While the rest of the world got all dressed up and took beautiful family pictures on Easter, my family was tearing up and clearing out carpet. Now we did get up early so we could make it to the sunrise service at our church and we ate a wonderful breakfast with the congregation. Couldn’t forget to give thanks to God and rejoice in Jesus coming back whilst we were pulling carpet and pulling back muscles in the process. We’ve done the living room floors once, but thanks to the three stooges (that would be Deuce, Stella, and Hoss) and some lovely bodily fluids, it had to be replaced. So here we are 4 years later having wood tile put down. We did the removing and we are having professionals come in this time to make it look good. Because let’s face it, even though I love a good diy as much as the next person, I officially don’t have time for that shit. And my husband has the knees of an 80 year old man (thanks to football) so yea, that was a strong nope. Any who, we found this great tile at Lowes. Y’all, $.99 a sq ft!!! It’s gorgeous and pretty damn close to what I wanted so we jumped on it. The carpet that we ripped up had been the original carpet from when our home was first built. In 2007. It had 3 different families with children and pets. The carpet was beyond saving, beyond cleaning, beyond anything but burning it while wearing a hazmat suit. It was so freakin gross. I think moldy bread probably looks better. Hails and I did the floors in the living room in about an hour and half. Maverick’s room took probably a couple since we had to move furniture and what not. Those were both easy. Now let’s talk about Hails room. I don’t know if there’s some sacred ritual that’s involved when becoming a teen that says your room has to smell and be as disgusting as possible but I feel like most parents experience this in their life. I don’t even know where to begin. Between candy wrappers, crusty sweaty socks, random unidentifiable objects, her room was in worse shape than Bikini island after having an atomic bomb go off. And finally after a week of living on one side of our house (garage became the official living room), our floors are done. I’m completely in love with this wood tile. And we got it at a mere $.99 a sq ft! I know! We couldn’t believe it either!!
I cannot believe that summer vacation is over. My husband and the rest of the Biloxi staff went back last Friday. My daughter started Tuesday. I don't know when the days started going by so fast but it's slightly overwhelming. I wish I could say that we lived a summer full of adventure but it was anything but!!! I decided to take two summer classes which pretty much occupied every moment that wasn't already occupied by work or kids. Oh, and it rained. Like every single freakin day. I swear to you I thought about building an ark because it's that serious. I'm expecting glittering vampires to take over any day now.
Anyway, so with the start of school comes the start of football 🏈 season and the start of all other extracurricular activities that involve me being a chauffeur. I'm so excited about it let me tell you. Work, busing the kids around, and Friday nights on the bleachers eating cheese nachos and chasing my toddler up and down. If anything I get my exercise in between each nacho I eat! I really do enjoy the family grind but there's something wonderful about just being able to relax and breath. Just the thought of not having anywhere to be or have a specific schedule dictated brings me bliss. I have yet to be one of those parents who just "can't wait for school to start" because their kids drive them nuts. I don't see it. Our summers are relaxed. Sure the kids get a bit restless but bed times are extended. They get to play outside longer. You get to actually spend more time with your kids!!! How is that a down side?
Either way, summer is easing its way out. I wish all of you parents and your kids the best school year.
Side note: I think I ate way too many nachos I had a horrendous stomach ache after the game 🤣
Okay, so I know that I haven’t posted in awhile. I really thought I’d be more dedicated to this whole blogging thing but it turns out that I’m just pulled in about a million different directions. One of those directions is my journey to finish school. I finally received my Associates Degree. I started in 2001. I know. It’s taken me forever. Life, hardships, babies, just kept happening and I kept putting it off. But finally here it is. A light at the end of the tunnel. I’m proud of myself for not giving up and for finishing what I started. Even if it was almost 14 years ago lol.
So I know every parent out there would love just a tiny break. Some peace and quiet. Some R and R. But on your own terms. Unfortunately for the Brett house, this mama was forced to take a break in the hospital.
I’ve been battling what I was thinking started out as a sinus infection for a month and a half. The sinus infection went to my chest, my asthma started flaring up, I had three rounds of antibiotics, steroid shot, breathing treatments and absolutely nothing was working.
I ended up at the ER and admitted for 2 days to try and get everything under control. Thankfully, I’m home and relaxing now. But it’s absolutely killing me to just “sit” and “relax” while there’s so much to do. I can’t go back to work until I’m feeling 100% better and my body is just wore slap out. Turns out I had developed pneumonia along with acute and chronic respiratory hypoxia. In other words, my lungs were so not functioning like they needed to be for an otherwise healthy 34 year old woman. But it’s what happens when an otherwise healthy woman is completely stretched to her breaking point and is running on empty.
It’s the peak of the holiday season. Our last home game is this Friday. We have a neighborhood fall festival, trunk or treat at church, lots of stuff to take care of at work and I’m confined to my sofa. Which makes me cranky and not happy at all. I guess the silver lining is my parents are visiting and have been here to help with our two and four legged minions. Mom has been cleaning, cooking, doing laundry. Dad has been making trips to the grocery store. My sister has helped out with Maverick and my sweet husband has just been by my side the whole time.
Being forced to take this “break” has made me realize a few things. One being that I cannot take care of my family, my home, my work if I am not taking care of myself. I need to eat better, manage my asthma better, develop a new exercise routine, or whatever so I can be there for my family. I can’t refill everyone else’s cup if mine is always empty. I am not super woman. I’m just a regular person who tried to handle everything, who ignored how tired her body was, and it all ended up biting me in the ass. No bueno.
