geanniegray.com

a blog about life with diabetes, depression & dysfunction & how to manage them with HOPE!

Tag: kids


stormy weather…


It’s getting to be tornado season around my house.  It’s a little funny (not ha-ha funny, but odd-funny) for me to say that since we have been blessed to avoid any huge damage from tornados since we’ve lived here.  That’s over 20 years now!  But there have been some bad ones come through very close to us over the years.

I don’t mind a thunderstorm every now and then.  I like the feeling of being safe and protected in my house while the thunder rages outside.  It reminds me of how tiny we are in the grand scheme of things.  It reminds me of how awesome and huge God is and conjures up visions of Him sitting amongst the clouds, flicking His hand to instigate bright flashes of lightening and earth-shaking booms of thunder.

It also usually always makes me think of how amazingly cool it would be to see a storm from His point of view.  I mean, how cool would it be to be able to look over God’s shoulder, or rather, probably, from atop His shoulder, and watch all the action from the topside?  I think it’s fascinating to ponder how utterly awesome that would be.

Heh.  Do you ever think about things like that?

One of my daughters-in-law is really afraid of storms.  Not so much that she’s panicking, but she doesn’t care for them at all.  I have never really been afraid of them.  I actually liked to be outside watching when one rolled in.  I know.  Not very bright of me, right?  Ha!  But it’s true.  I can remember one time when a storm was rolling in over our house.  I was nine or ten years old, I guess, and Dad made me go outside and get some lawn chairs I’d left out in the yard.

As I opened the storm door and stepped outside, the wildness of the winds hit me in the face and the darkness of the sky became up close and personal and I felt incredulous that my dad had sent his poor little daughter out in that weather. Heh.  But I knew he was watching me and wouldn’t let me back out of it, so I ran as fast as my legs would go.  I grabbed up those two chairs, slapped them together and ran for dear life back to the garage to stow them and get back in the house as quick as I could.  

Being all by myself out there was a bit more scary than I had anticipated.

But watching a storm with someone else is a little different.  Another time I remember is when we got caught in the barn when a bad storm hit.  I think it was maybe Mom and my sister this time.  We ended up getting some hail with that one and it was so cool to me to sit in the hay up in the loft and listen to the fury outside.  I think we had some puppies at the time, so that was lots of fun, too.

Or it could be that I’m completely mixing up my memories.  You never know with me these days.  Never the less, at one time in history, I was caught in the barn during a hailstorm and the crazy, loudness of the ice hitting the tin roof was really amazing.  It’s like you have absolutely no control and no choice but to hunker down and let God’s enormous-ness happen all around you.

I dunno… maybe I’m just weird thinking about stuff like that?

Another, more recent time I remember was when my boys were young and we’d gone camping!  We didn’t get hail that time, thank God, but there was lots of lightening and thunder and all we could do was hunker in the tent (yes, a TENT!) while the rain battered against the thin nylon.  The very idea that some flimsy fabric was the only thing between us and the wild weather outside was pretty sobering.  And of course, I did some praying in there that the stitching and fabric would hold!

I’m pretty sure that’s the four-day weekend we spent when it would rain at least once a day, then be beautifully sunny.  Tommy and I ended up buying extra tarps and reinforcing our rain protection that time.  The boys thought it was great fun.  Mud didn’t bother them at all.

smile

Fun times.

This time of year also brings birthday month.  Casey’s birthday was last Sunday.  Corey’s will be the Sunday after this.  I can’t believe they are now 24 and 28!!  I mean, seriously!?!?  When did I get old enough to have an almost-30-year-old kid?!?

Thinking about them being this old makes me really wonder if I’m ever going to get a grandbaby.  I try not to talk about that, especially to them, but c’mon you guys!!  You’re not getting any younger!

I can’t imagine having been married this long and not having any kids.  Of course, our marriage is nothing like either of our kids’ marriages.  Casey and Tay continue talking like soon as she’s done with her BSN (which is next month, hallelujah!) they will be up for having kids.  I guess I can’t see it though because they’re never still long enough.

They are both constantly running to this or that meeting, some sort of sporting event or party or concert or just getting together with friends.  It makes my head spin!  I mean, you have to plan months ahead if you want to do something with them and then it’s likely to be a no-go if Taylor has a lot of homework.  Sheesh!  I just wish I had that much energy!  Ha!

