That time we moved.

It has been just over a full month and I haven’t been entirely honest. We did in fact move. We got the house we wanted and have settled in at this point. I let, a VERY small handful of people know that I was actually moving. Even fewer people know where I actually am. It is the closest to running away I have ever done.
The chaos that has ensued in the last month has been insane. I have decided to blame any and all weight gain on this last month. Everything has been so time sensitive and we feel extremely blessed for this. It was a funny story how we obtained the house.
Eli actually knew the owners of our home. He installed their fence years ago. Whenever he was in town the owner would call to see if he needed lunch or anything. For date nights, if we came up this way, he would point out the house and say, “I love that house, we are going to live there.” I would laugh at him, and tell him no. I didn’t even think I liked the house!
So imagine my surprise when I saw a house online listed and showed it to Eli. The conversation went along the lines of:
“Oh hey Hun check out this house I found. Its in blah blah and its really nice”
Eli came and sat down, looks at the screen, jumps up, runs down the hall going “no no no no!”
Um, well if you hate it that much.
He came back in a couple minutes later laughing and talking away on the phone. It was his clients house! They wanted us to come over immediately and look at everything. We dropped the kids off with Eli’s Mom and headed up to check it out. Well I couldn’t be more shocked that I fell in love with the house. It is an 1800’s farmhouse, that has been completely gutted and remodeled.
our home
I can’t begin to describe how much I love that front porch. Most of my free time is spent out there. It was also the first place I hosted friends over ūüôā
After going over details and having some spiked coffee (thank you Jan) it was decided we were buying the house.Not just on our end but the owners. They felt this was meant to be. The wife had put her heart and soul into the remodel. Their move came up sudden due to a job relocation, and many tears were shed over leaving the house. I can’t say enough that the owners are amazing. They had the boys come over twice to come play and have dinner. I had come over a few more times just to talk. It was all unreal. We had hit some major bumps which was why I didn’t confirm about the house. We still chat, and Jan gives me tips on what to do with the garden.
We also still need to sell our house. Noooo pressure.

The boys share a room here and love it. Their bunkbeds should be coming in this week, and they have so much space.
Boy's Bunkbeds
We use the other big bedroom as their playroom, and the smaller one as a guest room. We already had my Mother in Law stay over, and it was really nice.
We live right smack dab in the center of town which is phenomenal. I walk to the Farmer’s Market from the house, do grocery, get coffee, or just browse the Main St shops. I can hear the train (from decently far, not too loud), and the towns churchbells. Our town is a very old New England Town that has an incredibly nostalgic feel. We have historic homes all around, and the water is a half hour (leisurely) walk away. My friend pointed out if I ran it would probably be 15 minutes. Our neighbors are absolutely lovely, we were greeted with fresh eggs, flowers, vegetables from their gardens, and warm welcomes.
The boys have quite a few friends in the neighborhood, and love to have pick up games of soccer right after school. One of Colin’s classmates lives 2 doors over, and they very quickly have become good friends. The dogs are also more welcome here. People don’t bat an eye if one of the dogs bark. Almost every house on our street has a dog living in it. Our neighbors even offered to come over so the dogs could get to know them!
We love being able to walk to school, the library, or just the town green. The boys love being walking distance from the frozen yogurt shop. Boys. I guess its important to show, I do have happiness. I am grateful for this home, and feel we could stay here forever. With that we made some sacrifices with this house. We are far away from any family up here. My Mother In Law is a half hour away. The time has come to get over it and get a babysitter. The house is also bigger, which is a lot more cleaning. Its getting easier with a system in place. We really take joy in keeping up the yard, and the boys LOVE the backyard. You can see why:
Our backyard

I’m going to take my time decorating and finding the right touches in the house. If I’m not on the porch, you’ll find me in the kitchen
Kitchen <3

I look forward to making new memories here. I am happy I finally posted this so I can actually post pictures from in the house.
To those I didn’t tell, it wasn’t to be mean. Please understand how much I’ve gone through, and was just protecting my own heart with this. To those who found out, but didn’t ask? Well its a privilege to know these things, not a right. This needed to be on my terms. I have been grateful for the people that have been warm and happy for me about this. Negativity just gives added stress. Stress, and drama that I don’t need, and can’t handle right now.

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From Cubicle to Home

I realized I missed an anniversary! It has been one full year since I left my job.The actual day was my Mom’s birthday. The distraction of the day probably made me bypass writing about it then. So I will take the time to go over how things changed.

Now my situation is clearly different. I left work to focus back on my family unit. That morphed into taking care of my Mom. I wouldn’t change that for anything. Those times are priceless in my eyes. Of course, the loss of my Mom has changed me. When I left a year ago I too had HUGE dreams for how being a Stay at Home Mom was going to be different this time. My house would be spotless all the time, a hot meal on the table every night, laundry wouldn’t sit in the washer, I would be in the best shape of my life, lunches out, and just be a better me.

Well, here is the reality of the transition.

