28 March 2015

Hello Weekend

"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming."
Pablo Neruda

We are madly dreaming of spring. As the soft flurries of snow continue to drift across our windows, we close our eyes and dream. We dream of freshly cut grass and the sweet earthy scent that always accompanies it. We dream of amber colored tulips popping up from the loose fragrant soil. We dream of soft songs fluttering in the freshly blossomed trees as the robins float gracefully through the air.

We dream of spring and the hope it holds.

Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to keep dreaming of spring!

26 March 2015

An Afternoon In Cleveland

These days we're finding ourselves heading up to Cleveland on a regular basis. Unfortunatley, it's always to visit the Cleveland Clinic for doctor appointments or tests, which doesn't make for very much fun. Cleveland is one of those cities that I took for granted when I was younger. I never considered moving there after college because I was blinded by the notion of "moving to the big city" once I landed that dream job to get me there. Well, I never landed that dream job and my move consisted of moving into an apartment two miles away from my parents house. BUT I did meet my future husband and I eventually got a great job. And I'd have to say my three amazing kids are proof that it's a win-win situation.

Over the years, Cleveland has quickly become a favorite city for us to sneak away to for good food, live music and a night on the town. Back in February we were scheduled yet again for another day up at the Clinic. It just so happened that it turned out to be a snow day. Rather than scramble for sitter coverage we decided to make an advetnure out of it and take the whole family. The great thing about living close to a big city is you don't have to cram everything into one day. On this particular day, we took our time heading up there. We spent a couple hours at The Greater Cleveland Aquarium and finished up with a quick lunch at Ohio City Burrito just before we had to head to our appointment.

If you have an afternoon to spare I definitely recommend heading to the aquarium and spending some time in Ohio City!

18 March 2015

Spring Fever

“It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want— oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
Mark Twain

And just like that, spring in the air. The windows are open wide, despite the slight chill that continues to linger, and the curtains are softly swaying in the cool breeze. Fresh air trickles in through the sheer screens, into the office and over my fingers are they quickly type these words. It travels down the hallway and into the kitchen picking up comforting scents of roasting chicken, baking bread and sweet vanilla pudding. Spring is in our home and spring is in the air.

For me, spring always brings a sense of renewal and hope. It's a time to start fresh, to clean and clear the clutter that has accumulated over the grueling winter months. There is certainly something to say for spring fever. Something that you can't exactly name or pinpoint, but something you can feel. Something that drifts with the wind and floats just close enough to touch and grasp.

This past winter has been by far one of the most challenging times we have faced; as parents, as a couple and as a family. Jonas has missed fifty-two days of school and we are still feeling the stress of "catching up" with all of our missed work and grades. I can't even begin to tell you about the emotional roller coaster we have been through with him or even with his brother, who has felt the weight of his brother's diagnosis just as much as anyone else. I recently wrote an article, How I Cope With My Son's Chronic Disease, over on What to Expect website. I could have easily spun this short article into a book full of ramblings; there are endless thoughts and feelings that accompany a chronic illness. What I spoke about was a solid introduction to how I cope with my son's chronic disease but I also know that I have left out a few vital key points.

I never mentioned what I learned over these past seven months.
I never mentioned what this experience has taught me.

Again, I could probably write a book on what I've learned but I'll try my best to sum it up in a few words.

I've learned that life really is short and that time really is precious. I've learned that life is already stressful enough, why add additional stress? I've learned that we need to slow down and enjoy the every day moments, the small moments that tend to pass by un-noticed. I've learned to let go of the "wants" in life and focus my valued time on the "joys" in life. I've cleared our home and space of clutter, I've significantly cut back on social media and online outlets, I put more focus on the good relationships in our life and less on the stressful or negative ones. I try to include the kids in more activities rather than handle everything myself. Matching socks in now a counting game, making beds is a timed event and helping with dinner is just a must. I've also set aside two days of the week as a "no screen time" day, which has made a huge difference!

I'm taking on less and learning to let go. Spring fever is in the air and I'm ready to soar into warmer days with a clear mind, a peaceful soul and a patient heart.

Cheers to warmer days!