Saturday, March 31, 2012

Past week and week to come

Life is so busy these days. Particularly this past semester of class, our schedule is slowing down now that Acilia has completed poms. I love being busy! There is a fine line though because I do tend to get overwhelmed if there is too much. This past week was Spring Break for my kids, what a treat! It gave me a little taste of what this coming summer may be like. I took it upon myself to do a few fun things with the kids, enjoying each day, yet trying not spending a lot of money. I must say I really enjoyed the break from my alarm clock too!!

Spring break started with a night out with hubby. Friday night we hired a babysitter and went out to dinner with a group to celebrate hubby's brother's birthday. It was our first time at Buffalo Wild Wings and I must say, food was pretty good! :)

Saturday I took the dogs to the vet. That is always an adventure because neither dog really *likes* the vet (not sure if there are any dogs that do!) but top that off with a dog that sheds when he's nervous along with that same dog also having a history of getting car sick (thankfully he didn't get sick, but it's still an "edgy" sort of feeling when he's in the car!) Acilia came with me, she was so excited to see what they do at the vet. If she doesn't grow up to be an Equestrian I can 100% see her pursuing veterinary practice! She just loves animals so much!!

Saturday night I snuck away with my mom. We met up with my sister in law for some shopping and dinner, and then we had a whirlpool suite reserved at Pheasant Run Resort. It was reallly nice to get away and much needed!! Mom and I used to go away for the night every year. Until I had babies, then our tradition fell by the wayside. We were determined to go for it again this year, we had to reschedule once due to Al's acute kidney failure in January, this time we almost had to reschedule because my mom had a virus that took her voice and made her cough quite a bit! We went anyway, and thankfully it worked out well and we had a great time!

Sunday was a low key day. I recall I went grocery shopping and we cooked out with our neighbors.

Monday was fabulous, I had my childhood friend Brooke and her new baby Jaxon over, he's so cute! I served up some sandwiches and we were able to catch up. My mom who was excited to meet the baby came over with my nieces and nephew, my kids were thrilled to have their cousins at our house. They all usually play at my mom's during the week while my brother and sister in law are at work :)

Tuesday I thought it would be fun to get the kid's dressed for an early lunch at a place called 2Toots. They open at 11, I thought by getting there at 11:30, we would beat the rush. I thought wrong! The line to be seated was out the door! It took us 30 minutes to be seated. I was so pleased with how patient the kid's were while we waited! They were treated to sundaes for their behavior and they both ate great too! I had to laugh, there was a little girl that sat behind us, she came in while the kids were getting their sundaes. She looked at me and asked why they get sundaes, I replied because they both ate their lunch. She replied "That's not fair!" and turned back around! Ha! Then a few minutes later she wanted to take our picture. She was quite amusing! :)

Wednesday we went to a place called Willowbrook Wildlife. We've been there before, it's always fun though! It's beautiful there and we get to see and learn about the animals that are rehabilitated there! It's really a great place! It was fun too because friends met up with us; that always makes it more fun :)

Thursday I signed Acilia up for football cheerleading. We live so close to town, I was able to go for a walk with the kids to the park district to pay for the program. On the way back we stopped at one of the kid's favorite places a local equestrian feed store. Acilia goes through all of the horse items dreaming of the day she gets to buy something for her own horse and Miles loves the golden labs they have :) We were informed there will be baby chicks there in the coming weeks, which means our trips there will be more frequent! After that we came home for a quick bite to eat and headed out with the dogs to the dog park. Acilia had her horse lesson after that and then it was off to school for me!

Friday I took the kid's to my moms because I had work, I brought Acilia's best friend home with me so they could hang out for the afternoon! Then we had a sitter come by, which happened to be a thrill for Acilia because the sitter was Acilia's pom coach, Acilia talked about it for two days leading up! She was beyond thrilled!! They had a great time with this new sitter because Acilia asked when she can come back again :) I did feel bad though because when her sitter got there, Acilia asked her if she wanted to see her hamster (we've had the hamster for three years!) Acilia discovered her hamster had passed away. Sweet little thing :(

Today (Saturday) I woke up with a stiff neck which I've been babying all day. I also had the brilliant idea that I wanted to make homemade laundry detergent. It was sort of a experimental type thing. Acilia and I snuck away for a few hours, stopping at different stores gathering what we needed and just enjoying our time out. this blog was my guide. I just washed my first load and I am hoping that it turns out well, according to all the comments about the detergent recipe, I have a feeling they will be just fine! I decided not to use the fels naptha soap, instead I bought a 2 pack of Toms bar soap in the lavender scent! :)

Tomorrow we will make it to our own church! It's been weeks since we've all gone together for various reasons and a few visits to my old church has me yearning for our own service again!! I plan to do my "beginning of the month" grocery/household item shop and we will have our "Family Sunday Dinner", do baths and early to bed to prepare for the early Monday wake up again!

