Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A look back through 2011 and a Resolution for 2012

While I may be a little early for making resolutions, I think I have already found mine. My resolution for 2012 is one I not only want to carry throughout the year but one I hope to keep for life.

As I look back at 2011, it had its shares of stressors that I would like to purge from my life. 2011 also had some wonderful moments which I hope to capture, cherish, and make grow in the future.

Paul and I shared our 10 year anniversary with a much needed vacation and time away. I love my husband more than words. We are opposites in most every way and there are days that I am astounded that we work, but we do. We bring much needed balance to each others lives.

Kaitlyn has turned into an outgoing 2nd grader. She has come so far from the painfully shy, often emotional, kindergartner of two years ago. She is smart, funny, caring, beautiful, and kind. She is responsible and has an amazing heart. She is well loved by her friends and peers. I only hope to help her grow into an even more beautiful girl in the years to come.

Matthew, well, what can I say. He is trying, energetic, rough-and-tumble, spirited, extremely smart, and tiring. Most of all he, too, is kind spirited and loves to make others smile. While he sometimes takes it to extremes, aka class clown, he genuinely cares about others. He is flourishing in kindergarten, for which, I am thankful that we made the tough decision to place him ‘on time’. He brings a lightness to my life and a definite challenge to expect the unexpected. My hope for the future is to help challenge and channel his spirit to shape him into a kind and caring father, husband, and friend.

My family, no matter what is thrown in our paths, we find the strength in each other to move past it. Together with each other, we can surpass any obstacle that is put in our way.

My friends are truly amazing. They brighten my days with kind thoughts, words, and support. I would not be who I am without them. They give me inspiration to be a better and stronger person. I love you all!! xoxo

So for the new year, I resolve to take more time for myself on a regular basis. Whether it is to read a book, soak in a tub full of bubbles, taking a walk by myself, or something I have yet to think of; I feel that this will ultimately help me be a better wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend. My hopes are that it will help center and ground me. Possibly give me some patience and less anxiety about the things I cannot control. Ultimately, I hope it makes me closer to God and my family and friends.

The thought in words sounds so simple but, my fear is that I will get caught up in the hustle of life and it will once again be pushed to the way side. I have made a vow to myself that I am going to try to rid my life of some stressors, which I will hopefully ‘weed’ out before Christmas.

Here is to starting 2012 on a calmer, happier, more joyful note. I hope everyone has a great Christmas, Hanukkah, and a wonder beginning, middle, and end to 2012.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Turning Point

WOW! That is all I have to say. It has been a hectic few months~
Back to school~Matt LOVE! LOVE! LOVES school! He is doing wonderfully. We had a tough couple weeks at the beginning when we were learning where the line was in the sand between 'funny' and 'too far'. Thankfully, we have jumped that hurdle and put it behind us! Phew!
Matt's Surgery~On Sept. 12th Matt had his second surgery for his club foot (The first was at a month old). He did wonderfully. Let me tell you, a walker does NOT slow this boy down. He has even found a way to walk on his foot with out his walker ever though it is bent at a 90 degree angle. What a boy!!

Mama's new 'job'~I am volunteering at the school Monday's and Wednesday's all day. It makes for long days but fun, none the less. I had also put in my application for subbing at BCS (no sillies, not teacher subbing ~secretarial and aide subbing). I didn't think it would go anywhere, but low and behold, I am now hired in as a sub. In a whirlwind, I have been trained for secretarial, teacher/recess aide, soon actual teacher's aide and cashier subbing~ ALL trial by fire, might I add (I find I learn better that way so it is not too bad). I find myself volunteering and subbing 4 days a week sometimes. WOW~I have not been in the work force for 10 years. I forgot how hectic it is to have a (almost full-time) job outside of the home! I don't think I would change it though...it feels good to be Shanna again not Mommy. :)

Kait~Kait is continuing to flourish in school! This year something seems to have clicked and her math is going smoothly. This was the only subject that she had difficulties in last year. She just had her first sleepover at a friend's house. I was so surprised when I DIDN'T have to go get her in the middle of the night! I am so proud of how she is growing and coming out of her shell!! Now if we can only get her to be nice to her brother ALL of the time ;P

House~Nothing much has come of our house being up for sale. We have a semi-interested looker but is unsure about financing. Either way, I am fine. If it doesn't sell then I will take that as a sign that I am to live here for a long~very, very, very, very long time! At least by getting it ready for the open house a few weeks ago, we are all done with our fall cleaning/touch-ups/getting little projects finished chores. Phew~what a relief!

Last but not least,

Paul~Well~everyone please sit down for this one~He finally got a job offer!!! We will be staying in the area. He is starting work at Materion (Brush Wellman) on Monday!!! Can I get a WOO HOO from everyone please?!?! It has been a long and stressful few months! I have cried, vented, and beaten the proverbial 'dead horse' on many of my dear friends' shoulders! I am so blessed and thankful to have such strong and patient people in my life! THANK YOU!!