Anyhow, yeah… I’m staring 50 in the eyeball right now and most of my friends have at least one grandbaby if not more!  I feel so left out.  (heh)  That’s only when I let myself think about it, though.

Right now, I’m just trying to work up to where I can ride my stinkin’ bike again!!  Tommy and I went out Sunday afternoon and I couldn’t even finish six miles!  Of course, I hadn’t been on that bike in a good year, so I’m trying to cut myself some slack, but it sure felt horrible to realize how much stamina I have lost.  How much endurance and ability.

It definitely proves the phrase “Use it or lose it” because I’ve definitely lost it.  Every last bit of it!!

But here’s to better things and a stronger body.  Please, Lord!  ūüôā

Okay, that’s all I have on my brain right now.  Take some time to watch the sky today and think about what and Who stands beyond your view…

Blessings!

Psalm 95:4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.

5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.


hello, twenty-seventeen!


Hoo-wee!!  It has been a wild ride already around here folks!  That’s the main reason I haven’t been around here much.  My life has literally gone nuts!  Heh.

You know my eldest and his wife were (are!) moving to the Cincinnati area.  We started right after Christmas helping them get packed up.  They had to downsize a LOT, which wasn’t entirely a bad thing.  They went from a 1500 square foot home with a full, finished basement, two kitchens, a two-car garage, the land and outside areas to go with to a just-under 1000 square-foot apartment, no garage (although they can rent one that’s attached to their building!) and a tiny storage room!

That alone would have been enough to boggle my brain, but I have to say, Melissa handled it well.  She is a funny one.  She’s not super attached to things and was happily tossing all sorts of things.  I’m glad she could do it but it was hurting my head to watch her purge so mercilessly.  Ha ha!  Then again, I lean toward the hoarder rather than minimalist.  sigh  Ha!

We took several of their larger items but can’t fit the piano here, so I’m hoping my parents can put it in their basement.  It’s so old, I doubt they could get much out of it even though it looks great.  It’s severely out of tune and it sounds like from what the kids had been told by a couple of tuners, because of the age, people don’t want to tune it.  Gah!  I dunno…. it’s been so long since I played, I’m not sure it’s worth hanging onto.  No one else in the family plays and we really don’t sing as a family anymore, so I’m not sure why we even need it.  I just hate to get rid of it.  It’s the used piano my mom bought when I was around 5 or 6 to take lessons herself.  When I began to sit down and play what she had just practiced, I became the one who was getting lessons and those didn’t benefit me a whole lot.  She started me with an old and old-school teacher who was all about theory and note reading, not at all interested in any natural “talent” or playing “by ear” like I was want to do and had always seen my Papaw do.  By the time I was in fifth grade, she found me a younger teacher who finally realized I was just going to learn the music she assigned my and play it by ear or from memory.  When I was about 11, Papaw recruited me to the piano at church to accompany congregational hymns, so I had to rely heavily on playing “by ear” so when I’d show up at lessons with a hymnal, asking the teacher to show me “how to play this chord” and then immediately pick it up once she’d showed me, she sorta gave up.

She came out to the car with me one day and told Mom she didn’t wanna take her money any more because she couldn’t really teach me anything else.  Bahahaha!!  Yeah.  I’m not sure it was so much a compliment as a statement of fact.  It surely wasn’t because I had learned all she had to teach!  I had no use for doing the little theory exercises or reading music beyond what I absolutely had to.  It was hard for me and I really sucked at it.  If you could “hum it for me” and I could figure out what key you needed it in, I could at least play the chords enough to accompany you.

Okay, enough about the piano!  For now, it’s still sitting in the house down there.  The business is still using the office that was built onto the back of the house years ago, so people are still going in and out of it.  Also, for the time being at least, Melissa’s younger brother is still living in/renting the basement although I’m not sure how long that will last.  Mom told me she has told him to be looking for another place.  This after she told him he could stay there awhile.  I know know what that’s about, but it’s pretty typical.  I hope he can find somewhere and not have to move back home, especially since he just proposed to his girlfriend over Christmas!

