GIRL's UNITE!!

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GIRL's UNITE!!

Another annual girl's trip! This time we all headed to Rocky Point in Mexico. There was nine of us this year and the trip was filled with love, encouragement, and fun! I have been friends with these girls since I was 18 years old and through the years I have watched them raise babies, go back to school, develop careers, and work at long marriages. It probably is the most healthy group of women around. The nine of all were all raised in homes that taught us about God and instilled high values in our lives. As a result these women face life with a faith that has withstood many storms and I am inspired by each of them. 

We had four days and three nights all together. We did many things while we were together to continue our growth as a group and our understanding of one another. Each night three girls would share on these topics: life changes since the last time we were all together, how the group can support you, and how we can pray for you moving forward. Each woman shared from a deep part of themselves, exposing fears, concerns, and joys. The theme of all the conversations was the constant struggle to fully trust in God's sovereignty, the desire to want more control, and the understanding of God's deep love. 

When we were not sharing our stories we were laughing. We went jet skiing, on a banana boat all together, got henna tattoo's (dragon flies), shopped, played games, sun bathed, cooked together, and just enjoyed being with one another. The joy of long lasting friendships is indescribable. We all made different sacrifices to be together and in the end we were all richer and felt a deeper connection.

I wish everyone had such a group. I believe especially for women a group like this is by far the most healthy thing you can do for yourself. A group that would loves you regardless of what you are going through. A group of friends that feels safe. A group that would not give answers but would just agree to pray for you along your journey. A group of women that would remind you that you are not alone in this journey. A group that related when you said it's hard to pack the boxes of your children's childhood. A group of women that just gets how it is to be a woman.  I am eternally thankful that in my life I have this. I am thankful for each of these girls. I do not see them as often as I would like to but our times together every couple of years are treasures that I will store in my mind for many years to come!! I love them all so much! 

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Why have my piles only grown?

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Why have my piles only grown?

I have a blog back in 2008 called "Piles" the picture was a nice, neat stack of papers. I just recently organized all of these stacks. It was a JOB. I actually found some gift cards! So there was a LITTLE bit of fun in the dreadful job. Do you see over in the right hand corer of the table? That is my University of Phoenix Diploma!! I am so thankful not to be in school this year! It still has not completely soaked in but when I look at a school related item I get totally thankful not to be going to class on Thursday nights.

I am days away from going to MEXICO!!!!  I am going with 9 of my favorite girlfriends from my college days in Seattle! I am super excited! We are heading down to Rocky Point to celebrate all of us turning 50. We actually get together every other year it just so happens that this year is a landmark year. In my past blogs you will see our last few trips. Every single trip with these girls is sweeter than the time before. All of us seem to value our time together more and more as we continue to meet together. 

Keeping up with friends is sometimes difficult and always time consuming. For some people it is down right too hard to find the time to put the effort into. I actually understand that thought but it is the most healthy thing you can possibility do for one another. Supporting each other through the journey of life is such a gift. It honestly really only takes one person in the group to be the coordinator and everyone else to just jump on board. We are all facing different life circumstances but love binds us to each other. For our trip I asked everyone to bring a beauty item that they can not live without and wrap it and then to bring a book that they love and wrap it. :) During one of our evenings together we will have a gift exchange.  Each of us will have a new beauty item and book to remind us of one another. Jeff told me he had never heard of anything more "girley" in his life. haha I said, "well that's what we are." 

Well it is an understatement to say I am living for Thursday when two of my friends come in! On Friday we will drive ourselves down to the beach! I will blog and post some fun photo's because life is better if we record our memories.... :) Never ever forget to make sure you surround yourself with other women who love and support you. It will be the most life enhancing thing you can do! Us girls need each other!!  

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Jefferson starts college...

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Jefferson starts college...

Jefferson is such a gamer he let me snap this picture of him as he was heading off to his first day at film school. I love this kid! He is passionate and fun to be with. I love that he knows what he wants to do with his life and is willing to work hard at making it become a reality. He headed off to school with his laptop and a brain full of ideas. It is the first time he has ever gone to school and not taken Peter with him. His school life use to consist of getting Peter out of the car and into his wheelchair every time he came to school and left school. Now it's just him. He said to me the other day that he never realized how easy it is to just jump out of the car on your own and get to class. I am happy for him. I am thankful Jefferson is staying around for the next couple of years. I am not ready to send him away. He and I have a little catching up to do after the teenage years. He has become an insightful interesting young adult and I want to spend the time I can with him.

Don't you just hate that by the time the kids become insightful interesting young adults they leave? This time I know it will come so I am much more intentional with my time with him. 

