Sunday, March 18, 2018

I Could Be Mad...

I could be mad. 

That the woman who was already finished raising her kids but didn’t blink twice about raising my brother and me, was diagnosed with cancer. 

I could be upset.

That the woman that was my biggest supporter had a hard time recognizing my son and me. 

I could be angry.

That despite the radiation, mounds of doctors,  and thousands of prayers, she got sicker. 

I could be livid.

That the strongest woman I know, needed help to do the simpliest of tasks. 

But I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong.  I was.  When I first heard her diagnosis, I couldn’t fathom how this lady could get it.  She always seemed to be invincible to me.  She has been through so much in her life to just have cancer beat her down. I was mad, upset, angry, livid and a whole other wide range of emotions. 

But now, I’m thankful.

I’m thankful for timing. Had she been diagnosed years ago, I know I couldn’t handle it as well as I am today. If my son was younger, I would be angry with the fact that he didn't really get to know his great-grandmother.  If I didn't have the support of my husband, I know I couldn't see her so helpless.  If I didn't have the friends I have now, I wouldn't be able to be there for my son who needs me more than ever.  I am thankful for God's timing.

I am thankful for my faith.  If I wasn’t as strong in my faith as I am, I would probably have turned my back on God. Hours and hours of praying and seemingly getting no where.  If I wasn’t in my church (which I’ve only been there about 3 years), I wouldn’t have Godly people in my life to help me process.  I am thankful for my faith, knowing that when she does pass, she will be with God.  

" be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord."

She will be there welcoming me into Heavens gates when it's my turn to go.  That when JJ heard about her condition, he was upset but turned to rely on his faith stating, “I was sad but realized God has Maw Maw in His hands.” 

I  am thankful that I’ve had at least 34 years with her, some people don't get that.  I am sad that I wont be able to call on her anymore to ask for advice, ask for a recipe, or to just vent but I am going to take this knowledge that she has given and use it everyday of my life. Do I want more time with her? ABSOLUTELY.  But not at the expense of her being in pain.

Don't get me wrong, the anger still comes to the surface.  I still can't sleep at night.  I still hold out for a miracle but I ultimately know that God is in control and I trust Him thar everything will work itself out, one way or another.  

Luke 18:27, "Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

Job 5:8-9, But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him.  He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted."

So I could be mad but I won't. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hello 2018

As I get older, time just seems to be passing so quickly.  I can't believe that it is already 2018.  And almost half way through January.

I have to say that 2017 wasn't the best year for my family and me.  We were definitely tested and went through some trials.  All in all we came out unscathed but as I sat and waited for 2018 to roll around, I made the decision that I would make 2018 the best year yet.

I don't normally make resolutions - those are meant to be broken.  But I did have dreams.  Or maybe I should call them goals.   

Here are my 2018 goals:

Spiritual - I want to grow closer to God and get deeper in His word.  I want to be completely wrecked by God this year.  I want to grow our youth group and be able to reach the teens in our area.

Health - We ended 2017 by doing the Keto diet.  You can find more about Keto here.  I was able to lose about 20 lbs and Justin lost closer to 25.  But then the holidays came and we went on a cruise.  In 2018, I want to get healthy.  I don't have a weight in my head but I do want to have more energy and ultimately complete a fun 5k. I joined a gym and have been going regularly.  We are also slowly getting back on the Keto diet.

Family - Be Present would be my motto for 2018.  I want our time together to count.  Maybe we won't take another big family vacation like the cruise but I want even the time at home spent being present.  This means turning off the phone and electronics that may distract me.  This means not thinking about the all the things that need to be completed but enjoying our time together. This means actually listening and paying attention to what is happening around me, to put multitasking on hold for those moments that I get to spend with my family. 

Blog - This is my diary.  I want to be able to look back on these post and remember where I was and what we were doing.  I would also like to grow into maybe vlogging for bigger events that we participate in.  I put a hold on blogging when I lost my Nikon at the end of 2016.  I haven't really been focused on finding a new camera but I have one on my phone right?  But by doing this, I mentally shut down my blog as well.  Now we will do things or see things and I will want to blog about it but I figure that I am so far away from blogging that I can't start back up.

I will stop making excuses for what happens in 2018 - I will hold myself accountable.  And hopefully be able to take you guys along for the ride here on Another Ordinary Day. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Paper Bag Pumpkins | PreK Craft

It's finally starting to feel like Fall here in Texas.  Finally.

This week we started our fall lesson.  We discussed the changes in the weather, used pinecones and pumpkin seeds in our sensory bin, and spent more time outside.

We also discussed pumpkins, because what's Fall without pumpkins?

We were able to go outside and dissect our pumpkin.  The children were able to use their senses to explore the pumpkin.

