Thursday, December 29, 2016

Time for a change

So every so often, I get this bug in my butt that says it is time for a change. It seems to be tied to a change in the seasons, or a change in my outlook in our life, or some other rather large thing that happened in our life. Friends, a change is on the horizon!

I have changed the look of my personal blog here, and am going to start incorporating more of my business into it as well. I will share what oils I am in love with at the time, and using daily, recipes I find helpful to lessen the chemical load in your household and mine. I am going to send you links to other friends blogs that I think will be helpful for one thing or another and I will still be quite honest about my life, my rounds of depression, and being a mom to five kiddos. My daughter's blog, Willow's Wishes, will still focus on her story only though.

A lot of these changes have been brewing in my mind all month, and I am quite excited about what the new year will bring. I have been using essential oils in my home for almost three years now, and really running a business of it for almost a year. I am growing personally and professionally each day, and am really excited about some incredible things on the horizon that I just don't want to share yet.

A new year always brings with it a chance to dream again, and set new goals, and re evaluate where you are at currently with where you wanted to be instead. Most people do this only at the the change of the year; I would like to make sure I am staying on top of my dreams and goals on a more regular basis, and so am setting up a lot of things differently than I have before in my life. I have heard often lately that if you want to see a change in your life and end up in a different place, you have to start doing different things than what you are currently doing.  It makes a lot of sense, but oddly enough takes a lot to get through my thick skull. :)

So, as the changes unfold, and the new year approaches and progresses, I hope you will stick with me and see what great things are to come.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The end of an era

Well, it is official and so I can speak a bit more about it. My 3 older kids are all out of elementary school! Shocker, I know; but the weird thing about this process, is that Palmer Elementary has become 'home' to us. Our family has been in that school for 10 years! For ten years I have been growing and cultivating relationships with the staff, for ten years I have been in and out of that building almost daily. Those ten years have been so great to my kids and my family and I have so much respect for the staff there that it seriously brings me to tears to think that while I have a child heading to kindergarten in the fall, and could continue our years at Palmer - we are not.

Change is a good thing, but it is also one of the most fearful things there is to do in life. For the last few years I have had to make some decisions with my children's education that I didn't think I would be, and seeing different options that I didn't think I ever would have. I keep going through my life and seeing snippets of things that looking back, show me that oh - I guess I could have seen that coming, or what not. This year, we made the decision to have Willow stay at Congress for kindergarten.
We weren't going to at first, we had full intention of placing her at our neighborhood school - Palmer Elementary. But she wasn't sitting well with that. She has been in and out of that building so much in the last five years of her life, it should have been such a natural transition; but it wasn't. It wasn't sitting well with her, it made me re-think what I was doing for her. We had a few signs that were trying to guide us, but I ignored them (I tend to do that), and then a big one came at us. It seems to be those bigger signs that I pay attention to, and take heed of.  So after that big, final push, we filled out transfer forms. We don't see it being an issue at all for her to stay there at Congress, so that is good. It is weird to say good bye for now, to a school that I thought we had a few more good years at.

I always have Orion - he will be starting preschool in another 2 years, and so I can put him there if preschool is an option still. I guess for now, we will hold to that.

Here are some random pics from the last three years at Palmer :)
Hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