Monday it's back to school for Acilia! She is pretty excited because her teacher had a baby at the end of January and she's scheduled to return on Monday! Acilia also starts up an 8 week "cheer tumbling" class with two of her cousins! I look forward to seeing what she's capable of after that class!

This next week I am on spring break from my A&P class. A welcome break indeed!! I think Al is pretty thrilled too, considering my night class is messing with his work schedule. He says he always feels behind with work and I can't imagine that's a good feeling. I did schedule an appointment for us to meet with a new marriage counselor. I feel like we still have some things we need to work on, mainly with communication with one another. A different story for a different day :) Wednesday is that appointment. Al isn't sure he will make it. There is talk he might have to go to Texas for work. Thursday I am planning to go to a mom's night out dinner. Mom's from Acilia's old school still get together on a fairly regular basis, I try to make it as often as possible. Our group has gotten considerably smaller since our kids all started new schools almost 2 years ago.

Friday Acilia is off school for Good Friday, we are looking forward to Easter festivities next weekend, and I am thankful that Acilia will have off school the Monday after Easter too! It pays to go to a Lutheran school! ;)

So, that's it! I told you, life is quite busy! It's the good kind of busy though!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


There are so many things in my life that are undecided. Well, I should correct myself, God has decided, maybe I should say there are things in my life that are undiscovered by *me* :)

It feels so silly at times to make plans for the future, they always seem to change, whether it's my mind that changes, or circumstances.

I have two children. I have ALWAYS wanted three children. I grew up with one brother, and even though he's a great brother, always has been...I always wanted to be a big sister and I wanted my kids to have a lot of aunts and uncles like I had. Here I am, with two kids, in my early 30's and I feel content with my two kids. A number three is a slight possibility in the future, but the more time that passes, the more content I feel with the two I have. That is until my period was late this month (disclaimer, I am NOT pregnant). It amazes me what kind of fantasies you have for a possible pregnancy if your period is a no show when it's supposed to show. My cycle is pretty regular, so usually every month I can count on a 26 day cycle. Pretty much like clock work. Every once in a while, there is a little kink in the operation and we are looking at what happened this month. Yes, it came 1 day late, but for my body that is like 3 days late. There was a pregnancy test involved, along with calculating when this potential baby would have been born, dreams of nursing another little one, snuggling another oh so good smelling newborn, the times when he/she would have learned new things and reached all of those babyhood milestones....I allowed my mind to wander, and even though I was truly content with the two I have, I was disappointed when my period did show up, which I knew it would. That "preggo instinct" didn't kick in, so I knew I wasn't pregnant.

I am left shaking my head and allowing my brain to wrap itself around the fact that you can *plan* for your life, but it probably won't go as *planned*. I am a planner, dreamer, preparer, I thrive off of creating possibilities for the near and far future and I am usually ok with the fact that things don't go as planned, because by the time it comes to the point where something *should* have happened according to plan, I am already onto dreaming and planning for the next thing! My brain is overworked and underpaid :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A God story

I work two days a week, it's a flexible job which works well for when something comes up with the kids, I am able to call off. It works the other way too, the couple I work for, they can and do call off when they need the day. I use my income to pay my mom while she keeps Miles when I am at work and I use some to pay my cleaning lady (A luxury I have recently started due to a GREAT deal and physically not having enough time at home to clean on my own). I usually have some left over to keep in my purse for other things that come up. I count on that money each week but when I take a day off, or they take a day off, I don't get paid.

This morning I opened my email, it seemed they were canceling on me for today due to a schedule conflict. I was really disappointed because my mom and I are going away for the night this weekend and I really need all the extra dollars I can get! Also I had plans to go to lunch with a friend after I worked. Payment from today was going to pay for my lunch.

I was really bummed, but I had a little talk with God and realized I needed to let it go. I can't expect them to be flexible with me, and not offer the same courtesy. I also needed to let go of the disappointment I was feeling. They have no idea how I feel, I have never told them, so I am sure in their busy lives it was no big deal. So I had peace inside of me.

