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Katie B's Parenting Journal

Entry 30 ~ July 10, 2011
The Long and the Short of It

FamilyI have put off writing this journal hoping that I could write on a day that I'm in a perfectly happy mood and I have nothing but positive energy to put in to the writing. It has become obvious to me that this isn't going to happen any time soon. So I am going to pour out as much as I can without sounding like I am having a complete meltdown. Actually, things are quite the opposite. God is amazing in the way He gives me strength for each hard moment in the day that I have to face. When I truly want to fall apart, my spirits are lifted by my children, a song, or just some quiet time in prayer.

Going all the way back to April... My mom had her surgery to remove cancerous tumors in her chest wall. The surgery was far more complicated and radical than any of us could ever have guessed. It was a shock to say the least. They were able to remove all tumors but make no promises that something won't grow back. That's a scenario that I am unable to contemplate right now. Her recovery has been difficult. I have spent lots of time trying to be helpful. But it's difficult. It's difficult for my mom to give up control over aspects of her life that she has always had complete control over. It's difficult for me to know when to speak up and when to let her come to certain conclusions on her own. Adding to the stress, my dad injured his leg about a week or so ago. He refused to stay off of it and has badly aggravated the injury. So they both feel pretty helpless and yet refuse to do the things that will help them regain their health. Ugh. Frustrating.

Lilly, Connor, Ella, OwenIn the middle of June we had to put our twelve year old Siberian Husky down. Dakota was a great dog. It definitely hit Randy and I harder than it did the kids. We got her as a tiny puppy just before we were married. She has been a constant in our seemingly ever changing lives. I still walk out back and hope to see her laying under the deck trying to escape the heat. As much as it has been hard on us, it has been even harder on our other dog, Buddy. We got him as a tiny puppy about six months after we got Dakota. They were lifelong companions. Buddy now follows us everywhere. We even have begun taking him with us in the car if we are going somewhere appropriate for a large, hairy dog (usually my parent's house). He insists on being in the garage instead of the backyard. I think the yard is just too lonely without his best friend.

School let out in the middle of May for the kids and the past two months with them has been a blur. I feel like I have not been the fun summer mom that I love to be. I feel like both summer and my kids are slipping away quickly. Some days I feel like a zombie shuttling them around to different activities or just sending them outside to figure out what fun is on their own. I suppose it's good for them, but I miss sharing that joy with my kids. Slowly, I am coming to the conclusion that it just won't happen this summer. There's always next year...

DakotaThere have been some bright spots in the past few months. We have been camping twice. Once was just the six of us. It was a wonderful weekend away. We got lost on a short hike to a nearby lake and ended up taking the long way around and enjoying the beauty of the mountains. The next camping trip was with five other families. There were twelve adults, eighteen kids, and two dogs. It was a refreshing weekend. The kids played and played and I hardly saw them all weekend. The adults sat around and had amazing talks. We have one more camping trip planned with just our family and I am really looking forward to it. Then we'll blink and school will be starting.

Another bright spot is that tomorrow, Lilly will officially be discharged from physical therapy! She is really growing and becoming stronger every day. Since May she has learned to ride a two wheel bike (with training wheels, of course), jump on and jump off of things, and her running is taking shape. She walks up and down the stairs without holding on to anything. She is getting much more confident in her body and tests her abilities out often. It brings joy to my heart to see her grow like this. Two years ago we were doubting that she would ever do any of these things. We are still on the fence about whether or not to send her to preschool. I suppose that decision is going to have to be made soon, but both Randy and I are torn. For now I am taking the "bury my head under the covers and deny" approach. It's been working pretty well so far!

Buddy, Connor & LillyLastly, Ella turned 8 and Connor turned 5 in the last two weeks. It's almost too much to bear to have to watch two of my kids get older so close together. But they think it's great. Ella is in that adorably cute stage where most of her front teeth are missing. Owen lost his first tooth and is excited to lose lots more. Connor will be starting preschool in the fall and I know I'll miss my little buddy. But he's 5 already and everyone says it's time to start cutting some strings.

Since all my pictures are on my camera, I will share some from a photo session we had back in May. Hope everyone is having a joy filled summer. And if you are, send some of that joy my way. I could use it!

~ Katie

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