Saturday, August 4, 2012

Life in the Slow Lane

I realize it's been awhile since I've posted. I really thought I would have written in here on a weekly basis since I've had nothing better to do. It's been almost 2 months since my accident so I thought I'd give you an update. While I'm healing and things are progressing, my fibula is not healed enough to make my doctor feel comfortable with me putting weight on it. Again, I had my little plan of how this was all going to work out. I would go in on the 13th, and they would tell me my x-rays looked beautiful and I would have a week and a half of physical therapy under my belt before I went back to school. Unfortunately, now the plan is to come back after I've been in school a week (August 27) and IF my x-rays look good, THEN I may start PT. I'm trying to be a big girl and not let it get me down. It's hard to do when you've set up expectations. I'm learning very quickly that God's plan and my plan are very different and that I will have to understand that God's plan ALWAYS wins. I'm done giving myself a timeline. And while this summer isn't what I'm used to, life in the slow lane isn't ALL bad. Before I continue to sulk about not being on my way to Potato Lake with my family, here are some things I HAVE managed to enjoy while being laid up:

1. I'm in a boot now, which is far more cumbersome than a cast, BUT I get to bathe which means I got to SHAVE! Who would have thought that would be such a highlight.
2. I get to sleep in....every day. Most of the time, my kids don't wake up until 9 or 9:30, and since I can't be up and about doing anything productive, sleeping in is luxury I get to enjoy.
3. Dan and I managed to watch all 10 seasons of Friends. Who says date night in can't be fun?
4. My kids willingly cuddle up to me throughout the day. How lucky am I?
5. My grocery bill was virtually cut in half this summer thanks to all the wonderful people I have in my life that brought us food.
6. Because we didn't travel up the wazoo like we normally do, I paid off a credit card instead. Dave Ramsey would be so proud.
7. I get to see my mom 2 times a week. Bonding over a broken ankle wouldn't have been the way I would have picked to spend more time with her, but it was nice having her around nevertheless.
8. The weather has been so hot, I don't feel bad staying inside with my air on!
9. I finished the 50 Shades trilogy which I NEVER thought I would read.
10. I am taking the time to realize how blessed I am. I have the best family and friends anyone could ever ask for. God is showing me how lucky I am to have these people in my life. I've fallen much more in love with my husband after this summer. He's such an amazing man.

Do I still wish I could travel all summer? You bet. Am I bummed that I can't enjoy running around and chasing after my kids? Of course. But it could be worse. I could have been in a movie theater when a gunman shot and killed 12 people and wounded 59 more. I could have found out I had cancer and only had 2 weeks to live. I could have broken BOTH my ankles and been in a worse situation than I am in now. My point is this. I don't know what part of God's plan for me is being fulfilled by me having a broken ankle, but I'm learning that I don't have to know all the details. All I can do is reflect on this and try to use it as a way to be a better me once I am able to walk. I'll think about how awful it feels to be forced to sit on the couch the next time my kids ask me to walk to the park and I actually can. I'll think about how I couldn't swim with a cast on the next time my kids want me to jump off the diving board with them. And I'll remember how much I HATED having a messy house and not being able to do anything about it the next time I don't feel like cleaning my kitchen. I'm learning from my life in the slow lane, but boy do we have time to make up once I can walk again!

Mom and Dave got a new boat and a tube. The kids have enjoyed tubing a couple of times. I've gotten to sit along the shore and watch them have fun!

We got to enjoy our date night to the Luverne Drive-Inn. It's no Mexico, but we improvised!

                                                                 Cuddle time is a must.

         I'm not entirely missing out on the pool. Sometimes I get to  put my feet in when I wear my cast cover.

 And since I thought you'd like to see this gross picture, here is one side of my foot after the 2nd surgery. Nice eh?

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Goal to Live Hands Free pt. 1

For those of you who don't know who Hands Free Mama is, I strongly encourage you to hop on over to her blog She is a mom and a wife who has chosen to put away the distractions in life in order to spend quality time with the special people in her life.

Before the summer started, my kids and I made a bucket list of the things we wanted to do this summer. We had so many fun things we wanted to do and try, and it was my goal to make myself more hands free- spending less time on the computer, watching tv, spending time on my phone, and instead, spending more time with my kids at the pool, at the park, playing outside, and fulfilling our bucketlist. While I was reading her blog, I took a bunch of notes on the things that I could do to implement more of a "Hands Free Lifestyle". While it seriously disappoints me that I can't do all of these things on our bucket list this summer, it is now my goal to implement as many of the things on the list that I CAN do with my kids and my husband and to make the most of the summer I have. My kids and I have already spend much time playing cards, games on the tablet, watching movies together and reading books. Here is a list of what I plan on doing with my family and friends now and long after I can walk again. Maybe there are some good ideas on here for your family. Either way, whether you are a mom or dad or not, I strongly suggest you hop on over to Hands Free Mama and read through her blog. You won't be disappointed!!