I came home and checked my email where I got another email from them stating something along these lines
"Since the notice was so short, consider today a "paid vacation day"

I was reduced to a puddle of tears!! I immediately praised God for his hand at work. It's always amazing to me when and where and HOW God acts in our lives!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Oh the stress

I am not normally a stressed out kind of girl, but I will tell you (if you didn't already know!) this semester has me stressed!! Each exam comes with a build up of stress alongside it and then when it's over, there is a deep sigh of relief, only to start the build up again for the next test. The week before last week I was having nightmares over my midterms, that week stresses me because in A&P that means two tests in one week. Lord have mercy, they are trying to kill our brains! I muddled my way through that week, with the hope of a "relief sigh" when it was over, but there was no time, I didn't have that "break" after the exams, because it was time to immediately start studying for the next exam, which is tonight. After this test, I won't see test paper in class for almost a month! To say I am looking forward to that relief tonight after the exam is over, is an understatement! The weather has been so gorgeous and I've been so preoccupied with thinking about and preparing for this test that I haven't been able to thoroughly enjoy it! Looking forward to taking this test (just simply to get it over with!) I am taking my brain break seriously and planning relaxing activities like: tomorrow I get to see an old friend for a lunch date and Thursday while Miles is in school, (when I usually sit in my car and study), I get to go to breakfast with my grandma!! Oh the sweet joys!!! Then next week is Spring break, we have a few great things planned like seeing a good friend and her sweet baby boy! I look forward to relaxing and enjoying the free time with the kids!! I feel like it's been ages since I've been able to just breathe and enjoy the moment without a test looming over my head!! The week after the kids have spring break, I have spring break from my class, so there again, will get some time to rest my weary brain, without a night class! After that, it's back in the saddle with study time!! But if I calculate correctly that's a good two and a half weeks of "no school stress!!" YES PLEASE!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Aha moment!

I was thinking about how busy life is and how I feel like we aren't catching our breath. Then it dawned on me, I am wearing a lot of hats, and at the end of the day, I am staying above water, so to speak!

I am first and foremost a stay at home mom. That is my title, I wear it proudly and I work to improve my methods on a daily basis (and fail some of those methods quite regularly too! Thanks to goodness, each day is a new day, and my kids are very forgiving when it comes to their momma!!) on top of being mom, I am working part time, and going to school part time. My daughter attends school 25 minutes away so we have two round trip commutes (morning and afternoon) that take approximately an hour counting the time we spend at school. Add to that the class I am taking is a night class that takes me away from the family two nights a week and Acilia was doing poms (showcase is tomorrow then we are done for a few months before the new season starts) that was taking her out of the house two nights a week. Weekends are our only time to catch our breath.

I had my "aha" moment the other day when I was thinking about how busy life is and wondering how I could change that. Then it dawned on me, if I wasn't pursuing nursing, I would have a LOT less chaos in my life. That is not a goal I am willing to give up, but I think the magnitude of how time consuming it is hit me and I was able to have a very relieving light bulb moment! I decided I need to cut myself a break and just go back to living each moment for what it is. Finding happiness in each moment and realize that this journey in my life is not permanent and once I am a nurse, I will feel much more accomplished and I will (prayerfully) have some more time to be a housewife. I find myself yearning to bake and to cook and overall just really dive in to the kitchen, which cracks me up because if you've been reading for a while, domestication is not something that came naturally to me! I will say after almost 8 years of marriage, and 2 kids later, domesticated life is much more natural, and it actually kinda feels good!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Relief Sigh

The news of the day is: When something seems awful in your life, or overwhelming or whatever the case may be, sit back and give it to God. Truly! Every single stressful thing I have ever experienced, as hard as it is to go through it, it DOES PASS. Here's a quote I wrote when I was younger: "Life is a road full of hills, enjoy the view from the top of each hill, take the ditches as learning experiences".

My relief sigh comes in because as you know my A&P course has been a huge struggle for me this semester. I am no where near out of the woods yet, but after FINALLY getting better than  D on one of my tests, I had an epiphany, I may not be learning all I need to know, but I *am* learning and the way the tests are, have nothing to do with my abilities to know the material. Her tests are hard, no question, but I've gotten 65% or so on each one, which means I know WAY more than half of the material being taught right? Probably more if it weren't for the trick questions. The point is, a letter grade is just a letter, but the learning I am doing is real and I have faith it will stick with me. I am trying so hard, studying harder than I've ever studied before, and at the end of the day, I am giving it my all. SO, last night, I got my grade back from the lab practical taken last week for midterms, I got a B on it. The perfectionist is me was a little disappointed that it wasn't an "A" but Holy Lord in Heaven was I relieved!! Thank you God! I was able to calculate my grade and at this very moment, even though my test grades have been way less than stellar I am rounding in with a C in the class, again, below my standards, but I need a C to pass the class to get into nursing and if the bare minimum requirement is all I can get, I WILL TAKE IT!!!

Relief sigh number two, Al had his follow up appointment this morning, the good news is I believe his condition has stabilized. He has new doses of his meds, and is ordered to get labs done every two weeks, but overall, I believe we are past the crisis phase. There was damage done to his kidney with the acute failure he experienced, so his creatinine most likely won't go lower than what it is now, but it's still quite a distance away from where it would be if he had to go back on the transplant list, so I am praising God that we get more time with this kidney and praying that his numbers stay stable!

