Unexpected breaks

Not much is new around here in terms of Grandma or the kids. But, what is new for me, is opening myself up to time with people who care about me and invest in me. I’ve got more than a little bit going on. Not to mention a full time job, a couple kids, a husband, and a dog to take care of. But, one thing I’ve been learning in this season of life is that I need people, and sometimes people need me. And, people are better than work every day.

My birthday was this past weekend. It was cold and snowy, and my kids were out of school 3 days the week before. And, I got nothing checked off my list I needed to check off, my house was a mess, and I was falling farther behind at work. Did I mention that I hate cold weather. I’m seriously not even a real big fan of pretty snow. Don’t hate me, but I don’t care if I never have another sledding day with my family. I’ll make memories at the beach every day of the year. Cold/snow… just not my thing. My kids now sound like barking seals, and in the back of my head I am sure they are dying of pneumonia. And, it ruined my birthday. Everyone asked how my birthday was, I said fine or good. That was a lie. It truly sucked. I didn’t get to go out with friends Friday night. I laid in bed and cried and felt sorry for myself all day Saturday. We didn’t go to Adelle’s as planned for dinner. People I thought would call or text to say happy birthday didn’t. I just wasn’t a happy camper. I threw myself a big ole pity party, and if you know me, you know I throw a mean party. I better get a redo on my birthday. Not sure when that will be, but it needs to happen.

So anyway, that was a tangent. Back to the point of needing people. It’s only Wednesday, but already this week, I’ve spent hours with 2 different friends just catching up and chatting. And, you know what, it was the best! Normally, there is no way in the world I would just “waste” a couple hours in the middle of a very busy week to talk life with my friends. But, my soul needed it. And, the crazy thing is, I am no further behind now than I was when I got started Monday morning. Sometimes, we just have to let ourselves stop and invest in people. Invest in friendships, invest in love. I know I am so very thankful these friends stopped part of their day to invest in me.

Will you do me a favor? The next time someone comes to mind, take an unexpected break. Take 5 minutes to call them on the phone. If you only have 30 seconds shoot them a text. If you feel like God is telling you to do more, just do it. Maybe they need flowers. Maybe they’re struggling and need a Kroger gift card. Maybe you need to deliver a devotional, or a bottle of wine. Maybe you need to take them out to lunch. But, don’t ignore those moments that God is trying to work through you to encourage one of His precious children.

Praying about what is next

We’re back from vacation, Jeff and I are trying to get caught up at work, the kids are back in school, and our normal reality is sinking back in. As we face a new year and new resolutions, we’ve been fervently praying about the best way to “do this life”. There are several options, none necessarily right or wrong, just a matter of good, great, best. With that, we’ll be making some significant changes over the next few weeks and months, and we’d greatly appreciate you praying us through.

As I mentioned in my last post, GranGrand did great at her 12 days of Assisted Living. She wasn’t too happy about going. But, she didn’t get kicked out. And, she even talked fondly about it when we got home. That was such a huge answer to prayer! One of the things we’re praying we can make happen is taking advantage of the adult day care program they have there. In the next month or so, we’ll be doing one day a week, working up to 2 days a week. And, as we pray, that God will financially provide that may she can do a respite care stay one week of every month. I honestly have no idea how we can afford to make that happen. But, I know it is something we have to work out. The adult day care is $75 a day; overnight care is $185 a day. Do the math….

A huge item of prayer for us is Gran’s progression over the last couple months. Her dementia has gotten much worse. She is starting to lose her long term memory. We went to a funeral just after Christmas, and she didn’t recognize some of her family members. We’ve also started to notice in conversations, she doesn’t tell the stories she used to tell about the past. She can’t remember my mom’s name often. She doesn’t remember that Jeff knew my mom. She knows she hasn’t always lived here, but can’t seem to remember where she grew up. We knew the memories would all go. What has us greatly concerned is she is getting more violent. Again, a very natural symptom of dementia. But, I have 2 small kids so it concerns me. Grandmother really just doesn’t like Lexi Kate. The feeling is mutual, which doesn’t help matters. But, Gran acts out towards Lexi. We’re still at a manageable point. But, we are certainly monitoring it heavily. On Saturday, Lexi Kate answered a question, and Gran raised her hand and said “I’m going to smack the shit out of you.” Totally unprovoked. And, LK didn’t offer a hateful response. That turned into a battle and a half as Gran didn’t understand why she was being punished. She kept saying, but I was kidding, I’d never hit the kids. Well, you can’t say it either. And, you can’t raise your hand like you’re going to…. Sunday, Gran randomly started yelling at LK for not answering her questions. Problem is, Gran never said anything out loud. Again this morning, Gran raised her hand and threatened to slap Lexi, because Lexi told her she couldn’t eat Cocoa Puffs because she was diabetic. LK wasn’t being hateful. Gran just asked her to fix a bowl, and she told her she couldn’t have them. So, obviously, that weighs on us. Even if Gran managed to slap one of the kids, she has so little balance and strength I don’t think she could hurt them physically. But, the emotional impact of that is something I’m not even willing to endure. Needless to say, anything that can be used as weapon is out of reach for GranGran. And, we just pray daily for God’s protection on everyone in the situation.