Ways to Go Hands Free
1. Take time to say what needs to be said whether it's an "I'm sorry" or an "I love you". Don't underestimate the power of an apology even if it's not a family member.
2. Greet those you love in a genuine way EVERY time you get the chance- when they wake up, when they come home from work, when they walk into the room. Make eye contact and put away the distractions to make them feel like they are the most important priority. They will notice.
3. Drop everything to hold your children. Don't be the first to let go.
4. Take time out of your day to show someone you are thinking of them. Ex) Drop off a bag of magazines that have been read to a friend, bring a basket of muffins to a neighbor, drop off a plate of goodies to a business in town.
5. When your child wants to show you something, put down whatever distraction you have (your phone, the tv, a book) to watch them. Make them aware that they are your only priority.
6. Hands Free Holiday Revolution- Opt out of using your technological distractions to really spend time with your loved ones.
7. Stop wishing away time. Savor the Moment
8. Acknowledge the things you are already doing right and keep doing them.
9. Think about the things you could have missed: Instead, Turn off the music in the car, lie in bed with them after you say goodnight, look at the stars, hug them, bend down and look them in the eye when talking to them.
10. Ask your parents/grandparents things about themselves: their parenting or their childhood.
11. Find the beauty within the work. Do chores with your children and see what conversations unfold.
12. Write notes to your best friends telling them the impact they have made in your life.
13. Do random acts of kindness with your kids- Put a bag of goodies where the trash collector will find it, etc.
14. Before throwing away your children's papers, sit down with them and use it as a way to talk about their day at school.
15. Make a list of the regrets you had before you started living differently. Cross them out when you don't have to regret them anymore. ie. hugging your child every day.

I think this is enough to soak in for a day. I will finish this list on another post. Let me know if you decide to start living more hands free and if you have any suggestions on ways to live hands free from my couch, feel free to let me know! 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's not pretty, but it's real

What do you get when you cross a woman with a broken ankle, painkillers, and a couch? A very weepy, depressed mom of 3. I'd be absolutely lying if I told you I was taking this ankle breaking thing well. And even though my last post sounded like I was very positive and was good at looking at the bright side, I'm finding it's very easier said than done. I don't want to pretend like I'm feeling something I'm not, and the truth is...this sucks. It's incredibly hard for me to give up Mexico, swimming in the pool with my kids, going for a run or my zumba nights with the girls. Oddly enough, it's also hard not being able to clean my house, get my kids lunch, dress up to go out, sleep on my stomach or sit in the front seat of my own car. We're a day shy of 2 weeks since this happened, and I don't know how I am going to be able to handle another 4-6 weeks of having a hard cast on this thing.
Truth is....I'm very afraid of what the doctor is going to tell me on Monday. It kills me to think that I might not heal back to normal. I can't imagine not being able to run or zumba again. They have been such a big part of my life. They give me energy and make me a happier person. Right now, every other day is a "good" day. On a bad'll find me weeping at any given second. In fact my voice has a permanent quiver to it. It's hard to determine whether or not I'm crying when you are talking to me. I'm sure some of it has to do with the pain meds. Percocet is known to make you a little emotional, but the bigger part is knowing all that I'm giving up this summer because of this ankle.
I've been waiting four years for this summer. Every summer since I've been out of college, I've had to have a job since I wasn't a full time teacher. This year was the year I got to make up for that. We had made our bucket list of all the things we were going to do this summer. I was going to be hands on, and I had been waiting months for it. Now I get to sit in the same spot on this couch every day for the rest of the summer. No Cancun. No pool. No Twin's game. No bucket list. No walks. No park. No zumba. No running. No summer.
 I thought that I would maybe just write this but not post it, but that's not what this blog is about. Right now, this is the "view from my front porch". It's not pretty, but it's real. And I hope that I can look back on this once this is all over and remember to live life to the fullest. Remember that I could be sitting on the couch with a broken ankle when my daughter wants me to play cards or when Carter wants me to go for a bike ride or when Sawyer wants to go to the park. I hope I remember this when I don't feel like going to zumba or waking up early to get my run in. I truly am grateful for all the people who have stepped in to make my life easier. There are no words to tell them how grateful I am for meals, helping out with my kids, keeping me company, making lunch, cleaning my house, doing laundry, and so much more. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And next time I post, I plan to bring back the positive Mandi you all know and (hopefully) love.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dealing with the Unexpected

Well if you know me at all, I don't do change terribly well. This was the first summer I got to be a mom and focus on my kids and do things for me. We had trips planned and were excited to begin our summer of fun.