There is still clutter here and there around the house. I am battling the boys to keep their room and playroom clean. Incentives are working nicely on this issue, but then I see Alex’s clothes on a barstool in the kitchen right now. Awesome. Everyday its the same thing with cleaning. Even though the boys have a playroom now, toys still creep downstairs. Cleaning the house is boring. There are only so many times I can dance to “Shake it Off: while mopping before it gets old.

Hot meals depend on the day. Take out is MUCH more scarce. Pat on the back for that! For awhile we did have it around more due to the chaos of all that was happening. Now that we have settled into a schedule it is easier to actually meal plan. There are still day’s where I just say, “lets get a pizza”, or “Hun can you just grab something”, but for the most part cooking is everyday.

My laundry still sits in the washer sometimes. It gets washed three times before it makes it over to the dryer. Once in the dryer it might not get folded for awhile. I SWEAR I am trying harder on that.

Best shape of my life, um, no. I of course gained weight when everything hit the fan earlier in the year. Then I lost weight only to sock weight back on. I have been active, but the stress I have put on myself has not helped. Now I convince myself that working out is part of my job, I have to do it everyday. That day was not yesterday. Just saying.

I don’t socialize much. This has been the hardest adjustment. I worked in a Call Center. So even if I didn’t get a chance to speak with friends, I was talking to people ALL day. Like many people now, I also use the Timehop app. At one point last week it showed up how I said “I forgot how quiet it can be”. I appreciated the silence last year.¬† Now, its boring. I look forward to the afternoon bus stop. Three other moms, and myself gather about 20 minutes before the bus comes by to talk about our day. A couple come out with their afternoon coffee, one comes fresh from the beach in her Lily Pulitzer garb (she swears shes wearing one everyday until it snows), and I come in my yoga pants ready to gab. I don’t go out to lunches. I have to plan far in advance to go out with friends. My outings are usually solo. I walk to the farmer’s market, take a walk around town, or just do yard work. What I have learned is this is basically what we ALL do. As one of the Mom’s said the other day, “I wanted to get things done but just got stuck. By the time I looked at the time I came out here”.

I think a lot of Stay at Home Moms think its going to be different. We see those few Moms out there with their lunch groups, playdates, happy as can be. I am usually an outgoing person. This has made me realize, I’m only an outgoing person with people I know. I’ve realized how shy I am around new people. One of the most paralyzing moments I’ve had here was back to school night for Alex. Eli stayed with the kids, and I knew NO one at the school. They had a 15 minute social time in the cafeteria. I stood in the corner texting Eli how awful this was. His response was to go socialize. Fun fact, he would be doing the same thing!!!! I was so happy when they told us to go to the kids rooms. Things were better at family fun day when I ran into neighbors, and a couple of the kids friends parents.

Clearly I need goals for the next year. My most important goal, to be happy. I think once you’re happy other things fall in place. I need to stick with my plans more. When I get stuck in a rut and things pile up, it just gets more overwhelming. Working out is a must, I know I feel better after I do it, some days I just don’t feel like it. I’m not going to say that I need to get friends. I have friends, and I am more than happy when I see them. However, I need to get a friend in town. So, my goal will be to go out on a coffee date with a friend in town. There, that is reachable.

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Birthdays are a funny thing

So, checking in here. Today was my Mom’s 69th birthday. It was a day I was dreading, having panic attacks about, and hoping it wouldn’t come. Like all days of the year, it arrived. It just so happened that today the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition was having a walk for Ovarian Cancer in my state today. It seemed to fitting to do this for my Mom. As my friend Alyssa put it, “Your Mom loved to volunteer for so many things, she would love that you did this for her.”

I felt I was doing ok for most of the event. I certainly got teary eyed when I posted my Mom’s picture on the Memory wall. It was saddening to walk past the survivor tent knowing I couldn’t have her put a handprint there. I wrote her a Happy Birthday message and pinned it up for her. Then they had their opening ceremony. It was empowering to hear the survivor stories. I was also envious that they are here and my Mom isn’t. It startled even Alyssa to hear how there is not a diagnostic test for Ovarian Cancer. It is still rattling how vague the symptoms are. What finally sent me over the edge was when they had us all yell out who we were there for. It was a roar of names. With that, they released a flock of doves. The host called out they carried the names and were heading up. The tears just flowed. Not just for me, but all around. It was moving, beautiful, and yet peaceful.

Once all the opening ceremony was done, we headed out for our walk. It was good to know I was walking for a cause, and it was for my Mom.

Alyssa and I

Alyssa and I

After the walk we headed over to a store called Cabela’s. This place is NUTS! It is a outdoors store, so it has all your hunting, boating, atving, fishing, and camping gear. The store also has a wildlife (um stuffed) display, aquarium, restaurant, and gun shooting game. We spent a good amount of time just goofing off and checking everything out. If you want to see what I’m talking about I would say check out the store page here.

We then headed over the Cheesecake Factory and indulged in an ungodly amount of calories. It was a good way to spend Mom’s birthday.

