Back At It Again

It has been a long time since my last entry. There really are no other excuses other then life happens and that sometimes breaks are a must. That does not mean that I am not ever coming back. It just means that my time was spent on more important things like my kids and family.

There last entry I posted was in February and so many things have happened since then. Let me take a second and update you.

K-Dub is getting big. I sometimes cannot believe she is five cause I swear in the last few months she has hit a growth spurt. She looks more like she is 7. In my last update I told you she was starting dance. She has since had her first ever recital and loves it. We have plans for her to re-enroll in the fall.

Speaking of enrollment… K-Dub is starting Kindergarten in less then three weeks! Where did the time go? We were very lucky she got accepted at one of the local charter schools near where we live. She is excited and this weekend I am going to start gathering her school supplies while BrittWhitFun gets her school uniforms. I just can’t believe that we are finally at this moment and it makes me sad and joyful.

Evie is a force of nature. She has been getting big also. She has really come around on the loving Dad front and now she never wants to leave my side unless Mom is around. She has been really trying to grasp this whole potty training thing. She has #1 down by #2 has been a really struggle for not only her but for Mom and Dad. I may have stepped on poop while putting her on the potty. It just kind of rolled out of her underwear. Sorry. I hope you were not eating when you read this.

We have tried to transition Evie from her crib to toddler bed but it was a disaster so we decided to keep the crib a little longer. She is just not ready and until she is fully potty trained she really needs to stay in her crib.

Here are some of the other highlights of the past few months:

My SIL got married back in April. 

K-Dub learned to swim

My brother and I could not be better

My brother dressed like a lady for charity

I decided to take on swimming

Easter was a lot of fun.

We went to the Zoo

I won Coordinator of the Quarter

Had a great Mother’s Day Mingle At The Mint Event

Got a Vasectomy and my wisdom teeth out in the same month

K-Dub graduated from Preschool

BrittWhitFun and I celebrated 7 years of marriage

I tried float therapy and like it and did not drown

I did a build for Habitat for Humanity

Enjoyed 4th of July with friends

What is next for the family? We have a lot of things coming up. K-Dub starting school, Evie is turning 3 and we are heading back to Disney World in less then 90 days and I am not even close to being ready!

As always comments are appreciated and I can’t wait to here from you.

 

Killer Week

This week has been crazy. Last week was crazy. I think I have come to the reality that vacation is in my near future. Work and kids have seemed to have swamped my life and is just enough to keep in purgatory.

Work has been insane. Magazines are keeping me busy and my reps always need me. It is a good thing to busy in this day and age. I know a lot of people who have easy jobs until their organization gets smart and cuts them off and now they are struggling to find employment. I actual just got the biggest section of the year put on my lap this week. Living Here is the biggest section The Charlotte Observer publishes. It has one 300 advertisers in it so I have the lucky job to coordinate this publication with only three months of experience. If that is not trust I have no idea what is. It is a great opportunity but I am scared out of my mind. I have a lot of people putting their faith in me to no screw this up.

My wife is a superstar. I can’t ever say that enough. She is like super mom. I really don’t know how she does it and she works full time. The past few weeks we have ad a run of bad luck it you could say that. My truck broke down. The freezer went out and most not the meat that was in there had thawed out so I had to toss it. Then the battery in the truck died so I had to replace it. It has just been one thing after the other.

This weekend we are planning to get away. We have not had a day trip in a couple of weeks so we decided to head up to Lake Lure. We have never been there and are looking forward to exploring and will make a great blog entry next week.

Hope you all have a great Thursday and I will be back on Monday with another #MedalMonday so take care.

Ponys & Country Roads

We had a complete Saturday filled with birthday parties. When you become a parent these types of weekends are normal. You have to plan your shopping trips in accord to make sure you get enough presents for the party that you are scheduled to attend. Its the circle of life.

My niece Hayden was born on the Fourth of July so her parents had the party the next weekend so we headed down for a My Little Pony birthday party. The house was completley decorated and looked amazing. The kids played outside in a pool. K-Dub had a ball.

After singing to the birthday girl it was time to move onto party number two. This one was all the way on the back roads of Anson County, which is my old stomping grounds.

On the way out there I was was reminded about how beautiful those country roads can be. I would not move out there but it was still a pretty site.

