Tag Archives: Dreams

Reason to Celebrate

26 Jan

Wow! It has been one year since I started Life As I Know It. It’s a birthday, of sorts, for me. When I first started writing here, I just thought it would be a fun way for me to connect with other people. A good outlet when I was having a bad day. A way for me to have some “me time” throughout the week. And it has been all of those things. I appreciate each and every one of you who has shared in any part of this journey with me!

Today should be a day of celebration and good news! But, first, let me share a story with you…..

A year and a half ago, my husband and I decided that it was time for us to have another baby. We hadn’t been married for very long, but we are both in our early 30s and didn’t really want to wait. We each have a child from previous relationships and we figured it might take a couple of months, but it wouldn’t be too difficult, right? Wrong. I won’t go into all of the painful details but it was far from easy. There were doctors visits, test after test, invasive procedures, medications, and never a guarantee that any of it would work. There were tears, disappointments, negative pregnancy tests, insecurities, and fear. It put a strain on our marriage. It was one of the reasons that our marriage completely fell apart for a couple of months.

There was so much devastation. Broken dreams that seemed as if they would never become a reality. Each of us, without really consulting with the other, had all but given up on the possibility that we would be able to have another child. The sympathy that I have for people who cannot conceive, or struggle to do so, now knows no bounds. It is something that can never be explained to anyone who hasn’t felt it. I know people who have spent years and years wondering if they will ever be blessed with a child to call their own. And some never will. Our other two children are such immense blessings to us. We wanted to add to our family with a child we created together. A representation of the love we had found in each other. I cannot imagine the pain of never having a child. Secondary infertility carries its own hurt as well.

It is a very personal, very lonely, very painful kind of hell. It is a place where you can’t help but feel as if you are all alone. As if no one can possibly understand your heartbreak or provide comfort for your tears. As if there are no words to describe your disappointment. As if your dreams are laying, scattered, at your feet. You know that you’ll find a way to cope with it. You just don’t know when. Every week, every month that passes seems like forever.

imageAnd then one day, I woke up and realized that I hadn’t felt right for a few weeks. I was tired and I didn’t have much of an appetite. I was so nervous. I’d been here before. I’d been under stress, or just caught a bug, or something and thought to myself, “Maybe….” This time, I was afraid to go there. I waited a few more days. Still the same. So, I did it. I took the test. And then I sat it on the sink and walked away from it. And I prayed. I prayed for the strength to look at another negative. I prayed for peace. I walked back into the bathroom, took a couple of deep breaths and looked. Then there were no breaths. I couldn’t. Tears immediately fell from my eyes. I couldn’t even smile. I just stared. And blinked; hard. And stared again. Then, I believe everything was a jumbled series of laughing and spinning in circles and crying. Positive.

Telling my husband was a moment I hope I never forget. There was so much joy in that room. I’m surprised our home could contain it all. Our families and friends are excited. Our children are thrilled. I am on cloud 9. (When I’m not a hormonal, emotional, grouchy mess…… well, honestly, even then.) Our family will soon be complete. I have been blessed with a miracle. One that I will forever be so, so grateful for. And that is a reason to celebrate!

My Wish For You

30 Sep

This is part of my 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me series. The prompt…. my hopes and dreams for my children.

To my children,

I want so many things for you. There are so many dreams inside of me that awakened because of my love for you. I know that there are great things in store for your lives. And I look forward to watching you fly.

I hope you laugh. Find reasons every day to enjoy being alive. Surround yourself with people that make your smile meet your eyes. Don’t take yourself too seriously. There are very few things more beautiful in this life than someone who is truly happy. Be beautiful.

I hope you dream. And dream big. Never let someone tell you it can’t be done. If you find passion in something, pursue it. You are capable of great and wondorous things. Believe in yourself. Never give up. Follow those dreams, wherever they may lead you.

I hope you love. Fearlessly. Recklessly. Once you find someone worthy of your heart, don’t hold back. The greatest loves are founded on the greatest sacrifice. But most of all, love yourself. I assure you, you are someone worth loving.

I hope you cry. Emotions are not to be hidden. In fact, it takes strength to be connected to your emotions. To feel so strongly that your heart can break. Shed tears of sorrow without feeling weak. And shed tears of joy without feeling shame. Allow yourself to be passionate. Allow yourself to feel.

I hope you pray. Realize that your strength does not come from within. But from a God who loves you beyond logic and expectation. A God who’s love for you is infinitely more beautiful than any other love you’ll know. A God who will speak to you, you need only to listen. Follow Him.

I hope you are kind. Truly care about others. Be polite. Reach out your hand to help where you are needed. Give of yourself. There are people all over this world considerably less fortunate than you. Not just because you have things, but because you have love. Give freely to them.

I hope you are happy. It is easy to worry and be afraid. It is easy to let the trials of this life beat you. Be strong. Be courageous. Look yourself in the eye each day and decide to smile. Decide to laugh. Decide to dance. Decide to sing. Whoever it is that makes you happy, be that person.

