This August has pretty much been a blur of stress, anxiety, headaches and waiting for the headache meds to kick in.

One child a sophomore in high school. One just into middle school, and one in elementary school.
Oldest is learning to drive and getting her first job.
Middle is nervous and excited about starting middle school.
Youngest is nervous he won't do well in fourth grade.

As I type this, the side of my head hurts. Not the usual, monthly headache, but more weather/sinus-related probably. I get more of these types of headaches in July and August. Instead of one or two a month, I get them every few days. When they hit, I just want to lie down and go to sleep. Thankfully, the headache meds work most of the time.

I plan on talking to the doc to see if I can take a daily preventive medication for only a couple of months at a time. I don't want to be on preventive meds 24/7 due to the side effects. If I can only take it (and have it work) for a few months out of the year, though, I will.

I also know I need to take different steps to take care of myself. Eat better, move more, lose some weight.
Too much soda and junk food lately. I've been getting on the exercise bike a bit more lately. Today, I start my "no cocoa" goal.

Clearly, I have a case of the rambles this morning. I'm tired and achey and just want to run off to a beach somewhere and sit there listening to the waves for a while and not think about anything.

That would be nice.


Had a small existential crisis last night.

The wife and mother of a coworker passed recently. I did not know her personally, but knew she was a special person.

The photos reminded me of photos so many of us have of our families. The flowers were lovely and beautiful. The bits and pieces the family shared were a tribute to a kind soul.

On the way home, my mind started to wander.

Why are we really here? What does it all mean? What is it all for?

I did not have any answers. Now, I don't want you to think I'm falling into some deep depression, nor am I a danger to myself or others. The mind just sometimes travels down unbeaten and shadowy paths. *

Maybe we're here to make other's lives better -- but why? This is the thought that circled my mind during the drive home.

Do you have an answer? What are your thoughts?

* The mind tends to visit these places more when a migraine is coming on. I took my meds and got myself to bed early. Today, the migraine is gone. The question remains, but isn't as 'loud' as it was.


Thoughts on Happiness

Something to think about.
I'm not happy all the time.
I'm content, good, tired, irritated, annoyed, and thankful. 
In the mornings, I (try to) focus on being grateful, hopeful, positive.
In the afternoons, I'm tired, wishing the day away and not liking where I'm at mentally.
I find myself "should"-ing myself. 
I should eat better. I should get more rest. I should be a better wife/mother/employee/friend.
I should exercise. I should take better care of the house/car/yard/kids.
Happiness does not mean I won't feel all these things.
Happiness does not mean I will be upbeat and enthusiastic and joyful all the time.
Happiness does not mean I have to think positively and always look on the bright side of things.
Happiness does not mean I won't have any bad days or thoughts.

Happiness means I accept that I will feel all those things.
Happiness means I will have bad days and good days.
Happiness just means I know my day/thoughts/feelings won't always be in the toilet.

Happiness means there is hope that tomorrow or next week or next month will be better.


Fog and Faith

The heavy fog on the way to work this morning has me waxing pseudo-poetic...

At times, I couldn't see very far in front of me. The fog softened the edges of the things I could see, and hid some landmarks completely .

Behind me, the fog settled around where I'd been, showing only the most distinct things.

I had faith that the road I'm on would take me where I needed to go.

I just needed to follow it.


Home Sweet Home

We arrived home from our Circus Road Trip for 2013 yesterday afternoon.
Over the course of nearly a week (12 hours shy of a full week), we drove nearly 3500 miles. More specifically, Hubs drove, we were just along for the ride.

Our main destination was Glacier National Park in Montana, but we made some stops along the way.

The trip was a lot of fun. As always, it is nice to get away, and nice to get back to home base.

I will be getting the photos uploaded soon, and will (hopefully) find the time to write down some of the stories about our trip.

For now, though I'm happy and content to just kind of take things easy, take a few deep breaths and relax a bit before going back to work on Monday.