There are days, when people say things, like how they admire me, or a quality that I have. They are amazed how I seem like I have things all put together in life with a neat little bow on it; packaged ever so nicely. They wonder how I am able to raise 5 kids all with different needs, and stages of their life (guys - one turns 16 next week and one is still in diapers)! Some people have shared little tidbits about myself that they love, and all of that is great. It is so nice to know that I am so loved and admired in so many ways, but let me tell you something.
I am not put together in a nice package. I have flaws (a LOT of them), I am weak, I am scared, I make mistakes, I am not perfect. I have yelled at my kids, I have forgotten about meetings, I have missed permission slips, phone calls - everything. I have days where I can't get control, and I spiral into a giant ball of anxiety that is waiting to explode (ask my kids how Saturday went).   I am saying all of this because it is only fair that you all know that I love you, each and every one of you. Every single one of us is a hot mess, and that is okay. It is perfectly alright to not wear a bow. It is actually better for yourself to not be wrapped into a great package.
Okay, so my train of thought has changed a bit as I was interrupted with bed time routine's that take forever in our house!! But, here goes....
I feel like I am still trying to figure out my place in this great thing we call life. If someone were to ask me what I enjoy to do, or what hobbies I have; I can list off what I used to do, or enjoy - pre kids. But, who am I now? I have said before that I used to write poetry and love that, and I feel that slight pull on the heart when I think about trying it again; but then the negative thoughts of not being good enough (for who, I don't know) or not having the time, or even the ideas to write about start to fill my head and I just give up. As I close out the month of April, a month that begins to fill me up as our days begin to get longer, the soil calls me to dig into it, seedlings sprout, and all is new again. I am going to use that energy to jump into May as a month where I focus on finding me again. So, I may just take that time to write again, or fill myself up with music, walks in the nature again. If you ever want to join or have some great places for writing or nature walks, let me know. :)

Here are some things we did this month :)
Spring Break at the Dells

These two collided like no other. But Orion got right back up and ran

Pizza making at Congress Elementary Pre-K

Celebrated Jon's bday this month

This dude is 13 now too!! 

Field Trip to Meijer Gardens for the Butterflies

Look I found the crazy blue one! :) 

Yeah, this girl decided to break her elbow... Lovely 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Who decides

I have been struggling with something for a while now, sometimes I think of it more than others. Most times though, it is a complete fabrication in my own head and there really is nothing to struggle with. 

You see, there is this community that we belong to, for quite some time now, but officially let it sink in when Willow was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. That community is the special needs community. We have a few kids that have different needs in our home; but all of our kiddos at this time (because with Willow you never know when or if it could change), are high functioning within their own needs. I have one kid with Asperger's and Sensory issues, one diagnosed with a medical condition that comes with all kinds of different needs at different times, that being Willow and hydrocephalus. I also have another one with Sensory Processing Disorder, differently affected from the one mentioned above. The reason I struggle though is not really the typical day to day struggles with all these kiddo's; though that is there too. The bigger struggle I have is accepting my place, or role within that community. Most days, I don't think about our family as being a special needs family; mostly because our children are higher functioning and you wouldn't know it. I feel that I don't want to take a spot in the support group, or lecture for fear that someone may need that spot more than me because their kids have more needs then any of mine do. Or there is the thought that I can't possibly relate because of the fact that my kids are doing well, and of course the deeper fear of being judged.

Then there are the days where the light shines through. Days where I feel like I need to be joining those communities, because without sharing the stories of greatness, no one would have hope. When it comes to hydrocephalus, my goal is to raise awareness, it seems to be that there is more knowledge about the negatives that go along with this diagnosis than the positives. So much so, that even the medical community will tell women to abort the babies at the initial 19/20 week ultrasound, when diagnosis is most likely found. Now, when kids with hydrocephalus can have a chance to live active lives like Willow, why wouldn't I want to join the communities that we can easily get into with her diagnosis and share that information. Someone may need to hear it.  As for the other kids, despite the high functioning, we too have challenges and they can wear on one person if there is no community to share it with. So, I am finding it a hard pill to swallow, but I going to look for the shining light, hold my head high and talk about all of my kids and their needs; because sometimes smaller needs can turn into big stressors. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Random thoughts and babbling stories.....