This party was for a friend of my wife’s little girl. I have to say that I never felt more comfortable with a group of strangers then I did at that party. Everyone was nice and greeted us and talked with us. It was nice.

I Am A Tired Dad

I am tired!

The past few months have been like a complete blur. We have had a lot going on. With the renovations, birthday parties, beach trips, sorting through old junk, working, and holidays I really have not had a whole lot of time to breathe.

I think my wife and I need a weekend of down time. As much as I love our crazy life that we built together, I would like to take a time out and sit in a hammock in the shade and just fall asleep for a couple of hours.

There are two things in this world that are amazing: Coffee and more Coffee. I never knew how much I loved it until I had children. My children are amazing but they are exhausting. I love them but they are at a 15 when I need them down at about a 3.

The other day my wife sent me a video of her in the drive thru at Chick-Fil-a and all you hear is my Evie yelling “BITE!!” and that was before my wife even got the food.

I sure I am not the only tired dad out there. I know there are some tired moms out there also. Parents should band together at these points. We all love our kids so it is ok to give each other a little break every now and then. Sometimes it is nice to go to a restaurant that does not have kid placemats.

Honestly I could not come up with something to write about today so this is all I got. Sometimes when you blog you get stuck and when you get stuck you tend to go on little rants like this about tired you are.

Have a great weekend…See you for #MedalMonday!

Our Little Family Beach Trip

This past weekend we headed down to Holden Beach for a little family vacation. Nothing fancy but us and the rest of BrittWhitFun’s family. We really had no choice cause of all the renovations going on we could not be at the house.

The first day we were there we had a great breakfast over at Nana’s house. We then headed to the dock and got on my FIL’s boat. There is just something great about being on a boat in the summer time. We rode around for a while and found a great spot on the inlet and set up camp.

We spent the entire morning and afternoon playing in the sand, swimming, fishing, and just relaxing. It was great. The beach is one of my favorite places and it is awesome that my in laws share the same joy.

After we got done we loaded up camp and came back to the dock. We went back to the motel we were staying and got showers. After we got cleaned off we headed back over to Nana’s house so the kids could have some alone time with their Pop and Nana while the adults went out to dinner.

We had a great dinner at Provision Company which included a couple of cocktails and seafood. It is always great to get away without the kids and enjoy some adult laughs and conversation.  After dinner we went to a local ice cream shop where my SIL just can’t seem to eat an ice cream cone the right way. I mean who bites the end of a cone with ice cream still in there?

After some much needed rest we ready for day two. We went back to Nana’s house and ate breakfast again and then headed down to the beach.

We spent another long morning and afternoon on the beach swimming, digging holes, looking for seashells, and eating burgers from the local pier. Its was an awesome day. My kids got disgusting, especially Evie, and had to be rinsed off before heading home.

I must say I love my in laws and my little family. Our beach trips are always so much fun. I hope that even though our Nana is selling her place that we can continue these trips and enjoy each others company.

K-Dub’s Concert

I have no idea why I did not share this a few weeks ago. I must have had a ton of other crazy things going on. A couple of weeks ago K-Dub had a concert put on by her school for the parents. It was her first one in the entire three years she had been there. I was actually pretty excited about going. What is more cute then a bunch of adorable kids singing? Right?

So we got her all dressed up. I left work early to ensure I was there on time. We got to the school and dropped her off at her classroom before going and taking our seats in the auditorium.

Soon it was time to start and the kids came marching in looking all adorable. Soon they started singing. I could not find K-Dub at first. I had to stand a little out of my chair and found that all the other kids were singing and she was standing there with her hands over her mouth. Only my kid. Take a look.

I was not made at her by any means but it was still pretty cute.

My Wife The Superstar

In the spirt of Mother’s Day being this Sunday, I wanted to just write about my amazing wife. I know a lot of husbands gush about their brides but mine is nothing short of amazing.

She is the best mom for so many reasons. Our kids never feel unloved cause my wife makes sure of that. She is always there to listen. She knows exactly what to say when the time comes. Sometimes I am not the best parent and when situations get very heavy I tend to say or do the wrong thing but that is never the case with my wife. She always know what to say and her reaction is always very calm.

She is the best and the there really is no other way to say it. She never misses a event that has our kids in it. She manages me and her family flawlessly. She makes sure we are where we need to be and that we get in our outside activities.

