For those that like to dream, come in. For those that like to laugh, come in. For those that like to cry and be inspired...please come in. Our family is like any other, but is extraordinary in it's own right. Come and join us at our campfire and laugh a little, cry a little and leave us, but please come back. We love company...

Monday, June 11, 2012

I have it all!

The last time I wrote, it was over my ever-deepening feelings towards my biological mom, Sue. I know not everyone knows the story behind Sue, how she came into my life after 26 years of being apart, and why we never got to know each other. One of these first days I will write about it. I am sort of waiting on that one though because I have bigger plans for that one. A lot of my writing about Sue is about how much I love her and how much I ache for how things happened. But today I chose to write about all the wonderful, positive things I got out of that, and have otherwise.

I can write about my kids till the cows come home. Jon and I and our experiences trying and trying some more to raise ten kids. Our conversations verge on funny on any given day. We have such precious little time to discuss our kids, and even less time to spend together with them, that when we catch five minutes to update each other it is ridiculous...

"So today Joe did something really surprising. He was upset over something and I had to punish him, by sending him to his room..."
"Uh oh, what happened this time?"
"Well, it was over Isaac and his friends not being nice, and uh, oh yeah..he has a camp out this weekend..."
"Joe does? Isn't he a little young?"
"No, Isaac does. He goes Friday to Saturday.."
"Friday we are going to see a movie though.."
"You and Isaac are? I didn't know that!"
"No Julie, you and I are..."
"Oh, right. Kenna won't be home to sit though."
"That's ok, we won't need it cause Abby will be here..."

And so on. One thing melts into another because we only have 10 minutes to discuss ten kids and all their goings on....

Wow, sidetracked! Back to my good stuff. Susie is my biological mom. Frances is my adopted mom. I have it all when it comes to both of them. Sue is a lot like me, or so I am told. One day when talking to my sister Lisa she was surprised to see me sitting there eating Jr Mints and drinking Dr Pepper. She told me that's what mom always loved to snack on. That warmed my heart. Frances and I are also a lot a like. We can talk until the crack of dawn and have more to talk about the very next day. The Lord saw fit to give me not only one awesome mother, but two. They each have a special place in my heart and the more I get to know Sue through my sisters the happier I am that I get at least that. She gave me so much without knowing she was even doing it. These last years with my sisters have been so wonderful. My heart is so full when I think of all three of them, each with their own sweet way of showing me how they too have come to love me. Lisa shares Maddie with us every summer. This sweet niece loves us, and we adore her. Her other daughter Taylor knows I will hang up the phone on her if she doesn't answer the phone to me with a "Love you" before we even say hello. These girls mean the world to me. Time spent with Lisa and her family is what we consider vacation. We will spend our savings, Jon takes time off work and we go down to Vegas, not for the strip, not for shows or casinos, but for my sisters and their families. Tracy and Chris always welcome us with open arms, awesome guacamole and my awesome nephew Carson. That kid is going to be a pro golfer and I can't wait until he waves to us on tv. He better mention us by name! Then there's Lori. My blab buddy, my friend, my confidant and my therapist. I think I would have gone insane this last year without her. My adopted mom has given me so much as well. I probably should mention my dad too...:) My sister Kara, brothers Mark and Mike and all their awesome kids. We spend every holiday together, laughing, talking about kids, time as kids and arguing over who gets the parents when they can't take care of themselves anymore. I think I have a leg up though cause I don't work outside the home....so ha!

My life is full of wonderful things, and amazing people. Susie gave me a future with her before she died through my sisters. I think she would love knowing we are together now. I think she smiles down from Heaven loving the fact that we are loving each other. Like Lisa would say, "It's all good!". It is all good, I got the best growing up with Kara, Mark and Mike, and now I have even more being able to add Lori, Lisa and Tracy. I do have it all. Oh my, the next post is going to have to be about all the wonderful people in my life that aren't blood related! Wow...that might a long one too! Life is never easy, but it's good and God is good. He saw fit to give me the very best family he could. A family He knew would love me, and I them.  I am tired, broke and worn out, but I have an amazing support network, fun people to share my life with and the best siblings and parents a person could ask for. I am and will ever be grateful!

My sisters Lori, Lisa and I with a dear family friend Lenny

Me and my little sister Tracy and cute Carson
Me, Michael, Mark and Kara This is an older pic, and I admit I am not quite so thin anymore, but I love this picture of us. :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I get it!

