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How to catch your breath when life is a whirlwind

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I’ve been wanting – no, needing – to write a blog post about current life happenings for a few weeks now. But I kept putting it off, because…where do I start?

it's only march

Year so far {RECAP}: I started out 2017 with lots of goals, a few (failed) resolutions, and plans to lose 30 pounds. Instead, I had a big realization that I have OCD tendencies, landed myself in the ICU, turned 30, had to buy a new washer and dryer, and so far have gained 3 pounds.


After I came home from the hospital, it took me about two weeks to get my strength back while also catching up on my schoolwork. Thankfully, I was given extension on everything, but the work didn’t stop. I had to get it done. Subsequently, I dropped my 2nd session 8-week-course that was due to start March 6th, because I knew I wouldn’t be up to the task. I finished my first 8-week course (Psychology) about a week and a half early which has left me with only two classes for the rest of the semester.

The day before my 30th birthday, I thought it would be “fun” to take a family drive and go look at houses.

We’ve been wanting to buy our first home for a while now (I more than him – he’s been far slower to get on board). We had been in a few last spring and connected with a great realtor. Every day I would look at the listings emailed to me and bookmark my favorites, but hadn’t pursued any of them seriously. We were wanting to pay down our credit card debt a little bit more before taking that big of a step.

Silly me, I forgot that I was married to an all-or-nothing guy. You would think after nine years I would have remembered this…

So anyway, I don’t exactly remember which house it was that we looked at that day, but it was promising enough that it sent him down a very active pursuit of THE PERFECT HOUSE. For the next two weeks, we were scouring listings in earnest, meeting with our realtor for showings, and otherwise pretty much freaking out that it was finally time. I told him that it didn’t have to be now, but our realtor encouraged us that now really is the best time to buy.

It’s a much longer story than I want to tell in this post (I really want Russ to tell it anyway). But, after two weeks of serious house-hunting (like FOR REAL this time), (including putting an offer on a different house and then rescinding it after Russ woke up at 3AM the next morning with a panic attack), God dropped the perfect house in our lap.

The perfect bigger-than-we’d-ever-dreamed-possible, in-the-right-neighborhood-with-kids-all-around, listed-well-under-market-value house, put-on-the-market-on-our-9th-wedding-anniversary-10th-I-love-you-anniversary-and-14th-attraction-anniversary-MARCH-8TH-house. 

I’m not even kidding.

He found it at 3AM, we had our showing at 1PM, we submitted the offer by about 4 or 5 PM, and finished with the they-countered-we-countered-back-they-accepted dance by 7:30 PM that night – just one day after our 9th anniversary.

All of this was going on while dealing with all of the regular mom, caregiver, special needs mom, college student, blogger life stuff. Including completely forgetting Little Brother’s 18 month well-check because we were looking at our new house.

We are also gearing up for Russ to begin training for a new position at his job (which includes in-town training for a month, out-of-town training for 5 weeks, then another two months of on-the-job training).

It’s been {mostly} good changes. I mean job promotions and buying a new house are generally considered positive life changes – and yes, they are.

But the special needs family doesn’t really do change all that well. Which means that Russ and Ezra are both pretty unpredictable right now as far as mental and emotional stability goes. They have both been having intrusive thoughts, Russ isn’t sleeping well, Ezra is having meltdowns at home and serious behavioral issues at school, and we are just trying to get through each day without someone completely losing their crap.

going nuts short trip

(Obviously, we only rarely succeed…)

Then there is Little Brother, who is mostly okay – as long as he has at least two stuffed animals (“Meemo,” “Doggie,” and sometimes “beeeeaaaarr”), his blanket (“naa-naa”), and his paci (“gi-tah”).

LB 1 security objects

LB security 2

So now…what I would like to do is take a moment to give YOU some tips on how to catch a breath when your life is a whirlwind. Not because I rock at it. (Newsflash: I don’t.) But more because I’d like to think that I’m hanging in there okay enough to offer at least a tiny bit of advice.

when life is a whirlwind

How to catch your breath when life is a whirlwind

Stop trying to do everything.

You’re not superwoman – no matter how hard you try. You can’t carry 9 credit loads, take care of a special needs child AND a toddler, buy a house, take care of the current house you live in, manage a blog and three Facebook pages, pack up all your belongings to move, AND lose 30 pounds all at the same time. Something in your life has to give.

For me, the first thing to go has been the weight loss. Goodbye epic elliptical session. Hello donuts. And Little Caesar’s Hot-and-Ready for dinner.

donuts 1

donuts 2

Yes, it’s frustrating. No, I’m not in love with my body right now. Yes, sometimes I get depressed about it. But when that happens, I try to take a walk and remind myself of all of the things in my life that I AM doing well.

Find a distraction that’s just for you.

Maybe it’s a Netflix show to binge on. Maybe it’s a good book to get lost it. For me, it’s been actually following ice skating and gymnastics competitions beyond the Olympics (thanks to Sling TV, Facebook Live, and YouTube Live Streaming).

I don’t apologize for it. This is the ONE thing I do for me and all of my boys know it. Sometimes, mama is going to watch ice skating or gymnastics. She just is.

watching gymnastics

I’ve also been watching Quantico and completely obsessing about my Facebook pages. So I have plenty of distractions to lose myself in every once in a while.

Everyone gets a chance to feel how they need to feel.

Whether it’s good change, bad change, or just…change… it affects everyone in different ways. The week AFTER we finished the offer process on our house, I got depressed. Super depressed. It was awful. But I was able to share with my husband and he understood.

Ezra has been verbalizing a LOT of anxiety about the move, so I’m trying to make sure to give him a TON of extra cuddle time (and then some) where we talk about his feelings and he has a chance to verbalize what’s scaring him.

Russ too has needed a lot of “freakout” moments because owning a home is a REALLY. BIG. DEAL. for him and really, really exciting-scary.

In his own way, I think even Little Brother is expressing his emotions. The pediatrician told me that the paci should be gone by age two, but he really seems to need it right now. So I’m letting him have it more than I think he should, because he should get a chance to express his feelings too.

LB 3 security

Never stop looking for the beautiful moments in the mess.

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Not beautiful days…beautiful moments. Even if they only last a nano-second. Recognize them. Give thanks for them. Treasure them.

beauty 2

beauty 3


Hopefully sometime in the next decade I’ll be able to post about life more regularly. But for now, find me over on Facebook for all of the latest!

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  • The Blogging Beth

    How exciting! This gives me hope that we will one day eventually be ready to buy and that God will open the right doors in the right timing. We are so tired of renting and to us renting is scary and we are longing for a place of our own but it’s just not working out for us yet. My husband is getting so discouraged. And I am too. That combined over not yet being able to find a church in our area (recovering but still a long ways to go IFB legalists here) is just making life exhausting right now.

    • Aprille

      I have wanted to buy for years – my husband was (and still is) terrified of the prospect. But I feel like through the whole experience – we knew when it wasn’t time and when it was; and when it came to the house, we knew which one was ours. I feel like God really led us.

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