Although she is a servant to her family she never complains. She never ask for anything in return other then us to show appreciation and love and it is easy to do when you have such an amazing person to do life with.

I love this girl more then I did when we first met and man did I fall hard in love with her. I can’t imagine my life without her. She has never left my side. She is my biggest cheerleader and I am excited to celebrate 6 six years of marriage with her next weekend.

Thanks you my love for being the best mom to our kids. They are so lucky to have you and you are killing being a parent. You are a rockstar and we love you. I hope Sunday is everything you want and some more.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

Missing Mom

 

I know that this week is Mother’s Day so I could not let this week go by without writing about my mother and what she means to me.

This will be my first one without her and I must say it makes me sad. Its been almost nine months since she left me and I miss her everyday. I miss her always willing to listen. I miss her asking me how “her” girls are. I miss the way she hugged me with the last bit of strength she had left.

Everyday I am reminded of her love for me. Every time I look at my wife I am reminded of how we met. My mom hired her when she ran the local Urgent Care and I was coming in to be seen. I am reminded of her every time I see a coconut cake cause she made the very best!

She was a great mom. She was very stern by always fair. She worked her butt off to give her two boys a life better then her own. She was a fun mom. She always took us to Carowinds, the movies, to baseball and band practice. She would seat dance in the car. Oh she knew how to cut a rug.

One of my favorite things about her was the love she had for her grandkids. I see so much of her in my kids it is unreal. My daughters say and do thinks just like her. Evie has her sassy attitude and Karsyn has her sense of humor. She was always there for them. She loved her girls. She loved Easter cause the girls would come over and she would make Easter baskets with them. She look forward to it every year.

This Sunday is going to be rough and also a celebration. Its going to be rough cause she is not here of course but a celebration about the kind of mother she was and that her legacy is still very much alive in my brother and I. To that I can rest assure that she will always be here in my life.

Happy Thursday and hug your mom tight or call her and say you love her. I wish I could.

Adjusting To Grief

img_3281It has been a long time since I been on the blogosphere. Maybe that’s because I have been afraid of what would happen when I came back or maybe it was the fact that I did not know what to say. My heart is heavy and broken and I feel like I am in a nightmare that not even coffee can fix.

Almost a month ago I lost my mother. The women who gave me life. She suffered through a long battle with diabetes and heart disease. As many of you know she suffered a stroke and refused treatment. She was sent to hospice where a little over a week later on September 11, 2016 she took her final breath.

My close friends and family will tell you that I did not have the best relationship with my mother. It was not until right before Evie was born that we started working on our relationship. Soon after that, I found myself not being able to start my day with out my morning phone call from my mom between crossfit class and driving to the office. She became my friend and my mentor. She told me things that I never thought she would. She encouraged me, prayed for me, always asked about “her” girls, what was going on with work, and how was running going. She told me about the ups and downs she was having with her health and her husband. It always broke my heart to hear about her struggles cause I knew there was nothing I could do but to be encouraging and to be the ear she needed.

After she passed, the next few days were insane. I actually went back to work for two days and was surprised at how much I needed the distraction. The visitation was amazing cause I got to see people who I have not seen in years. My Grandma’s best friend, coworkers, former youth group member, my best friends parents, and my crossfit coach made the trip to provide comfort and to pay respects to both me and my mother. I felt loved and appreciated.

img_3324The funeral was special. We had a small turn out but it was on a Monday and I understand that people have jobs. My wife and I started the day with a trip to Starbucks. We talked about the visitation and how much it was important for us to keep our family together. When the funeral started my mother’s favorite doctor and coworker spoke about how much she meant to him and to the practice that she devoted her whole being to. It made me feel proud of the work she did and the person she was.

img_3336That weekend, my stepdad, brother, sister-in-law, nieces, bother from another mother, his girlfriend, my wife and kids headed down to Oak Island to do as my mother wished and spread her ashes on the beach. We stayed at a beach house  and spent the whole Saturday playing on the beach, fishing, and eating pizza. It was a great family time that I will never forget.