When I came home I just spent the day outside weeding, pruning, decorating for fall, and resting. It was quiet. I didn’t hear from anyone, but perhaps I shouldn’t have expected to? The feeling was unsettling to not pick up the phone and call Mom at all today. I am past the part of reaching to call her. I know shes not there. However, I have this gem on my computer from 2 years ago. It was from taking Mom to the Science Center with the Boys. She picked where we went, and it was a great day.¬† We had closed it out at the Rainforest Cafe with a comical birthday song.

 

IMG_0889 IMG_0893 IMG_0899She goofed around, had fun, laughs, and was healthy. I am thankful for that birthday. I watched a video I had from that day a couple days ago. At first, it made me cry, a lot. Then, I watched it again today (a couple of times), and it just made me smile. I miss her, but its a piece. I wish we could have done something this year together. I so wish we could have done that repeat Disney trip she wanted, or Alaska cruise. It just was not meant to be. I figure I have one milestone down, and I’ll push to the holidays.

Enjoy the video! Perhaps you too can see the joy in my Mom’s face, and the happiness in the moment.

 

 

Riding the waves

So I know I said I didn’t forget this blog, and I didn’t. However, I think the shock from the last 7 months of losing my Mom caught up with me. Between going to Vermont without her, our family home, and other issues; I feel like I got hit with a tidal wave. I’ve told some friends that I don’t know how I would have made it through that initial period without asking for prayers of strength. I now sit back and almost have PTSD of the whole time period. Whether it was:

Mom telling me she had a tumor

Meg saying it was cancer

Taking Mom for the doctors visit where they admitted her

Seeing Mom go into anaphylactic shock from chemo

Seeing Mom with a black eye

Watching her lose weight and hair

Seeing how she couldn’t keep up

Watching her sick

Taking her to the ER one last time

Finding out she was going to die

Being there every moment

Mom saying “Erin can you just stop talking?” and me finally saying “No, because how do I know how many more times we will?!”

Mom gripping my hand, waking me up while I slept next to her for 4 nights.

The last time she told me she loved me.

When I finally caved and told her it was ok, crying.

Driving home at 2:30am the day she died, and seeing the hospice sign. I thought about it, and then went home. She passed 2 hours later.

It is very hard to comprehend that someone who was healthy is just, gone. Its harder to realize you watched them deteriorate. While I am thankful for having the time with her, the hurt is beyond what I was prepared for. Whats worse? The other people that are lost along the way. There are plenty of people that say they’re there for you after a loss. One by one (some more hurtful than others) disappear. I’m learning to focus on my family unit. I throw all my energy into the people (and pets) under my roof.

I have tried to make time for friends, and was beyond grateful for two of my best friends coming over yesterday. We had a pretty awesome spread on my front porch with Sangria to boot. We took a quick drive to the beach, and got to act silly at Home Goods. It was what I needed. To know I’m not alone.Its hard to explain the feeling of loneliness when you have a family. I also don’t know at this point if I was still working, if my feelings would be different.

What I DO find important to note is this is different than what was experienced in the past. I know I suffered with Postpartum after Colin. I never admitted it and struggled through it. That was an overwhelming feeling of doing it wrong when I wasn’t. Feeling worthless, alone, judged, and all over the place. I would recommend reading this article about postpartum. I feel the article is true for a lot of people with depression. Will you know just by looking at them?

With this round of depression its the feeling of someone is gone. That I can’t pick up the phone and call Mom to say Alex had a hard day going to school. That he cried and I had to leave him, and I walked home crying. She would have told me its ok, he will adjust, he will be fine. Then, I would have spoken to her later and she would have told me which of her friends agreed, and I would have groaned that she talked to others about it. I think of a year ago and how she was looking forward to me leaving my job with the hope of having LOTS of day trips. They were far and few between.

I’m more quiet. I can still be myself around friends, but have taken listening more seriously. I would be the loudest, and now I consider each moment. I don’t sleep, much. I don’t get angry. I just feel broken. I am the 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle being put back together.

I do relish the moments when I feel myself. Whether its dancing to “fireball” in the kitchen, hosting friends, playing games with the boys, or just trying.

I write this to say I’m not fine. This is so others who have thought I’m being nasty know I’m just broken. To my friends/family that have been unwavering that they know they’re my push. I also write this so others can see it. I think other Mom’s, people who have lost, or those who are just depressed know its not just them. Depression can be so isolating. Its like someone giving you a hug and you cringe.

I want to stress it should be mentioned there have been a handful of incredible uplifting people in my life. Those who have been unwavering and give me hope. Family doesn’t always have to be blood. My friends have proven that.

I’ve said before, my blog would be unfiltered and it is. I’m admitting to depression. I want to say I see a light at the end, but I can’t right now. Perhaps I will soon, just not now.

With that said, I will be posting more. I have had happy moments in between chaos. Hopefully I can soon share. I’m sure not all posts will always be happy, but this is real. Consider this a disclaimer for the future.