Home * Patterns * Tutorials * Made It * Our Story

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Year of Change. A quick summary of What's Up.

As I've been fighting the exhaustion of a new baby (did I mention I had my little Grant 6 weeks ago!! Time has flown!) I've been thinking a lot about life and how I want to simplify and focus on the things that are MOST important. The tricky part is figuring out what the MOST important things are...

The last few days I've been reflecting on the past 12 months of my life, though it all started about a year and a half ago, when we moved to North Dakota. It's been a good change, and a blessing. But I realized quickly that I didn't know how to handle the blessing I had received... something I've prayed for almost a decade for... I'm more used to the blessings that come with the struggles, not the blessings that come with ease.

It's been nice to have ease, as I feel like ease is what we've been blessed with living here. But I don't know ease.

I never once in my life have known ease. My life has been more like scratching and clawing and fighting to keep my head above water and rise to overcome the challenges that have seemed to come one after another after another, like the waves of the ocean. Now my life is a pond that barely gets stirred... ok. that's a lie. I still have plenty of challenges, but their different... and I don't know different. ;) I mean really, who does, right?! We're only used to what we're used to. Not different.

Anyway.... lots of change. Lots of decisions. Lots of refocusing. Lots of letting go.

Life has brought many changes and challenging blessings over the last year, and especially the last few months. I feel like we are now walking forward down a different journey, though I love it and couldn't be more grateful for the life I live.

Here are a few things that have happened:

:: New awesome baby! We sure love this guy!!

:: The few months before baby came, all my life was was appointments at school, evaluations, doctor visits, and more appointments.

It all started when my 2nd grader's teacher invited me in for a meeting. I thought it would be just him, but actually included about 8 other people. They noticed some reading difficulties, and after testing and evaluations, we've found that he has dyslexia - not their terminology, but that's what it is.

He now has an IEP, and I'm hopeful that moving forward we can continue to get him the help he needs to have a successful school experience. I also found some amazing resources by Diane Craft (I think that's how she spells it) that I'm going to try with him over the summer and hopefully we can see some awesome progress and reduce the strain and make things easier. I'm really grateful for friends and their support and input. And I'm SO grateful for the amazing team at school that has reached out to me to get him the help he needs. We are SO blessed to be at this school and I couldn't be more grateful for their support.

:: more of the appointments and evaluations and appointments were for my oldest.

The results are in. He is on the autism spectrum. If the term Asperger's was still used, that's where I'd categorize him. I've "known" through my instincts since he was about 4. He turns 10 today, and it's taken us this long to get the support and answers I've been looking for to have a final answer. He's been diagnosed as ADD/ADHD before in the past, but it never made sense to me and I just couldn't settle with that. I'm glad I didn't.

Knowledge is power, and I'm so happy to have answers and knowledge so I can narrow my focus on where to turn for answers and direction, instead of continuing to look down every street and ally to figure out what is doing on.

He also has auditory processing disorder. Poor kid. Add that to the list of horrible vision, asthma, allergies,... he just doesn't get a break.

We're working on a 504 for him, and hopefully it will be carried over and picked up as he goes through school. Crossing my fingers he will always have such an awesome team fighting for him and backing him up!

I thought his teacher he had last year was amazing and how could he ever get a better teacher?! But then his teacher this year has opened the doors to possibilities I never thought would be possible with him! For the first time in probably his life, he is laughing, joking, carrying on and leading conversations with me. He's doing SO AMAZING!!!!!!! He's happy and we're happy, and he is absolutely excelling in school. So now that the school year is coming to an end, it's a bit terrifying to think what will come next year... and then it's off to middle school (AhhhhH! complete terror!)

But it's been good. Answers are good. And I'm so grateful to be walking this road with so many amazing people. We truly are blessed. I can't say that enough.

:: 6 kids. what a wild ride. "what did I get myself into?" "what am I doing?" "how am I supposed to..." What an adjustment. I'm hopeful that with the lack of options to do anything else, I will rise to the occasion and be a successful mom to 6 awesome kiddos. At the moment I find myself looking into the future and thinking, wow! I'm going to be amazing! because really, if you are taking care of 6 little individuals, how can you be anything but?!

NOT boasting of myself here, because I'm definitely not there yet. But I have faith that God will turn me into something amazing, because I know if I try to do this on my own, the only thing I'll be doing is falling flat on my face day after day after day. I know He is capable... I just hope I'm willing to follow.

Anyway, writing that all out, it kind of feels like, "meh. no big deal." but really it is. I feel like for the first time in my parenting life, I've been 100% focused on my kiddos and their needs, and it's been an awesome feeling. My heart is full and I'm excited to continue on that path.

It's always a challenge to find the balance, because bills still have to get paid, and money still needs to be saved, and life still needs to be lived and enjoyed, and we need to have hobbies and outlets and eat food. Because a life not lived is not a life at all.

It goes back to my word for the year,

to find beauty where ever I am, in whatever I'm doing, in whatever form it comes in. 

I still think about this word all the time and I'm so glad I chose it as my word for the year. It's allowed me to do things I normally wouldn't, to try things I didn't feel good enough at to try before, and allowed me to enjoy the process and be proud of the abilities I have in the moment.

For example, I letter in my journal and doodle. BEAUTIFY frees me from the expectations that what I do must be x good, or I shouldn't do it at all. It gives me freedom - like dancing in the rain, to be who I am and what I am, and just enjoy what is.

Enjoy what is.
for what it is.

And that has allowed me so much freedom and joy in my family. My family isn't perfect. I'm not perfect. We have our challenges and trials. But they are beautiful. My children are beautiful and dynamic and wonderful. And I love them! I love where we are and what we do. 

I'm learning to take one step at a time. To do little by little. And after lots of littles and lots of steps, it all adds up... and one day we'll be there. One day I'll reach my goals and make it to the top to view the glorious sunset of my life overlooking the life I lived...

Alright, time for dinner. ;) And to celebrate a birthday! :)

Here's my yearly check-in and share. lol. I'll be back again. sometime.