One piece at a time

Tonight I wanted to sit down and write, that is until I sat down to write. I have been staring at the screen for an hour, checking out Facebook, browsing Pinterest, just trying to come up with something to write. My problem is that the things I want to write about I am not ready for the world to hear. I want to talk about my emotional roller coaster of a week, my fears, my faith, and my dreams. However there are a few puzzle pieces missing which is ultimately preventing me from expressing how I feel.

So for right now this is my post. My life is full of missing pieces, fears, faith, hope, and dreams.

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Life at best is very brief

Sometimes life catches us off guard. Events occur that make us stop and think. Last week I sat and talked with my great grandfather. He wasn’t feeling well so I popped into the nursing home to say hello and see how he was doing. Little did I know that would be our last conversation. I am so grateful I went to see him that day because the next and last time I saw him he was far from himself. The other day as my brother described the changes that occurred in the final hours of his life it made me think about life and death.

Death scares me. It makes me wonder if today will be my last and I find myself reconsidering my choices. Today I had to stop and realize that I need to reconsider my thoughts about death. My great grandfather lived to be 96 years old and many of those years he dedicated to living for Jesus. He quietly taught us through himself, our grandparents, and parents to love Jesus and live our lives for Him. So why should I fear death? At the end of the day it is a true reality that everyone dies. I need to stop fearing and start living.

If I live in fear there is no way I will live to be 96. In all his years Puppie truly blessed our family with his hard work, dedication to Jesus, and his love of fishing. We all benefited from the fish when he brought it back to the cottage and Nannie fried it up. He was a quiet man who touched many lives, including mine.

In the last six months I had spent more quality time with him then I have in my entire life. Since moving closer we made it a point to visit him often, bringing Graysen along with us. His face lit up when we came in and he started clicking his tongue at him almost instantly. We’d chat about the weather, what he ate, how he was feeling (and no matter what, the problem was old age), other small talk, and whatever Graysen’s most recent milestone was! The thing I remember most is that from the first time he met Graysen he would look at him and say “I wish I had his energy”. How blessed we were to have a great-great grandfather around for the first year of his life. There are lots of pictures and I cannot wait to tell Graysen as he grows up just how much Puppie loved to see him come.

Today as we gathered to celebrate his life and his love and assurance in Jesus Christ I realized our Sunday afternoons will have to be filled with something new as we often went to visit after church and lunch. We crowded around his room and interrupted his attempt to sleep, we chatted with him and we celebrated his birthday where he even wore a birthday hat! Even though the last 6 months he didn’t know who I was most of the time we created some of my favourite memories, aside from always remembering him calling me “badness” as a kid.

He is safely home in Heaven with Nannie, who I am sure has already scolded him for being late! So I must remember his life the way he lived it and learn to live mine the same, because even at 96 we never knew when his last day would be.

Rest In Peace Puppie Shepherd ❤

One Thousand Ninety Five

Every year around this time I like to reflect on how much our lives have changed. Tomorrow it will be four years since Michael proposed to me with a ring that I still love today and next week we will celebrate our third anniversary. 

1,095. The number of days we will have spent married. I can’t sit here and tell you it has always been “peaches and cream” because like any marriage we have gone through rough patches, may it be with friends, family, each other, jobs, money, or the other little details that consume our everyday life. 

I do not have regrets, simply lessons learned.

Out of the four girls and four guys who stood next to us the day we wed we still have good relationships with three.. one a cousin, one a brother, and one a friend. The truth is life takes people in different directions and relationships suffer. For some of them they ended on unfortunate terms on both ends and others life just landed us in different places. For the friendships that ended on difficult terms I have realized that it will not benefit any of us to hold grudges or try to one up each other. I do not regret spending our day with any of those people because at that point in our lives they were the best friends we had and I am thankful for the memories we enjoyed together and lessons we learned. Regardless of where any of us are today they will all forever be part of my life story and my children will look at my wedding pictures and ask their names. So if they are reading this know that no matter what has happened between us I am thankful for our time together and your support leading up to and on the day I married my best friend. 

Over the past three years we have each gone through a few different jobs and made new friends, we have had financial highs and lows, and days that we wanted to kill our families, we have started a family and moved provinces. At the end of three years I am thankful for each of these events because they have made our relationship stronger, they have tested our limits, and made us search for who we are together and apart.

