Monday, December 30, 2013

Dream Boards

2014 is coming fast!  Funny, but this year has flown by faster than any I can remember!  Maybe because it's been a full year.

Looking back, the highs and lows are many.  From hospital stays and treatments, waiting for more information, and our fun with friends and family, we've made a lot of unique memories in 2013.  Even still, I'm looking forward to a bit of a different year to come in 2014, hopefully I can help that along.

A friend of mine shared an activity she does with her son before each new year.  Together the two make "dream boards" which pin point exact goals for the upcoming year.  She even has some questions to help the brainstorming process with what to place on there.  Then, throughout the year, she not only knows what sparks his interest but can actively help him work towards achieving his dreams for the year.

I just love this!  Not only can I not wait to do this with my kids, but I'm excited to write my own!  Here's to a 2014, filled with hard work and dreams come true.

**Some Dream Board Prompts**

Something I would like to learn is

Someone I want to be more like is ___________ because

Some place I would like to visit is

A new food I would like to try is

A good deed I would like to do is 

One book I would like to read is

I would like to try to be better at

I would like to change  (a habit)

At home I would like to

At school I would like to

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Finding Christmas

Celebrating Christmas with young kids is such a gift.  The excitement and magic is contagious.

This year the spirit has taken a while to develop for me...between not feeling well and not being able to do all we usually do in the span of the season, it just has been different.  I never really understood the missing jolly vibe until now.  Honestly, I was I couldn't say I did.

We finally put up our tree and decorated over the weekend.  Again, while we didn't pull every single bin up, nor did we put anything that could break on the tree due to our crazy kitten, I couldn't help but get warm inside watching the sparkle as the kids pulled out favorite ornaments and Cole shouting "ho, ho, ho" every time he saw a Santa.

It's funny how something so simple can make a difference.  It is through the kids I'm trying to find and hold tight to Christmas this year.  

As I sit here this morning waiting for the army to awake, the smell of cinnamon rolls is dancing through the house and with the tree, it's as if I've been grazed by Cupid' s arrow, only one with prancing reindeer, a man in a red suit, and a baby who saved the world.

Preparing to rejoice in all the gifts of the season is merely a part of it, I've learned that this year.  Sure, it is still important to pull the magic together, but there is so much more.  While I've had to slow down, almost to a halt, and yes, I never did finish shopping or getting the stamps for the cards, which are actually ready to go, I'm ready.

I'm ready for being in the moment.  I'm ready to celebrate the gifts our Lord has given us, surrounded by family.  I'm ready for miracles, because in this year, I've learned even more about love and the angels around us, in our lives every day.  These are the true gifts of this season for me, and in stopping to remember how blessed we really are, I've finally found my Christmas this year.

May you have a day filled with love and peace.  Merry Christmas to you and your families, from all of us here in Buffalo.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Step Back

Busy week ahead.  Cole has his infusion at the hospital and the girls have off for parent conferences.  At any other time, I'd be thrilled to have a few extra days for crafts and cookie baking.  Right now, I'm wishing it weren't Christmastime.  Given that this time of the year is my absolute favorite, that's saying a lot.  I just can't do most of what we do, and that has taken so much out of the holiday season for me.

The end of last week has taken a toll.  Late Thursday, the pain and usual symptoms started again.  Luckily, Cole was more than willing to snuggle, watch Polar Express, and read books on Friday.  I don't think I could have kept up with him otherwise!

Before now, I never thought much to severe, chronic pain.  Not only do I give people who have struggled with pain for years lots of credit for muddling through, as all I want to do is lay curled up in a ball, but I think about Cole, and all he must have been feeling for so long.  I am not a pill popper, I'd rather sleep off a headache than take a Tylenol. And with this, Tylenol doesn't do much of anything, the constant dull ache and intermittent stabbing before feeling like your insides are being ripped out is the worst sensation I have experienced in my life!  It is hard not to think about the pain I'm feeling now, and just how Cole must have been feeling when he was younger.

While I can't change any of that, and now he can tell me when he is hurting, it still breaks my heart that as his mom, I maybe didn't know or do enough for him at some point.  I will never really know for sure.  Yet I do know, he is doing so very well, which brings me great joy this holiday season!  The only gift I want this year is a happy, healthy family.  After this year's journey with Cole, I am over the moon with where we are!  Now to keep him there.  And to hope in the morning, he'll be ok with another snuggle day, since that is medicine that will get me through tomorrow.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Just as amazed I am with how quickly I deteriorated, I'm astonished at the pace of this recovery.  Never did I expect for it to be overnight, yet I thought with positive thinking and effort I'd be back to normal by now.  Getting there, but I've still got a way to go.

With the time to sit, I've been reading more than usual.  

Jumping right back to my old roots, I'm tempted to get back in my classroom, to talk about conflict and the idea that art imitates life, as readers we can connect to characters and their struggles, even learn from them.  

So many different plot lines, yet beneath them all you don't have a story without a central conflict.  

Sure, reality is not nearly as drama-filled as some of the novels I've recently indulged in, but there are speed bumps in all our worlds, ways we've been derailed or detoured unexpectedly.  Like our literary heroes, it is from these challenges we learn our lessons, while we grow and change as individuals.  More often than not, just as you may temporarily lose faith, I've found you discover and build more strength and character making your way through it all.

In life, everyone has their struggles at one time or another.  All vary, yet to the bearer, none are easy to carry in the middle of the storm.  No matter what your battle may be, remember, there are others around you who have been there too, open your eyes, you have kindred spirits who understand.  And in the middle of the night, you can find any number of characters who may make your journey seem like a piece of cake.