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I'm a mother of 3 who started blogging as a way to share our many adventures and to expand beyond the everyday "mommy world". While there IS so much more to us mommies than the title, there is very little that doesn't in some way or another lead us back to or influence our children...if anything. So, I hope you enjoy following our family's randomness, because as all moms know- you can never anticipate what tomorrow will bring! Thanks for visiting and have a blessed day! :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Behind Every Raincloud...

*Disclaimer:  I did it again...I wrote a novel.  Sorry.  ;)

I have always considered myself to be an optimistic person.  Unfortunately, I have not had a very good attitude lately.  Stress is catching up with me, I guess, but that's really not a very good excuse.  A wise man once said, "I find that most of the things I end up complaining about are actually blessings."  That's been true for me recently.  It's also true what "they" say..."If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."  Are you glad to see that I haven't lost my sense of humor? ;)  I'm trying to make a conscious effort to be more thankful and to notice just how blessed I truly am.  So, here's the scoop for those who are interested...

First of all, Justin noticed that his front left tire was on the verge of busting when he left work Monday and wasn't even sure he'd make it home that day.  After seeing JUST how bad it was, I'm thankful that he made it home...even more thankful that he wasn't in an accident...and even more thankful that he wasn't hurt! ...At least, that should have been my attitude.  Instead, I was irritated with the thought of how much it would cost to fix it and the nagging notion that this wouldn't even be an issue if we'd just had the tires rotated earlier and been better about having our routine maintenance checks.  It was raining and cold so Justin was unable to change it and put the spare on which meant taking him to work yesterday morning.  I should be thankful that we have a spare he can put on it...not only that, but a full-size spare which means that getting it replaced isn't so immediate.  I should also be thankful that we have a second vehicle that we could use to get him to work the next day.

The lack of immediacy is a huge blessing since this is an extremely expensive month for us, and right on the heels of Christmas too.  Justin's online tuition was due shortly after we returned, a whopping $1108...for one class.  Did I mention it's online?  Ugh.  Anyway, despite the cost this is another blessing...he is able to continue his degree which was a huge factor in him getting the job he has now (which is a step-up from his previous job in many ways).  I should be thankful that he has such an opportunity.  Instead of taking my usual optimistic attitude and perspective, I grumbled.  More money, not to mention student loan debt that we're still hoping to retire...sooner rather than later.

In addition to tuition, I also have a very dear childhood friend who is getting married in 10 days!  I am SO excited for her and SO looking forward to seeing her on her big day!  We've been friends for...well, forever and I just couldn't possibly be any happier for her!  The stressor?  It's in Georgia...about 512 miles away.  You know what that means?  Yep, gasoline and food...and a bit of babysitting.  So, instead of being thankful for the trip, I've been complaining (and grumbling to myself) about the added stress both financially and logistically.  By logistically, I'm mostly talking about the planning involved in such a trip when you have 3 children and the apparent lack of communication between me and my husband.  Those of you who've been married for 20+ years, please tell me it gets better. ;)  Currently, Justin is scheduled to work that Saturday (the day of the wedding) which, if left unchanged, means I'm taking all 3 of our precious little ones on this trip solo.  I am forever hopeful that he will be able to swap with someone...particularly since Jackson has his Pinewood Derby that Friday and he'll miss it if he has to go away with me for the weekend.  The blessing...that there is even a possibility of him swapping with someone and that I received a monetary gift I for Christmas that will help pay for the trip.  Also, knowing that I have the logistics already sorted out if he is able to swap.

Yesterday was a particularly bad day in the attitude department.  In addition to the stressors I've already mentioned, our lease is ending so we're in the middle of deciding whether or not to renew which means looking and searching for other potential homes.  I hate the idea of another move before we settle somewhere.  I also hate writing our rent check every month.  I love the idea of keeping an extra $100-200 or more in our pockets every 30 days, though.  If nothing else, it will relieve some of the stress that creeps in when these incidentals pop up.  Hopefully, it will mean getting out of loan debt and into a house of our own sooner.  I tell you all this to set the stage for what comes next...