Recently my days have been long. I mean, really, LONG.  Which can mean a few things; it could be it was a slow day, a day racing from here to there with no breaks, an exhausting due to lack of sleep type of day. Yet none of those really explain the feeling.  Instead, it is a feeling that while I know there are natural rhythms to the day, a schedule so to speak, it has been hard to do anything. It has been a long day of trying to get myself to do the things that need to get done.
I am starting to get into the busy season of all kinds of planning events.  Which is funny, because I went from not doing much, (I mean I still don't work outside the home), to doing all kinds of things to fill up my calendar; but it is within filling up my calendar that I had lost myself before.
Yup, there it is for you all....
Some people have a shopping addiction when things get rough, some go to drugs, or alcohol... I find a way to fill up my calendar. Why?? I am not exactly sure yet, there is something there I am sure; but I am not a doctor or therapist of any kind, and so would have no idea! LOL
I went from wearing not too many hats, to I am not even sure I can list off all that I am doing now. Some of it fills my heart with such joy, some of it I wonder why I have to go do this or that again. As we are beginning to shed some of our winter blahs as small glimpses of spring hope arise, I am realizing that I need to now figure out what my year will hold. Not in an all seeing, I have to plan each month, figure out what I am going to do with my life sort of way. Instead in a way that will allow me to say no to the things that are not filling my heart with joy, and yes to the wonderful things that will fill my heart and soul with happiness and joy. There are still things I find that I need to work on almost daily, sometimes only weekly. But it is within those things I find that I either let them control my day in a slow, long, bad way - or I can look at them as a challenge to make myself stronger in the end. It is hard on the LONG days to look at it as something good. Such as Orion trying all of my buttons more than once in a day. It is teaching me patience if I don't go off on my two year old; but some days, I just want to scream!!

So, today I choose to look at my calendar, and find focus again. Find the happy, heart filling with joy things that I love to do and make those my priorities. :)

I wish all of you who may also struggle with finding that place in your life, strength each day to say no to negative, and yes to the positive.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

It was one more yes

So, today I did something that I generally talk about doing but never really do. First off, I have never claimed to be a speaker; but I can talk someone's ear off (especially if it is something I am passionate about).  But I have talked before about how I write to share my story because you never know who it may help. There are too many things in life that we hide from/behind or mask in general for many reasons. Today, I had no mask, no veil, and a no holds bar type of thing going.

I shared my journey through life with my mom's group at church. Now, again I am not a speaker, I don't feel myself a qualified person who could even benefit one person. But if me sharing can help one person then why not?  But I had no idea what to share, as there are quite a few things in my life that are worth sharing and no longer 'hiding' from friends; but at the same time for what purpose? Well, again does there need to be a purpose? So I shared my life about sexual abuse by my father, the journey Willow has taken us on, and the PHF, and the hardest part was speaking about my depression. It was HARD. There are days I still want to believe I don't suffer, there are days I want to think that it is all a bad dream that is not really a part of my story. There are days I feel like so many other people have it worse than me, who am I to say I suffer from depression?!  I mean really, just raise your kids Donna and get over it!! My go to phrase lately is just 'suck it up buttercup!' But I feel also, that it is because we are told to suck it up, that even those out there who may not suffer as much as others, (like myself) are just not worth the effort of asking for help.  That is why I share my stories. I want people to know that it doesn't matter how big or small someone's troubles are; we should always be there for our friends.

I have worked hard this last summer at building my friendships and growing my community - people whom I know I can call on in a pinch.  You know raising families shouldn't be done alone. Mom's should be embraced and supported, and I truly believe that more now after having Orion than I ever did before. My pregnancy with Orion was hard, I shared a few thoughts I had about that pregnancy during group today. I don't regret sharing the hard feelings and thoughts I had, I regret that I ever had them. I wish so many days that it could have been different. But it isn't, and that is my story and that is okay. The only thing I can do now is to embrace our today's and make them turn out great :)

So, today I shared my story which was another yes I have said in my life recently to something that is hard, and outside my norm. The other one is that I will be leading a small group at our church going through the book, For the Love by Jen Hatmaker. It was a big life changer/attitude changer for me and I hope it helps others as much as it did me. :)