May 24, 2017

DEAR GIRLS, LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR CRAPPY FRIENDS

I loved this blog post from Babble and wanted to share it. I wish that I would have thought this way when I was a preteen seeking approval and had an overwhelming desire to be liked. Credit to the author Anna Lind Thomas. These are all her words from her blog post on Babble. Check her it out here.


Dear lovely girls,
I have a secret. Being popular, liked, and included by your peers is totally overrated. I can see your eyes are glazing over. Hold on, let me put on a One Direction t-shirt so I can get your attention. OK, let’s try that again.
Don’t get me wrong, friends are important. We are wired to long for community. You’ll desperately want to be in one when you’re in school. I hope you develop friendships that allow you to be your true self. Friends who care for you, support you and make you feel good about who you are. But if you can’t find these special friends, don’t panic. And please don’t get desperate.
There isn’t much I’m going to say here that you’ll probably believe. Hearing someone say popularity is overrated when you’re in the lonely abyss of being unpopular is like me telling you that one day you might be a little embarrassed by your Justin Bieber bed sheets. Right now, your Bieber Fever won’t allow you to hear me. I understand.
Let me just tell you what I know to be true. Maybe some day when you feel sad, lonely, jealous, or excluded, you’ll remember little snippets of what I said and take courage.
Life is way too short for crappy friends.
We just don’t have time for that nonsense. Each one of us has a purpose for being here. Some might tell you that it’s all random and you have as much eternal relevance as a cup of dirt, so just have fun while you can. But I hope you won’t believe them. You have gifts and talents, activities you enjoy and fill you up. Maybe you like to draw or write stories. Maybe you can sing or play an instrument. Perhaps you’re a wiz at math and love architecture.
Maybe it’s none of those things, but there’s something. I know it.
Now is a wonderful time to cultivate these talents. To practice, play, and explore everything that lights you up — all the gifts you can give to make the world a better place. Now is the perfect time to start to discover who you really are.
A good friend worth keeping will support you and what you love to do. They’ll celebrate your talents and they may even share them. A good friend brings out the best in you, loves you, and even forgives you when you’re in a real salty mood and tell them their artistic portrayal of Katy Perry on the back of their Five Star notebook looks like the school librarian with a lazy eye.
You’re only human. You probably didn’t mean librarian with a lazy eye in a bad way, necessarily. Just be sure to say sorry, though —  just in case.
Our desire to be liked (or have our selfies literally liked on Facebook) is normal, but it can outweigh our desire to truly be ourselves. This is where the real trouble begins.
If we live our life seeking other people’s approval, we’ll never actually live our life. And we only have one shot at this, so let’s not screw this part up.
There are obvious signs you might be in a friendship you shouldn’t be in. Obvious signs could include that the person makes you feel bad about yourself, you’re constantly paranoid about losing the friendship, or the person blatantly uses you and may even be mean and verbally abusive towards you from time to time.
But there are subtle signs too. They don’t outwardly treat you badly, but there’s just something about the way they interact with you that makes you feel inadequate. Sometimes you decide to hide certain aspects of yourself because you’re not convinced they’ll like or accept all of you. Sometimes you’ll start compromising your values to have something in common. Sometimes you find yourself acting like the person you think they want to be friends with rather than just being the precious being you are.
