long post alert
I looked over all the pics I took in 2018. I never realize how much we actually do until i looked at them! I shared via social media that we went on 2 camping trips, 2 trips to Mexico, 1 road trip to Washington & Idaho with stops in Montana, many trips to Winnipeg,all intertwined with lots of baseball, Hockey games, Nolan “working” at the zoo, any many other little things. Its funny what we share and what we don’t.
Here are a few things I will now share about 2018 that didn’t make the FB and Instagram highlight wheel, which is actually the real life. Some are lessons learned, some are challenges, revelations, and some are just well with no category, and of course in no proper order.

1. The best trips are road trips. Long and annoying with kids fighting, but those provide the best memories. Don’t pay to take your kids to Mexico TWICE. Leave that for just your spouse. Kids have fun and all but they just can’t appreciate it the way we do. Our boys appeared to have more fun camping then causing over the sea.
2. Its really hard not to get caught up in the Hoopla of getting on an A team. Yes, I wish that would go away and be conquered but it likes to return. Its amazing how kids place their worth next to their status in sports, and how us parents just want our kids to be happy and get on the team they are wishing for. We have had many talks about “our worth” and what matters, and the reality of not being the best. I realize over and over that it really makes no sense to care about such things as when they are older none of this will ever matter to them either. You don’t get a better crown if you make the best team every year.
3. Middle school is super hard. Its still full of crap like it was 20 plus years ago. Drugs, sex, the crazy things kids manage to do. This is reality and the whole world is like this. I make it an effort to continually talk to the boys about ALL the things of middle school and the stuff to come. No subject is off limits and no question gets a raised brow. As long as they are talking, sharing and asking its good. I have slowly begin to talk to the boys about my history and Miles has realized why I am so concerned. Like Yeah i was smoking pot and drinking at your age……so yeah the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree of two parents that were upto no good. Now i get it mom…..
4. having a kid that inherited your mental illness is CRAP. Dealing with it and parenting are a whole new level of exhausting that parenting a kid without the challenges of off balanced brain chemistry. I have come to laugh, mostly, that between the little guy and me we keep the pharmacy busy. Its part of the life we have been given and will continue on. When he was about 7 or 8 i remember thinking I wonder if he will make it to age 12. He is 12.Suicide stuff, depression, mood disorders,anxiety, have played a major role in our family life. Everything from not being able to keep a good friend, to failing grades, to physical violence, to far too many tears are just the tip of the iceberg of that whole life. Perspective, progress, and prayer have continued to slow the graying of my hair.
5. God gave me Brent and I am so very grateful. He deals with more than one basket case, works his tail off to provide all while cooking many dinners for us all. He has come to understand my anxiety over preparing food and just steps in and does it. He is my glue to my crazy thoughts. More and more I realize how good Ive got it with him.
6. Im reading the book His brain her brain and it really explains in a great way what to actually expect of your spouse.
7. Perspective is a way of life. I try to always look at the big picture from Gods view. Our life is 100 years at best….what are you worrying about that really doesn’t matter? gets me through many valleys.
8. just relax. Seriously. something bothers you? stop muling it over and talking about it. Pray about it. Done. Give it to God. Done. He can and will take care of it,maybe not how you’d like but you can be free from oh so much.
9.I have to pick many battles. Sometimes the boys get away with so much its sad and lazy on my part. Im just a human too though trying to live. I could tie up my child to his bed so he could commit less crimes but that doesn’t work either. We work daily on not cussing like a pirate.
10. Living free of extra stuff is the way to go. Again, freeing.
11.Priorities are funny. You do have time if its important to you. period. Ive been going to visit my Dad and family more and more in Winnipeg. Why? Well his health is poopy and I want to spend as much time as I can with him.Does it require sacrifice? yes…but it has become priority. This also applies to binge watching netflix series. If its important I will and want to make time I mean waste time.
12. Im realizing this is far too long and I could go on forever but I will quit.
13. one last thing-God and girlfriends I could not do without. All the above is hard, but I know its temporary and we are on this earth only a short time. If I keep God first the rest falls into place. and girlfriends you know who u are…i love you and can’t imagine sharing life with any other girls!

Also, i will not edit this.

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