Sunday morning came and we packed our bags and loaded the car. Before we headed back to Charlotte we gathered on the beach and prayed as a family. My brother and I took our mother’s remains and some flowers and walked to the shallows of the ocean. We poured the ashes and watched the sea carry our mother out. I placed the flowers in the water and watched as they floated away. I held back the tears but was left with a memory burned in my mind forever.

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The feeling of not having any parents is a strange one. I often find myself picking up my phone to call her only to get the phone halfway to my ear and realizing that she is not there to answer. I feel there is a void in my heart. Where do you go from here? I am an orphan. I miss her more than I can even say in this post. I am angry that I did not have more time with her and all those years we were mad at each other were wasted. I am mad that she suffered with her health for so long and that she could not seem to do what she wanted cause her body would not let her.

I am thankful for the time we did have and the conversations we had. My mom was always the best person to talk to. She offered advice even when you never asked for it. She loved her grandkids so much. They were the lights of her life. She cooked with her heart just like my grandmother. She loved to have family over and to plan family gatherings. The Manus Family Christmas Party was her favorite cause it is a tradition passed down from her parents to the her siblings and I hope to us now.

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One thing that my mother hoped for and unfortunately did not happen when she was alive was that now my brother and I have a relationship. We are working on our relationship. We have made it a point to talk everyday, to plan family events, and put out past differences away. We are all we have left and I am excited to see where this will go. This is what mom would have wanted. For her two boys to get along and be a family.

img_3408This blog entry has taken me three weeks to write. I had to stop and take a break and let myself grieve and feel. Now here it is my youngest daughters birthday and all I want is for her to be here. To watch her wear her princess crown, to sing “Happy Birthday”, to watch her open presents, and to smile and laugh as she loved to do. I know she is looking down on us and watching us but I can’t help but feel like we will all be ok. We will have our moments where the grief is too much to take. We will need time to cry. As soon as we are done, to keep doing what she wanted which was the following:

“Love one another unconditionally and do for others daily. Above all, laugh- a lot.”

-Paula Helms

Love you Mom!

T.

A Hard Pill To Swallow

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This has been a hard entry to write. The past couple of weeks have left me numb, angry, scared, and bitter. I feel like I have lost a member of my family. It is not the best feeling to feel like someone is gone forever, only to have them laying right there in front of you. It brings new meaning to your life and what you find important. It makes you humble and grateful for what you have and what you will have. At the same time, you want to cry out and scream.

This past weekend my mom took a turn for the worst. We thought that with a little rehab she was going to be ok, not 100% but she was going to fine. Then Saturday, I got a call saying they think my mom had another stroke or maybe a seizure. They were not sure. She was not responding.

My emotions started to fall from that steep hill on this emotional rollercoaster that I thought I exited. Here I was still on the ride and it was at the jerking sideways, full speed part that left me breathless.

The news I was told by family was that there was more swelling on the brain and that it was worse. Her brain had become dislocated. That may not be the word they used but it is hard to remember everything when you are faced with such a life-altering event.

When seeing her in the hospital bed, an all too familar thing in my family, I saw her body. It was so still…so calm. My brother standing over her talking to her and crying. He told her I was here and directed me to come closer. I could not move. Somehow I was in a state of shock that still is hard to describe. I knew what was happening but I still was processing it.

The entire length of the visit I sat there looking at her. She looked to tired. She was done and ready to call it quits. Finally after almost an hour my wife and I were left in the room alone with her. I grabbed her hand and told her I loved her and if she felt like she needed to “go” then to do so. I assured her we were going to be fine. She looked at me and very clear told me she loved me too. I held her head and kissed her forehead like it was the last time. Like I never wanted to let her go. Then the tears started. I left her unsure what was going to happen next other then I was certain that things were never going to be the same.

Today I was informed that she is being moved to hospice. I don’t know a lot about hospice but from what people tell me it is not always good. I was told that my mom would never recover and the swelling on her brain has taken a toll on her. She will never be ok. The only thing now is to make her comfortable.

That last word(comfortable) is one that is the hardest to hear. I feel like I was told that it was ok for my mom to die and that locking her up is what is best for her. What do you say when something like that is said to you? What do I do now? Do I just let her lay there alone? It breaks my heart to think of her in that place waiting to die. I am mad. I am angry. This is not the way this was suppose to happen.

Please continue to keep my family in your prayers. We have been through a lot the past couple of weeks and this is one of those things where we need each now more then ever.