Archive for March, 2016

A Moment Frozen in Time (Then Melted For…A While)

Tuesday, I did laundry and on Wednesday, started packing.  My daughter, Mica’s birthday was Thursday.  My sister Sarah came into town on Friday.  Saturday morning we went to an Easter festival, then Amor and I packed up the van and headed out-of-town with four kids to visit extended family members and for a short spring vacation.

I brought my computer, and during the much-longer-than-it-should-have-taken drive, I imported and organized some pictures from my phone to the computer.  I wanted to make sure I had plenty of space on my phone – the only camera I had taken with me.  It fills up quickly and has too little space and functions too slowly to upload pictures to an internet cloud or email.  So my system is to load them to the computer, back them up onto a flash drive, then clear out the camera phone.  If I don’t clear out all the photos at once, I’ll have to delete them one-by-one later, which is frustrating and time-consuming, to separate the ones I’ve saved from the new ones.  I was just finishing up as we arrived at the beach.  I felt proud of myself for having accomplished that.

On Easter Sunday morning, I dressed up the twins.  I went all out too!  Brooks was so handsome in his little black suit and red tie, and Bella was adorable in her pink flowery dress.  “Take a picture (thinking: before they get dirty)!” I said to Amor and handed him my phone. We visited the church I grew up in, the pastor of which, officiated our wedding.  I saw a few family members there.  We exchanged hugs and niceties  but I got the impression that a few of them may still be holding onto some old grudges since they ducked out before I even had a chance to grab my camera phone.  (Can we just bury the hatchet already?)  Maybe they were just in a hurry and it’s all in my mind.  I’ll chose to think the best and go with that.  Anyway…

Our next stop was my Aunt’s house where other family members were gathered.  She had invited us to their annual Easter lunch, which we haven’t attended in a few years (due to understandable circumstances).  She had never even met the twins.  It was a nice little family reunion. So nice, indeed, that I just had to get a picture, two actually.  With all our hectic lives, who knows when or even if this group of people will be together again.  It was a moment worth capturing.

It took a good hour to get back to our hotel.  It was raining and the kids started going stir-crazy.  “When can we go to the pool?  When can we go to the pool?  When can we go to the pool?”  As I blew up water-wings and gathered towels, I thought, “This would be a great time to get some good pics and/or video.”  I grabbed my phone and quickly flipped through the gallery.  I admit, I was distracted.  For some reason, some of the pictures that had already been transferred and that should have been erased were still there.  So guess what I did..

I hit the delete button!  Oops, I erased them all, even the new ones that I hadn’t even looked at or saved.  I was so disappointed with myself.  I tried, but couldn’t find any way to retrieve them.  What a shame!  I started to get upset.  I wanted to beat myself up for doing something so stupid.

But then it hit me: Those pictures aren’t gone.  They still exist in my mind.  That mental picture is fresh and the reminder is right here in my words in this post

To the family whose picture I didn’t get:  I see you

To the family whose picture I lost:  I’ll remember you

To my extended family, even though we are far away from each other, some physically, some emotionally, I love you all.

I have my mental picture and its clarity and contrast is better than anything a camera phone could have ever captured.

(Resurrection Sunday, March 27, 2016, Twins 21 months, Mica 8, Hope 6)

(Above pictures courtesy of Amor’s phone)

Double Talk Quote: “But I don’t even know how to take care of babies!” – Hope, shortly after the twins were born. “You will soon,” I reply.

Bible Verse:  “I tell you this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable… O death, where is your sting?  …Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory …” 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

Word that has Lost its meaning: Cloud

Relatable Lyrics:  “The Easter Song” by Keith Green

“The angels, they all surround us, And they are ministering Jesus’ power
Quickly now, reach out and receive it, For this could be your glorious hour!”

Update:

After reading this post, Grandma contacted me and implored me to search for restoration programs and instructed me not to take any more pics until I had done so.  I had to delete about 5 apps from my phone to make room for a disk restore app, all while trying to get out the hotel room with 4 excited kids and one irritated hubby (I don’t blame him, it did take a while).  But low-and-behold, I did get my pictures back. I guess they hadn’t melted away forever!!!  Praise the Lord!

Easter Family Picture

The Lost Photo has been restored!

 

Struggle to Juggle: Writing

Baby Books and Prayer Journals

I have so much to write.  I love writing my blog and I have so many open drafts, so many ideas of what I want to write, but so little time.  But there is so much more writing I need to do and I’m feeling the pressure to update those things as well as my blog (esp. my “Mommy Resume”.

