November 14, 2017

Today’s entry comes from my cousin-in-law Danielle, who is one of the ladies I admire most. I love her and I am so grateful to be a part of her family. Danielle has always been kind and welcoming to me and really exudes inner and outer strength (and one day I’m going to get my crap together and run a race with her!) in a way that makes me want to be better. I always love following her posts, hearing her good thoughts and seeing her work toward her goals. I absolutely loved reading her experiences loving her family, overcoming hardship, and finding gratitude. Reading it, I found so many things to be grateful for myself and felt so inspired. You definitely will, too!

“I am a mom of two wild, little, imaginative boys. Last year, my oldest had a very rough year. We struggled a lot with school, which caused more stress and depression than school ever should. My 8 year old (at the time) started telling me how he “just could not live anymore.” Something no mother ever would dream of hearing from her child… especially at 8 years old. It started happening night after night.

We had been struggling with school work and getting things done in class. Many meetings with the teacher and the principal and it was eating away at us all. The more I met with the teacher the more defeated I felt, and realized why my child was feeling the same way.

We ended up pulling him out of school and homeschooling because he was not doing well in the emotional aspect of his life, and it was the only option I felt I had left to help him.

During this time, my son and I talked a lot about the good things in our life to try and heal, and overcome the bad things that were weighing us down. We had both lost a lot of things through this rough time. Just a few being our self worth and confidence (which are huge and I am still working on getting it back), our strength, our friends, our happy faces, and good attitudes. All of which are very hard things to lose and make you feel like things will never get better.

Also, during this time we were able to be together and build a better relationship. We had more than our fair share of rough days (which didn’t feel like things were getting any better) but I am grateful for the many good days and fun activities we were able to experience together.

I am so grateful for the people that reached out to me to help, even when they didn’t know what I needed, they knew I needed something. Many times, I didn’t even know what I needed myself, but just knowing that someone was thinking of me helped me through it. I had so many people that just listened to me, or people that gave me advice, or people that just sent me a message saying they were thinking of me. I am so grateful for each of you that thought of me during this time.

We made it through the end of the home-school year. We were able to switch schools for the upcoming year in, order to bring us both a sense of peace and assurance that things would be better.

At this point, I could split off into even more things to be grateful for that helped us get through our nightmare, but I want to focus on what we are grateful for currently in our life right now.

I’ll start with the moment I realized that we made the right decision. We are now about a year away from our terrible school experience.

Just a few weeks ago, my son handed me a paper immediately after getting in the car one day after school. It was to write a story, in my mind all I could think about was the fight it was going to be to even get a few sentences written on that paper. I thought it was going to take a few days, at least. So I put it off and forgot about it. Well, the story was due so I pulled out the paper and we read the instructions together and as I was asking him questions about what he wanted for his story, he took the paper and said “don’t worry I’ll do it myself.” He took the paper into the front room and spent a good 30 minutes in there, and brought me back a paper totally complete. I was in complete shock! I had him read the story to me and it was amazing, animation, actions, everything. I cant help but notice that his whole demeanor has totally flipped around. All I could think about was the teacher that is cheering him on everyday, and I can’t help but get teary eyed knowing that someone else is helping my child, AND showing him that he can do it! He believes in himself now, he knows he has to try, and try again if its too hard or isn’t working out.

As a mother it was so hard for me to send my kids to school. We are given these precious babies to care for, and then they grow up and you send them to school to complete strangers and hope the best for them. We did not get the best last year and it turned our lives upside down. We are so grateful for the experience to get a new chance, with an amazing teacher and we are SO GRATEFUL for it.

I am so grateful to be able to feel like getting up and doing my makeup and curling my hair. I didn’t ever know that something I loved to do would just sound so awful to do everyday.

Before this all happened, I loved exercising and trying to eat healthier options and all of that has been the hardest thing for myself to get back into. I hate talking about this because I am still not “overweight,” but to myself I am so unhealthy. Back when all of this was going on I was eating a whole pan of brownies by myself every few days and not really eating much of anything else. I had put on weight and didn’t feel good, and I hated myself for letting it get that bad.

Just today I tried on a pair of jeans that have been so tight I feel like I couldn’t breathe when I tried to wear them before and they fit! I am finally, very slowly, getting back to my healthy, feeling good self. It is a long, slow, process, and some days I get so discouraged, but I am so grateful for the mindset that I have again that I can be healthy again.

This is getting long and I feel like I can keep going… But through this whole experience I have realized that the only thing that matters is my family and my own well being.

I am so grateful for a loving husband who had my back and went along with my decisions. He never complained that I was still in my pj’s, or that the house was still a mess and there was no dinner to eat (and this was just becoming the normal for us) . I am also grateful that I feel like getting up and taking care of things, like normal housewife responsibilities.

I am so grateful that I have healthy children who just love to play! They are such good boys and they love to create things and play, play, play!

I am so grateful for the people in my life that reach out to me and want to help me. A little text, email, something left on my porch, a listening ear… Whatever it was I am grateful for you!

I am so grateful for my little family, and I am SO GRATEFUL for that smile on Chet’s face after school every day. I am so grateful for his loving teacher that believes in him, and is teaching him to believe in himself.

I am so grateful for the many helpers that tried to help with our unfortunate school experience.

Also I am so grateful for Shelby for giving me this experience to write down my feelings. I don’t usually say a lot to anyone and it is freeing to get this all out.

This year I am a little more thankful and I will continue to be so. Take a few minutes to write down or say out loud what you are grateful for today, and do it again tomorrow. Hug your babies a little more and kiss your husband a little longer… and thank your kids school teachers for believing in them!”

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