Waiting – What’s it all about? What does it look like for me?


The topic at hand was inspired via this bible study I recently (slowly) started reading. It’s been “waiting” on me to begin it for sometime now! 🙂 I read one chapter then put it down for another week until I awoke super early on vacation. It was staring at me – creating guilt within, even though it was tucked away inside my bag.

Bible study by Sharla Fritz

Ask any of my immediate family members and they will tell you that waiting is not my virtue. That I like to know what is going to happen prior to it even being formed at times. When watching shows or movies I will figure out the next “act” around the corner. This drives my husband crazy because on more than one occasion I am correct.

In my mind though, I like to think that with age I have become a tad more patient. Of course my employer had me take one of those “hiring” tests last week that reflected patience was not my strong suit. 🙂 It did reflect some really good things about me though too! 🙂

The bible study today was on Anna, it brought about feelings of things I had been keeping in the back of my own mind. Wondering what my next “act” would be myself, what purpose do I have in this life.

For a few years now I have been grampling with a few different things and in the chaos of my mind I’ve let doubt prevail. I’ve always wanted to see myself as a strong woman but in honesty not so much in recent years. The feeling of being proud of myself has lingered. All while jumping from one thing to another wondering why I can not master one thing.

Did I mention waiting isn’t my strong suit? I know I used to heavily be the type of person that had to hurry up and get to the finish line so I could start the next thing to conquer. At least that is what it felt like in my head. Placing my “worth and value” in what I could get done. (This is probably why it drives me nuts to have quilt tops not quilted and ready to present!)

Along the way though and I need to give a shout out to my hubs here because he is not a rushy person. He has brought a sense of slowness to my life and that it is okay to ENJOY the journey so to speak. For instance he always says “it’s not about the killing (insert your favorite animal to hunt), it’s about the hunt.” The time he spends with his friends each year in Colorado. Oh sure he LOVES to snag one for sure and he will share the story, probably more than once, but I know in his heart, it’s about the actual time spent there.

Vacations used to be more stressful and it was probably me who created the turmoil. Thinking we had to have a schedule and keep to it and so on. Although I do believe a “plan” is essential there needs to be room for flexibility. Otherwise I might miss that golden sunset or my daughter and her Dad enjoying a game or memory to etch in my mind. Now, that being said I still must have some sort of plan but I am more lax in it! Baby steps for sure!

But this post isn’t about my vacations, it’s about my journey and the act of waiting to know what my purpose is here on earth. To know that the next act is one that can be doable and if not learning from it will be character building.

While I wait to see what my next act is perhaps I need to take a few clues from Anna in Luke 2:3638. This woman only had a partner for seven years, then lived the rest of her long long long life praying, fasting, and thanking God. As a widow she was alone but in reality she wasn’t. She had God, just as I do and you do.

My journey is happening right now. I need to stop rushing to the next accomplishment and look at what is around me right now. In prayer and quiet asking the Lord to show me what he would have me do now.

The key thing…… I need to WAIT.

Thanks for stopping by and it felt good to be inspired and write once again.

Julie

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Bringing it Down #15 – May Update


DOWN with the D (2)

It’s now May which means that I need to update this series. It really is hard to believe we are in sunshine days with spring storms popping up all over verses winter darker months.  I’m happy for the sunshine no doubt! Total mood enhancer! 🙂

 

There have been some changes since January, I started a new job in the industry I used to work for many years in.  So that means adjustments to workout times, eating and some mental stress.

When April rolled around I found the 11,000 steps was putting more mental stress on me than I expected.  The feeling of failure was outweighing the motivation mindset, so I made a decision.  I decided to reduce my daily goal to 10,500 steps.  It has been quite helpful and there are several days in the month I have more like 11,000 plus or even 12,000 steps.  I am considering changing to a weekly total verses a daily goal.  I think this might be beneficial to me, but I will need to keep that rolling total in front of me. That is where my Garmin app will come in quite handy! 🙂

Since January I have lost 3.6 pounds with no real change in inches.  I am under 200 which is what I really wanted to get to and remain away from it.  Although I am not far from that number I still feel proud of the loss in weight I have had.  As of today I have lost a total of 16 pounds since January 2017.