I already told you that I had to take Justin to work yesterday morning.  Tuesdays are the worst day of the week for that because it's a split day for him.  He opens which means being there by 7:45 (as opposed to the usual 8) and closes, which means having the afternoon off (12-7) and working 7-11 in the evening.  Jackson and I also have cub scouts that evening.  I kind of have to be there, ya know, being den leader and all. ;)  Fifteen minutes in the morning may not sound like much, but when getting a kindergartner and 1st grader ready for school, it can mean the difference between having breakfast or being tardy. :)  We had planned to pick up Justin at noon and then he'd come home and change the tire so he could take the car to work that night.  Instead, I had a couple of properties I wanted us to drive by before going home (and wasn't thinking about the fact that it was overcast.  Can you see where this is going?).  By the time we got home, it was raining.  No tire changing in the forecast that day. :(

Then, I'll preface this next part by letting you know that we've had Sadie's name on a preschool waiting list since nearly the day we got here.  Want to guess who called us yesterday afternoon?  Yes, there's an opening.  And the preschool is very reasonably priced.  Otherwise, we wouldn't even have bothered putting her on the waiting list.  Even so, it is still not something we can afford right now.  Total bummer.  This girl has been wanting to go to school ever since her oldest brother started kindergarten last year.  If there was any way...  I was especially grumpy after that phone call.  The blessing I missed?  I'm not in a situation where I have to send her anywhere.  I can stay at home and spend as much time as possible with her myself before she'll have to go to school.

Later, we dropped Justin off at work before the cub scout meeting so I could have the van and then I woke up the kids at 10:45 to go pick him up.  It was awful.  Imagine 3 children in a previously deep sleep, cranky from being awakened at (to them) an ungodly hour, being carried out in the rain and cold to a dark, uncomfortable van in their footed pajamas.  There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth over that one!  I take partial responsibility for the circumstances.  We could have skipped the property search.  Honestly, I wish we had and if I'd been paying any attention to the sky we would have.  I also could have called one of the cub scout moms who has graciously given us a ride in the past when we've had other vehicle woes.  I chose not to because I didn't want to be a bother or feel like I was taking advantage of her generosity.  I had hoped, although I did not say, that Justin would find someone who could bring him home so I could avoid waking them.  Communication.  Very important.  I honestly tried to be gracious when we picked him up and not verbally vomit all over him but I think I failed.  He was barely in the car, cheerful and pleasant to everyone.  Then he asked, "Why is Sadie crying?"  My first thought was, "Gee, I wonder.  Really?  You have to ask?"  Thankfully, I didn't say that but what came out about a breath or two later was only loosely filtered.  "We are never doing this again."  I think it was more my tone than my words.  I tried to filter my words...I really did.  I wanted to follow that statement with, "If this happens again, you'll either have to find a ride home or spend the night in the library."  I think I missed my tone, though.  Actually, I probably could have chosen my words a little more wisely too.  Next time I'll try counting to 30 instead of 3.  Again, communication.  Very important.

In retrospect, after some sleep, peace, and quiet, I see that I was again complaining and grumbling over blessings.
  1. I have not just one, nor two, but three beautiful and precious children to awaken at 10:45.  
  2. Other than being cranky and sleep deprived, they are healthy.  
  3. I have a wonderful husband who works hard to support our family and is encouraging of and content to have me stay home.  There are many women out there who would give their right arm for that.  Ironically, a divorced cub scout mom taught me that lesson earlier that very night.  How quickly I forget.  
  4. We have a second vehicle in which to get Justin to and from work.  
  5. My wonderful husband has a job in which to go.  Unfortunately in this economy, that's becoming an increasingly rare commodity.
So, I'm slowly learning to find the silver lining in every raincloud...and I haven't found one yet that doesn't have one.  Even thinking about when I lost my brother (and by extension, my nephews) who meant more to me than words could ever describe, there's a silver lining...even a blessing.  I was blessed to have had him in my life for 28 precious years.  He's with God now.  He is no longer in pain and facing our earthly struggle.  There is still the hope that I may one day see my nephews again and have a relationship with them.  I pray for that every day.  But the golden lining which far outweighs the others?  I will see Matt again.  He is not lost forever.  Thank you, Jesus, that our parting is only temporary.  So, instead of goodbye, I can say, "See ya later."  Hope.  We must not lose sight of it.  What a truly dark and dreary world this would be without it.  No matter how bad things get, we will always have Jesus.  Instead of rose-tinted glasses (which sometimes don't acknowledge truth or reality, and can be deceitful, dishonest, and disingenuous due to such denial.), will we live our lives wearing Jesus-tinted ones?  I'm going to do my darnedest.  Will you join me?  A happier life awaits.  Starting today, I choose to seize it! 

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