In three years so much can change and decisions that seemed so important now don’t matter at all. How many roses should be in each bouquet? What color and style bridesmaids dresses? Who should sit at each table for dinner? What will we eat for dinner? How much money do we need? None of that matters now and the questions have changed. Where am I going to work? Do we need a second car? Should we put Graysen in daycare? What’s for supper? Do we have any diapers? No matter the questions life is good!

One thousand ninety five days. Twenty six thousand two hundred eighty hours. Life can pass you by quickly but embrace it and learn to live without regret. Image

Proper car seat use can save a life!

It’s been over a week since I have sat down to write and I am not really sure where the time has gone. Today is a snow day and everyone is just enjoying being lazy so I figured this is the time to write. I am sure with my luck half way through this post we will lose our power and this won’t get posted but hopefully not! 

I recently started watching the seasons of Teen Mom, I told Michael it was because I didn’t have enough drama in my life and the show offered up more than enough! It has been interesting to watch and see just how crazy some people can actually be! What annoys me about the show is the amount of car seat misuse! I know there are a lot of uneducated people when it comes to car seat safety but on the show I have seen loose & twisted straps, straps being too high or too low, seats improperly installed, the incorrect stage of a seat used for a child, and much more. 

If you aren’t sure if your child is in the right seat or if the seat is installed correctly there are so many resources out there that can help you. Why would you want to risk the life of your child because you were in a rush or just didn’t want to make time to see a car seat technician? Yes all seats meet the same safety requirements but if they aren’t installed properly they are useless.

Car seat safety is a topic that gets to me, so many people just blow it off and don’t do the research. Did you know that just because the law in Canada states your child needs to be 22lbs, 1 year old, and walking unassisted to be forward facing does NOT mean that you need to turn them around when they hit those requirements! My little man is 23lbs, 1 year old, and has been walking unassisted for 2 months but I have no plans on turning his seat to a forward facing position anytime soon. People make excuses saying their child’s legs are too long and they are uncomfortable or they don’t like facing backwards, if your child has never been any other way they don’t know the difference. Graysen is 32 inches long and yes his legs are already bent a little bit at the knees in order to continue to rear face however he isn’t uncomfortable and isn’t even aware there is another way to sit! I am hoping he slows down his growth in the next year so we can make it closer to 2 before I turn him around but I will deal with it when he out grows his seats limits.

Yes that is an option, to wait until he out grows his seats rear facing limits before turning him around. What is the rush? If I were to turn him around and ended up getting in an accident his little body wouldn’t handle the impact very well and the probability of him leaving in an ambulance with a broken neck is pretty good. If he is rear facing the seat will take the impact and protect his little body and we MIGHT be dealing with a broken leg which heals much easier. 

Please take the time to consider the risks involved in early forward facing, improper car seat use, and the use of an expired seat! You could be making a life or death decision when deciding if your child is old enough, big enough, mature enough, for the next car seat stage. 

If you have any questions and aren’t sure where to find the answers please let me know I can offer quite a few resources to help you in your decisions!

The best things in life come from the kitchen

Baking is what I do when I am feeling overwhelmed, stressed, happy, sad, mad… No matter my emotion baking is my outlet. I love to try new recipes and find what works together and what doesn’t however I also love to do it without gluten. Having Celiac Disease has greatly altered the way I bake and there is nothing more I hate than flour in my kitchen. 

Flour explodes everywhere when you scoop into it causing the air to become contaminated, which no doesn’t bother me but it gets everywhere and I don’t feel safe in my kitchen. That being said I live with two people who have no problem with flour and one little boy who currently needs the nutrients found in wheat (or so my doctor says!). So last week I went out and bought a bag of flour to make my little man a birthday cake. I cringed just picking the bag up at the grocery store. I seriously hate it.

Now that it is in the house and the store has been out of gluten free flour I found myself baking with it today (No I don’t allow it in my KitchenAid or Bread maker). As I scooped into it I held my breath and closed my eyes, if someone was watching they would probably roll their eyes but I have a fear of it. Michael loves bread, wraps, and baked goods resulting in a lot of contamination of my tiny kitchen!

If we ever build a house my ideal kitchen would be gluten free and have a separate prep area for all snacks & meals containing gluten. I don’t care if I have to paint a line down the counter I hate flour. 

No matter my hate there is currently a beautiful aroma of banana bread floating through the apartment and I will have one happy husband & son later!