On Sunday, those all became things of the past. During the Warrior Dash, (something I'd been prepping for for months) I slid down the fire pole, locked my leg, and shattered all 3 bones in my ankle upon landing. I was devastated. I knew this wasn't good, and more than likely it meant saying goodbye to summer. I can hardly say that out loud without tears flowing. I had so been looking forward to our trip to Cancun, swimming dates at the pool, zumba, running and long walks with my friends. 

Now I have to fully rely on the help of someone else at all times-someone to get me into and out of bed, someone to dress me and take me to the bathroom, someone to cook for me and clean for me and drive for me, and the worst one of all--someone to help me be a mom. That one is a hard pill to swallow. I have to admit it makes my heart hurt a little, but in the midst of all this change, I'm trying to look for the silver lining in the dark clouds above.

I've learned that despite having to rely on everyone for everything, I have AMAZING friends and family who have stepped up and shown me just how awesome they really are. I can't thank everyone (and you know who you are) enough for everything they do and have done. I've learned what it feels like to watch your husband live out his vows- for better or worse. He's sacrificed so much for me during this whole process and I am so grateful and amazed that God blessed me with this man. I've learned to never take my mom for granted. I know that there are a lot of people out there that don't have positive relationships with their moms, but my mom was right by my side the first chance she could be, and she's never left it since. I'm so incredibly blessed.

My life has always been go-go-go, but now that I don't have a choice, I'm learning how to slow down and just savor the little moments. I get to cuddle with my babies every morning. They don't like to see their mom sad and in pain, so they've given me lots of kisses and hugs. I LOVE this part of being layed up. :) I get to listen to my kids read to me and see how willing they are to help out around the house. I don't like that I am missing ball games and swimming lessons, but I do love  that now I will be able to take some time to watch movies, read more books, play more games, and do whatever I am able to do with them right here on my couch. It's not the way I planned it, but now I get to spend quality time with them uninterrupted. It's just what I needed.

I'm not going to let this make me sad. I'm not going to let it ruin my summer. I'm going to figure out how to as much as I can right from my couch and when I'm allowed, I will sit at the pool and go to ball games in my big monster cast so that I can still be a part of the action. I will not allow this to ruin my attitude. So come and visit me! I promise to devote quality time to just enjoying your company and making the  most out of a crummy situation. Thanks for all your support! I appreciate every one of you!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dipping my toes in the blogging water

Blogging is something that I've talked about, but never truly thought I would start until now. I'm far from an eloquent writer, and most of the time, I end up writing far more than anyone would like to read. However, since summer started, I keep getting these signs that tell me I NEED to start blogging, especially now that I have the time.

For starters, I have a horrid memory. On most days, I can't remember what I had for lunch the day before. Sometimes, it's a great thing- like when I can't remember why I'm mad. Other times, it's a curse- like when I think I've paid a bill, but I haven't, or I completely forget the details to a story my friend told me months ago. Where am I going with this? I don't want to forget the little moments that make my life so good right now. I always say "I will remember this moment forever" only to be able to recount maybe a quarter of it a week later. Fortunately, we have pictures and facebook to remember some of those things, but I want something that chronicles not only the big moments but also those every day moments that make my world go round because all too soon, they will be gone. This blog gives me the opportunity to relive them over and over again even if I'm the only one that ever reads them.

If you are around me often or ever check my facebook page, you know that I am currently obsessed with a blog: (courtesty of my sister-in-law Beth). She is an amazing woman who has helped me put so many things into perspective as a mom, a wife and a friend. She bases her blog on the idea that the people we love deserve all of us and that nothing is more important than making those memories with them and never letting them forget how much they mean to us. She also hits continuously on a topic that I struggle with daily- distraction. Distraction from cell phones, facebook, e-mails, computer, magazines, books, etc. I'm realizing that I'm missing many moments that I will never get back with my kids, my husband, my family and my friends. I watch as this world is becoming more and more immersed in technology and less involved in the lives of those that matter. I want to change that. I NEED to change that for the sake of those that I love.

So that's why I'm here. I hope to be able to share those moments and to write about the good the bad and the ugly of becoming more of a hands free mama, wife and friend. I welcome the company! Thanks for reading!