We may not have it all together but together we have it all

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day 💐

Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful moms whom I'm blessed to have in my life.  This day is only one of many, that your value of a mom, shines through.  Each day you can look into your child's eyes and see pure true love, is Mother's Day.  Their triumphs and disappointments, their laugh and tears, their caring and disrespect are all moments when being a mom, is truer than true.  Because of the mom you are, your little loves are learning, growing and becoming their beautiful selfs and that is an everyday praise of us moms. 

I'm going to start with my mom, Candice.  She raised 5 beautiful amazing women on her own.  Yes my dad was always in our lives and a huge part, but she had us 24/7, 365 and that is hard work.  She is strong, loving and a great MorMor.  There is so much of my mothering that came from her, not the tough part but the times I hear myself say, "don't say hate", "we don't say shut up" and the most important thing she said to me, "never go to bed angry".  These things are so prevalent in my life and hopefully in my kids.  The love she puts into every thing she makes us, these are things that mean the most.  We were never rich, never had the best of the best, but I also don't recall wanting for anything ever.  I love you mom more than you'll ever know.  Thank you for teaching me that being kind to others is the most important thing in life.  Happy Mother's Day 🌷

Now onto two of the most amazing, wonderful, angels in my life, my Grandmothers.  The saying, " God created Angels", was thought of because of these two.  Their faith inspires you, their love carries you and to be able to have them in your life, is a true blessing from above.  Having a large family on both sides, they still make you feel as if your the only one.  I get very emotional when I try and put my feelings for them in words, because there truly are no words.  They are truly the reason for who I am.  The memories I have with them, will carry me through my lifetime.  I am so lucky that my children are able to grow up with these two women in their lives.  Happy Mother's Day Grandma Joy and Grandma Martha 🌷

My sisters are up next.  For those of you who know us, you know the Carrell girls stick together.  Never in my life have they not been there if I needed them.  My best friends from the start and my rocks.  All wonderful mommy's and all another example to follow.  Life wouldn't have been as wonderful, without them in it.  Happy Mother's Day, Heather, Holly, Heidi and Hillary, I love you 🌷

My Aunt Gay is another huge reason for the mom I am today.  I spent pretty much half of my young life at her house it seems.  When you think of that mom who goes above and beyond for her children, you would think of her.  Some of the most important parts of being a mom, I learned from her.  My sisters and I didn't play sports or in shows at school, but my cousins did and she was there for almost all.  She us their biggest cheerleader and I learned from watching her, how important that is for my kids.  One the occasion I wake my kiddos up with a song, I think of her.  When I'm staying up late at night to finish a school project or costume, I think of her.  She will never truly know how much is has impacted my life and I can assure you, I wouldn't be who I am today without having her to watch growing up.  Happy Mother's Day Aunt Gay, I love you 🌷

To all the other amazing, wonderful and beautiful mom's I can call my friends.  Each one of you are a true reflection of what being a mom is.  Your strong, loving, involved and caring women, who's kids are lucky to have you. I love you all and am blessed to have you in my life.  Happy Mother's Day to you 🌷

And finally to my beautiful little loves, my BEBE, I am blessed beyond measure to be your mom.  The day each of you were born, was truly the greatest day of my life.  Your hugs, notes, kisses and love get me through everyday.  Do we have rough days, of course but the great out weigh the rough.  I'm tough on you but it because I love you.  I want you to grow up to be the best you, you can be.  I want all I've learned from the amazing ladies in my life, to instill in you.  If there is ever a doubt of my love for you, just know that my life wouldn't be as wonderful without you in it.  Your my every breath, my heart and soul. Thank you for making me your mommy!

No one can understand the hard work being a mom is but a mom.  When your kids hurt, you hurt.  When their happy your happy.  So on this Mother's Day, let them spoil you, let them love on you a little more and know that this is our day for praise, but we know, everyday we have with our children is Mother's Day!

Monday, September 15, 2014

The start of her educational journey....

First Day of Kindergarten 2014-2015
(Elisabeth started four days after older ones, on 8/26/14)

The day started with sending the older three off on the bus, then my girl and I started our day.  The morning was filled with excitement, not only did school start that afternoon, Elisabeth also started her first gymnastics class that morning.  We were able to get in a brief snuggle time and had our talk about the upcoming school year.

This little bird was ready to jump out of the nest and fly.  There was no sadness, no tears just pure joy in getting able to ride the bus with her BFF Bella, have snack and maybe get to see her big brother in the halls.

I on the other hand was filled with sadness and tears.  How was it possible that my baby girl was starting Kindergarten today!  Wasn't it just yesterday that I was having a play date with family and friends, when they convinced me to take a test and I found out I was surprisingly pregnant AGAIN!!!!!  The joy I thought I would feel, knowing that in four short hours, I was going to have kid free time, didn't seem so joyful.

The time came and we went to the bus stop.  Smiles on both of our faces and one excited little girl.  She got on with no tears, no tears from me and a great day followed!

A special thank you to my friend Melissa, for taking me out for a birthday lunch that day.  A nice lunch with a friend and a margarita helped keep the sadness away.

Miss Elisabeth has had a wonderful few weeks so far and I'm sure the rest of the year will be the same.  I hope she learns to love reading, makes special friends and knows with knowledge, she can conquer any dream she has for herself!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

First Day of School 2014-2015

This morning I sent three of four chambers of my heart off to school.  I was very emotional today, maybe it is because I'm another year older today or the fact that all four of my loves are going to school.  But today as each one of them got ready and I took their 1st day of school pictures, I thought, goodness where has the time gone!

Before bed last night, I gave each of them my new school year talk.  I told them how important school is, how giving it their best is all we ask, to embrace learning, have fun, you are smart and most of all be the beautiful you that you are! 

To their bus drivers, please take care of my babies.  Drive safe, no speeding and be mindful of the behavior of all the kids on the bus.  Don't take any nonsense and don't let them be the receiver of nonsense.

To their teachers, I give you my soul for 190 days.  I ask that you help them grow into the wonderful little humans, I know they can be.  To help them learn the love of education, to help praise them for their growth and help them with their struggles. To open their eyes to stories, history and the future.  To love them as much as I do when they are in your hands.

A truly special teacher is very wise, and sees tomorrow in every child's eyes. ~Author Unknown

Bradley Michael Hemmer -  7th grade August 2014

Emily Christine Hemmer - 5th grade August 2014

Benjamin Robert Hemmer - 1st grade August 2014

To my babies, I hope this school year is full of learning, fun and friendships.  Embrace all you are being taught, make new friends, try your best and most of all be amazing kids I know you can be.  Dad and I are so proud of you all and love you to the moon and back!!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Realizing my worth as a stay at home mom

Six weeks after Bradley was born, Dave and I registered him for daycare, put a deposit down and had a week before I had to return to work.  As the days of going back to work got closer and closer, Dave and I would panic more and more.  Did we want to put our world into the hands of a stranger for 8 hours a day?  Could I drop him off each morning at daycare and actually walk out the door and leave him?  Finally we realized that no, we couldn't do it. Dave and I discussed how having one income would change the way we were living. Yes we would still have our nice house but our social life and freedom of buying whatever we wanted would change dramatically.  Both of us decided it was worth it, because we didn't have him to have someone else spend more time with him than we did.  

I would talk to my boss about possibly working from home a few days a week and having my best friend watch him the other days.  Luckily for us, my boss was awesome and I was able to work from home.  There were days that I had to go in but mostly, he was home with me and would even go to work with me if needed.  That lasted for a few months, when things changed at work and I was no longer employed.  It didn't matter to us, yes those few extra dollars were nice but Bradley was getting bigger and I wanted all my time with him.  That is when my career of being a stay at home mom began!

The years flew by, three more babies were born and I'm still a stay at home mom.  There are times when I question that decision.  When I wish I would have finished college and have a fabulous career.  When it comes time to pay for sports, Christmas, birthdays or new clothes for the kids when they have out grown what they have.  When I really want a new purse but one of the kids needs new shoes or wants to try another dance class.  When I watch Dave work some much overtime just so the kids can play/do what they love.  When I wish I could take some of the financial burden off his shoulders and contribute to our income.  When that interaction with adults in a work environment sounds really good over 4 kids fighting, Calliou on repeat, dishes needing to be done and another load of laundry to be folded and put away.  

Today is the day I realized my worth as a stay at home mom!  Here is a little background info as to why.....

Third grade for Bradley started a three year battle with school.  He struggled with reading and had a teacher that was tough, making school not enjoyable for him.  It was a daily fight and often ended in tears from both of us just to get through the nights homework.  He and I would sit at the dining room table for hours getting the work done.  I would sit with him and go over every question, read every page that needed to be read, because I was not going to let him fail.  I felt it was my job as him mom to make sure he did well in school, failing was not an option.  

Fourth and fifth grade he was blessed with the most amazing teacher I have even known.  As wonderful as she was, his struggles with reading continued.  She and I would talk about ways to get him to enjoy reading, how to get him to grade level.  Every night when the younger ones went to sleep, Bradley and I would read.  He would read a page, I would read a page and we kept this up until the end of the year. He was reading at grade level by the end of fifth grade.

Sixth grade came with new fears.  Would he be able to handle the work load middle school brings.  Would his reading slip again and would they give him the extra help he needs.  Would I be able to handle another year of fighting and frustration? 

To say middle school has been a miracle is an understatement!  The boy that struggled so much, is excelling! Today we got his 4th trimester grades and guess what?  HIGH HONOR ROLL again!!!!!!!!  And he is doing this all on his own!  No more sitting with him for hours, no more huge daily battles and no more tears.  Of course there are times when I have to say 15 times, "Bradley do your homework" but I'll take that over the fighting.

Here are the comments from his teachers for this term...
Term: M4
Course Name Comments
Applied Technology 6 Exceptional understanding of class content. Effort-Commendable. Outstanding job. Bradley is truly outstanding job this term. He stays focused and
on task, he is polite and cooperative, he is respectful and supportive of his classmates. I could not ask for a better effort from any student. It is a
great pleasure to have such a fine solid young man in class.
Info Quest 6 Exceptional understanding of class content. Effort-Commendable.
Warrior Boost 6 Effort-Commendable.
A Pleasure to Work With.
Language Arts 6 Solid understanding of class content. A Pleasure to Work With. Well Organized and Prepared.
Math 6 Course 1 Exceptional understanding of class content. A Pleasure to Work With. Very Cooperative. Effort-Commendable.
P.E./Health 6 Positive Attitude.
Solid understanding of class content.
Science 6 Solid understanding of class content. Very Cooperative. A Pleasure to Work With.

Take a moment to read the comment from his Applied Technology teacher.  Amazing right?  That is my Bradley Boo he is talking about!!!  

I cried!  I actually cried when I read those comments because I am so proud.  I am so proud that my child is so respectful, kind and an overall awesome kid at school.  I drill it into their heads to always be respectful to adults, treat their classmates kindly no matter what and that school is the number one priority in their life right now.  I am honest and tell them that I want better for them, than I did for myself.   

I should also note that Emily is just as amazing as her brother.  She is a blessing, never needed that extra time spent on school work and reading comes naturally to her.  She does awesome in school all on her own, getting straight A's last semester.  I have not gotten her report card yet, but I know it is all A's & B's.  I thank God for giving her, her smarts.  After the last three years with Bradley, I think he knew I needed a break.  Hopefully Ben and Elisabeth will continue on the same path as their siblings, but if not, I will be home to help them along with way.  My kids are going to move mountains one day, I just know it!

I am in no way putting down the mom's that work and raise families.  I think those moms that work all day and come home and take care of the household are freaking ROCK STARS!!  One day I will go back to work and hope I can juggle it all.  I don't think I could have done as well with Bradley, if I had a job to go to everyday.  High five's all around to your working moms who do it all!

Being a stay at home mom has allowed me to watch the four people who are my world grow, help them with their struggles, take them to practice, dance class, therapies and preschool.  I have had one on one time with each of them when they were babies, something I will cherish forever.

So the next time I am hard on myself for not having that college degree or the high paying job that makes paying for everything a little less stressful, I am going to look back and this and be reminded of my worth as a stay at home mom! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Children's Memorial Radiothon with the Mix

Every year I listen to the Children's Memorial Hospital Radioathon on the Mix.  And each year, I spend the day thinking about the three little angels who left our lives to early but were given the very best care while they were there.

I will start off with the oldest angel, my brother Bradley.  I don't know much about his short life, three days I believe but I know he was taken to Children's after he was born.  He would have been a year older than me and the only son born to my Mom & Dad, but for some reason he was called back up and given his wings.  I think often about how it would be if he were here, how totally awesome of an Uncle he would have been to our kids. My Bradley is named after him and I like to think that maybe he is the kind of kid he would have been, a great one! One day I will meet my big brother.....

The second angel, is my beautiful niece Olivia Catherine Honaker.  She was not my niece by blood, but by the friendship with a girl who I love like my sister and who knows me better than my sisters.  Olivia had big beautiful brown eyes, chubby little cheeks and a smile that could light up a room.  She was a beautiful daughter and little sister to an amazing family.  She was born on October 1, 2003 and in December of 2003 was diagnosed with Leukemia.  Olivia fought one heck of a battle with a smile always on her sweet face. Sadly she was called up on July 10, 2004 and given her wings.  I often think what kind of child she would be and what would she look like.  Well because her three younger sisters look just like she did when she was born, I have an idea of how she would look and because her older sister is a pretty awesome kid, I have an idea of how she would be.  One day I will see her again.......

 Olivia and big sister Maddy
 Olivia Catherine
The third is my beautiful niece Annika Carrell Briscoe.  She is the beautiful daughter of my oldest sister Heather and her husband Joe.  She is also the baby sister to my beautiful niece Candice.  Annika was born on September 26, 2005.  She was ready to come into the world much before her due date in December.  Annika had several health issues which I believe were due to her early birth and some other things.  She also was a fighter and fought a great battle, but her little body was too sick.  Sadly on December 1, 2005 she was called back up and got her wings.  I think of her often as well, how she would fit perfectly in this wild bunch of kids we have in our family.  How she would be so loved by her parents and big sister. She would no doubt be beautiful like her sister and probably a little spoiled cause she is the baby.  One day I will see her again.....
 Annika Carrell Briscoe

As I listen each year to the parents of these children talk, I am amazed by their strength.  I am proud of my mom, sister and best friend that after what they went through, they were able to get up the next day and continue to live a beautiful life.  These women are the strongest I know and I hope if ever I need to be strong, I can be as strong as them.  It makes you sit back and think, gosh that fight I had with my child is a blessing.  Every moment of everyday I have with them is a blessing.

I thank God for giving us our three angels if only for a short time.  Because of them we have learned that life is short, not everyday is a guarantee but most of all that we have three beautiful little souls up their watching over us.  A brother and two sisters who watch their siblings from above, that are that soft wind the blows their hair, or that voice that encourages them to do their best.  That warm fuzzy feeling you get when something good happens and the calm they feel when they are upset.  They will always have someone watching their backs if ever they feel alone.

To all you wonderful doctors, nurse's and support staff at Children's Memorial Hospital, thank you for caring for my angels and for all the other children that need your help!

Monday, August 19, 2013

2013-2014 School Year

On this eve of the first day of school, I talked to all four kids about the upcoming year.  Some are excited and some not so much.  A little bit of nerves, lots of questions and a countdown to Christmas break.  We have two milestones this year, Bradley starting middle school and Benjamin kindergarten.  All I can say about that is, WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?  How is it possible my oldest boy is in middle school and my youngest boy in kindergarten?  Makes my heart sad, my boys are growing up.  As our my girls, Emmy is in fourth grade and Elisabeth in her last year of preschool.  I can't even think about next year, when they will all be gone everyday.  While my mind is doing a little happy dance for those few hours of quiet, my heart is singing a sad song, longing for the baby years to come back.  I pray that each of them get through the year with few struggles and lots of fun.  I pray that they make new friends and reconnect with old ones.  I pray that they can understand the joy of learning and not the woes of having to go to school everyday.  But most of all, I pray that they be THEIR best.  That they are leaders and not followers.  That no matter what, they know they are important, they are smart and they can move mountains.  Good luck this school year my loves, Mom and Dad are proud of who you are and who you continue to grow to be!  We love you!!

~ You're off to great places
Today is your day
Your mountain is waiting
So get on your way~ Dr. Seuss

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Father's Day

I have to post this blog today because I don't think I will be able to do it on Sunday.  Sunday will be a day I spend with my husband and children, to make memories with them like the ones I have of my dad.  I will also have a very heavy heart that day because this is our first Father's Day without him.  I miss him so much it hurts, daily.  But because of him, I know that I can't spend each day sad, he wouldn't want that.  So I will take that day and think of him, talk to him, talk about it and cherish every memory I have in my heart.

If you would have told me this time last year that it would be the last Father’s Day I would spend with my dad, I would have told you, you were crazy!
As I look back on our last day with him, before the news, I remember how happy we all were. He was at my house for a BBQ a day early because he was leaving for Maryland on Father’s Day. We could tell he wasn’t feeling well and he said they were looking into it. We sent him home with gifts, cards and lots of love.
I don’t want to re-live the following weeks, but will say that during those weeks I learned a lot. I learned how truly broken a heart can be. I learned that when you think you can’t cry anymore, you can. I learned that telling your children that their Grandpa was really sick was hard but telling them that he was in Heaven, was the hardest thing I ever had to say. But with all the sad things I had to learn, I also learned a lot of great things. I learned that my sisters and I were given an amazing Dad. I learned that my step-mom Terry was truly an Angel. I learned that the Carrell side of the family’s bond is so strong, it can never be broken. I learned that my husband is my rock. I learned that my children are my heart. I learned that my cousins will always have my back. I learned that my friends are the best. But most of all, I learned that I am not alone. That in my darkest hour, I am blessed to have such amazing family and friends. I learned that my Dad will forever be in my heart and he is always looking down on me, guiding me through life. I learned that life on Earth doesn’t last forever and that is okay because when I get to Heaven,  my heart will be whole again because I will have my Dad there to welcome me.
Happy Father’s Day dad! I love you and miss you so much. Thank you for being the best dad a girl could ask for. Thank you for being the best Grandpa to all your grandkids. We all miss you so much and look forward to the day we meet again! XOXO