On another note, the weather here in Chicago is mind blowing!! It's not even officially spring yet and we have temps that we normally don't see for atleast two more months! Miles and I stopped at a local deli this afternoon and ate lunch OUTSIDE!! BLESSINGS ALL AROUND!!!!!!!! I am soaking it up, enjoying watching nature as it comes to life and counting the blossoms popping up all around. Life is good!

Monday, March 12, 2012


I love to envision what the future holds. It's obsessive at times, but it gets me through the moments that seem to stand still and gives me hope of what is to come!

Next year at this time, my hopeful prayer is that our house will be on the market. That it will sell and that we will move to a home much more suitable to our needs next summer. That would have been a simple reality back when the housing market was booming, we would have gotten atleast $70,000 more than what we paid for this house, according to what the house appraised for back then, and it would have been a nice down payment for our next "upgraded" home. Nowadays, the reality is that I see homes on the market for under what they probably were bought for, and they sit with a sign in the yard. There is a house one block from us, it's a cute little house, been on the market through atleast 3-4 realtors, which if I calculate correctly it's been about a year! These people clearly want to move and it literally hurts me to see the "reduced price" sign go up every so often, because that means, our house will probably not get what we ask or even close, if it sells at all! My sincere hope is that we atleast break even! We bought this house in 2004, this month marks 7 years since we've lived here. 7 YEARS! Al spent 14 months renovating it, blood sweat and tears went into this house, and money too, which we recouped, yet now our mortgage is higher. Story of the housing market right? Yup. If I sit and think of all the realities, my hopes go right down the toilet. But my hopes are still up, I still pray that my wishes are in line with God's will for our family and somehow it all works out. I keep praying that I can put my faith into the plan I've come up with, and that would mean next year, we will move. I want to be excited, I want to be patient because to be honest, if I had my way, our house would be on the market NOW. (Well, 4 years ago, but you know what I mean). In the reality of today's economy next year *should* work. Gives the market one more year to grow a little bit, gives the banks one more year to be a little more giving with loans, and gives us one more year to get our ducks in a row. One more year.

Lutheran Schools week

I grew up going to public school, it's a new experience to have a child in a private school. I've noted some differences between public and private schools over the few years Acilia has been in school, last week most of the public schools in the area were taking their standardized tests, something Acilia and her classmates know nothing about. This week, it's our turn to do something public schools don't do...Lutheran Schools Week!! It's such a hustle and bustle type of week with lot's of fun for the kids! There is charity work, themed dress days and Friday, the much anticipated Grandparents/VIP day! This week we look forward to:
Monday: Orange day (different color per grade, Acilia's class is orange, of course the ONE color she didn't have in her wardrobe! Ha! Excuse to shop for an orange shirt!)
Tuesday: Pajama Day
Wednesday: Acilia's favorite for sure "Western Day" she will get to wear her cowgirl boots and cowgirl hat! She will be in her glory!!
Thursday: Hat day along with a field trip to the fairgrounds, I am not sure what exactly they are doing there, but I signed up to drive. I haven't missed a field trip yet! :)
Friday: Dress your best day, kids will host their grandparents/VIP's to the book fair, their classrooms and chapel, then it's early dismissal too!

My favorite week of school for sure!

These are the types of things I will miss when we do finally move and get into a good public school district, I am sure we will find trade offs, one I can think of is being closer to our school, maybe even take advantage of bus service!! The 2 hour a day commute (to school and back in the morning, and then repeat in the afternoon) for school is just a bit time consuming, although I've convinced myself it's SO worth it while we do it, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Acilia's school, and our quality time in the car each day is pretty special too :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Well, on a good note, I am FINALLY feeling like myself, I've been really enjoying the last few days of feeling like Karrie again. I have energy, my appetite is back and overall, I am just working my way through my antibiotic which amuses me, because I haven't had a prescription for an antibiotic for myself since I was a kid!! I haven't had bronchitis or a sinus infection since I was a kid either! So it just makes me giggle. Either way, glad to be feeling better.

On the defeated note, I am in my second semester of Anatomy and Physiology and... it... is... k i l l i n g  me!! We only get graded on tests, and the tests are ridiculous. I have a huge issue with the way my instructor words her questions, and a bigger issue with her choices of what she chooses to test on. I am defeated because to be honest, I am not going to be able to change the way she tests, and I have been struggling all semester because of it! The stress I have inside of me is way more than I appreciate and I feel like I can't catch a break. I am studying harder for this class than I've ever studied and it's NOT paying off. It is incredibly frustrating and I am counting down to the end of the class and praying I make it with a C so I can move on instead of having to waste money and take the class over.