Sometimes, even though you’re surrounded by “friends,” you start to feel lonely and insecure. They’re your friends, but the friendship has limits. Maybe your feelings don’t matter if they inconvenience them or if you ever share that they have hurt your feelings, they decide you’re a little too exhausting to keep around.
Did I mention life is too short for crappy friends?
Here’s something else you probably won’t believe: if you stop worrying about being liked, popular or even having someone to sit with at lunch, and start focusing on becoming a better you, sharpening your skills and talents so that you may be a good friend to others, amazing people will start to gravitate to you.
I know, too much hocus pocus, right? But the truth is, we attract exactly what we put out. If we’re pretending to be someone else, all we’ll attract are other people pretending to be someone else, creating fake friendships with a bunch of people who will probably make us feel bad about ourselves by lunchtime. No thanks, sister.
Sometimes you’ll find that some people just aren’t able to be a good friend to you, even if they want to be. Their traumas, insecurities, anxieties, health issues or life circumstances can make it difficult for them to give you much of anything, let alone a friendship you can rely on. It doesn’t mean they’re nasty or they don’t like you (well, sometimes it does) it simply means they can’t give you what you need — a friendship worth investing time in. So stop investing time in it.
Either way, to be our true, authentic selves takes real courage and it may mean we won’t always have a surplus of friends. For a season, it may seem we don’t have any at all. Many people will grow old never finding that courage. But I can tell you this, they’ll spend their last days wishing they spent more time focusing on becoming their best self and giving their gifts to others, rather than worrying if everyone is at Applebee’s laughing hysterically without them.
Although your life and priorities will evolve into adulthood, I’d like to tell you these problems with friendships will go away completely. Maybe with you, they will. But for many of us, our desire to be liked, to have good friends and to be included still resonate loudly well into adulthood. Whether the person next door invites the entire neighborhood except our family to their party, or all the “cool people” huddle together like an impenetrable army at a professional conference, grown women care about this too.
Why? Because we all want to be loved. So badly, at times, we’ll settle for the superficial bullcrap when we all deserve the real deal. Your ego wants to be liked at any cost. Your true self wants to love others and trusts it will eventually be returned without fussing too much about the details.
It’s hard to be our authentic selves — it makes us vulnerable. It’s hard to give and love without the expectation of getting anything in return — we typically give what we so desperately want to receive. It’s hard to accept that friends worth having are actually quite rare, when there’s a void, we want to fill it fast.
But it’s easy to care about what other people think. It’s easy to pretend to be someone you’re not. It’s easy to focus our lives on things that don’t matter, sacrificing everything that does.
One good friend who loves you unconditionally is far better than 100 superficial friends who really don’t care all that much about you, trust me.
If you’re feeling lonely in study hall at 14 or in your cubicle at 34, I hope you’ll try to rally your courage. I hope you’ll put your energy into living your life as your authentic self, with purpose and excitement. I hope you’ll turn your focus from being uninvited, towards your talents and gifts, cultivating them to make the world (or someone’s day) better.
And here’s an idea — be a good friend to someone else and see what happens. I know, I’m a genius. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to change out of this One Direction t-shirt. I don’t want to betray my one true love, John Stamos.