I still don’t doubt for one second that this is God’s plan for our lives. Even knowing how hard it has been, I’d do it again. But, we are reaching those days where I step out of my Pollyanna mentality and start thinking, “Holy, Crap! We just can’t do this anymore!” I hate being a quitter. But, I also realize all things in life are for a season. And, as much as I want to be Super Woman, God hasn’t gifted me with all talents. And, caring for someone with severe dementia isn’t a gift I have. We are doing what we’re doing because we have to. But, I’ll be honest, it’s a game day decision at this point. Pray for me. Pray that my stubborn, won’t quit attitude will step out of the way. Pray that we’ll know when this party is over. Pray that we’ll party with grace until that point. Pray that we will remain faithful to our call. Pray that we love well until the very last day and not allow bitterness and anger to set in. And, honestly, pray for my Grandmother. She is suffering inside a broken body. She isn’t well physically or mentality and she is just trapped. Pray she’ll have some sense of peace. Not trying to sound harsh, but we’re at a point where death most certainly isn’t the worst thing that could happen to her.

Again, many changes are coming in Woodford land over the next several weeks and months. Pray with us that we are clear on God’s calling and follow it faithfully. We’ll reveal what’s going on as they come about.

And, we’re back to reality

Everyone keeps asking how our vacation was. There are a couple reasons I haven’t blogged about it yet. One, I’ve essentially been off work for 3 weeks, and I have been running like crazy trying to get caught up. Two, I don’t even know what to say. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to put into words how magical the trip was. It was absolutely, perfectly, just what we needed. And, I can’t wait to do it again.

I was more than a little freaked out about going on a cruise. Confined space, middle of the ocean, motion sickness….  I did get a little motion sick a couple days, but nothing patches and dramamine couldn’t handle. I never once felt trapped or worried about being lost in the middle of the ocean. The logistics about the Disney cruise are nothing short of amazing. How they do what they do is miraculous.

Our cruise had 3 at sea days and 3 in port days. They were all amazing. So much to do and see on the ship to keep all ages entertained for weeks. The food was amazing, the shows and live music entertaining, the kids club over the top….. I could go on and on. And, what isn’t to love about Tortola, St. Thomas, and the Bahamas. This alone sums it up:


Seriously, if you don’t believe in an all powerful God after taking in the beauty of this creation, something is just wrong with you….. Our port adventures were so fun, and days we’ll never forget.

For me, this trip was all about creating time to be focused on our children and creating memories they’ll never forget. Mission accomplished times 1000. I seriously don’t know where to start telling you about the cruise. All I can say, is if there is even one fiber of one ounce of your body even remotely considering it— Don’t delay, book a trip now. You will not regret it. I mean for the love of Pete, they have WARM dry towels waiting for you when you walk back on board the ship from a port adventure after it had just started raining. And, they clean your room twice a day, and feed you 4 course meals around the clock, and offer to do your laundry. Is it worth the cost difference of other cruise lines. I can’t personally testify, because this was our first cruise. But, it was worth every penny I paid them. And, I’ll say there were several adults in the 45-70 age range that were on board the ship without kids, saying of all the cruises they’d ever taken Disney was the best in the industry. I won’t be doing any comparison shopping. I’ll cruise Disney exclusively.

About Grandma. I picked her up Sunday afternoon. We got home Saturday evening and I just needed a minute to unpack and settle before adding another element to our re-entry. She was totally fine. I pictured her being angry and mean, and just down right pissed at me for leaving her. She actually had a good time. She socialized with the residents, made friends, and “helped” the staff. She was more than ready to come home. But, she was fine that she had been there. Praise the Lord.

So, I get this post isn’t exactly what you were hoping for in details about our trip. But, it was just magical beyond words. Go experience it for yourself…. I’ve got to get back to work so I can make enough money to pay for our next trip.


Managing expectations

so, when I booked this Disney Trip, I had lots of great plans and expectations. And, while the trip will still be great, I’m getting a lesson in managing my expectations, especially where my kids are concerned. First,  I booked a 6:30am flight, which meant we were up at 3:30am. They actually cooperated with my expectation to go to bed at 7:00pm the night before. The actually got up in a decent mood….. We arrived at the parks and good times begin.

My plan/expectation was to stay at the park until midnight and watch NYE fireworks. I’m mean how cool would that be?!?! Well, thankfully we caught the 6:30 fireworks because the kids were done at 10:00. LK was crying because she was afraid she was disappointing me. Gut check, is this trip about me or creating memories with my kids? I assured her I was not disappointed and as soon as we finished this last ride for Sam, we were out. Then, she says, “my friend is right, I’m always the buzz kill.” What? Why are your 9 year old friends saying that?  The kids and hubby were in bed by 11, and I watched the fireworks from the balcony.

Second plan was to be at MK for the 7:00 am Rope Drop today. How cool to be the first into MK on New Year’s Day? Well, that’s in 15 minutes and my kids are still out. Again, I ask myself is being first, and doing the best things worth 2 tired grumpy kids? Nope. So, I’ll let them sleep, we’ll get there sometime. We’ll have a great day together, and they won’t know what they missed….. There would have been a day I couldn’t let this go. We would have stayed and went just to execute the plan. But, I’m slowly learning to give a little, and enjoy the ride.

Happy New Year Friends! We’re praying for God’s richest blessings on you. You can pray for us as we contemplate some business decisions and new opportunities in the New Year.