I hope you live. We only get one chance to change the world. Don’t waste it. Live freely. Without regret. Make your mark. Make a difference. Make your life beautiful. Fly.

A post of posts

15 Aug

I found a very interesting idea the other day…. A list of posts. A legacy of sorts.  Something to leave for my children to look back on some day. The things I think they should know about me. I have decided to tweak it and make it my own. As I finish each post, I will link it here and it will eventually become an interactive list of posts. I’m pretty excited about it and I hope you enjoy!

Thirty Things My Kids Should Know About Me

1. 20 Random Facts about myself
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears and how they came about
3. Describe my relationship with my spouse
4. The 10 things that make me most happy, right now
5. If I had 3 wishes…..
6. My dream job
7. Five things I am passionate about
8. Ten people who have influenced me
9. Embarrassing moments
10. Pet peeves
11. A typical day in the life
12. The hardest part of growing up
13. Weaknesses and strengths
14. When I knew he was “the one”
15. My 5 greatest accomplishments
16. What I wish I were great at
17. What people love the most about me
18. How I felt the moment I became a parent
19. Memories from my childhood
20. Favorite holiday
21. Parenthood: likes and dislikes
22. Dinner party from history
23. Favorite quality of my spouse
24. Hopes and dreams for my children
25. Ten things I want to be remembered for
26. My favorite things about me
27. Best advice I ever received
28. Best advice I can give
29. Where to go from here
30. What faith can do

My next 30 years

10 Jun
Candles spell out the traditional English birt...

Candles spell out the traditional English birthday greeting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is my birthday. I am officially in my 30’s. 31. When I stop to reflect on my life, to take a moment to analyze where I’ve come from, I have mixed feelings. I am proud of myself. I am disappointed in myself. And I am hopeful for the future. I have grown from a quiet and shy child, a mildly outgoing teenager, a confused and wandering college student, a young and naive teacher, a self-assured and outgoing woman, a blessed friend, a grateful mother, a wife. I have come so far in realizing my dreams of what I want my life to look like. And I have so far to go.

In my next 30 years, I want to take more time to enjoy the life around me. I want to stay connected to the people I love, not the technology that takes away from real relationships.
In my next 30 years, I want to appreciate the little things. A beautiful sunny day, a beautiful thunderstorm, a beautiful rainbow. I want to make sure that I make the most of each day I’m given.
In my next 30 years, I want to focus on making memories. I want to laugh and play with my children. I want to hold my husband’s hand. I want to have fun with old friends.
In my next 30 years, I want to see as much as I can. I want to teach my children to appreciate the history and beauty of our great country. I want to take vacations and road trips. I want to experience so many things with my family, old and new.
In my next 30 years, I want to prepare for getting older. I want to take better care of myself; physically, mentally, emotionally. I want to save money for our future. I want to leave a legacy my children can be proud of.
In my next 30 years, I want to shape the future. I want to continue to learn about my profession and better myself. I want to continue to help my students be ready for the real world and all that it entails. I want them to know how much I care about them and do everything I can to help them realize their potential and be successful.
In my next 30 years, I want to give to my family. I want to example love and grace, strength and determination, selflessness and courage. I want my children and my husband to feel all of the love that I have for them. I want them to somehow be better because I have done something right.
In my next 30 years, I want to live. I want to laugh loudly. I want to cry honestly. I want to feel passionately. I want to love recklessly. I want to give unselfishly. I want to dance and sing unreservedly. I want to pray unceasingly. I want to believe faithfully. I want to dream uncontainably. I want to age gracefully. I want to do it all.
Welcome to my next 30 years.

Believe the Impossible

25 Mar

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as 6 impossible things before breakfast.” – the White Queen, Alice in Wonderland

English: Illustration for the fifth chapter of...

There is power in believing the impossible. There is something about believing that anything can be done. It restores innocence and wonder. It builds dreams and destroys limitations. It strengthens hope and fosters imaginations. I believe the impossible. I believe that anything can be done. Sometimes, even 6 things before breakfast.

I believe in magic. I believe in miracles. I believe that magic is not illusions and mysteries. It is in that feeling you can’t describe. It is Christmas and sunrises. It is that look of pure joy in your child’s eyes. It is innocence. It is dreams coming true.

I believe in overcoming obstacles. I believe that there is nothing that can defeat you, unless you allow it to. I believe in the ability to move mountains. I believe that we have been given the strength to survive any situation. With enough faith, perseverance, and determination there is nothing that can’t be done.

I believe in true love. I believe that there is one person for everyone who chooses to find them. I believe that we are made for someone specific. I believe that sometimes it takes work and several heart breaks to find that person. But, when you do, you know your heart has come home.

I believe in imagination. I believe that you can be anyone you choose. I believe that you can travel to far off lands without ever leaving your home. I believe that the images that we can create in our minds can never be matched by images created on a screen. The imagination is one of our greatest tools.

I believe in people. If you look around, most days, it seems impossible to believe that people are good. I do. I believe that the people who love outnumber the people who hate. I believe that the people who dream outnumber the people who give up. I believe that the people who give outnumber the people who take advantage. I believe that the people who have faith outnumber the people who don’t believe in anything anymore. I refuse to give up on humanity, even when it looks like the odds are stacked against us.