So Melissa and I took off in our vehicles, I took our car up so Tommy could drive the UHaul and we’d have a way back home.  She had a bunch of more delicate stuff in their truck, along with their Australian Shepherd, Timber.  We headed out about noon on Friday leaving the guys behind to load the big furniture in the UHaul and the plan was they’d be up the next day.

Corey had quite a few guys lined up to come help but only two actually did along with his dad and it turned out to be enough.  They had no clue how much room they’d need, so they got a 26-foot truck since it was the same price as the  22-foot truck and planned to let Tommy be the “fitter” since he’s good about packing a ton of stuff into a small space.  He started out trying to get as much stuff in as possible but soon, they told him they only had so many pieces left and he had to get them to repack and spread stuff out!!  They had a TON of room!

Mel and I got up there without too much incident.  Our GPS’s didn’t agree at one point and we ended up getting off a wrong exit in town.  It was right during rush hour, so when I tried to stick with her through a light and blocked the intersection for a second, some butthead in a little economy car blew right up to the passenger side of my Challenger and started on the horn.  Honking and honking as if that was somehow going to ‘make’ me be able to move when there was no space for me to go!  Argh.  That was a little nerve wracking, but we got through it okay and made it to the apartment complex in good time.

We were both pretty exhausted, and I was still battling the remnants of my months of being sick with a nasty cough so I stayed with Timber most of the time while Melissa made trips back and forth carrying in some of the stuff we’d packed.  We hadn’t really thought out how we’d handle Timber while unloading stuff, I guess.  When she had got all she could manage herself, I went out to the car and carried in the few things I had to have out of it.  We had also put some of their stuff in there, so it was packed full too.

Corey called to say they were talking about maybe heading up that evening, just him and his dad, instead of waiting til the morning.  So in about four hours, they had arrived and it was a good thing after all.  Showing up with limited items at an empty apartment when the weather is frigid, you’re tired and sick can be a lot more deflating than I had counted on.  I think Mel felt the same way.  She was a bit more upbeat than me, but seriously… as I looked around, thinking about the place, sensing its smallness and of course, the sparseness of it, if it’d been me moving, I’d have been seriously depressed.  Maybe it was just me still processing the fact that my kids actually were moving away from me.  I’m not sure, but I hope it didn’t show as much as I felt it.  If I’d been by myself, I’d have cried!

At this point, a week after the fact, I can’t remember what else we did that night.  I am pretty sure we made a few trips to the store for some odds and ends.  Even though it was almost New Year’s Eve and we hadn’t bargained for any stores being closed.  They needed a pad lock for the UHaul and there were a few other things we had to have that night.  Dinner was one of those things, so we got some food before coming back to settle in for the night.

We blew up our mattresses and slept fairly well.  Thankfully the kids’ mattress was in the truck since their bed went flat during the night!

The next day, Melissa’s uncle and cousin came to help unload.  I hadn’t realized until then that the former plan for some of Corey’s friends to come up to help had been changed.  No one else was coming.  Mel’s uncle had arranged for several of his friends to come help, but not until later in the day, so when it became clear that they would have everything done before then, he called to cancel his guys and the four of them got it all unloaded just before lunch (and the rain!)  It worked out perfectly.

Tommy and I stayed til Monday, which helped me feel a bit better about them moving.  I was able to see that the apartment was nice, it was quiet and not so wildly different than being at home.  I got to interact with a lot of people and put to rest the notion that Cincy is full of mean people.  (seriously, I don’t if it was the people who just really didn’t want them to leave or they were relating their own experience, but people kept telling them everyone was rude and mean there).

Even though I felt better about them moving, it didn’t stop the tears from falling when we finally said our goodbyes Monday night after supper.  Tommy had already mentioned staying another day so I had no clue if we’d end up going home or not!  When we got to the restaurant, he didn’t know where his phone was, so that immediately became a possible “reason” we would have to stay.  We had already packed up the car and were ready to leave straight from the steakhouse, so the phone would have to be back at the apartment for us to stay.  It was sort of funny as we all walked out toward our vehicles, looking at my phone trying to locate Tommy’s… it appeared to be in the car and it was apparent that Tommy was disappointed.  He said if it wasn’t for needing to be on the job, he would just take a vacation day and stay.  And here I thought I was the one having trouble letting them go!

