of my nephews.  I am missing my Lady like crazy and her one year anniversary is sneaking up on me.  Plus, there is supper to cook, things to put back on my wall, baseboards to paint, a house to clean, and so on.

For now, I will finish shaving the cat’s butt.  I am having said child reread what he already “read.”  I turned the diffusers on, so my house may be dirty, but it smells good.  I will delegate the paint of the baseboards to Alyssa when she gets home.  There is an email that I will be sending to my niece and prayers that go up for my nephew.

I will wipe the drool, wipe my tears, love my God, and trust that His ways are higher than my ways.  There will be no running down the road naked, screaming at the top of my lungs.  Not today, Becky, not today.

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Breaking It Up and Breaking It Down

Breaking It Up and Breaking It Down

Debt.  I Hate It.

Here I am Breaking It Up and Breaking It Down.  There is not one single, solitary, thing I do not like about debt.  I don’t care what my credit score is.  I really, truly, don’t.  Yet debt and I have become cozy bedfellows.  It is like sleeping on a mattress that is engulfed in bed bugs.  Ever had bedbugs?  I have and it is not pleasant.

These little buggers get all up under your skin and leave little flea/mosquito bite type whelps and they itch like a mother.  Bedbugs are NOT your friends and you certainly don’t want them in your bed.  This is how I feel about debt.  I have such a fire to get out of debt and, frankly, Hunter peed on my fire when he got sick.

Well, friends, neighbors, and confidants…it is time to reignite that fire and reignite it we did.  I love it when Big Daddy and I are in the same ocean but when we are in the same boat, we are unstoppable.  We are now in the same boat 🙂  Makes me happy.

Snowball:  Breaking It Up and Breaking It Down

We were going to roll our van payment into our next debt, but with Hunter being sick, that just isn’t possible, so we are doing it the harder way.  The next debt that we have will be my student loan.  It is the gift that keeps on giving, in terms of interest rates.  The current interest rate is 6.8% and our current payment is $183.

I have been paying on this loan since 2014 and sadly, I still owe as much as I did back then because of circumstances and interest.  The estimated payoff date is July 28, 2025.  Just absorb that.  I will be paying SO much more than my original loan, that it just makes me sick.

The total payoff years is 11 years.  If we continue down the road we are going, our total payments will be $30,954 and the total interest will be $11077.  This just makes me nauseous.  Absolutely nauseous.  The sad thing is, is I don’t even use my degree.  So I am pretty much just flushing money down the toilet.

It is What it is.

Our goal is to pay this off in 18 mths or less.  We are doing this by A) making our regular payment B) selling things in consignment stores, movie joints, electronic joints, etc C) Big Daddy working OT D) stop excessive spending E) staying on a tight budget F) Praying.

I know we can do this because we paid our van off in 4 mths when the original payoff was 4 years.  We weren’t thrilled to be on a tight budget, but we did it and we paid for a wedding.  It can be done with discipline.  I figured we need to add onto our monthly payment around $1300/mth in order to pay this bill off in 14 mths.

If we are doing this, then our payments will come out to $20730 (a difference of $10224) and the total interest will be $854 (a difference of $10223).  Wow.  Just wow.  Writing that out ignites my fire even more!

Here is to the Journey!

I will be posting a more detailed look at our budget in the days to come).

Eat my shorts, student loan debt!  Mama’s buying a new mattress and getting the “bedbug” filled one OUT!

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Welp My Rainbow Threw Up

Welp My Rainbow Threw Up

Welp My Rainbow Threw Up

I was hoping, that 2018 would be a banner year but Welp My Rainbow Threw Up!

A goal was going to lose 50 lbs. (We did join WW, now we have to utilize it)

My daughter would get married, without any issues. (Success)

She would also find her dream job. (Success)

Big daddy would lose some weight. (Did join WW with me and the gym)

Hunter would be healed.

Another loan paid off.

Finally, we would get ahead in our savings.

Resolution of the behavior issues.

School would go off without a hitch. (We are so close to being done, though it has been the bare minimum)

Noah would take his ACT and do well.

Daddy was going to get better. (Even after another scare, this year, and still trying to get bad habits under control….he got a good report from the doctor)

Resolution for a major family issue.

A child would be safe.

Mending would happen in a relationship. (Well on its way)

This was gonna be the year of the Crum family.

After several years of sucking dirt…..our rainbow was reemerging.

Yet…

My beginning rainbow…..that I was SO excited to see…..threw up.

Now, I have chunks of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet all over my floor.

The first 1/4 of my rainbow will have lots of cracks, scratches, dents, and scars but my rainbow is beginning to be rebuilt.

However, I still hold onto hope, hold onto Jesus, and I hold onto the promises that He has given me in His Word.

Today, I revel in the things that are being rebuilt.

Even with those scars.

It may not look like the original rainbow, but it is still full of color and character.

Here’s to rebuilding my rainbow and starting on the second quarter of this year.

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Relaxation A Beginning

Relaxation A BeginningRelaxation A Beginning

Relaxation A Beginning.  I live in the land of stress.  It is not a nice land…..lots of moles, vermin, sewage issues, etc. My Lady fusses at me all the time about my stress level and how much I take on.  I mean, I care for her (I see that more as a privilege).  Also, I have 7 kids.

My Kids

There is one who is trying to find love and a job in her field.  Oh, and one just left love and is heartbroken, as well as going to college.  We have one in military school because of her behavior.  Then there is one who is finding himself as a “man” and beginning to drive.  Also, one with FASD and depression, along with learning disabilities.  Another one is hearing impaired.  Lastly, we have one with Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome (OMS).

A Bit More

I have the counseling I do when I have the time, I have parents who I think/worry about, sibling issues, work issues, Big Daddy’s health stuff…..blah blah blah blah.

The first one, I experienced tonight!  The weather is starting to turn, so it isn’t too hot and it isn’t too cool.  My favorite times of the year.  I love love LOVE to have my windows down when I drive.  To hell with the snot that flings out my nose and hits the child in the seat behind me.  To hell with the bird’s nest that resides in my hair and I cannot get a brush through it.

Exhibit A:

This is what happens when you get a bright idea to be a girl and curl your hair…using LOTS of hair products.  This happens to be the same day that your daughter has therapy and it is one of those glorious cool/warm days when I drove 40 miles to the therapist’s office.

I got out of the car, with my daughter who never said a word.  I walked into a room full of clients who are staring at me.  My first thought was “I am on fire today and I look like a girl and they are all being jealous.”  I smile…I go to sign the register.  The receptionist looks at me and gasps.  I smile and say “yep, I know you never see me looking all nice with my hair curled, so yes…it is still me…just with my hair done.”

She gives me this weird smile.  We sit.  The daughter does her school work and I decide to run to the bathroom…and this is what I found.  This was the result of freshly fixed hair, lots of product, and my obsession with the window being down.  “It’s All About Mary” came to mind.  I about died.  Died.  I just about died.  There was no laying this sucker down.  Short of me sticking my head in the toilet to wet it…..I just decided to embrace it.

I Can’t Stop

As we were driving home from a family movie/dinner night…we rolled the windows down and I just sat there, with my eyes closed and the wind blowing in my face…I was at peace.  I couldn’t hear the children because of the wind in my ears (and hearing loss LOL).  I couldn’t see anything around me because it was dark.  Just glorious wild wind.  I’m glad Big Daddy was driving so I could enjoy the full scope of it all.

Try it sometime…..but carry a brush with ya 🙂

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