I started strong in January with workouts and logging my food, that is where I lost most of that weight loss.  Even though I may not have eaten the best or stayed in my carb range, it was still beneficial to me.  I can see that now that I have strayed from that routine.   I also learned that drinking lots of water, especially before I get my coffee in the morning is a huge benefit!

May goals

Most of that blog post was written before  May 6, 2018.  At which point I found myself with an injured foot that kept me from walking my normal routine and some depression setting in.  I am seeking care for my foot and my hip. I  have rested the foot for a week or more.  It is better but still not good enough to walk the way I was.  Honestly my eating sucked during this period, but I am trying now to rectify that.  My blood sugar numbers are still pretty good and my app says my AC1 should be in the range of 5.9.  I still struggle with the number I have after my evening meal.  There are other exercises I could be doing (strength training and bike riding) but I did not because the depression won out.  I am taking it one day at a time.

Julie May 11, 2018

I want to be sure to be honest here so I wanted to be sure to share that last paragraph.  Sometimes the bad wins out.  It’s whether we allow ourselves to stay there that is the real problem.  I’m working my way out on my terms.  But know that I am a strong woman and can get back on track!  I have very good reasons to.  A 10 year old daughter at home, adult children that still need me, and some pretty super grandkids to name a few!

As of today, my foot has improved even more which makes me happy!  Come June 1st I hope to be back at my working out as I like to be! I did jump on my bike a couple times this week! (May 21st)

Until next time!
Julie

It Is All Connected


feet leg health

My body is failing me (again).  At least that’s how it feels.

See, I’ve injured my foot so walking for long periods or at a higher rate of intensity only injures it more. But if I rest/sit too long my bad hip will become quite painful.

It seems to me there’s a connection between things.  One thing depending on the other in some form or way.

I need to walk/exercise  to keep my mental state and diabetes  in control. Not to mention my hip from aching. But yet I have to sit to rest my foot, not to mention at the job I hold, I sit at a desk entering  data to provide  for my family financially.

My feet have to carry me in my daily journeys. One being to that job and one to workouts, all while carrying  a substantial  amount of weight. My poor feet, no wonder one gave out! 🙂

One depending on another. One needing to partner with the other to be successful.   When one is not functioning, the others can lack in their abilities.

I’m a thinker, so my mind questions.  Where do I find the balance without feeling depleted  or that I’ve failed something? Where do I find the strength to continue putting forth  the effort without feeling overwhelmed? Where do I  find healing and support  in the midst of uncertainty?

It’s hard for me not to get angry  at my body, but in reality I spent many years not caring for it in the manner  that I should have. (I still don’t 100%.)  I didn’t do my part to create a balance for my well being.

I know it could be so much worse and I’m not writing this for empathy or accolades.  I’m just a gal processing through words and throwing it up on social media in hopes it will help someone else.

See, I can take all that I just wrote and although I’m  speaking  of my  health, I could apply it to other parts of my life as well.

Relationships. Religion. Occupations. Goals. Dreams. Food intake. Life choices.  You get the picture.

Ponder that for a moment with me.  Look at how we are connected to more than ONE thing.  Also how those connections are what creates a balance or lack of in our lives.

From the “always thinking writer with the bad left side,” I want to end with this.

If it is healing you need, may you find it.  If it’s a partner you seek, may you fall in line with a dependable one.  If it’s a new occupation or calorie counting app may it guide you to connections to continue forth.

Whatever connection you are needing, I hope you find it with little pain and much joy.

Julie

Bittersweet Days


Yesterday was kinda bittersweet for me.  I found myself waking in a type of funky mood, which is probably why I was so sentimental when I was with the newest member of our family.

I am lucky to say that I have a new granddaughter.  She is so sweet and is my fifth grandchild, and even though she is number five I find her just as delightful as all the others – already!