It would have been nice if we’d been able to stay and leave the next morning because we were sure exhausted once we finally got home.  It was just after midnight and we had several things that had to be unloaded (the rest could wait) and the dogs and chickens to take care of.  Poor Max was still outside, so I had to try and clean him up some before turning him loose in the house.

As soon as I could, I collapsed in bed and in what seemed like just a few minutes, I woke up sick as a dog.  I was coughing and snotting like nobody’s business.  I felt horrible!  So after battling a similar blech for months and finally getting almost over it, I’m starting from scratch, fighting it again.

ARGH!

Here’s to NOT having all of 2017 be the same way it started!!  Ha!


sending my babies off again…


tay-haitibaby-title

Tomorrow night, my baby kids are off on their third trip to Haiti since they got married in 2014!  I thought I’d die the first time they went for a week.

My sweet, tired babies

The second time, they weren’t planning to go but they were needed there so badly (Tay for her RN and Case for his carpentry/plumbing/electrical skills) that the church raised enough money to send them.  Those were one-week trips.

My babies in Haiti

My son & his wife in Haiti, 2014

This time, it’s two weeks!  ACK!  And, poor little Taylor got the dates mixed up so instead of leaving Friday at midnight, they are supposed to leave TOMORROW night!  EGADS!!  So we’re cancelling our discipleship group so we can help them get ready.  tay-haitibaby-title

We mainly need to get their clothes soaked to keep the Zika virus away.  We are keeping their golden retriever while they’re gone too.  Ol’ Biscuit is gonna be in heaven with Samson and Max to play with.

Taylor with little girls in Haiti

So if you happen to think of it the next couple of weeks, please pray for the team, my babies and the work they’re doing down there.  The Creek team headed to Haiti

Thank you so much!

Blessings!

G~

 


the enemy of marriage (& a poll!)


The only thing you have to do to fail at marriage is NOTHING

So you probably get it by now that I am in favor of marriage.  Marriage is important.  It’s vitally important to defend and fight for your marriage.  No matter what’s going on, aside from outright abuse, your marriage is worth a fight.  It’s worth laying aside all your pride, rolling up your sleeves and getting in the mud and muck and fighting like all of hell is after you.  Because it is.

Satan hates a strong, godly marriage where the family puts God first and rejects the world’s image of disposable marriages, discounted vows, discouraged couples and disaffected children, dismantled stability, discarded families.  You’d better believe he’s after your marriage.

The only thing you have to do to fail at marriage is NOTHING

As you’ve seen, if you have read here much at all, our marriage was very atypical in many ways.  We didn’t have that crazy first year with tons of sex and exploring our intimate life together, figuring out what we liked best, what each other wanted most, etc.  Our first year was confusing…bewildering even.  We didn’t understand why sex was so hard for us…for me.  We were still hanging on to hope that time would take care of the issues, that it was just a matter of “trying more” or getting used to it…or SOMEthing!!

By the time we finally decided we needed medical help, we had been dealing with it for ten years, had two kids and for all intents and purposes, we looked like every other young couple.  Nobody knew how we were struggling.  We didn’t talk to anyone about it, not even each other except to yell when the frustration became too much.

I want to get Tommy to sit down with me and do a video.  I’m not sure what he’ll think about that ha ha but I think it would be good for him to at least say a little bit about his side of things.  We are both healing together.  Even though the physical side of the problem was mine as far as the pain went, and perhaps I bore more of the depression and stuff like that, but he carried a lot of emotional pain as well.

We’ve never talked a whole lot about that.  I mean, I have shared a little, just me and him, about how I felt and then of course, he’s heard me relate it to my therapist and read what I’ve written here about it, but we’ve never really discussed his side so much.

He might not want to.  Maybe he never knew how to voice it or maybe it hurt too much to speak out loud.  I have been in that place too, where I didn’t know how to put into words the way I felt.

I know there are a few men who read here, or at least they have at one time.  heh  I would like to hear from ALL of you, what you would ask Tommy?  Are there parts of this story that you’d like his take on?  Are there things that you would like to know from his side?