I believe in happily ever after. I believe in fairy tales. I believe in Prince Charming. I believe that happily ever after takes work. I believe that fairy tales are simply your dreams coming true. I believe that Prince Charming isn’t always riding in on a white horse; sometimes he is a brown-eyed boy, in a red car, taking your breath away with a first kiss.

20 Things I Wish I Had Known at 16

20 Feb

I’ll be 31 this year. I look back over my life the last several years. I look at younger girls today and remember who I was 10 years ago; 15 years ago. I was so naive and young. I had so much to learn; so much that I learned the hard way. It wouldn’t have done any good for someone else to try to tell me. So, I would like to go back and tell myself all of things I wish I had known at 16.

image

That’s me, on the right

To the 16-year-old me:

1. Eat healthier – You won’t always have this body. You won’t always have this metabolism or be this active. Make better choices now. They will catch up with you.
2. You are not fat – You will gain weight. You will have children. Love your body now. It will change, and not always for the better.
3. Don’t worry so much about being good – Don’t break any laws or make any decisions you’ll regret. But, don’t always pass on opportunities to have fun like a teenager. You’ll regret that some day, too.
4. Kiss that boy – You like him. He likes you. Kiss him. Do not sleep with him. Just kiss him.
5. Hang out with your parents – One of these days, you’ll be a parent. You’ll have your own life and it will be a busy one. Hang out with your parents, they’re actually kind of fun.
6. Spend more time learning how to be a girl – It isn’t this horrible curse that you think it is. Learn make-up and hair tricks. It’s way more acceptable to try the crazy ones out when you’re 16, than when you’re 30.
7. Take more pictures – You will forget all of this one day. You will forget some of these people. You will forget most of these memories. Take pictures. Don’t forget.
8. Save your money – Don’t be afraid to have fun. But, don’t waste it, either. It’s much easier to learn that lesson now than it will be when you’re 25.
9. Exercise – Maybe if you learn to love it now, you won’t be fighting yourself to do it later.
10. It’s ok to say no – In fact, it’s more than ok. You will wish you had known how to do this more than once in your life. Love yourself enough to say no.
11. Don’t throw those clothes away – If they still fit, they’ll be trendy again in 20 years.
12. Keep dreaming big – One of these days, you will have the opportunity to live some of those dreams.
13. Take the trip – Go to Florida with your best friend. Go on vacation with your family. Don’t just stay home. You might miss out on the place some of your best memories could have been made.
14. Don’t let someone else live your life – People will, if you let them. The decisions you make based on the other people in your life will be the ones you will always question.
15. Go away to college – You will always wish you would have.
16. Learn – Learn to cook. Learn to paint. Learn to dance. Whatever you want to do. Learn to do it.
17. Don’t stop writing – You will learn so much about yourself by writing. You will watch yourself grow. Write all the time.
18. Speak a foreign language – Really learn it; not just enough to get by. You will always wish you did.
19. Study more – Those are the skills that will benefit you later in life. Your grades in high school and college will follow you longer than you know.
20. You are beautiful – The people who make you believe otherwise don’t matter. Don’t let them convince you that you are anything other than beautiful. You will spend a lot of years recovering from that.

I wonder how my life might have been different if I had known these things at 16. Could I have saved myself some heartache? Could I have been a better me?

What would you tell yourself if you could go back 15 years?

Pieces of my Soul

31 Jan

Bermuda

I have a list. Most people refer to it as a bucket list. I call mine my life list, because it’s not how I want to die, it’s how I want to live. And it’s always growing. I started it probably 6 or 7 years ago. I never erase anything, so some of them have already been done. I just add on. Every once in a while I think of something, or see something, or hear of something and I realize that I need to do that, too. But today, this moment. This is what I want my future to consist of. These are my dreams. I’ve learned many lessons in my life; some of them were easy, and some came at a pretty high price. Of dreams, I have learned this: dreams are fragile and dreams are precious. Hold them close to you, protect them. If someone steals your dreams, they take with them pieces of your soul.

write letters to my children
keep secrets
hike in the Rocky Mountains
visit every state
dance in the rain
be a great friend
travel the world
read the Bible every day
save money
be happy
go to the Bermuda Triangle
live as an example to others
learn something new every day
no regrets
be patient
get married to a good man
have babies, lots of babies
visit Ireland
watch a hurricane come in from the beach
swim with sharks
read Shakespeare
kiss the man of my dreams in the most romantic place in the world
read the top 100 banned books of all time
write as much as possible
appreciate something beautiful each day
show my children that I love them every day
chase my dreams
give back
laugh, really laugh
go on an African safari
take time to look up at the stars
make money doing something that fulfills me

So that’s what my life list looks like today. Maybe tomorrow it will grow again. Some of them have been checked off. Some of them will always be a work in progress. And some of them may go unrealized. But, I feel that, in the final moments of my life, when I look back, these are the things I want to see.

What is / would be on your list?

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