When a pivotal moment happens in our family now, in the back of my mind (and heart) there is a little tug of sadness.  Sadness because my mom is missing it.

Mother and I 2014

Mom would have loved having a new great-grandchild. I know just what she would have done the first time she met her.  She would have gotten her loud voice and excited reaching for her!  Then she would have taken the baby’s blanket off and also the sleeper.  Because she always inspected their toes and feet and little hands! 🙂

That little one and her momma joined me for lunch.   As we headed out  we decided to go to a local deli.  When my Mom was alive and we would do lunch together, we always went to this deli. It was one of her favorite places to eat, so you can see why it was a sentimental kinda day now.  I just kept thinking of her through lunch and looking at our little bundle of joy.  I loved spending time with my daughter, just us three.

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This is from one of our last lunch dates together.  We actually went to her favorite place for ice cream!  Dairy Queen. 🙂

After lunch I decided since it was on my way to the store I would just swing by my mother’s grave.  I do not visit it very often because I know she isn’t really there.  It’s just a body in the ground for now.  I put flowers on it occasionally and when I arrived there were not any.  That was kind of surprise but it has been pretty windy this past few months, my guess is they are in the next state!   Honestly, I think the main reason I put them there is because my mother would expect me too. 🙂 She loved gardening and flowers, so the next best thing is artificial ones, right? So I made a mental note to pick some up.

I normally don’t stay long and I’m not one of those people who goes to the grave to talk to the deceased.  It’s just not for me and don’t judge others that do.  Today I felt an urge to stay longer than usual.  I looked over her plot, they had placed new dirt I could tell.  I assume it had sunk in since 2015, which for some reason kinda rattled me a bit.

 

As I sat there, yes I actually sat down today, not my normal routine, I found myself inspecting the headstone she purchased when my step-dad passed away.  I giggled to myself, it is big and very pretty but really more than ever needed (I think.)  I do like the fact that she put their photograph on it.  I like that a great deal actually. One thing I don’t care for is the fact that she didn’t list that she was a mother. But it was her headstone and Mom always did what she wanted anyway, so it’s no surprise. 🙂

grave

A few tears fell this day and my heart-felt a little torn missing her.  Mom wasn’t in the next generation photograph with the newest member like she was with the oldest granddaughter of ours.  That photo is now a precious gift.

family

This day was one with mixed emotions I still feel good about several things in it.  I’m lucky because I know the love of my mother, my daughter, and now my granddaughter.  I know the things that were instilled in me from my mother have been passed down to my daughter and now her little girl will also know them.

My mother was right, there is just something about being a grandparent that changes your world and your perspective, even with number five! 🙂

My mother has 10 grandchildren and currently 12 great-grandchildren with another on the way!  And a few of the grandchildren have not started families yet and that doesn’t count the grandchildren- in laws! 🙂 Life was full at her house whenever we gathered, that is for sure!

I hope as my children and grandchildren grow up they know how very important they are to me. I hope they also have good memories and ties to my generation once I am gone from this earth.  I hope they have bittersweet days after I am gone, because if that is the case,  I know I have done right by them.

Missing my Mom and proud to be a grandma,

Julie

Bittersweet from Zac Brown Band (played at my mom’s funeral)

 

April 1, 2018 – No Joke


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Writtern on April 1, 2018  Easter and April Fool’s Day

When you feel no more can be withstood.

Many people are rejoicing today and pulling pranks on their friends.  The first I speak of are Christians for it’s Easter and Jesus has risen!  The second folk are enjoying April Fool’s Day.  Perhaps you are a combination of both.  For me today is a day of attending church service and an Easter supper with my children, I’m not much of a prankster.  Knowing my personality, if one did an xray my funny bone would be quite small.

For me today is a bout of less than stellar emotions. So much to rejoice about yet I can’t knock myself out of this funk.  I know what led me to the depressive emotions, but unable to write about it here or even if I did I know it would make no difference in reality.