I think I understand why. Why when things got to be too much you would hide away, and eat nothing but Oreos, and drink Dr Pepper. When that fight or flight kicks in, we can't always fight or flight and we have to just go "away" somewhere. I get it! Sometimes the deepest parts of our own minds are the best places to recede to. We are understood there. That's the safest place to be. I am on overload right now and if I could I would hide in my bedroom and let the world go one without me I would.
"Where are you Julie?"
"Why don't you come out? We need you..."
"Don't worry world, I will come out tomorrow ready to fight another day. But today I need to sit and hide. Be immature. Think of no one but me. Today I need to fly into the dark places of my own mind and let the world go on without me."
"Well, hurry up cause there's a lot you need to do!"
"I know, I know. Tomorrow."

It's days like today that I think of you. It's days like this that I want to find out what you would do. Or wouldn't do. It's days like today that I miss knowing I never got that. And for that I am mad. Today it hurts. It's not the only day it hurts. It also hurt the day Brynlee was born. Brynlee, Skyler, Colby, and all the rest. But for happy reasons. I always want to share my life with you. The ups, the downs. I will always miss the fact that we didn't even get to embrace as mother and daughter and at least tell each other how much we loved each other. Today is one of the days when it hurts the most. I know you weren't perfect Susie, but neither am I and that's the beauty of it all. Maybe after one long good conversation we could have sat back, laughed at all the time spent "wanting" all those years for someone that would have driven each other nuts for many years to come, but at least we could have had that. Instead we have nothing. Well, not completely nothing. I do have sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles that love to tell your stories. I love to hear them talk about you. Who you were, what you loved, what you hated and everything in between. So maybe you were more robbed than I was. You left this life barely even knowing that I was still alive. Sorry for that. Sorry for not being stronger when I should have been. When you were sick, I should have stepped up and spoken for both of us. But I didn't. I let those precious days go by with nothing. My one greatest regret in life. My only regret. Tomorrow I will be ok with it all again and walk tall loving what I do have, but today I want a Dr Pepper, an Oreo and some bitter tears to top it all off with. I want to talk to my mom.

Love you

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lazy days of Summer

Oh the sweet lazy days of Summer. On my way to drive to school this morning I saw a familiar sight. Kids walking to school. It's different this time of year though. They walk a little slower, as if to absorb as much sunlight as possible before entering the doors to the schools. Its almost as though their little bodies are powered by solar power and they need to regenerate as much as possible before going inside. They walk slowly, stopping to gaze at the world as it has come to life. Fun, rare bugs creep in and out of invisible homes, baby quails run from bush to bush and if you stop to listen long enough you can hear the quiet but sweet song of summer.

This is the time of year when moms have big plans to have their kids do chores everyday, read and do bits of homework to keep their minds fresh and keep a calender handy to keep kids busy. But who needs to keep their kids busy? They lay around till noon happily, dazily eating up summer nothingness. Sprinklers, lemonade stands and swimming eat up their days. Late nights playing games with friends, fire pits with the neighbors and no schedule is what the doctor ordered.

This is a time of regeneration. Taking the stress of school, tests, cold weather, being indoors and "there just isn't enough time in a day" and putting it on the back burner so that the beautiful days of summer can reign supreme. Sunlight is essential for us to live. Not only in a "global" sense, but in a very personal sense. Just like the creepy crawlies that my little boys love to watch come out, so do the people. Friends walk with friends, families take nature walks, bikers, runners and just the nature lover come out this time of year in full force and they stay out until the first snowflake falls come fall. As humans we love the healing power of the sun. I love to close my eyes, tilt my head towards it and let it sink into every part of my being, my soul. I feel like Superman, allowing the sun to power me, refill me and keep me going for another year.

The swing on our large tree in our front yard seems out of place in suburbia. It is something you would more likely see on a dreamy farm out in the middle of nowhere. The majestic tree that cradles the swing seems to stand as a beacon, loving my kids as they swing on her branches. An old rope, piece of wood and a sturdy branch remind me of what I love about this time of year. My children use it everyday, not so patiently taking turns swinging. The grass has long since given way to happy feet, and the beautiful roots of the tree jut out, as if to say "I stand here for you, I always have, I always will...climb at my feet and I will protect you!". I love that tree and everything it represents. Lazy days of summer, how we love thee....