Please put those in the comments for us?  I would really love for us to have a conversation about where he was, emotionally, and where he is now as we are in the healing process.  What would he have done differently?  What would he keep the same, if anything?  What made him choose to stay?  Did he really still  have hope that our sex life would ever be remotely normal?  Those are the questions I want to ask.  I’m not sure I’ll like the answers, but I think it’s important for us to flesh this out and I feel like maybe others could benefit from hearing his viewpoint.

DON’T FORGET!  Leave your questions in the comments!  (or you can email them to me at:  geannie [at] lifeindogyears [dot] com)

THANK YOU!!

Blessings,

G~


an open letter to the t1d mom…


Dear Type 1 Diabetic Mom,

I know you.

I know you are tired.  Tired of worrying about your health and how you can take care of it, your baby, your home, your job, your marriage, your other kids…every other thing in your life that stresses out the most healthy of moms.  I know adding t1d to the mix can create sheer havoc.  I know it’s easy to feel bitter, angry and completely cheated.

I know that being a mom is a monumentally hard job.  I also know that being a mom with t1d increases the difficulty exponentially!

Sometimes.

Something else I know is that it’s doable.  Yes, it’s hard.

It’s the hardest thing you will ever do in your entire life.  But you can do it.  I know, because I did it.

type 1 diabetic mothers

Type 1 Diabetic Mothers

Yeah, and if I can do it, so can you.

I have two healthy, productive, intelligent grown sons to show for all the effort to take the best care of myself that I could in order to best care for them.  It was worth every poke, every extra test, every extra bag I packed for my supplies that added to all the things I already had to keep up with for them.  It was worth every tear I cried in private, tears of exhaustion, of fear, of despair feeling that I just couldn’t do it one more minute.

I have to tell you my secret.  You may or may not see it as something that would work for you.  I understand that, but for me, without this “secret weapon”, I would not have made it.  I wouldn’t have survived to escort my boys into adulthood.

My “secret” was (and IS) Jesus.  Without my faith, I could not deal with the reality of diabetes.  I couldn’t deal with the ups, downs and sideways, upside down spirals that it creates in my life.   I encourage you to investigate Him at the very least.  For so many other things in my life, He is my Sustainer, but for motherhood, He was indeed my Savior and thus, the reason my children are who and what they are today.  I am immensely proud of them and thankful for all the Lord has done in their lives.

Another thing that will be essential for “getting through” motherhood with t1d is HELP!  You do not have to do it alone.  Nor are you supposed to.  If you are a single mother on top of it, reach out to friends and family.  If your husband isn’t as supportive as he should be, call on others to help you.  ANY mother is well within her rights, and responsibilities for that matter, to ask for help when she needs it.  If you don’t, you risk failing even more!  ASKING FOR HELP IS NOT FAILURE…IT IS WISDOM.

In my opinion, that’s good advice for ANY mom or any person!   Don’t let pride keep you from reaching out for help when you need it!  That’s just foolish!

Back to you, T1D Mom… I know there will be days when you just can’t seem to get your blood sugars to cooperate.  No matter what you do, no matter that you’re doing everything the doctor has instructed, the disease will not cooperate.  It will become a monster on those days and it is one you will simply have to resign yourself to fight.  Your health and your children are worth ever effort you make.

I KNOW it’s hard.  I know there are times when you just want to quit!  You don’t want to try anymore to control this raging beast that is sometimes T1D.

But do it anyway.  Do It ANYWAY.

You are not alone.  Others have gone before you.  They are walking beside you and coming behind you in this epic battle to remain physically healthy and mentally sane while being a mother with type 1 diabetes.  Your only mission is

               do NOT give up!

I hope this has encouraged you to look for the brighter side, to focus on the good and remember that this season of your life won’t last forever.

If I can help you, encourage you or maybe just reassure you that no matter how bad it may seem, you can’t afford to give up…contact me.  Leave a comment, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter or email me.  All my info is in the sidebar!  I want to remind you… you have too much at stake to let this disease defeat you!  Let me encourage you and let’s encourage each other!

Blessings!

G~

 

 


answered prayer


Isn’t it amazing when God answers a prayer? Even when we know He can, we know He has, then when He blesses us with another provided need, another confirmation, another open door…wow. How blessed are we?!

This morning, He did that for me.Read More »



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