When I first started my blog in the spring of 2015, I was afraid to announce that I was the author. I primarily wanted to stay behind the curtain because I wanted to feel complete freedom of speech which meant writing without offending anyone. I really dislike confrontation.
I lasted about a month before coming out. This secret was kept longer than I lasted when I lived in sin with my husband for now 19 years, Jason. When I got my first job at Turner Broadcasting and moved into a one bedroom apartment in Vinings, I told my parents I was living solo. I explained that Jason was giving me most of his furniture from his apartment because he was going to move in with his aunt to save money. Jason and I moved in together and my soul turned blacker and blacker that week. I made it to the next weekend and came clean with my parents at their house. My dad told me the ultimate thing that always got to me: ‘I’m so disappointed in you, Elizabeth’. My mom said something like ‘Why would he (meaning Jason) buy the cow when he could get the milk for free?’ Really mom? It didn’t change our situation, we knew we were committed for life but we felt we were too young to get married. We didn’t want to waste an extra rent when we could be banking that income for future plans. We had an understood agreement that we would live together no more than a year before something more serious like an engagement would happen. By the way, it took Jason just about a year to take the next step and then we had a yearlong engagement. (more…)
Staying sane in this busy life and working to enjoy the journey is something I couldn’t do without the help of my husband, Jason. Like many of you, we often divide and conquer with the kid’s activities, homework, appointments, household responsibilities, etc. Some weeks I’m crazed and he picks up the slack and vice versa. We strive for a family rhythm but stuff happens from week to week and we have to adjust.
My husband and I are approaching our 19th wedding anniversary. As I see all the prom pictures on Facebook, I let people know that I married my prom date. This can happen! At the time, I was definitely ‘in love’ but I don’t know that I was thinking about marriage. I was more concerned with if our relationship will handle the distance of me going to Penn State while he was back in Georgia as a senior in high school.
One of the best relationship books I have ever read and added to the ‘my-5-stars’ bookshelf on Goodreads is The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman. I called this book a game changer, particularly if both you and your spouse read it. It’s not a huge book – 208 pages or you can listen to it on Audible like I did. You can thank me later. (more…)
You see those helicopter parents hovering over their kids everywhere basically never letting their kids experience failure and helping them each step of the way. I know these moms and dads think are doing a good thing but frankly I feel like it is a disservice to their child. God forbid, what if one of these helicopter parents has a crash crisis landing? What will happen to these children that have no clue how to fend for themselves? I was grateful that I had already instilled in my kids some responsibility when I returned to work outside the home five years ago because once my husband and I began to provide care for our aging parents and were stretched out even thinner, our kids were in a prime position to pick up even more of the areas that began to slack.
I usually tell my kids that my job as their parent basically boils down to two main things:
1) Keep them safe.
2) Help them become people that others enjoy being around. (more…)
I’m tough on myself and I hate to let others down. Guilt is a common emotion for me – truly probably a daily occurrence. You see, it’s impossible to make everyone happy in a world with so many competing priorities. Just like an overstuffed sandwich, some wonderful initially desired ingredient is going to slip out and get left behind on the plate or the wrapper. We can just fit only so much into our mouths or into our day.
For me, guilt flashes into my head, slithers down the back of my throat and wedges itself in my chest where it pressure cooks for a few minutes. Sometimes it gets the best of me and I steam out a few tears but lately I’m practicing a lot of self-talk and can get that pesky guilt emotion to dwindle and sometimes even completely dissipate. Deep down I do know that I’m doing enough – more than enough…probably too much! (more…)
I witnessed a mini miracle this week. It’s been difficult to get mom to all the specialists she needs to see since my dad passed away seven months ago and we moved mom into her assisted living. Hearing aids was next on the list. Part of the reason it’s been a chore to get her to her appointments is that I have a full time job and my appointments and many of my kid’s appointments were set aside so we could help care for mom, dad, and my husband’s mom who passed last December. Appointments got backed up and oh by the way, I missed a ton of work. So we slowly chip away at the list.
Mom’s hearing has been really bad lately. One of my dad’s last requests of her was that she get her hearing aids checked. She’s probably had her existing ones for about 10 years. I know they were the best at the time and they cost a pretty penny. When someone you love can’t hear what you are saying it frustrates everyone. Mom has difficulty talking over the phone, staying awake during movies, engaging in meal conversations, and understanding her caregiver’s instructions. It impacts all relationships because the third or fourth time someone shares something it certainly doesn’t come across like the first time. This is when we get accused of being disrespectful. (more…)
A few weeks back, my 15 year old daughter got wind of the official Vampire Diaries convention in downtown Atlanta and just had to go AND wanted to gift the experience to her bestie as a birthday gift. She convinced me it would be fun and that I’d enjoy the convention as well since I have watched all the V.D. seasons and the last few with her…it’s been ‘our show’. Once I committed to the tickets online and digested the price tag for the general admission one-day pass and a photo op with Stefan and Jeremy’s characters, I really just had to get used to the idea that I was donating one of my full weekend days for the good of two excited girlfriends. (more…)
First, let me start by saying that there is no perfect assisted living. Afterall, I don’t know of one person who has chosen to live their twilight years in an assisted living. The phrase assisted living simply means you have lost partial control of your daily activities.
When we started looking for an assisted living last summer, my dad was in the hospital and we were focused on a place for a couple. Frankly, we didn’t know the timing or the details, but we were confident that my dad was no longer going to be able to help care for my mom and my brother and that they needed to be closer to family.
Once my dad had passed, we had to change a focus to just a place for mom. (more…)
I have an older brother (brother #2 out of 3) who is developmentally disabled. Today is his 52nd birthday and to celebrate he wanted the family to come to his regular hangout – Hooter’s. When we moved my mom to assisted living last August, brother #2 moved in with brother #3. Brother #2 enjoys playing Bingo, watching Netflix, and frequents Hooter’s several times a week. He’s like their Norm from Cheers.
My mother is still recovering from a virus, my oldest brother was traveling for work and my daughter had volleyball practice so it ended up being me, my husband, my soon to be 13 year old son, and brother #2. We had no idea on what to expect. (more…)
The reality is that I had several talks with my parents encouraging them to simplify their lives by downsizing and finding a place where life could be easier for them.
Sadly, I feel that I have been grieving my parents for over a decade. They had been slowly killing themselves with complications from morbid obesity and diabetes. It’s been devastating to watch and frustrating to witness the pain their addictions with food and sedentary lifestyles have caused themselves and their families. (more…)
Earlier today, I thought I’d write a Throwback Thursday post and tell a great past story. But, then my day felt more like ‘Throw up Thursday’. I already knew this….but today confirmed that I’m a creature of habit and I thrive in structure, I can get by on a day with little structure, but I really don’t like a whole day of unexpected crazy. (more…)