May 19, 2017

Sauk Rapids Prom 2017

It's been a busy few weeks. With moving, work and Jake being sick I haven't blogged much. I am going to forgo my usual Friday post to blog about two cute kids and their prom. Cool?
This past weekend Mr.J's son had his junior prom. Mr. J, Jake and I met them at Munsigner Gardens to take pictures of them. It was 80 and sunny, a beautiful day for prom. I've never been to the Munsigner and definitely want to go back when it isn't packed with prom kids. The flowers were beautiful but not as beautiful as these two.






I thought this was the perfect time for Mr. J and I to take our first picture together. With how many pictures I take I can't believe after all this time this is our first. 
And one with my boys!
This melts me!

After pictures we headed over to the high school for the grand march. It was fun to see all the kids dressed up. 
They even made the St.Cloud Times

May 17, 2017

My Rare Kid Gets a Rare Muscle Syndrome

I haven't blogged in a week and a half but I have a good reason. Jake was sick. Not just your average run of the mill sick but sick. Warning LONG POST!
It all started Saturday May 6th when Jake was unusually tired. He was not complaining about not feeling well, he just wanted to sleep. Completely out of character for him. I think at one point he stopped what he was doing and said, 'Mom, I just need a nap'. He also didn't have much of an appetite. Then on Sunday he displayed the same behavior. Not really acting sick, just didn't want eat and was really lazy.
 Early Monday morning he woke up with a high fever and cold like symptoms. He said that his head and throat hurt. I stayed home from work with him while he rested. Tuesday morning he work up and still wasn't feeling the greatest but I had to get some work done so I brought him into work with me. He started to complain that his ear was bother him. I decided to bring him into urgent care and sure enough, he had an ear infection. By this time he is in much better spirits and I'm feeling like we might be in the clear. 
Wednesday morning Jake wakes up and can't walk. Of course I think he is being dramatic and wanting to stay home another day. Knowing I HAVE to go to work, I beg him to try to go to school. As he cries in pain, I bribe him with an art project if he can make it through the day. He agrees, because it's an art project and if you know Jake that is his achilles heel. Mind you he is hobbling and complaining about how much his legs hurt. Again, I think he is being dramatic. Not my proudest moment as a parent but how was I to know. 
Throughout the day his special ed teacher was keeping me updated through email how he was doing. He made it to 1 pm when the school called. Jake said that he tried but it hurts so bad he wants to go home. 
After an hour drive from work I arrived at Jake's school. By this point Jake is almost no longer able to walk at all. As I am practically carrying him to the car he says, 'Mom, can I still do my art project? I really tried to make it the whole day'. 
He spent the rest of the day and afternoon on the couch. Only getting up to piggy back ride to the bathroom . I thought to myself that this is the oddest thing and if he still isn't better by the next day I am bringing him to urgent care. 
The next day was worse and Jake couldn't stand and I couldn't touch his calves without him crying from the pain. Urgent care here we come. 
After 3 hours in urgent care they sent us to the ER. 
Jake was in so much pain that they were giving him morphine. When he started barking like a dog and meowing like a cat, the nurse thought he was feeling better. I said, um that is normal behavior for my kid. lol. 

After several hours in the ER(6 to be exact) and lots of blood work it was discovered that Jake had Benign Acute Childhood Myositis a rare muscle syndrome caused by strep. This syndrome causes severe calf pain. Since we were in the ER all day Jake slept comfortably on pain meds and I laid next to him and watched movies. 

The ER doctor contacted Children's hospital of Minneapolis and asked what the course of action should be. Children's hospital wanted him transferred in an ambulance to their hospital to be admitted. I asked if I could drive him because an ambulance ride that far is very costly and he is on pain meds and feeling ok for now. The doctors agree and we packed up and headed to children's. Little did I know that choosing to drive him would be a big mistake. 

When we arrived at Children's hospital I was under the impression that Jake would be admitted right away but because he didn't arrive in the ambulance we were put to the back of the line. 


There was a measles outbreak and then 4 critical cases in a row so we waited 4 hours to get back into the ER. My heart was breaking for Jake because the medicine was wearing off and he was so uncomfortable. By 2 am Jake was admitted and resting comfortably. 


The course of treatment for this rare syndrome is to pump fluids into the body to bring CPK blood enzyme level down to a safe/normal level. When Jake entered the hospital his CPK level was 6500. A normal level for a child is 60-400. Throughout the night and the next day Jake's levels trended down to an acceptable level where he could be released. 


And of course he got to do his art project.



I have major guilt that I didn't give him the benefit of the doubt and was so wrapped up in work that I didn't want to listen to him when he said he was hurting. It was an odd week but I am happy to say Jake is 100%. It came on fast and left just as fast. 

May 5, 2017

What's Up Weekend? May 5th, 2017


Happy Friday!! Linkin' up with my girls from PP, Lindsay, Chrissy and Charlotte. Here is a list of what made me happy this week.


1) After months and months of only seeing Mr. J on the weekends, Jake and I made the move to Our Happy Place. The move went pretty smooth. Thanks to Two Men and A Truck


2. Got the stain out!!




 3. Pizza night!


 4. First attempt at a fathead pizza. It turned out amazing! Even Mr. J liked it. 2 net carbs.


 5. I love the way our creepy trees look at sunset. 

6. Watching Jake play outside. After a year of living in an apartment he is finally free!



7. These two love each other and we just love watching them play. 


 8. Finally all moved in to my new office. Moving houses and moving offices at the same time was a bit stressful but all worth it.


9. Launching a photo hunt with my BFF Kristi. If you would like to participate click here. All you have to do is take picture of the 10 items listed on Kristi's blog throughout the month of May and then share them in a blog post June 1st then linkup. 

10. I posted about Jake's new school earlier this week but I wanted to include this on my list of what made me happy this week. Jake's new school is amazing and he is LOVING IT!! 



