My Eventful Weekend πŸ’œ Grandprix Boat Races in Gulfport, Fl

***GOOD NEWS ALERT***

Though I am paying for it today, this weekend was probably the best weekend I have had in over a year!

Not to mention, it has rained every weekend for weeks here in Pinellas County, Florida, but πŸ˜‡ God must have been shining down on us this weekend 🌞 the Grand Prix boat races came into Gulfport, Florida for the 2nd year. And it was a free event! Probably the best part about it was it was on the beach πŸ– Y’all it really doesn’t get much better than digging your toes in the sand and watching some cool ass boats racing by!

We were blessed with a beautiful Breeze and though the first day we didn’t plan as well as we should have

I love these guys!
Side note: Rarely do I admit my mother-in-law is right, but my word is she right about my husband being his father’s clone
A cute collage of Saturdays fun. We were without shelter, and found ourselves “shade hopping” for hours 😴

the 2nd day we were ready!

Look at that gorgeous Florida sky!

Cooler full of water βœ… bag full of snacks βœ… chairs for our butts βœ… umbrella βœ…

#chiari#chiaristrong#chronicliving
I am so blessed y’all!πŸ’œπŸ˜‡
Setting up shop to watch “the big race”

I hope you enjoyed a little snippet of my great spoonie weekend!

And if you’d like to see more videos and pictures of the Grand Prix boat races, or if my #chiarilife please head on over to my IG and give me a follow 😘 I look forward to seeing you there! Now, back to the couch😴😴😴

P.S. I follow back! I love supporting “the little guy” small businesses owners, authors, bloggers, in general, others like me, those just trying to make their way in this crazy, beautiful world, chronic illness or not 😘

Much love!

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to stop by and give my blog a read!

Keep on smiling thru the pain!

Advertisements

Learning to Manage Hard Feelings Pt. 1

Living with chronic illness can be tough. There is an array of feelings you go through everyday; not just physical feelings, but emotional feelings as well.

The physical is hard enough to deal with on a daily basis, but then to throw on top of that the emotional termoil that comes with chronic illness.

Chances are most days you feel like shit.

Inside and out.

You feel terrible, and you’re so tired of it.

You begin to question how worth it any of this is.

When this happens, it’s time to flip the switch on your thinking.

Instead of “why is this happening to me?” Ask “what can I learn from this?”

Change the questions you are askng yourself.

Our feelings are valid and important, but they are not in charge.

Learning this and applying it to your daily life can be hard, but it is completely doable.

Challenge yourself by being mindful.

Respond vs. React

Feelings are perfectly fine to have.

All of them.

Just don’t let them have you.

More to come on this topic in Pt.2

Keep smiling through πŸ’œ

You are a badass and you’ve got this😘

The Picker Upper / The Untold Responsibilities of Adulthood

Glancing at some Q-tips on the floor, under my son’s bedside table, I begin to wonder πŸ€”

“How do they even get there?!?!” I ask myself..

How do they even get there?!

πŸ€” at what point in our lives does it become painfully apparent that we are now the party “responsible” for picking up that thing on the floor (or under the table, etc?) When does it hit us that we are now the picker upper??

It is almost as if he threw them down there as a challenge to my aching back! The nerve!

🀷 when did you reach this milestone in your life? Or are you still one of the lucky non picker upper people???

πŸ˜‚ keep smiling through the pain πŸ’œ

Our Son’s Trip to πŸ₯ All Children’s ER/ How Fun Turned into a Fractured Thumb πŸˆ

As parents our instinctual mission in life is to protect our children from pain, all types of pain, because, let’s face it, as adults we know life can be extremely painful; both emotionally and physically. There will inevitably be times in life when we cannot protect them, and we are forced to sit by helplessly and comfort them the best we can. As scary as it may be, I believe when these times arise we find out the superheroes we really are! I was gifted with so much mentally clarity and energy; things I lack on a daily πŸ™„πŸ˜’ but, not yesterday. That parental instinct kicks in, and suddenly we are our children’s superhero’s! I think that makes us all at least a little badass πŸ’ͺπŸ˜…

Our son tends to be very independent, but I was especially proud of how brave he was during this whole experience. I asked him later in the day if he had cried at all because I had not seen him shed hardly a tear and his reply was no he didn’t cry…
Not that crying is a sign of weakness, it was just hard to believe with the pain level of a 6.5 that he was describing to me that he wasn’t in tears, he’s only 11 for God sakes, with the first broken bone he has ever had… I think I watched him grow up a bit more, right before my eyes yesterday. The only reason I was able to take so many pictures is because he chose to walk without holding my hand
He was obviously nervous. My poor baby, but he held it together like a real trooper! When it started to feel like it was taking forever in the waiting room he finally laid his head in my lap.
I think today he was reminded how much he still needs Mom
They had an awesome movie streaming service! We watched Lego Batman ☺
Thankfully his Dad has injured himself in the past, πŸ˜… that sounded terrible, but he was able to give him a heads up on what he should expect πŸ˜‡
The staff at All Children’s was fantastic! The nurse, whose name I can not remember πŸ˜•, became quick buds with Ric as they talked about console vs. PC gaming, hackers, and their favorite games.

