It’s been real, 2018

How has it been over a year since I’ve been to this blog? I’ve tried to keep up with my writing with but even over there, I’m doing a poor job of staying on top of it. A goal for 2019 is to write, even if it’s terrible, a few times per month. As I head into a hell of an 8 months for nursing school, we’ll see how that goes.

For those who have missed the memo, I spent a year retaking some classes (because, I’m a dinosaur and graduated too long ago) and applied for an accelerated nursing program. There are so many ‘why’s but a lot of it stemmed from my pregnancy and NICU experience where much of the time, it was a nurse helping me to keep my head above water when I thought I would drown. I left the hospital with the boys, wanting to be that person for someone else but scared to do it. Finally, I said fuck it and signed up for classes on a long, long journey to get a seat in a 36-person class filled with some REALLY smart people. Some called me crazy but most assumed it par for the course as I have always seemed to thrive on chaos. I quit my full time job, which was also providing a 50% discount on daycare, dropped to a barely-above-minimum-wage, 7 hour per-week job and went back to school. No sooner had I started school when my husband got his 90 day notice for a lay off and a thyroid cancer scare. With the stress from nursing exams and the thought of being a family of 4 with a mortgage (and an even more expensive daycare bill) and no income or medical insurance building and building, I thought about how far I could get if I just left town and never looked back. I wasn’t sleeping well, school was hell and taking care of the boys was heavy, heavy work that I often had trouble even thinking about doing. The stress and exhaustion had taken a toll on the marriage too. The amount of times I threatened to leave, and was serious, was more than I’d like to admit. I would talk to my mom who would tell me to breathe and remember that this too shall pass. I hated that stupid ass saying at the time. I didn’t believe her and thought she needed to cut back on the yoga. I thought this amount of stress would cause the end of the road for a lot of things.

One day, I was sitting in front of a nursing book, distracted, and remembering how it felt when the boys were infants and would.not.stop.crying. I remembered, vividly, how I thought it would never end. I thought I would go insane, I thought my life was over and that I would never be the great mom I wanted to be for these loud-mouth babies, because I was definitely about to run away. How quickly the years have passed since then. Turns out, just when you think you can’t go on any more, the skies part and the sun shines again. In the final hour, everything literally fell into place and we continued on, beaten up but a little bit stronger. As per usual, my mom was right, this too, had passed. There will be hard times to come and as STUPID as it sounds, I really don’t think you’re ever given something you can’t handle. You may not THINK you can, but if you take a second to breathe, you can and you will handle it. My brother, with his 23 year old body and 108 year old mind, told me that if we live long enough (the goal), we are GOING to experience tragedy, loss and hardships. It’s not an if, it’s a when. We have to build resilience and forge strong minds in order to deal with it before it hits. That is not to say that we can’t get knocked down but to say that we must be able to find a way to pick ourselves back up and scream ‘you hit like a bitch’, even if we do it with tears running down our faces. I have been working on it, ever since.

To say 2018 was a year of growth, would be an understatement. I’ve become closer with people I thought I couldn’t get any closer with, I’ve lost touch with people I thought I never would and I have had friendly conversations with people I thought I never cared to speak to again. I have read an enormous list of self-development books that have really helped me to find passion and stress-managing techniques that have centered and focused me in ways I didn’t think possible. I’ve accepted my weaknesses and have vowed to work on them (ahem, sugar and attitude) and have really accepted that I’m not going to end up with toddler boys who don’t like being gross and absurd. Truly, I will need to write a post on the disgusting nature of little boys who feed off each other’s disgusting behaviors. #sendhelp #iwasntready

This year, my mom lost her sister, my Aunt Jenny, who was also my godmother and self-proclaimed fairy godmother to my boys. My mom’s side of the family lives in Michigan and although I only see them once a year if I’m lucky, they all have had and continue to have a profound impact in my life. There is something special about a group of 7 sisters, all with kids and most of them with kids (I’m talking a LOT of people here) who don’t see each other often but you wouldn’t know it when we’re all together. I remember being little and crying when we left Michigan in the summer, knowing it would be a whole year until I saw everyone again. Turns out, I do it even when I’m older now too. Brandon went with us once and was looking at houses on Zillow before we even left the state. My Aunt Jenny had an infectious laugh and awesome sense of humor. You couldn’t be around her and not be laughing, ever. She was so smart and witty and loved her kids fiercely. It’s how all of my aunts are, honestly. I mean, I get my charm and hilarious sense of humor honestly.

There is no winning a fight that isn’t fair to begin with and her cancer was one of them but she gave it her all for 10 years. To say she was the strongest person I have ever known still doesn’t do her justice. At her funeral, the common theme was that her kids were her life and that she made everything fun. While you shouldn’t need a loss to remind you of how precious life is, it was a swift kick in my ass to stop wishing my days with my kids away, no matter how hard they were because I know she would have given it all to spend one last minute with her babies. I can honestly say, I’ve been better at it. Some days, because #parenting, are harder than others but for the most part, I’ve been better at staying in the moment and soaking up the giggles or tantrums while I can. I knew it was sincere when someone asked me how the kids are and instead of my usual, “they’re alive!” which meant “they are slowly killing me inside, please send coffee and wine”, I said “they are SO good!” and meant it. Maybe it has something to do with me finally feeling on the right path in life and finally feeling settled in being mom and being Kayla or maybe I just don’t ever want to leave doubt on this earth that those boys are my life, despite their current toddler nonsense.

I hope to carry the good into 2019, but realistically know the not-so-good will come right along with me but I’m here to give it my best. I HOPE to be back here sooner rather than later but until then…

… wish me luck.


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