Oh don’t worry, I won’t show the downer state at the church service or even at my family gathering.  The nice clothes for church and the smile will appear, even the Happy Easter acolade will slip from my mouth.  I will be happy for the others,  my children around my dinner table, and grandchildren finding Easter eggs will bring me joy.  Then all will go home, the dim state will creep back in, and I will have to figure out how to push through.

Because that is what I do.  I push through, my mother taught me that without even saying the words.  Her example was to bulldoze the challenge ahead of her and never let it win.   Eventually the body gave out and the challenge won.  It was probably for the best, she was tired I know, her fight was less than it was back in the day.  Is that how it will be for me?  Feeling like I am fighting for a life I want but can’t seem to quite grasp it?  Is this really all my own fault, self-inflicted?  I presume some will say yes, some will relate, and some will just scroll through to the next blog post that catches their eye.

I’m feeling tired already to be honest.  Everything seems to be a challenge and if I don’t reach the right level each day I then fall to the state of feeling that of a failure.  I suppose it’s the adjusting period, with the new schedule from the job, my workouts not being when they were, and change isn’t my real strong suit.

Oh there I go, I let you in on just a tad of what the reasons may be.  I always have been kind of an open book.  I mean, why else would I have a blog sharing words from my mind, heart, and soul.

Although of late I have seriously considered closing both blogs down.  Giving up on something I once loved to do to make room for something else in the schedule.  Why does everything have to feel  so hard to accomplish?  I don’t handle it as well as I used to ya know.

Does this blog post even intertwine and make sense?  Perhaps only in my mind. Basically it’s a moment in my life that I may not even recall six months from now.  I may not even give it a second thought next April 1st.  But in the reality of it all where to do I go from here?  What choices do I have before me that I can look at and not feel so overwhelmed?  Marking off my lists, conquering my challenge, stuffing the defeated self away until another cloudy day comes along.  That’s how it goes.

It’s April 11th and I am just now revisiting this post.  To be honest, I am very happy with my writing in this post.  I feel honest and that it is well written.  I had planned to revisit it sooner and share it.  But today is the day because there really isn’t much else to write about it except this.

The bouts of depression appear, they always do.  The stresses of life exist.  The joy filled moments take my breath away and the photographs I take remind me of happier times.  Reality exists and without any of this my life would be incomplete I presume.  

Julie

Widow Maker


Whenever the following phrase “widow maker” is used, whether it be in a television show, conversation with others, or online somewhere, the hair on the back of neck instantly stands up.

 

The back story about that phrase will take us to the time my mother, rest her soul, was in the hospital in 2015.  I’ve written of her prior because writing through my grief was incredibly helpful.  You can search my blog (home page, right side, enter mother or grief) to find various posts.  I have sprinkled a few throughout this post as well.

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I can see and hear the surgeon that worked on my mother the night she survived just that.

A widow maker.

Our family was in a cozy, which really means small waiting room, it was darker than I think it should have been.  But it was late into the night. While I sat across from the doctor, I had full view of his scrubs and younger than I anticipated face, all while I tried to focus through the fear I had.  As I mention, he stated she survived a widow maker and wasn’t sure how because people do not do that.

At that time I didn’t know what exactly the widow maker meant or how it would come to correlate with the woman I watched in the ER earlier that night, it all came to to me later.

The image of my mother in the ER earlier that night is stuck in a compartment in my memories.  It only comes out when allowed and it’s not what I dwell on when I think of her.  But it is part of the memory of her.  It hurts to think back at my mother enduring pain like no other.  Fighting to breathe.  Fight to live.  So much pain that she wasn’t understandable when she spoke.  My mother was enduring a widow maker for longer than she should have and still came out of surgery  alive.

Alive yet not in the same manner that we knew her. When we were finally able to see her the image took my breath away and the sight is another etching in that compartment I mentioned.  Her strength was dwindling and remembering back the images from that night and the next few days come together as a story.

