Monday, October 6, 2014

Recent Events

 Because things have been difficult lately, I think its important to remember just how blessed we are. Perspective is so important but it seems to be the first thing to go in the midst of struggle and stress. I don't know if its true of other people, but I know I tend to get "stuck" in my head. The loudest noise comes from inside my head - my worries, thoughts, fears and neverending to-do lists... It also becomes so that I can only see the things that are weighing heavy on my heart and mind. I lose sight of those things that make the struggles and the trials worthwhile.
This seems especially true when I am not taking care of myself. Not reaching out to my friends and family. Not eating well or sleeping right. Not taking the time to decompress from tough days at work or spend time in the Word, or do the things I enjoy. And I haven't been doing these things lately. I've been feeling overwhelmed and tired. This situation breeds feelings of failure because I'm never at my best when I'm burnt out. Its a nasty cycle that, from my conversations with other moms, is not unique to me.
This is an example of one of the struggles we're in the middle of right now. While playing at the park recently, I fell down and sprained my ankle. I currently have a walking boot on my right foot and should have it for another couple weeks. I'm also scheduled to being physical therapy this week and then will be working with the doctor to determine if I actually severed my ligament and will need surgery to repair it or not. If there is no surgery warranted, I should graduate to wearing a regular shoe with a brace after a couple of weeks. I'll be in the brace situation for about 3 months. Its been painful and discouraging but, again, I'm thankful for our insurance, for the care of my doctor and for the ability to use the walking boot instead of the crutches I had to use for the first week. Those were incredibly painful because of my back injury. Oh, and if you noticed this is my driving foot -- extra points for you! I'm driving with my left foot while keeping my boot wedged to the side. Its definitely a challenge. It was amazing to realize how much brain power it requires to drive with your left foot when you're so used to it being second nature with the right!
Another source of excitement and stress in our lives recently has been the weather. We've experienced two very large storm systems in the past couple of weeks that have flooded parts of the valley, impeded traffic, caused power outages and, what has affected us most directly, overtime for Lowell as he has managed the pump houses on the freeways.
He had to switch his schedule to nights for a week or so in order to maintain the freeway system. This led to changes in our schedule, picking up the kids, dropping them off, my work schedule and his sleep schedule.  The first storm was so strong, and so unexpected that part of the major freeways in the valley flooded. According to Lowell, there ended up being  between 6 and 8 feet of standing water where there should have been a major freeway artery. It ended up that the pumps that are in place specifically to move water off these low-lying areas were not functioning. ADOT got quite a black eye due to this snafu and so, instead of having pump house employees be in charge of them during the storm, they assigned mechanics to watch them instead. This is how Lowell ended up with this duty.
The late season monsoons also led to a very entertaining mud fight in our front yard, followed by a hose shower for Chloe, Jillian and Wyatt.
This was water flowing through the wash on the east side of our property. While the girls and Wyatt played in the mud, Nathan got out his AirSoft gun and pretended to be a sniper in the bushes. He didn't shoot at them, of course, but enjoyed firing into the moving water.
Another fun experience lately was a morning spent at Goodwill. The kids and I were looking for some shirts for Wyatt as he has grown out of almost all his clothes recently when we happened upon the Halloween costumes. It was great to play around with the kids, to see their creativity and to laugh with each other. I also love teaching them about bargain hunting and the value of things. They've recently been given the opportunity to earn extra money around the house with extra chores. The kids have quite a few chores they're expected to do just as a part of helping the family and they don't earn an allowance for their participation in these chores - they're just expected contributions. We rotate chores regularly so they can learn new skills and so they don't get completely sick of one thing also, but I like that they now have the chance to earn their own money. As of right now, Jillian doesn't really have any interest in money (other than what she gets from the Tooth Fairy) while Nathan is constantly asking for money, but not too motivated to earn it at this point.
I love watching my kids grown and learn, change and mature. They're so special!

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