Laundry from the trip is all washed.
I am incredibly grateful to have a washer and dryer in our home.

Paperwork and bills from before we left have been sorted and tended to .
I am grateful to have a stable job that pays well enough to take care of the bills, and to allow us to have vacations like the one we just had.

The fridge has been cleaned out and new groceries have been purchased for the week ahead.
I am grateful to be able to have decent meals for our family.

Photos from our vacation are being collected and will be sorted and uploaded to Flickr. I will also choose which ones should be printed for the photo albums.
I am grateful to have the technical ability and resources to be able to do that. I am also grateful to be able to take photos of some of the beauty we encountered in the Montana and Wyoming area.

Mostly, I am grateful that my husband enjoys taking all of us on road trips and showing us the sights and building memories for us and our children.

More to come. Good night for now.


Yesterday's adventures:

Driving down the road with three of my kids and one of someone else's about a mile from home, we heard a small pop, then a bit of a wobble... then a REALLY BIG WOBBLE. Busy busy road (Rakow for the locals). I drove like that for a bit until I could pull over to a safe spot, and the picture below is what I found.

We called Steve and he came to change the tire. The tire was stuck on the van, so he called reinforcements. Our neighbor came to help, the spare was put on, then we went home (out of the rain) to be sure everything was ok.

We still went to Six Flags Great America yesterday. It was raining when we left, but we had truly wonderful weather at the park. The lines weren't bad at all, and there wasn't a ride that we didn't get to go on. We hit the Whizzer, Demon, Yankee Clipper, Batman*, Superman, X-Flight, Roaring Rapids, American Eagle, Viper, Raging Bull, Vertical Velocity, Giant Drop, and the Dark Knight. Only the kids went on the Raging Bull, Vertical Velocity and Roaring Rapids. (I didn't go on those).

*Batman the ride was running backwards - that ride really messed me up. I took some time to recover so that I could to on the Superman with Buddy and Sweet Pea later.

We stayed at the park longer than we had planned because we were having a great time and the weather was fabulous. After the park, we hit IHOP and made it back home around 11:00pm.

A long day with a precarious start, but a great one overall. :)


Friday Night

This wasn't the Friday night I had planned.

I had planned on cleaning out my closet and bedroom - the kids have deposited all the things they want to get rid of in our closet. I had moved most of it out of the closet so we could still get to our things. The big pile of unwanteds in the corner is really starting to get to me. The menu for next week and the grocery list also needed to be put together, and I was going to try to run over the library before it closed.

It would seem though, that were the mind is willing, the spirit is tired as hell. When I got home from work, I chatted with the family for a bit and decided to just sit down for a few minutes before playing short order cook for the kids and serving up soup and salad for Hubs and I. Forty-five minutes later I woke up, stumbled to the phone and ordered pizza.

After snarfing all the pizza, I pretty much slacked as much as possible.

Not what I had planned, but I'm rolling with it.

Saturday will be a busy day - the kids and I are headed to Six Flags, weather permitting. Right now, the forecast is cool and calling for scattered storms. That'll be fine. I'd rather deal with that than 100 degree temps. The kids are excited and I'm on guard for a headache that is just a ghost right now. I'm crossing my fingers it stays that way.

Anyhoober... time to get this mama to bed. Nighty-night, peeps.
Happy Friday!

I'm staring down the barrel of a work day, followed by a busy busy weekend.
The kids and I are going to Six Flags Great America (whether permitting) on Saturday, and we'll be headed over to visit Grandma and Grandpa for Father's Day on Sunday. In between those to events, I'm going to try to get the chores done and keep the kids from going stir crazy.

Things at work are going well. I'm ramping up to get back into the 'life long learning' motivation. Boss wants me to attend a conference in September and there are some business books I've marked as 'to-read'.

I'm feeling the need to "do better" in various aspects of my life again recently. I realize it will be a daily challenge and some days I'll be up for it, other days I may abandon it all together. I'll only fail if I give up completely.

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