Getting an extreme close-up of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin guts & stuff.

We also made our own pumpkin patch out of paper bags.

Our cute little pumpkin patch.
I would highly recommend covering your tables in brown paper or newspaper.  Clean up is so easy.

What you will need:

- orange paint  & paint brushes
- newspaper or in my case we used pages from a phone book
- green pipe cleaners
- paper bags


01.  Crumble the newspaper and place in the bottom of the paper bag.

02.  Gather the top of the bag to make a stem and tie it with the pipe cleaner.

03.  Then I encouraged the children to color the bottom of the bag orange.  

04.  You can paint the top of the bag (the stem area) brown but the bag was brown so I didn't see a point.  Also, you can have the children add a face once the paint dries. 

It was a simple and easy craft for the children to do.  I highly recommend it. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

What Matters Most

Growing up my favorite part of the holidays was having my grandmother in the kitchen cooking.  The smell of the cornbread dressing and desserts. Spending time with the family that got together for whichever holiday it was. My brother sneaking us food.  It was the best. 

But we grow up.  We become busy with our own lives, families, and responsibilities. We make excuses as to why we can't get together this year.  Maybe next year.

Last Thanksgiving my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer.  It literally shook my world.  I was six hours away and the woman that raised me was just diagnosed with cancer.

I was devastated.  

Over the past year, I have learned that what I once though mattered, doesn't anymore.  What matters to me the greatest is spending quality time with the people that matter most to me.  

Like playing UNO for hours

Like spending time learning my grandmothers holiday cornbread dressing recipe. 

Like watching MaMa's Family as a family. 

These are the things that matter.  

I'm sorry it has taken me this long to recognize this.

But recognizing this before it was too late is what I am thankful for this year.

JJ, Paw Paw, and Maw Maw

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I am thankful.

There is a lot that I can say I am thankful for.  I have a wonderful husband and an amazing son who are the world to me.  I have a great job that helps put a roof over our heads and food on the table.  I have my health.  I want for little and my cup overflows. But this Thanksgiving I get a chance to really understand what I am thankful for:  Family.

I've never really had the best relationship with my family.  I never really knew my mom [though recently we have tried reconnecting] and my dad worked a lot, leaving my grandparents to raise my brother and me.  I was angry, confused, and a pain in the butt.  

But I am thankful.

I am thankful that my grandparents raised me.  I honestly do not know where I would be without them.

I am thankful that they are the head of our family.  That we gather at their house for holidays.  That I can turn to them if I need help or just someone to talk to. 

My grandmother was recently diagnosed with cancer and my world stopped. I can think of a million things that I want to say about it but mostly it just straight up sucks.  I can't image my world without her.  I hate that I took her for granted so many years, thinking that she will always be here for me.  

I have to stand strong on my faith and my God knowing that everything will work itself out.  That this will not be the last holiday that I get to spend with her, listen to her stories, and just enjoy her presence.  I am soaking up her knowledge, watching home movies, copying down her recipes, and just enjoying life.

I am thankful. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Life Update

Feels like forever since I've blogged. 

[Probably because it has.]

What have the Gould's been up to?

Amie - I am currently in the process of becoming a PreK Teacher at an Academy close to my house.  I didn't think this is where I would be at but I am really excited about what the future holds with this job prospect. 

I am also the Den Leader for JJ's Wolf Pack.  I was hesitant about adding this to the growing number of things, but I am honestly enjoying it and I think its a great way to be involved with my son.

Justin and I are in training and prayer to become the next youth leaders at our church. This has been something that has been on our hearts for awhile now.

I am still doing Juney Cakes on the side but I haven't been focusing on it all too much. I still have a couple of orders that come in and that has rekindled that fire. 

Justin - Justin is currently a chef at a school.  He is looking into doing his own catering business.

He is also an Assistant Cub Master of JJ's Pack.

JJ- He is now in 2nd grade and loving it.  He is trying out for the chess team and storytelling team. He is loving Cub Scouts this year and hopes to pick up a sport or two.

Life has been crazy and chaotic but I have been loving every minute of it.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Life Overload |Dealing with Anxiety|

Hello lovelies!  

It's Friday!  It's the weekend!  Things are about to get deep.

When I sat down to write this blog post, I noticed the sun was shinning, the dogs were playing outside.  I could hear my husband and son building Legos and laughing.  It's Friday - our normal family night where we rent movies and have a taco bar or pizza. I look at all this and I should be happy (and I  am deep deep down).

I have this ugly little monster that has been building and building inside of me until I had one little set back this week and I went into full meltdown mode.  His name?  Anxiety.


I have been around anxiety my whole life.  My dad suffers from social anxiety [A chronic mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety.] He became basically a hermit only working and going to Walmart at 4 am to avoid people.  