This is probably a good time for me to tell you why I’m writing this post. Because I was inspired by a stupid television drama that everyone is raving about.  Yes I watch it, I did Sunday night, and as the doctor said widow maker, my husband’s head instantly jerked to look at me. It always does because he witnessed my mother’s journey while sitting next to me.  Another reason is that the very next morning the Today show shared in my Facebook newsfeed this article about cardiac arrest & This Is Us.   

By the way, I didn’t cry one tear during that show.  It was the dumb commercial after about a family moving into a house and there were markings on the wall where kids had been measured that made me tear up.  Why?  Because my mom used to measure ALL her grandchildren in her kitchen.

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I know that This is Us and the Today Show are marketing for various reasons but the main one I like to think is Heart Health. Call me naive! But I’m going with that one!

February is Heart Health month

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American Heart Association graphic

I am rounding out the story with this.  My mother was a strong,  even in the end.  There were things in her life that she had no control over that harmed her heart but there were many choices she made that did harm her heart.

Watching a parent or anyone die is a difficult thing to do.  I don’t regret being by her side or with my siblings through it.  But it also makes me realize I have work to do in my own life.  Even though I started a healthier lifestyle a year ago, I have very far to go, and a great deal to apply to my life.  I have no idea the circumstances of when or how I will die.  What I do know is the choices I make today will impact the next generation, my children.

My mother (and father) ran their hearts far longer than they should have.  Today I want to bring awareness to you about heart health, the love of family, the journey that gets us to the end.

Now. It’s up to you what you do next.  Choice is the one thing we have in our power.  Let me give you some ideas.

  • Choose to try.
  • Choose to move.
  • Choose to stop smoking.
  • Choose to eat better.
  • Choose to love others.
  • Choose to educate yourself.
  • Choose to push the obstacles aside.
  • Choose to smile.
  • Choose to get help.
  • Choose to kick your own butt today!
  • Choose to be better.
  • Choose to lend a hand.
  • Choose to extend care.
  • Choose to motivate another.

What do you choose to do today?

Thanks for stopping by!

Julie

 

 

P.S.

I was not paid to write any of this.

If you like the post and think heart health is important share it on social media to bring awareness.

 

 

My Journey with Diabetes/Bringing It Down – #13 (January 2018) New Year


DOWN with the D (2)

My annual check-up has happened and I am on my way.  On my way to my next set of goals.  I knew going in I wanted to lose another 10 pounds in 2018.  To some that may seem like a small amount to take an entire year to lose,  but to me it seems like a challenge.  In 2017  I lost 13 pounds and have kept it off.

That was how my draft of this post looked, the night before my appointment.  Here’s how I wrote it after my appointment.

Now that I’ve gone through my hissy fit and self-loathing I’m ready to sit down and share.  Yep.  The high expectations of myself and the results not being exactly what I wanted makes for a “fussy” Julie.

The results of my AC1 were good, not 5.9 but still good. 6.1 to be exact.  Yes, I was disappointed in myself but if I’m honest,  that is fabulous for the things I have ate in the last three months! I made it through the holidays and beginning of winter with only a .2 increase!  My doctor wants me under 7 by the way.

BUT… there’s always a but, am I right?

There’s this little thing called high cholesterol.  It runs in the DNA I share with my family.  You know what is coming, right?  Yep, my cholesterol overall is high and my “bad” cholesterol is double what it should be.

I’ll be honest this wasn’t a shocker as my labs the past couple years have been reflecting the gradual increase.  I felt the irritation really set in when she mentioned taking medicine for it and that my age is approaching 50.  We will monitor it for the next year and discuss it at that time.

I left the doctor’s office feeling less than stellar although I received a pretty healthy report.

I guess I wanted to walk in there still feeling I conquered and maintained my AC1, while  eating on the sly.  The little too much tidbits of chocolate and breads, the beef and eggs filling me along with those green salads.  The green salads justify the plate right?  🙂   I am far from failing.  I know this.

I am making my way to figuring out how to adjust (once again) to things that have been placed in my path.  I’m not 100% there but I’ve got tidbits floating around for 2018 in my head.

