Gratitude

Confessions, Kids & Having it All Together (NOT!)

January 19, 2017

This blog began as an extension of Elena’s CaringBridge site when she was hospitalized at Riley during her injury.  About a year later, people were still praying for us and asking about her.  As a result, I decided to start this blog to keep people informed about our girl, but also, as a way for me to document our journey.  I know I often say it, but it still humbles me every time I post and more than three people read it.  It means so much that people still care.  And it means even more that people can see their own struggles, life trials, reflected in my writing.  But, I’m going to make a little confession to kick off 2017 (19 days late, no less).  I’ve come to feel a bit of pressure when it comes to this blog. I don’t always have something meaningful to share, and these days quite frankly, even if I do, finding the time to collect my thoughts and share it is, well, difficult.  Authenticity is a core value of mine, and I don’t ever want to come off as portraying my life, Elena’s life as anything other than what it is, in all it’s brutality, beauty, ups and downs.  This blog means a great deal to me and I don’t ever want it to feel like a burden.  So, I ask that you hang in there with our family during this crazy time.  I ask that you hang in there with me and MY craziness.  And most importantly, I ask that you hang in there with our girl.  When I think about where we started, how far we’ve come, and where she is today, I honestly don’t know whether to cry tears of joy or tears of heartache, both probably.  There’s still so much to her journey that I want to share with you all.  So just bear with me while I’m finding my way out of the trenches of motherhood.

While I’m confessing, this being a Mom thing is really H-A-R-D.  I read Baby Wise before becoming a Mom, thinking that getting a baby to sleep through the night was hard.  There was no chapter titled, “After Sleeping Through the Night and Everything After-IS INSANELY HARD”.  That chapter I would have definitely read and taken notes.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m ridiculously blessed and love this precious family of mine.  However, my current days aren’t spent, watching with sentimental tears in my eyes, as my potty training two year old poops his pants for the third time, all the while he asks “why?” to every word that comes from my mouth.  I’m not in awe (well, I kind of am) at the amount of spit up I find myself covered in at the end of the day.  When Elena is melting down of an evening after an exhausting day, I want to join in with my own tears, sit in a quiet room and watch my favorite show like she does.  No rest for the weary in this house.  It’s followed up by one or all three kids waking up at some point at night, waking in the morning to my FitBit telling me what I already know, I’m tired.

The moral of this story folks is, don’t have kids…haha just kidding (kind of).  But really, I’m in a tough stretch of life, much like many of you.  It may look the same or your life circumstances may look totally different, but you still are finding it H-A-R-D.  There’s so much comfort for me in that though.  It’s what makes us all human, our imperfections, our shortcomings, our lives.  I know I’m not the only Mom out there tired of cleaning up poop, dealing with meltdowns, answering never-ending questions and tired beyond belief.  I’m not any more of a Super Mom than any of you.

In the last week or two while attempting to sort out the constant internal churning of emotion, some real, some purely hormonal, it occurred to me that THIS is a time for me to be honest in my struggles.  I mean I’m typically honest in my struggles (read the last five years) but I think there needs to be more keeping it real with people.  I sat down with a friend the other day who proceeded to blurt out a major bomb that went off in her life.  She texted me later, perhaps feeling a little sheepish for sharing so much, and apologized explaining she was going to wait to share it all with me until down the road when things were a bit tidier.  Honestly, it broke my heart to think that anyone has to feel they need to tidy up their current problems before presenting them to a friend or anyone for that matter.  You guys, I don’t care who you are, we all are going through shit (excuse my language, emphasizing a point here).  Deep, hard, tough, gritty, ugly life shit.  We can’t keep pretending that we have it all together.  I have bared my soul to a few dear friends and family at times, and I’m sure it was pathetic and ugly.  I probably felt foolish at times, but you know what….they still love me.  And they cried with me.  And the prayed with me.  And they gave me the most beautiful nuggets of hope and love.  Soul-baring honesty can be so hard, but if I have learned anything in the last few years, its that without it, trust and each other, none of us would last a second in this world.

So, yes.  I’ve made it clear.  I’m on the Mom-struggle-bus over here.  We are in survival mode and I’m doing my best to dig this old girl named Emmalee I used to know out of the trenches and hose her down (she’s currently covered in spit up, snot and maybe even kid-poop).  But at least you guys can know I’m keeping it real.  It’s real messy over here.  I love every one of you who I’ve cried to and have responded with a “me, too”.  We are ALL in this together.  The more compassion we can have for one another, the more kindness we can extend, the more grace we can give others who are deep in the mire, the more love we can shower those who are hurting, the better we will all be.  I love you friends, thanks for sticking by me and our girl.

Seriously, I’m going to shower!

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This is Elena. Our Light. You can see all the goodness and joy that shines from those deep blue eyes. She loves sneezes, yawns, industrial toilet flushes, automatic paper towel dispensers and The Star Spangled Banner. Music is her everything, specifically Moana, Frozen (really all Disney), Queen & Taylor Swift. Nothing makes her squeal quite like swimming, fast boat rides and her two brothers in trouble. In addition to her megawatt smile, Elena reminds us to cherish the smallest of victories, to live in the present, and to daily dwell in a posture of gratitude for every breath and every blessing.  

More About Our Story

I’m Emmalee, an ordinary gal born and raised in the Heartland. Wife to Chad, and Mom to Elena, Calvin & Turner, I spend most my days ridin’ dirty (literally so much trash) in my minivan carting kids to and fro. When I’m not being a Momager, I excel at self-care, cooking gourmet meals my kids won’t eat and deep-diving all the feelings. Most days, my attitude is gratitude, just taking life one step at a time.

Emmalee & Elena

Meet The Gals