My brother starting showing signs of anxiety a couple of years ago.  It got so bad he would have full blown panic attacks and eventually had to get on medication to help control his attacks.

About a year ago I noticed that when I made plans, even with friends who I have known forever, I would get an uneasy feeling.  It would eventually pass once I actually got to where we were going.  It would come and go in waves and I really never gave much thought to it.  

About eight months ago we moved back to Texas and into a nice house but it was definitely a fixer upper.  And I was happy with that.  My Pinterest boards were going up and I couldn't be happier - I could make this house our home.  

We did move right before school started and I had to do a lot of rushing around to make sure JJ was enrolled in time.   Justin was still working offshore so he was going for three weeks at a time but I was handling the move well.  I also started manager rental properties for my father-in-law. It was nothing major and I could make some extra spending money.

Things weren't so great...

JJ started off adjusted to school but about a month in he took a turn for the worse.  He was constantly acting out, hitting, and just having emotional break downs. He spent most of his time in after school detention or in school suspension. It was a lot added to the fact that I was basically parenting along for three weeks out of the month.  Justin decided to stop working offshore and get a job at the corporate location so he could be home more but by taking this new job he also took a pay cut.  

JJ kept getting worse in school so we had him switched to a new classroom and joined cub scouts so that he could meet and interact with boys his age and help build his confidence.  I love cub scouts but it took a lot of our time and was a new adjustment.  Our Sundays were basically running from church to home to grab a bite to eat then heading to cub scouts and back home for dinner and bed.  

I also decided to pick up another part time job while JJ was in school to help with the difference in pay. Life was chaotic.  We didn't ever have a weekend let alone a day to ourselves - constantly on the go.   I started to physically not feel good.  I honestly thought I had the flu with body aches and headaches but I pushed through.

Then Justin's job informed him they were making pay cuts to help with the drop in the oil field.  He could keep his job but it would be about a $4/hr pay cut and so we both began looking for other jobs.
It didn't take Justin long to find something a lot better.  Not only was the pay better but he was so happy when he came home plus he was home every night and weekend.  It took me awhile longer but finally found a great government job that would allow me to work with JJ's schedule.  I started all the paperwork, background checks, fingerprinting, etc and quit my part time job.  

During the time of getting the requirements for my new job, doubt and fear started to take over all my thoughts.  I would worry about things that didn't even make sense.  I felt as if everyone was out to get me and everything was going wrong, when actually everything was turning around.  Some days I didn't even want to get out of bed and would cry for no reason. Depression started setting in.  I was not new to depression.  I had suffered from it for years in my teens to my mid 20s.

Crazy lady in Kroger's frozen food section...

 All of the fear, doubt, rushing around, my life in a chaotic mess came to a head.  I have always been type A personality and now I felt as if I was losing control of my life.  My kid acting out, no time to just decompress, financial fears, etc

I had to go to Kroger's to get something for dinner and I was upset.  I didn't want to get out of bed let alone cook [Justin would have cooked if I would have asked].  And I couldn't decide what to make.  My mind started racing, my heart beat sped up, I started to cry and was having a small panic attack.  I knew I had to focus and control my breathing but I didn't want anyone to see me.   I opened the door to the frozen veggies in Kroger, stuck my head in and bawled like a baby.  I started taking deep breaths and after a few minutes I felt better or as good as I could.  I picked up something frozen and headed home.  I knew I had to do something.  

I first talked to my husband about what was going on.  I didn't have to suffer alone and he could tell something was going on with me.  My anxiety isn't severe and I am learning ways to deal with situations when they are out of control.  I am learning to live life a little differently than before especially when introduce to new situations.  Life is getting better everyday.  I am happier than I was the day before.


Facts/Questions about Anxiety:

Anxiety is a mental healthy disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one's daily activities.  Research suggests that as many as 1 in 6 young people will experience an anxiety condition.  Its hard for people who don't suffer from anxiety to understand.  As much as Justin tried he just doesn't get it.  Here and here are some comics that might help explain it. Here is an app to for self-help with anxiety.

What causes anxiety?
Common causes of anxiety are panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, phobic disorder and stress disorder (what I suffer from).

Is anxiety hereditary?
Anxiety is not hereditary but the markers for anxiety may exist because of genetic markers which predispose a person to develop this conditions.

Symptoms of anxiety:
Fatigue, restlessness, sweating. irritability, fear, feeling of impending doom, insomnia, nausea, and the list goes on

Does anxiety cause depression?
No but people who have depression usually have a history of some form of anxiety. 

And just in case...

Suicide Prevention & Crisis Call Center 
text "ANSWER" to 839863