For instance I know I’d like to lose another 10 pounds in 2018, firm up these jiggly thighs and continue conquering this tummy area.  I want to continue a healthier lifestyle for me and my family.

I have my handy spiral notebook with fresh clean pages ready to fill in.  I have notes jotted down and I’ve been reflecting on photographs from the past year. I’ve visited that Facebook post my cousin-in-law wrote months ago that inspired me to step up my game, and my new Garmin fitness tracker will be here today.  And last but not least I can’t forget my #keepmovin group of friends supporting me or my older brother, who until recently I could beat on our Samsung challenges to motivate me! (I will beat him again someday!) 🙂

 

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The photo on right: Jan. 2017  the photo on left is January 2018.  
This life isn’t just about the physical side of things.  It’s about the emotional side as well.  I have to take the time to process, in my own way, so I can find the empowerment to move forward physically.

Until next time,

Julie

 

P.S. If you have any good recipes that are low carb and low fat that do not include fish or turkey I would love them.  🙂

Simplicity of Happiness


Family Jan. 2018 2 PFWG

Today was one of the those days when I wish I could just bottle the way I felt.  To store it for another day and open it up to drink it in.  I spent the day with my favorite people in the whole wide world.

To be honest we didn’t do anything spectacular.  We just hung out at our home.  For Christmas this year they gave us a meal a month.  Where they provide the food and clean up.  It was a lovely time today when all 11 of us were around the table.  We will be an even dozen come mid April, our oldest daughter is expecting.

The children played in the snow and then had hot chocolate and played a board game.  The big kids visited, laughed, watched a nature show, and played with babies.  I was able to continue teaching my grandaughter how to sew her quilt and get her momma going on sewing her quilt.

family day

The kids didn’t run off as soon as the meal was over and it didn’t seem like the day rushed by.  It was genuinely a stellar day for me.  I not only got time with my family but some cute photos and reached my 10,000 plus step goal.

Like I said, I’d like to bottle today, but instead I’ll just be patient and wait for my February date with my family.  I am thankful that they like spending time with us!

Hug your loved ones folks!

Julie

Closing Out 2017


 

There will be and has been a lot of “year in review” and “2017” posts this week out on the world wide web.  I am just now starting my own at 9:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. (and didn’t post until January 3rd!)

Looking back at my blog posts I see I wrote about dancing in the kitchen and then there was the one about my 2017 Word.  They inspire me to reflect on where I am today  compared to last year at this same time.

I’m happy to share that in 2017 I did make changes in my life.  I took baby steps, which is not my normal route when doing things.  At times I fell off the right path, into the one of least resistance (remember I love brownies) and then got back on track to finish what I came into 2017 vowing I would do!

So many different emotions were involved in 2017!  Times of excitement, anticipation, anxiety, successes, and failures, they were all part of the year I chose to FOCUS on me!  There were distractions, brownies eaten, half plates of veggies, and two bite only sweets.  Let us not forget the low blood sugar episodes that come with the sweats and being delirious momentarily.  How about the high blood sugar with whopping headaches and blurry vision!

Then the times of balance.  Those were like I was walking on a cloud!

The poking of my fingers, the magic numbers, and the money spent on supplies.  All part of my life now.  The family that endured me trying to find a balance those first three months and surviving my hangry moments.  (My angry ones too!)

My year in review isn’t all about my move to get healthier but it is a daily thing for me.  It’s part of who I am, who I have to be.  I spent some time posting daily on my personal social media, honestly it helped me.  I felt like I was being held accountable even if no one commented or clicked like.  I had to post, it was motivation to #keepmovin.  Then I stopped, mostly in fear of becoming annoying.

One thing I have found  that I’m proud of myself for is my dedication to getting healthier. Although there were people who clicked like or commented once awhile, ultimately I have learned that it’s really up to me.  I have to be the one to push myself and stay focused.

In the world today ( me included) we tend to lose interest pretty quickly, especially if it isn’t about ourselves.  So why would anyone be interested in how far I walked today or the photo of myself or the road ahead while I walked?  Don’t get me wrong, thank you to those that have supported me and given me high-fives.  It has helped, but I learned in 2017 that I can do something on my own. It may not be easy but I can and did primarily.