I have continued to clean out all my closets and drawers. IT IS SO HARD! But it got me thinking. I started questioning in my life if at times I have allowed my disorganization to get out of control because I did not feel worthy. I know that sounds strange but at different stages of my life I have struggled feeling worthy. I think we all do. I have faced difficulties in life and without a conscious thought of unworthiness it has still crept into my thinking. When deep struggles have come my way my first thought usually is, "why would I think it would ever go any other way?" Even small thoughts like these need to come under control in our life. It takes so much time and insight to even pull out thoughts that are holding you back. To acknowledge the thought before it becomes a belief is the key. Not sure I have been able to do that every time but as I age I am becoming more aware of the power small thoughts have in forming beliefs. Small thoughts create big beliefs about ourselves and others. Lately every time I finish a big closet or drawer I step back and say out loud, "You are worthy of order to your chaos." Today think of areas in your life where you may not be feeling worthy of something good for you. And try with intention to surrender the thought to God.  

 

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He's off...

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He's off...

Peter just completed his first week of college at Benedictine University in Mesa. Here he is with his student ID around his neck. Honestly I am speechless. Words can not begin to describe how I feel about all of this. I am not sure if he will continue all the way to graduation but I NEVER thought I would see him sitting in a Freshman orientation class at college. Everything about this experience is a miracle. From the size of the school (about 150 people) to the fact that the entire campus is in a two story building, to the fact that it is Catholic (and Peter is a devout Catholic). The list goes on and on. How about the fact that I was able to retain his aid from high school? All of it is NOTHING like I thought or should I say none of my fears have played out.

I feel overjoyed that Peter is getting the experience of college! I have some work to do such as an updated 504 plan etc. but so far things have gone smoothly. The very fact that this school was not even in the Mesa area until 2013 is a miracle! The school is filled mostly with athletes who are there on scholarship. It's a great group of kids, very diverse, and full of kindness. Peter is using Dial a Ride for his personal transportation (another step towards independence). I am trying to get to the place where if I am gone to work when he leaves it still works.

Creating a new plan for adulthood when special needs is considered is just part of the game plan. I am always striving for more with Peter. Always pushing to step out of the picture MORE. It's weird because with your typical kids you are almost a little sad to be out of the picture yet when you have special needs to consider it is a totally different game and perspective. Even one single job where I am not needed such as driving becomes a step towards independence, an achievement for him personally.

Lately I have been assisting  him in making his own business calls. He is beginning to learn the importance of advocating for himself even on the phone. The other day the Dial a Ride was late to pick him up and he called the office and gave them a piece of his mind. Even little incidents such as that are good for him. 

Well I am thankful for this kind of start to a new school year! I am filled with hope! 

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Working Hard Everyday...

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Working Hard Everyday...

We work everyday with Diesel. We take him everywhere. Peter and Diesel have developed so much during the last few weeks. It has been wonderful to see the relationship between these two grow! Peter has learned to take good ownership of Diesel. He is always on top of Diesels behavior and is always working hard to keep Diesel up on all his training. After all the work it was to get Diesel I am very satisfied with how things have been working out. I am beginning to believe that this was the right choice for Peter. He has grown so much just in the last month by having the responsibility of Diesel. 

In this picture we are at Ikea. Diesel is good at keeping the pace of Peter’s wheelchair and has done well at sitting down while Peter is looking at something. He goes under the table when we go out to a meal and he waits for his commands. I think the largest challenge right now is exercising him enough. That may always be the challenge for Peter. I am working at getting a treadmill so that we can put him on that for exercise especially during the hot summer months.  

As of now Peter feels he is ready to take Diesel to college with him. Peter and Diesel have been taking practice trips down to the school every few days. All of that has been working well. I think we just may be ready for school to start over here.

I can hardly believe the boys will be starting college in a couple of weeks! It is strange not having high schooler’s anymore! I felt like high school years lasted a long time. When I added it up I was at Horizon High School for 9 years (well I had an off year in there but it was always on my mind). And now it is all finished. My guess is that I will never walk into that school again. That feels weird too. It is so strange closing the different chapters of raising your children. The chapters of raising your children seem as if they will be open forever when you are in the middle of it but then all of a sudden it is over and the chapter is closing.  

Finding your footing at the end of parenting takes some intentional work. I know I have blogged several times about this and to be honest I’m not sure I have my legs yet. I keep thinking I should. But I don’t. Sometimes I worry I never will. I know I will never stay the same in life and I know things will work the way they are suppose to work out but there are times I wonder if I will get some sort of life back. I think I always feel this a bit after summer break. All summer I focus on pushing the kids to become more independent. I become very focused on spending time with them and developing them as individuals but in the process I lose myself a bit. Maybe that is what I am feeling (in the background right now Peter is watching a cartoon, one that I feel like I have heard in the background of my life for 20 some years).   

I have been working hard at creating a new mindset as my nest begins to empty. I am trying so hard to figure out how to get rid of some of my responsibilities with Peter so that I am able to go back to work. I can only picture myself working part time as of now but I am trying to figure out the best solution. I guess only time will tell. I desire to remain open to whatever it is that God purposes for my life. I pray that my mind and spirit will be flexible and able to move in the direction I am called. I pray that I will not be caught up in what I plan and desire but rather open myself to whatever it is God plans. I pray my desire to be rigid in my thinking will decrease and that I will be open instead to various possibilities.    

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