The look of unknowing fear on his face hurts my heart

He was not a very happy camper once he realized he was getting a cast..
But on the plus side I actually got him to sit comfortably on my lap, he was comfortable, not me, he weighs 80 something pounds!πŸ˜…
Strange request for dinner, but it it made him happy so πŸ‘πŸ‘
We pray he heals quickly. We will find out the actual extent of the injury tomorrow afternoon.

Proud Parents/Pride Award Winner

Sitting in the car line at my son’s school, waiting to pick him up, I received a call from his principal. Now, I’m nervously waiting for her to tell me some sort of bad news, and thinking well at least I’m already here 🀦 the common pleasantries are exchanged and she assures me this is a good news phone call. What I am told next blows my mind and brings tears of joy to my eyes! Our son, our very own smarty pants, has scored the highest mathematics score of his entire 5th grade class and earned himself a PRIDE AWARD! And so awesome is this award that he gets to get dressed up, hear his name called out on stage, shake the superintendent’s hand and have his picture taken with him, then receive a trophy with his very own name on it!!

Mathematics PRIDE Award Winner

I’m not sure how we could be more proud of Ric than we are right now but, I’m positive he’ll give us many more opportunities to find out!

Customary family picture. We all shine up nicely if I do say so myself✨

Clearly as his parents we hope this is a magnificent sign of things to come in the future! Our son doesn’t like when I talk about it but when he was a toddler there was a time when his doctor and ourselves were concerned that he could possibly be autistic. For about a six-month period we had a behavioral therapist come out once a week to work with him, she always said she looked forward to it because he was one of the smartest kids she had ever encountered. As time went on she began to believe his intelligence was the reason we were facing some of the problems we were facing with him. Lol. Kids. He’s never been ‘like the other kids’ and that is one of our biggest blessings!

He was gifted with an incredible mind! He’s never been treated like he was different than anyone else and looking at him today you would never know the troubles we faced during his toddler years. God knows what he’s doing, just have faith.

On the look out for our Principal. The nervous excitement is setting in.
She’s been spotted!
Let’s do this!
Proud Mom and Dad
Father and son

I’m very thankful I was blessed with a good spoonie day for the award ceremony at Ruth Eckerd Hall either that or I was just so excited about my baby boy earning a pride award for mathematics 🀷 either way it was an amazing feeling. My husband and I beaming with pride! I feel extremely fortunate that the Lord chose me to be his mother.

Nature Helps to Fill My Cup

Enjoying the beauty of nature with one of my favorite guys

We made it out to one of our favorite places today, Sawgrass Lake. This is something we were supposed to be doing all summer, but, unfortunately I can rarely find the energy for outings like this unless my husband is along for the ride. I was determined today! And thankfully mother nature abliged and kept the rain at bay.

Serenity at it’s best!

We had lofty hopes the heat wouldn’t be to terrible.. Who were we kidding?? It is the end of June in Florida after all. We were just lucky to have a breeze that was not carrying a storm straight for us!

He is no longer amused, and I don’t blame him.

We decide after an hour that it’s best we start heading back to the air conditioning. We saw two baby gators, a handful of turtles, a few birds I’d like to call ducks but they don’t quite fit the bill, and one rather large racoon who is clearly not having any trouble finding food.  

Small black “duck” in the distance
I plan to have as many good days as possible before surgery becomes an even larger reality. With an uncertain future looming in the distance, I am at least able to rest assured on some very lovely truths; 

  1. I am deeply loved
  2. I will not ever be alone, no matter how alone I may feel
  3. And, His Grace is sufficient for me

I find the truth in that, for even as I write I can hear the sky coming to life. 

The sky is coming to life, and we are safe inside.

I like to believe the good Lord knew how badly I needed into nature today, and it was He that kept the rain at bay so that I could refill my cup today.

Specialist Day Did Not Go as Planned..

I learned something yesterday. I finally got the answer I’ve been so desperately waiting for. I saw a neurosurgeon yesterday. I finally was in a room with a doctor who could explain to me what my MRI says. So what happens? I get a bomb dropped on me. Thank God my mother was with me. I had a feeling I would need her there. 

You know how most people who live with anxiety go over every possible, plausible avenue before partaking in something like a doctors appointment.. Well. Yeah. About that.. It didn’t work this time.

I hadn’t even thought of what I was about to be told.

I was diagnosed yesterday with Chiari Malformation.

Chiari malformation (kee-AH-ree mal-for-MAY-shun) is a condition in which brain tissue extends into your spinal canal. It occurs when part of your skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing on your brain and forcing it downward.  

Chiari malformation is uncommon, but increased use of imaging tests have led to more frequent diagnoses.

Doctors categorize Chiari malformation into three types, depending on the anatomy of the brain tissue that is displaced into the spinal canal, and whether developmental abnormalities of the brain or spine are present.