What made you happy this week??

May 2, 2017

Jake's New School

If you've stopped by my blog in the past month or so you probably know that Jake and I made the big move to Our Happy Place. My son Jake is visually impaired and requires special services. That being said switching schools mid year is not an easy task. To say that I was more nervous than Jake is an understatement. He is such a happy go lucky kid. He is constantly making me proud with his ability to adapt and overcome obstacles. 

Although we were excited for our new chapter to start at Our Happy Place, we knew that moving meant that Jake would no longer be with his Para Ms. Karla, who he has been with for 2 years. Jake and Ms. Karla have a special bond. She knows him so well. She spent 6 hours a day with Jake and he will miss her. I will miss being able to chat with her about Jake every morning when I drop him off. She is such a kind amazing woman and was born to do this job. 


Jake and Ms. Karla
Becker school was so accommodating to Jake needs. They made sure that his locker was on the end so he could find it and his name was displayed clearly and in red. 


Jake was so excited and didn't show any fear or anxiety on his first day. He made me so proud. I know if it was me I would have been nervous.


When I picked up Jake from school I had a few minutes to discuss Jake's day with his new Para Ms. Rikke. The first thing she said to me was, 'You have an awesome kid on your hands'. She said that the class was asked to write 4 sentences about anything they wanted. After they were all done the teacher asked the class if anyone would like to share what they wrote. Sure enough Jake's hand went up first. He went up in front of the class and this is what he wrote. 
1) I like the color red
2) I have a dog named Cooper
3) I have a cat named Rosa
4) I have a new bed. 
No fear what so ever!


After school he just went to his room. No care in the world. Like this life altering move didn't affect him one bit. Maybe I am a tad dramatic. This Mama was a ball of nerves for nothing. 

Hanging out on the couch with Cooper before bed

Now that we got the first day out of the way, I can relax. Jake moving schools was more stressful on me than the move itself. 

May 1, 2017

KRISTI & KIM’S PHOTO HUNT CHALLENGE MAY 2017

May 2017 list:
  1. Something Bright
  2. A Landscape
  3. Something in season
  4. Black and white
  5. A reflection
  6. A closeup
  7. Something shiny
  8. Colorful
  9. A silhouette
  10. Something wet 
Kristi and I will be hosting a photo challenge. We are going to shoot for every other month. Possibly every month depending on time constants. 
Photo Hunt Challenge Rules:
You must take your photos between May 1st and May 31st.  You ARE allowed (and encouraged!) to use Photoshop  or other photo-editing software as you’d like (it often adds to the artistic
quality of the photo).
It is up to you whether you post your photos on your blog as you go,
or wait until May 31st to unveil them and make it a surprise.  One
thing I ask is that everyone who participates posts all 10 photos in
one single post on their blogs or in a set in an online gallery on
May 31st/June 1st. 
I can't wait to see all your photos. Have fun!!


Apr 27, 2017

Thinking Out Loud- Photo Challenge

Several years ago my BFF Kristi  hosted a weekly(or maybe it was monthly) photo challenge. I LOVED doing them. I was looking through my blog and came across several photos that I had submitted to these challenges and I thought about how much fun this was and how much I missed it. Maybe if anyone is interested we could revive this monthly photo challenge. Kristi? What do you think?
Kristi would come up with a list of topics and you would have to take a photo that coincides with said topic. I've done several of these types of challenges on Instagram. 

Here are some of my photos that I have submitted. I can't remember the topics to each. 

I could only assume that the topic on this one was HOT









What I loved most about doing these challenges was that I got to get out and do something that I loved doing. I was always looking for things that would relate to what the topic was and was able to get really creative. 

If you have an interest in doing a photo challenge let me know. I would love to linkup. 


Apr 26, 2017

Jake's New Loft Bed

This past weekend we built Jake his new loft bed. We spent hours cutting, sanding, staining and assembling. This was a group project that turned out amazing. Special thank you to Mr. J, his Mom Laura and Step Dad Steve for all their hard work.

We used plans from Ana White website. Mr. J modified the plans to allow more head room under the bed. We used weathered gray quick dry stain.