So for the last 3 weeks I have been in Pennsylvania visiting family. The trip was planned around my little brother's wedding at the end of May. Our visits to PA are typically a little bit stressful because I have 2 little brothers that are still in school and so my mom and dad are still playing mom and dad while they are playing Mamma and Poppa. This trip was no different!
We were all together for the first time in probably 5 years or more and so that right there says we aren't getting any sleep so we can play catch up. Well, the stress started almost from the get go. We had to get the house ready for a bridal shower the day after I got there, and then we had the rehearsal and the dinner the next day which we had to make all the dessert for (I think there was 6 or 7 desserts made). Friday there wasn't really much to do except for getting people from the airport until about 7pm when my sister called my mom and asked if us adult girls could go get her, so at like 8:30 we headed to Philly to get her (about an hour and a half away and I had already gone to get my brother from there that morning). So we get her and are heading home and she says she needs to go to Walmart to get her son a birthday present, so here we are at like 1am at Walmart...all I wanted to do was sleep.
Well Saturday, the day of the wedding and my nephew's 6th birthday, started and we have to have a little party for him so as to not make him feel left out. We have 12 kids we have to keep clean and happy until 1pm when they had to get dressed and out the door to the wedding. So the wedding goes off without a hitch that I know of and we go to the park for pictures and we were told our family pictures would be last, so my brother-in-law takes my nephew to get a treat since he was having a hard time sharing the spotlight on his birthday. Well while they are gone our family picture turn shows up because we have to race the rain. Well my sister is irritated and you can tell that her whole family isn't in the picture. Then we get lost going to the reception and it is POURING RAIN! My sister keeps talking about how her little girls (ages 4 and 7) are having a cow about my brother not getting married in the temple and so on and so forth. Then we have to get everyone home and the gifts home and such, which was kind of tricky since my dad left the reception before everyone and took a whole car that was empty home.
Anyway, nothing too drastic happens the next few days except for now my sister is upset because her 4 year old wants to get married like uncle John because it is more fun than standing outside the temple and waiting (She is little. You have plenty of time to explain...Get over it). Then, Peter leaves and I am back to being a single mom while on vacation. The next weekend we decide to make a whirlwind trip to Ohio to see my dad's side of the family.
We left Friday evening and and came home on Sunday morning. Well, just my luck my kid gets hurt. Josh was playing on an air mattress and falls and hits his head on a marble window sill and puts a hole in his forehead all the way down to the skin just over the skull. He got 11 stitches in his forehead and I have had to take care of it alone. He got the top stitches out on Thursday and the hit is head on a basket and split it open again. I was on my way to or from NY to get my dad's car that my sister had taken up there to be with the family of one of her best friends who was dying and did die of colon cancer at only 27. Now my kids are sick and begging to go home and we have 2 days left until we get to. Not to mention that a lot of the days we have been here it has been raining so we have had anywhere from 5-12 kids stuck in the house ranging in ages from 10 months to 12 years old. It has been hellish!
The things I am grateful for:
* My husband: I don't think I would do so well as a single mother. I feel like I take him for granted far too often. I have come to really appreciate him and come to realize just how much I lean on him for support and comfort. He is the greatest man ever! He is a great dad and can calm the boys down even from 2000 miles away. He loves me and he loves our kids and I couldn't ask for more than that.
*Modern Medicine: I am grateful that I am able to get the medical help I need for my kids when accidents happen. Stitches have made it so that Josh won't have a hole in his forehead for the rest of his life.
*Yarrow: This one is something that makes me appreciate my mother in law and her interest in things that may be seen as kind of weird to lots of people. Yarrow is an essential oil that she showed me. It is used to stop bleeding and pull wounds together to help healing happen faster. This stuff is miraculous. Josh hurt his head at about 10:30 am and I put a few drops of this oil in the wound (I had to do it a couple of times), and by 11 it had stopped bleeding and oozing and everything. This stuff is fantastic!!
*Family: I am so grateful for my family. When we were in Ohio and Josh got hurt my family rallied around me so I didn't feel totally alone. My uncle who has never had kids of his own jumped immediately to action. He grabbed his keys and wallet and phone and led me to the car and drove me to the urgent care center. It didn't accept my insurance and since his head and stopped bleeding we figured the hour until the other one opened that did take it would be fine. When we got back to the house he sat with Josh and catered to his every need in order to keep him still and calm so as not to irritate or get his wound dirty. I love my uncle and wish we were closer together. My mom too was fantastic, when we were going to the first doctor, she grabbed everything I needed so that all I had to worry about was Josh. She was right there with me when he got his stitches and rewarded him for being brave and good during the whole thing.
*Cell Phones: This one my seem kind of strange but I am so grateful for my cell phone so that my boys and I can keep in touch with my husband. So that none of us feel quit so lonely, especially at bed time.
*MY HOME: I am so grateful for my own home. I am grateful that I have a space that is mine and where I can feel relaxed (most of the time) and calm. When the whole family was here we were tight. We number 22 now, and all of us but my little brother and his new wife were staying at my parents, 2 toilets, 1 shower and 4 bedrooms. I am so grateful for my home and space and things.
*The Gospel: My nieces are raised in a home that isn't focused on the gospel, and it is sad to me to see the difference it makes in them from my own kids. I want so much for them but can't make choices for anyone. I am so grateful for the gospel and my kids love for it. Josh is so sensitive to the spirit, and not that it isn't here, but with so many people here there is a lot of arguing and sometimes it is hard to find, and I think that is part of his stress and why he is wanting to go home where it is calmer and more peaceful.
Thanks for listening to my rambles. It is something that I have been thinking about for the last little bit so I thought I would share. The last few weeks have been more stressful that I had hoped but I just keep telling myself it could be worse (cause it has been). I have enjoyed being here, but I am ready to go home and sleep in my own bed and be able to hug my husband and have my own space. I love my life and my family and look forward to the future and what it holds.