Chiari malformation type I develops as the skull and brain are growing. As a result, signs and symptoms may not occur until late childhood or adulthood. The pediatric forms, Chiari malformation type II and type III, are present at birth (congenital).

Treatment of Chiari malformation depends on the form, severity and associated symptoms. Regular monitoring, medications and surgery are treatment options. In some cases, no treatment is needed.

In short, I need brain surgery.

No Joke.

How are you supposed to handle literally being told you need brain surgery. That you were more than likely born this way and it will get worse.  I feel like I possibly slipped into a coma a few months ago and just haven’t woken up yet…

 

Today’s Epiphany

Last night I was discussing the idea with my husband that things just sort of seem to snowball after you hit 30. It really seems like every other day at least, there’s another problem; another obstacle in the way of our ultimate goals in life.

Life can leave you wondering what next?

Now since last night it has occurred to me the reason things seem snowball. Obviously this is only my opinion but I believe it has Merit. As we get older our circle becomes larger and the number of people we care for grows. We have children, we may have grandchildren. And we care about our parents in a different way. By becoming more aware the older we get we find we are affected more greatly by things, the while being children, went widely unnoticed. Life was simpler.

As adults we have more things to care about, and more things to concern ourselves with. We have more things that we are personally responsible for.

I believe this is what creates the illusion that things are spinning out of control, because as adults we have so many things that were trying to be in control of. The burden is greater. The weight of it all, heavier. The consequences larger. And there is definitely more at stake.

Like a movie director we want everything to go the way we’ve planned it. The actors in our movie must say the right lines at the right times, and be ever in their places.

It is in this constant controlling that we lose our joy. How do we let go? How do we let go of this control that steals our joy? Well. Not very easily I can tell you that. And probably never completely, but if we practice we can stop projecting our expections on every one and everything in our lives. I really believe you can always find joy in suffering. You may have to look extremely hard, but it is there.

Back to my point.

As we grow older we become more aware of our surroundings. Learning and growing forming deeper relationships with other people and this leads us to Care more deeply for others. So we are more greatly affected by the things that happened to the people around us. Their pain essentially is our pain. I don’t know about you, but, when I find out my children, or my husband, or my mother, or one of my siblings is having a bad day or bad season in their life it affects me.

Maybe that is why, the older we get, the more it seems like its always something. 

Just a thought.

Why Caring for Ourselves is a Selfless Act

Go into your kitchen and grab an empty cup. NowΒ try and drink from it. Go on, share your empty cup with everyone near you. Are any of you satisfied? NO. How could you be?

We are surrounded by so much selfishness is this world that it has become hard to discern what isΒ selfishΒ from what isΒ self-care.

It is not possible to be satisfied drinking from an empty cup. It is easy to figure out why. There simply isn’t anything inside an it.
Taking the time to care for yourself is actually a selfless act. Below I’ve listed a few simple things you can do for yourself to fill up your cup

  • R and R.Β  The value of a little R and R is substantial. Try to stay away from the kind that involves flipping through channels on the T.V. but in the event that that is all you can make the time for, take it,Β and make the best of it by staying away from shows full of drama. Β I enjoy simple things like watching the clouds pass by or the trees blowing in the breeze. Take out FB scrolling on your phone, and you’re bound to find peace and solace in a matter of minutes.
  • Find time.Β Find time for the things that make you smile. Reading. Drawing. Walking. Doing your make-up. watching your favorite show. What have you. The important part of this step is to find something that lights you up! Something that just makes you feel happiness beaming from within you! Those are the somethings you must find time to do.πŸ˜‰
  • Create a morning routine.Β Every morning for the last 4 years I wake up and open my Bible app byΒ Youversion.com Β It is a part of my life. A part of my daily routine. The available plans span a number of topics. The plans I choose are appropriate for the things I’m going through in my life at that moment in time, and what this does is allow me to focus on Hope and positivity at the beginning of my day. Starting your day that way allows you to more easily continue your day that way. This may not be the exact type of thing you interested in doing but there are plenty of free positive affirmation apps and even free meditation apps they could easily achieved the same effect. The point is to start your day with positive affirmations, positive notes, positive reminders. When your mind is content and well your body tends to follow (as best as it can.)
  • Forgive yourself. You know that thing you did a few years ago that you’re still beating yourself up about? Forgive yourself we are human and to err is human. We tend to be the hardest on ourselves by doing this we do not allow ourselves to heal. By not forgiving yourself, you are filling your cup with sour milk; and no one wants to drink sour milk.
  • Treat yourself like someone you love. Be as kind and patient with yourself as you would with a dear friend. Treat yourself like somebody you love! We tend to hold ourselves to a higher standard than we hold other people we are much more likely to be kind to a stranger than we are to be kind to ourselves. Β If you don’t love yourself it’s sure going to be hard for anyone else to love you.
  • Allow yourself to have feelings.Β  Allow yourself to have feelings in a healthy way. Have the feeling, acknowledge it, and move on.

Caring for yourself is in and of itself caring for others. We can not give what we do not have to give. It is very difficult to have healthy relationships without first having a healthy relationship with yourself.