I just needed to journal a little and check in here with a few things. I don’t know how far I’ll get, but I’m going to start.
I’ve been doing hard work with counseling on a regular basis. I set up a 2-hour session every other week and we fill it every time, cover-to-cover. I haven’t found that I’m out of things to work on and I’m being brave and vulnerable and working to take back ground that belongs to me. There have been relationship issues, church issues, special needs mom issues, straight-up mom issues, fatigue issues, depression issues…. you name it or struggle with it and I’ve probably brought it up. I’m proud of me for this. I have some hard journaling to do after the last session, which slipped off a cliff into talking about some ingrained thought patterns that have returned with the latest round of depression. I feel lighter for having walked these healing paths, but it is hard and often painful. Knowing that I have counseling every other week has given me a sense of progress and relieved some significant pressure. Even if all I do sometimes is dump my stress and voice my experiences and feelings… well…. I needed a safe place to do that. A place where she doesn’t over-react, a place where she listens well, a place where the responses are going to be sound and thoughtful. My mind is growing healthier through counseling and it’s running over into other parts of my life. If you see this, thank you, Deborah!
On a much lighter note – Brian is doing his annual dates with the girls. The first date was with Carolyn. He took her out to eat – I don’t remember where. And then they went out to the movies. And they bought the snacks at the movies too. I don’t remember the details – it was a week ago. But Carolyn was just skipping everywhere and so happy. Today is Maggie’s turn (by the way – she does NOT let us call her Margaret right now. Don’t try. She genuinely doesn’t want to be called that right now.). She and Brian came up with the plan to pack up a tarp, some wood and fire-building materials, some snacks and I don’t know what else and they’re going to a campground to build a tarp shelter and build a fire. I believe they’re hitting McDonald’s on the way for sustenance. Sounds like an awesome time. I’m not sure what the plan is with Anna yet. Time will tell! My only rules are that they aren’t gone for more than half a day and stay in budget. We also didn’t schedule them ahead of time so that we can flex with the stress level in the home… leaving when the boys are stable rather than screaming. 🙂
We made some big changes (big in my head anyway) to how we handle the holidays. Mostly, we reduced the number of commitments severely. In anticipation of the cancelations, I was a bit anxious. But now that the time is here and Brian is off work all week and we have ZERO commitments outside of our nuclear family until Saturday… well, it feels GOOD. It’s exactly what we need. We canceled extended family except a short visit with my sister and parents this weekend (whom we didn’t see for Thanksgiving) and we aren’t going to church and we don’t even need to go to the grocery. We’re capitalizing on the blessings that two parents at home bring. Like taking turns with the caregiving. Like helping each other sleep in a few extra minute when we can. Like stopping to sit and snuggle on the couch on a regular basis and finding each other for long hugs. Like being able to talk about hard counseling work and hold each other and pass tissues. It feels like “not waiting to have time.” I also am going on long walks and jogs by myself, courtesy of my husband, and logging so many miles. I’m cooking! We’re eating food that wasn’t partially prepped by Costco and my tummy is happy. (The kids aren’t so thrilled – they love the junk food.)
I’m going to see if I can wrap Brian’s gifts while everything is still calm here and before I need to get the boys through afternoon snack and toileting. I just needed to check in and write a little. I have some more journaling in me, but it’s even a little too sensitive, even for me – the person who shares everything. Counseling homework this time involves a hard-to-write letter and also identifying some specific thoughts. But first – presents. And then – diapers and yogurt. And then… well, maybe Brian will be here then!
A few recent pictures – all from my phone: