Putting Off the Inevitable

mammogramI’ve put it off long enough.  It’s time.

This morning I’m headed to have my first mammogram.

Yes, I’m nervous.

I’ve been told you should begin having them at age 40.  I turned 43 on Monday.  How many of us procrastinate the things we don’t want to do…or maybe I should say things that are painful?  Totally ME!

I came across a pin titled “10 Secrets to a More Bearable Mammogram.”

I wish I read this about a week ago.  Some good advice.

I sure hope you have better plans in store for you today.

Wish me luck…

Be proactive,

Tuesday Ramblings

Bloggy Ramblings

I love comments.

It lets me know people are still reading my blog and care about the time and effort I put into it.  THANK YOU! :)

I have not made money from my blog.  Every once in a while I receive products to review, but usually if I receive a product, the company offers a giveaway for my readers as well.  I did not begin this blog to make money.  I don’t think making money by having a blog is wrong by any means.  As a matter of fact, all the bloggers I have met who do make a living from their blog (bless their hearts) are very hard workers.  They have to work very long hours typing, editing and collaborating with companies and other bloggers.

I initially began Family Brings Joy back in 2008 as a way to share our family life with our family and friends.  It still has that purpose yet it has blossomed into much more.  This blog keeps me connected to the outside world.  Oh how I would have loved to have a blog when my kids were young.  Moms with young children can feel alienated.  Blogging and social media must be a blessing for those moms.  It is also a blessing for this mom.  Living in a remote part of the country with not many friends can be quite lonely.

Still, having a blog is quite time consuming.  And like most people, I like and prefer to be compensated for my time.  However, I don’t like going to blogs and being inundated with ads.  I find them very distracting and frustrating.  This is why I have tried to keep ads at a minimum.  I only share companies who have products I believe in and are family friendly.

DH asked me yesterday when I was going to write another blog post.  I laughed because this past month and a half has been a whirlwind in our lives.  The time just hasn’t been there.  I have to say, a part of me wonders if I should keep blogging.  I’m feeling overwhelmed right now. :(

Feelings Ramblings

It’s almost like I have put aside all the feelings I should have been feeling and am experiencing them all at the same time right now.  I know, it’s weird.  Probably doesn’t help that my monthly visitor has come.  Sorry if that’s too much information, but come on, we all know about that.  If you are a man, you know about it from being around women and how the hormones can affect us.  If you are a woman, you most certainly know how this time period intensifies everything.

Trip Ramblings

BTW, jet lag sucks.  We returned home Sunday from our daughter’s graduation trip to Maui, Hawaii. {Yes, it was amazing!}  I had no problem adjusting to the 5 hour time difference when we got there.  It’s been the 5 hour time difference since we returned that has been killer.  Not to mention the LACK of sleep on our 7 hour overnight flight we took from Saturday to Sunday.  I will NEVER do that again!  You know you’re a mom when you let your 10 year old child lay their head on your lap on a plane, so they will sleep, even though you’re leg falls asleep and becomes painful so you can’t sleep.  Honestly, unless you don’t mind sleeping sitting up in a very tight and cramped space for hours…I don’t recommend flying overnight on a plane.  My ankles were so swollen after…looked like they did when I was pregnant.  If you can afford to fly first class, then by all means do that if you take an overnight flight which is over 6 hours long.  Those people who flew first class {American Airlines} had seats that completely reclined…almost the size of a twin size bed.  It’s pretty sucky awful to pass first class seats recliners only to sit on the very back of the plane stuffed like sardines.

And don’t get me started on…how do people afford to go to Hawaii!?!?  Oh my goodness it was expensive!  Let me tell you, we’ve been planning this vacation for about 5 years…pretty much when our daughter began high school.  People warned me it was expensive.  Our tickets cost $1000 a piece…that’s $5000 for airfare alone for our family!  I won’t go on my rant about how disgusted I was with the service we received on American Airlines.  I might have to save that for another blog post.  So our food bill probably almost cost the same as our airfare.  The food at the grocery store and at the restaurants was outrageous!  Don’t get me wrong, the food was delicious and amazing, but how do families afford to vacation to Hawaii?

I overheard someone saying they knew someone who spent their whole life’s savings account visiting Hawaii.  I believe it!

If you don’t want to go into debt by vacationing there, then you better start saving your money.  We met a sweet couple while we were in the ocean who did not give each other gifts for two years for every holiday so they would have the money to go.  So SMART!  They left their kids at home…lol.  They had already spent a week in Oahu and were now spending a week in Maui.  That’s definitely the way to go!  Very smart of them to save money for the trip instead of giving gifts.  A family should do that as well.  I could see myself wrapping up a photo of a para sailing brochure to give to the kids for Christmas.  That way they know the money from their gift was going to something awesome to look forward to.

Anyway, I am rambling.  Time to get some work done.  I’ll have to begin sharing some photos from our trip to Maui with you tomorrow for “Wordless Wednesday.”  If you can’t wait until tomorrow to see photos, I have 26 trip photos posted on Instagram.  My Instagram user name is @familybringsjoy.  Love my Instagram peeps!  It’s killing me to again be posting another post WITHOUT photos.  But, it’s either post it without or not at all.  This writing was probably more for me than you.  Since I’m such a visual person I don’t always read posts without photos…gasp!…I’m sharing secrets with you.  So if you are like me, then I don’t expect too many readers or comments.  No worries!  If you did read this, well bless you.  You’re pretty dang awesome! 😉

P.S.: This post took 2 hours to write and that’s without any photos. Granted, I am a mom and needed to do mom stuff during this time period.  Just a FYI :)


I Have A Life

You know how sometimes when you are looking at other people’s life via their blog, Instagram or other social media, you think to yourself, “they have a life.”  Well, maybe you don’t think that, but sometimes I do.  {I’m not saying I don’t have a life or that I don’t treasure each beautiful day I’ve been given.}  Usually, I think this during periods of my life when I don’t have much going on.  Well, this month is NOT one of those times.  As a matter of fact, I’ve been so busy living my life that I haven’t had much time to visit my friends’ blogs, etc.

I really shouldn’t even be taking the time to write this post because I have so much to do.  However, a very wise woman shared some good advice with me yesterday.  My Mom reminded me I should still take some time out for me amongst the hustle and bustle.

I’m embarking upon one of the most busiest weeks of my career as a mother.  Not only that, but one filled with lots of emotions.  If you’ve been reading my blog you already know what I’m referring to…our oldest daughter is graduating from high school.

Yesterday was my youngest daughter’s birthday and Mother’s Day.  On top of that, I taught a lesson at church and we went to my oldest daughter’s Baccalaureate service.  Tuesday morning I will be attending my 4th grader’s school talent show.  She and one of her besties are dancing in it as a duet.  We will also be attending her 4th grade graduation banquet Tuesday evening.  Wednesday there are 2 church activities scheduled at the same time for both of our daughters.  One of those occasions where hubby will have to go to one while I go to the other.  The church is hosting a special reception for the 3 seniors graduating this week.  Our new 10 year old’s church activity is a parent’s night where they share what they {equivalent to a girl scout group} have been working on throughout the year.  Family will begin to come on Wednesday and Thursday.  {looking forward to having our parents and siblings here to celebrate}  Thursday is the last day of school and graduation will be held that evening.

Today our pergola was supposed to be delivered.  Just found out it won’t be here until tomorrow…one more thing to add to Tuesday.  Today will be filled with cleaning and finishing a paint project in my youngest girl’s bedroom while the kids are at school.

I can hardly believe the time has come to see our firstborn graduate.  It was only last night as the band played “Pomp and Circumstance” {the beginning of the Baccalaureate service} and we saw our daughter walking down the aisle with her cap & gown that I saw emotion from my hubby.  A tear trickled down his face.  It wasn’t until the closing prayer of the service that the salty liquid came pouring down my cheeks.  “I pray that these parents can let their children go.”  It’s not like we’ll never see her again.  We still have all summer with her {thank goodness.}  It’s just the beginning of a different phase for us as parents.  It’s so weird this feeling.  I’m so excited for her, yet so sad to know it will not be the same after she goes to college.  She won’t be here in our home all the time.  I can’t go up to her room and check on her.  It won’t be the 5 of us here.  I have to trust that all the training and teaching we’ve done will be sufficient for her.  I have to practice faith and trust Heavenly Father will protect her…that she will go to Him when she needs help.

Well, I think that’s enough for now.  Time to get back to work.  It pains me I’m posting this without a photo. :(

Life is a blessing…through it all,

Sharing BB’s

homemade firing range familybringsjoy.comFirst up, this post is not about guns.

To be honest, I went a long time without buying a toy gun for my son because I’m not a huge fan of “encouraging” violence.  My view has changed somewhat, but I don’t want to focus on whether guns are good or not.

No, this post is about a red letter day…yesterday.  It was a Tuesday.  It was March 19th.  If you look on the calendar you will not see a holiday typed there.  {The kids are home for Spring Break this week.}  Yet, it was a special day.  Why is that?  My kids, my two youngest, played together.  Your thinking, “so what? what’s the big deal?”  Well let me tell you, it IS a big deal.

There is 5 years difference between my son and daughter…14 and 9 (almost 15 and 10.)  Our son, I will call him J, was the baby for a long time.  He has quite the animosity against his little sis, A.  It’s quite sad indeed that J would hold this feeling well into his teen years.  He constantly wishes A was a boy, that he had a brother.  It’s understandable being he’s the only boy besides his dad in the house (dad works a lot so he’s not here all that much.)  It’s also understandable that he wished for a brother being that he doesn’t have many friends here.  I’ve mentioned before in earlier posts about him being bullied and told he looks like a monkey.  Oh how it makes my heart hurt.

Back to J & A.  They constantly fight.  I’ve touched on this in earlier posts as well.  Dinner time, prayer and scripture time are not always super enjoyable as we have to constantly referee the 2.  Many days I am grateful I can spread the kids out into different areas of the house so I can have a break from the bickering.

Hopefully, you have somewhat of a picture of what life is like with my 2 youngest kids.  It’s not all happily ever after in this family.  However, yesterday was heavenly.  J asked A if she wanted to shoot his BB gun {actually his dad’s} with him.  I thought to myself, “Oh no. Do I really want to allow this?”  Yesterday I was super tired.  We had gotten in from our trip to visit my Mom from the weekend at about 1 AM.  I was just grateful they wanted to be outside and hoped I had about 2 minutes of respite before one of them came in and told me of how the other had done this or that to them.  Next thing I know, several minutes had passed and J came in asking if I would take a photo of how they set up their shooting range in the back yard.  I immediately grabbed my camera and said a prayer of thanks in my mind to God.

BB loading familybringsjoy.com

BB shooting range2 familybringsjoy.com

Even though J is not pictured here, these photos represent true love on his part.  The fact that he shared the gun and let his sister shoot it is a miracle.  Not only did they do this together, they also played on the plasma cars and we all played catch with the baseball together.  The other reason it was a red letter day is because the TV was not turned on ALL DAY!  Oh how I love that!  I am very grateful for this special day.

Unfortunately, today it’s back to normal.  Lord, help me.

Happy First Day of Spring,

I Think I Can…Update

Just to let you know, I am doing better.  Thanks again to all who encouraged me in some fashion…it means SO MUCH to me.

Taken last November

Taken last November

I haven’t had much time to devote to the blog lately.  I feel bad about that.

What I looked like almost 2 1/2 years ago.

What I looked like almost 2 1/2 years ago.

Here’s the deal.  Part of the problem lately is my realization of gaining an unreasonable amount of weight for a person of my size.  Unfortunately, I believe my blogging has encouraged this to some extent.  I am 5′ 3 1/2″ .  When my husband and I were married almost 19 years ago I weighed 102 pounds.  After being pregnant 4 times (1 miscarriage) I was happy at about 120-125 lb.  Well, now I am weighing in at about 143 pounds.  I weighed this amount when I was pregnant. {This makes me sick!}  Truly I don’t weigh myself very often…really only about once every 3 months when I go to the dr. for a med check.  I have noticed by 1. the way my pants fit…either too tight or I can’t even button them {you can hear me screaming in the background here} or 2. I can see it in photos.  I hate both, but the second is the most difficult for me.

Taken on my 41st birthday, you can tell in my face how much weight I've gained in just a year.

Taken on my 41st birthday, you can tell in my face how much weight I’ve gained in just a year.

Anyway, so I am determined to get back into shape, now that I am healthy and can get back in shape.  Being injured or sick doesn’t help when it comes to wanting to exercise.

Me 5 years ago going on a run on Christmas Day

Me 5 years ago going on a run on Christmas Day

I’ve been running again.  Let me tell you, if you are not a morning person {which I am not} then running in the day takes up a lot of time.  It’s been hard.  No, it’s been excruciating!  Running with 20 extra pounds is horrible.  I am barely able to run 3 miles without stopping right now.  Do you know how mentally difficult that is on someone who has run a marathon and 4 half marathons?  It’s been awful.  But I go because I am determined to get back into my pants and not buy a bigger size.  I go because I want to not be ashamed and sickened when I look at myself in photos.  I go because I want to be healthier and have more energy.

More recent photo of me with our daughter.

More recent photo of me with our daughter.

I should have left a couple of hours ago to run.  I’m dreading it.  I used to love going to run.

Life is good…I think I can…I know I can…my mantra while running.



Have a beautiful day friends,

My Attempt To Describe Depression

coked to the side familybringsjoy.comDepression is raw.

It’s debilitating…paralyzing.

Sometimes, I think to myself, “I should be used to this feeling,” not that it would change how it feels…how horrible it is.

Depression seems to slow time down while Joy speeds it up.  Oh how I wish it was the opposite.

looking away familybringsjoy.comWhen I am experiencing a bout of depression I feel helpless.

I feel stopped, plugged up, held up like there is no progression.

Like there is nothing I can do BUT feel…and it’s sad.

Chemical depression is not always due to outside influences.  It just happens, no matter what circumstances I’m in.

I have so much to be grateful for.  God has blessed me immensely, yet I feel sad…then the shame wheel starts rolling.  Boy does that make it worse!  It’s honestly better to not think.  Ha!  For me that is impossible.  My mind continuously thinks.

serious familybringsjoy.comThe only thing that brings me hope is knowing this will pass.  My history shows that it won’t be here forever and I am so counting on that.  I wish it would hurry and be done.

I wish it would hurry and be done.

be done depression
We would not know joy without sorrow,