  1.  My prayer journal:  I’ve been writing prayers – pen to paper for over a decade.  Over the last few months, I’ve been typing or saying prayers but it just doesn’t feel the same as when I sit down with a blank book and chicken-scratch a “Dear God” letter.  There’s no auto-correct.  There’s no editing.  There’s no outline.  And there’s no right or wrong thing to write.  I just pour out my heart and I feel closer to God.  So I’ve been getting up earlier and earlier to try to feel that closeness.  When I’m not interrupted by an early morning rising baby, it’s such a fulfilling feeling to just scribble my thoughts to the Lord in the morning.
  2. Baby Books:  Mica’s baby book is a masterpiece work of art.  It contains drawings we did together and detailed stories from when she was little, with added pages, tailored to show her uniqueness and just how special she is to me.  It is a beautiful exhibit of her character as a baby, and mine too, as a first-time mom.  The twins each have baby books.  I knew it would be challenging to keep up with two, especially considering the time and effort I put into Mica’s.  I definitely have some updating to do there!  With so much going on and so little time, I find myself throwing sticky notes and drawings in the books.  I really need to go through and organize those things, and actually write in them.
  3. Birthday Letters:  On each child’s birthday, I’m supposed to celebrate, make a cake, throw a party, and be exuberant and enthusiastic (regardless of my mood or energy level).  I have also put it upon myself to write an extremely heartfelt card, not to be opened for 18 years (or “when the time is right”).  With four to write for (and two in one day), it can be a lot. These are not just well wishes.  These are spiritual blessings and hopes and dreams for my children’s futures.  Each is unique.  Each is special.  I cry tears of emotion, joy, and sentiment over each.
  4. Immigration:  Amor, my husband, and I have an immigration case pending.  He is from Mexico and is seeking permanent citizenship.  Much of his case resides on my written brief.  For the longest time, we were waiting on the Government for the forms we filed to be processed. The case is currently awaiting my input.  It’s time to get around to that.
  5. Snail Mail:  Who sends good, old-fashioned snail mail anymore?  Me!!!  Well, it’s mostly drawing or collages.  But still, it takes time to put together, write little comments and the addresses, etc.  I send them mostly to my sister but like to surprise other family members from time to time.
  6. Business:  Don’t you just hate calling a big corporation and talking to a machine?  Then after 5 or 10 minutes, you finally get someone on the line and the accent is so thick and the connection so terrible, you can’t communicate?   I’ve gone through this so much and wasted so much time and aggravation.  I usually sit down and write to customers service when I have a complaint with a company.  If they don’t have an online chat or email center, again, I use snail mail.  I usually get results that way with less frustration.  (I get anxiety from talking on the phone anyway, often, even with people I know.  It’s a strange Bipolar-related symptom).

I’m juggling a lot.  Writing is just one of the balls I have in the air. It’s one of my favorite balls to catch, especially due to its therapeutic properties, but it’s hard to keep up with.  There are more pressing issues I have to attend to:  making sure my children are well cared for and also leading them in the path of Jesus, taking care of my marriage, keeping house, grocery shopping and bills, keeping up with friends, helping neighbors, etc.  But I’ll find time.  Lord knows, I have plenty of inspiration. I’ll find time to make it a priority.

(March 17, 2016 –  twins 1 1/2, Hope 6, Mica almost 8!)

Double Talk Quote: “There’s a hair” – Mica, meant to say chair

Bible Verse: “See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!” – Galatians 6:11

Word that has Lost its meaning: Finished

Relatable Lyrics:  “Under Pressure” by Queen

“Chippin’ around, kick my brains ’round the floor
These are the days – it never rains but it pours…

Insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?”

 

Faking It

 

Shell

Can he tell?  Can he tell that I’m faking it?

Happiness, I mean.  The laughter is real.  The feeling behind it is not.  Can he tell?  Can others?

I feel so empty, a shell of who I’m supposed to be, of who I once was, my soul so bland, dull, dry, and tasteless.  I am, again, uncomfortably numb.

Lamenting about being stable seems hypocritical.  Isn’t that what I want?  Isn’t that what I need?  Is it?  If it makes me not me, makes me unable to feel?

I miss the genuine laugh I’d have when my daughter tells a silly joke.  I miss the genuine tear that I’d cry from the heartache of loss.  I miss the genuine pain I’d feel from stumping my toe.  I miss the genuine feeling of happiness I’d get on a beautiful day like today.  I miss the genuine anger I’d experience from my husband losing his job, again. I miss the genuine joy I’d have of seeing my babies love on each other.  Instead, I’m immersed in apathy.

What have I done to myself?  This wretched illness has robbed me of so much that is precious in life.  Now the medication that’s supposed to help heal me is stealing from me instead.   Stealing my hopes and dreams.  Consuming my spirit.  Making me a robot.

I laugh on cue.

Can you tell?  Can you tell that I’m faking it?

(March 1, 2016 –  twins 20 months, Mica 7, Hope 6)

Epiphany Quote: “See, this is why I stop taking my medication.  I’m not Belle.  I’m a shell.” Thinking:  “I’m Michelle” – Me to my therapist

Bible Verse:  Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:8-10

Word that has Lost its meaning: feelings

Relatable Lyrics:  Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

“…I can’t explain, you would not understand, this is not how I am.”

 

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