I come to this conclusion mostly because….

  • No one is going to hold my hand and poke it to draw blood four to six times a day.
  • No one is going to look at me and say “Julie, stop don’t eat that second helping of pasta.” (NOT EVEN MY FAMILY)
  • No one is going to ask me “did you keep moving today?”
  • No one is going to make me go to my annual checkup.

No one….. but ME.

It’s on me.  Just like it was on me when I gained weight.

My 2018 goals will be shared later in January.  I am already working on them but plan to make a post after visiting my doctor and seeing my six month lab results.  To be honest the past month and half has been a struggle for me.  There have been stresses that play a big factor and the holiday food mixed with colder temperatures play a part.  But I am not going to dwell on the past weeks.  The past 12 months have been better than the prior 48!  I am going to look forward and keep moving to a better me.

So I’d like to end my 2017 year in review with this.

It was a year of successes and challenges that is ending with a healthier individual writing this blog. One that still has miles to go but is ready to take 2018 on!

It’s just that simple.

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I couldn’t find many pictures of my husband & I in 2017 together. Hmm…..

 

Happy New Year!

Julie

The bummers, the babies, the years.


MOm & I
A few days old with my mother.

Fourty-seven years ago yesterday I entered this world as the fourth child of my parents.  The last they would have.  My father was watching a football game, of course, while the doctor barely made it into the delivery room from what I’ve been told.  I was ready to hit the ground runing!  Lucky for us there was a nurse right there with my Mother!

A few days later when I came “home” it was to a cattle feed yard in McPherson County. From what I’ve been told, my grandmother was waiting on the scales that used to weigh trucks and there were cattle out. My welcome home had to wait but my nickname was given the moment my Dad found out about the cattle.  As told by him, he said, “what a bummer.”

dad and i

Fast-forward a few years and I started Kindergarten thinking my first name was Bummer, not Julie.  (In today’s age people would be horrified by such a nickname.  They would worry about the low self esteem, meanness of it all, and how it would harm that child! )

Every cowboy, farm hand, feed lot employee, extended family member that I can recall from that time didn’t call me by Julie.  Only Bummer.  That was it.  I survived it too.  I have to admit when I was a teenager or young adult it did bother me some. By then my world had moved away from the feed yard and  was only spoken when I would run into people from that time in my life or by my Dad.

I woke up the morning of my birthday with the thoughts I just wrote in the first couple paragraphs.  A few times over the years I recall him saying, in a joking tone, “my bummer.” I suppose that is what gave the nickname a sweeter tone to my ears.

More thoughts from the last few days are…..

tashley baby 00122

Thirty years ago I was carrying a child, my first.  I remember receiving a blue sweater for Christmas and wearing it, my hair was pulled back.  Not long after that picture was taken I began wearing maternity clothes.

Kassidy baby pic 00122

Twenty-five years ago there was a one month old infant sitting under the tree and a four year old right next to her.  I had went from being a mother of one to a mother of two little girls.  Now I have a front row seat to watching them both be mothers.

PV 2008

Nine years ago another baby was making our Christmas time more fun.  I’m so glad this particular baby made her way into our home.  She’s my last baby.  In nine years she will be heading out the door and creating a life more on her own then with us.

So many babies, so much time, so many lessons, so many changes.  I can’t recall a time in my life that there wasn’t a story to tell.

I like to think of story telling encompassing  memories of life.  They cultivate the generations.  They are intertwined with tears and giggles, with a dash of surprise.  The stories are heartbreaking and also joyous and ones we will never forget either way.

The bummers, the babies, the years. So much to reflect on in 47 years of living here on earth.  Bittersweet some days for sure. But I wouldn’t want to miss it for the world.  Thank you to those that have played a part in my life, my story, my memories.  Whether you called me Bummer, Julie, Jules, or something else.  🙂

Julie