All in all, I knew that we would be in a better place and we are. I never lost faith, just patience! I hope life is good (or at least 'falling into place') for everyone else! I know that the direction of a life can change in an instant~just have faith (and try some patience too~haha) that you will end up where you are meant to be. :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011


In the past year I have encountered everything from the death of my grandmother, car accident, surgery, job loss (my husband), struggles with faith, and personal issues with my family. I have not been my cheeriest as of late.

One of the hardest parts of this year was our church. Due to changes, I no longer felt as if I belonged to a place/faith that I have known my whole life. I would leave church feeling awful, sad, and almost worthless due to preaching and sermons. I struggled as to which direction to go. I found how easy it would be to turn away from God and faith all together.

Then, we found a new church. It is amazing~the priest is absolutely wonderful, uplifting, and inspirational. I feel God put us on this path quite simply to bring him and his inspiration into not only my life but my family's lives. He is what has gotten me through the better part of all of this and I will always be thankful to him.

It is with this situation, that I turned back to a poem from my childhood. I realize the poem will always give me strength:

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,

“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

~Mary Stevenson, 1936

Four years ago, during a difficult period when we lost a very close family friend, I stumbled across a song called “Footprints in the Sand” by Leona Lewis. I clicked on it, not thinking that it would be the actual poem. To my surprise, it was. It is the most beautiful and uplifting song and it often reminds me that I am never alone. It gives me strength when I feel I have none. Just know that if or when you are at a low point remember God will always carry us through anything.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

War of Wills

For six weeks, we have been fighting an upwards battle with Matthew getting out of bed ALL hours of the night. Most often complaining of missing one of us (they differ depending on the night) tucking him in. Well, he gets tucked in every night before we go to bed. Guess what?!? We tuck him in but he is SLEEPING! Now, this is my cranky retelling of the story after being up for over an hour last night dealing with this.
1 am~Matthew woke up crying that Daddy didn't tuck him in~he did. I, in a stern voice, send him back to his bed, absolutely tired of dealing with this issue. Then I proceed to hear him moving around and getting out of bed numerous times. Me, being stealthy and sneaky, decide to go wait on the stairs to catch him. After 15 minutes, I am confident he fell back to sleep. At this point I sneak into his room to kiss his head and tuck him in. Imagine my surprise~he is not in his bed! Now, I don't have my glasses on so I am essentially blind, so I am fumbling around in his room trying to see where he is laying. NOWHERE!!! So I head back downstairs, grab my glasses, and start looking through the downstairs. Again, NOWHERE! I dawns on me to check beside Paul's side of the bed. Guess who is trying to hide in the dark with his hiney in the air? Matthew. Really?!?!?
This is the point in time where I pick him up and carry him upstairs. I am totally livid right now and slightly cranky that I spent 15 minutes on the stairs and he wasn't even in his room!!! ARG! I will spare you all the details of the next 3o minutes and sum it up to a war of wills. Me with my spoon in hand, putting him in bed and shutting his door~him proceeding to get out of bed and opening his door. Finally, I win this battle.
Fast forward the clock to 4.30 am. I hear Paul get after him while he is getting ready for work. I am not sure of the details due to the fact I was too tired to get out of bed. So one would believe we are done now, right? He has seen his Daddy, right? Nope.
5:55 am~Matthew is still getting out of bed thumping around. See, this is one of the parts I just do not understand. He was quiet enough to sneak downstairs and into my room with me in it and not knowing~why is he so loud upstairs?!?! So, at this point I am beyond furious and frustrated! What is a mommy to do when the spoon, repetitive placing back in bed, taking away privileges (TV time~Wii time), many reassurances (previous nights), and scolding don't work?
A light bulb turns on in my head. Well, Matthew, if you don't want to stay in bed, then you may come down and stick your nose in the corner! Hah~that'll get him. After 25 minutes he was whining that his legs were tired. I then made him a deal that he was to go potty and essentially 'glue' his butt to his bed. This is where we are at this moment in time. Who knows if this tactic will work...
To some reading this, it might seem mean or drastic. I assure you that all punishments, big and small, are done with an even mind. There is no worse feeling as a parent to, not only discipline our child, but to have to do it at night time. It is an awful feeling to be waging war with your baby in the middle of the night.
Needless to say, I am constantly tired and dread every night because it is the same thing over and over again. Another 'Groundhogs Day' if you will. So, if this does not work, I feel that I have tried everything and am totally out of options. The one thing going for me is that I WILL NOT let him win this war. So on that note, I would like to say a few words to my son...
Dear Matthew, My precious boy. I love you with all of my heart. WITH THAT BEING SAID~this household is not currently a Democracy~your father and I are the enforcers, rulers, and all out Supreme Beings of this household. You do not currently have freedom of speech at 1 am to wake the house as you please. When you get older, have a house and children of your own, THEN you may do what you want! I am the mommy and my will is stronger than yours. You can test me all you may, but, I believe that God will give me the strength to teach you right and wrong, respect for others, and instill in you the qualities you need to someday be a good parent yourself. I love you and will always be here for you, but you will lose this war. Love, mommy.
We shall see who wins the upcoming battles and the ultimate war. Any strategies?