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.

 

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!

What A Holiday Weekend

I think that holiday weekends go by the fastest. I am pretty sure I am correct. I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and are ready to get back to work. I know that that last part is a little harder to hear. I know I could use another day by the pool.

My little family had a great weekend. We started Saturday by cleaning the house and getting ready for our new furniture to be delivered. We bought a new kitchen table and chairs and a big girl bed for K-Dub. The only problem was that they never put the box spring on our order so we spent a great part of our afternoon tracking down a box spring for her bed. Once we found on at Mattress Firm we got it and K-Dub had her first night in her new bed.

Sunday we got up and had coffee and went to the new Whole Foods that opened up near us in Waverly. I had never been inside a Whole Foods and had read many blogs were people account their own horror stories. I found this place really cool and I can’t wait to go back. The produce was fresh, the hot bar was amazing, and they atmosphere was cool. They even had their own little seating area upstairs. Is it a grocery store, is it a restaurant, or is it a coffee bar? Who knows but it was a neat experience.

After eating lunches and nap times we got ready and went to the first of many to come pool sessions. I think my girls loved it. They enjoyed it so much that when we got in the car to grab dinner they both fell asleep so my wife and I ended up getting our food to go. After super we decided to take the girls for a snow cone in Waxhaw and it was good. My favorite was the cherry margarita.

Monday I went and worked out. I then came home and cleaned up the backyard. My BIL and SIL came over with my nephews and we went back to the pool for a couple of hours. once we got back I put on my Martha Stewart hat and got to cooking. I made baked beans, I grilled some corn and bacon cheddar burgers, cut up a watermelon, and served warm apple pie with some ice cream. The kids enjoyed playing with some bubble guns we got them. We gave the kids a bath before the nephews went home and I passed out.

It was a great weekend and I hope you got to spend some time with your love ones and remember those who served us so we could celebrate this great holiday.

Happy Wednesday!

 

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.

Finding Your Way Back To the Grind

Photo on 8-14-16 at 8.35 PM
After a rollercoaster of a weekend, I needed some cuddles with this little cutie!

So this weekend has been rough. There is not an easy way to say it. I feel like I have been on a crazy ride of emotions the past three days. One minute I am happy, then sad, then scared, and then angry. Its not always in that order but the intensity of emotions varies.

This morning I decided to go for a run. The one thing I know that makes me forget. It keeps me in check. It is the time in my day where I think the most clearly and I am the most relax. I think it is the runner’s high. I managed to complete 4 miles. I would tell you the time but I was not watching the clock. This run was just for fun.

I got a call before stepping in the shower from my brother. He told me that my mother’s condition had gotten worse and that I needed to come to the hospital ASAP. I jumped in the shower and threw my clothes on and headed up to the hospital in a hast.

I was told that my mom’s brain had swollen and we only had two options. One was to do surgery and allow them to drill a hole in my mom’s skull to let some of the pressure out or to let nature run it’s course. After a long discussion with my brother and stepfather, we decided to honor my moms wishes and to let nature run it’s course.

I spent the rest of the afternoon coming to terms with what was decided. I knew this was the right decision. This is what she wanted.

I never thought I would have to decide someone’s fate like that. It is a strange feeling. The closest I have ever came to this was when I had to sign the papers for them to extract my deceased child out of my wifes womb. As tramatic as that was, this was different.

On a brighter note, my mom was talking today. She would come in and out as she was trying to regain her conscious. She told me she wanted a Pepsi and a chicken biscuit. I had to explain to her that the nurses said she could not have that as they feared she would choke. She would sometimes ask strange questions. She asked to get her phone so she could call her mom. My grandma has been died for over 10 years.

When I go home my wife gave me a hug and told me that everything was going to be fine. I knew she was lying but I appreciated the attempt to make me feel better. She did surprise me with a new desk. It was just what I wanted to complete things for the gym and to keep blogging.

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Now its time for bed. I have 75 burpees waiting for me in the morning. Goodnight guys!!!