The second thing I realized is I don’t know how to just sit down and relinquish control. Honestly, I’m a control freak! I hate for everything to be going on and me be in the background not being able to control anything lol!
I guess the moral of this post is that we parents, need to remember how important it is for us to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our families and our other obligations. We deserve some time to ourselves. Even if it’s 15 or 20 minutes a day, we NEED to make ourselves as much as a priority as others.
To help drill this into my own brain I decided to illustrate a picture in my journal 😂.
Happy New Year y’all from very soggy and rainy Mississippi!!! I don’t know about the rest of you but I always look forward to new beginnings. Fresh starts. New chapters to be written! The last couple years have just been touch and go for our family. With Nick’s 5th concussion and the birth of our Maverick, it feels like we went through a whirlwind of change and not all of it was for the better. I think 2016 was hard for a lot of people. It was definitely hard for our country. I’m hoping that 2017 brings much needed comfort and peace to everyone.
Rather than make New Years resolutions that really won’t be kept, how about we all just make one. One to be kinder. It costs nothing to be kind. I’m not talking about trying to walk eggshells so you don’t offend someone. I’m talking just saying hi to a stranger. Or saying thank you when someone holds the door open for you. Believe it or not that’s not common place anymore. The reason we see something “kind” being shared on social media, is because it’s simply not taking place as often as it should. We have become increasingly more self absorbed and indifferent to everything going on around us. I’ve been just as guilty as any of you. But I want to change for the better. I want to change because my neighbors need it. Because my city needs it. Because you and everyone else in the world needs it.
It’s not going to cure anything over night. It’s not going to fix all of the gigantic problems that we have facing us as a society. But it will bring a little more sunshine. And who doesn’t love that!
From my humble little family in MS, we wish you the love of friends and family, good health and memories in 2017. God Bless y’all!
Fall has finally reached the Mississippi Gulf Coast and I couldn’t be happier. We’ve literally had what felt like an endless summer. Picking pumpkins and going on hayrides is just not the same in 90 degree weather let me tell you. Our church put on a trunk or treat after service and the poor kids were sweating and and coming out of their costumes. I was getting super cranky of not being able to wear my scarves and my boots. But as with all good things, Fall decided to show up and now I can finally light up a fire in our fire pit, sip hot chocolate, and snuggle next to my babies or Nick under a cozy blanket.
When I was younger and had time to worship the sun, I lived for summer. I lived in my bikini from the time the sun was up until I went to sleep. I’m a summer baby so I blamed my love of the water and heat on that. However now that I’m older and I work more and I have two kids, I desperately wish that we just lived some place that each season is clearly defined. Like say the north east or Nebraska (Midwest) around that area. And while I love Mississippi (it’s home) I itch for mountains and trees where it looks like the horizon is on fire, crisp mornings followed by crisp nights around the fire place. I want to have a white Christmas. I’m sure that if I lived somewhere that had snow for month after month, I’d tire of it quickly. But I lived in New York for a couple years as a child and I cannot recall it being terrible. As a matte of fact, it took me a while to adjust to the fact that I would no longer have a white Christmas down here. I’ve accepted it. But at 34, I still very much wish it to happen. Just like every year when my calendar says it’s the first day of fall, I somehow get my hopes that I’ll see bright reds, oranges, yellows, covering the sky line, and having piles of leaves to jump in. I keep hoping that Halloween night will be ended with a camp fire and some smores not melted off makeup and sweaty preteen smelling costumes. I keep waiting for Mississippi to “fall” into the Perfect Season. Do y’all have a favorite season? Or a favorite tradition that is a MUST once fall hits your town? I’d love to know what it is!
Most people don’t go into a marriage expecting the worse part to show its ugly head early on. I think most of us really feel that the worse will show up after ten years or so. I mean, you’re getting married for Pete’s sake. You are completely in love, it’s all exciting, it’s all coming together. You are beginning a journey based off of hopes and dreams. First things first, Nick and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary this past April. Three years. Only three. And yet our second year of marriage we were met with a hump on the road to marital bliss.
Nick isn’t one to share things. Like very little to none at all with the general public. Our family and marital issues are ours and ours alone. And rightfully so. But I’m writing this post because this isn’t so much about our marriage but because of the TBI (traumatic brain injury) that decided to put its bitch ass into the smack dab center of our family and marriage. And I’m sharing our experience because after joining a Facebook support group and talking with others affected by numerous concussions, it’s obvious that society still doesn’t understand and that the family members and friends of the TBI loved one still feel anger and emotions towards the problem and sometimes the victim. This is his 5th TBI.
Life has changed as we once knew it. The person I married has changed. I have changed. Our family has changed. I wanted to share the REALITY of our life and the REALITY OF TBI.
• People don’t get it. When you break something or have scars, something that’s VISIBLY wrong with you, it’s easier for other human beings to understand. It’s easier for them to be sympathetic. When it’s your brain however, the damage is hidden. You look the same on the outside so you MUST BE BETTER!! wrong. So very wrong. People continue to put unneeded stress & continue to demand the same things if not more than they use too and the person who has suffered the TBI is just not capable of always resuming their regular responsibilities. It’s overwhelming, emotional, and does more harm than folks realize.
• Depression Risk is Higher. Repeated concussions raise the risks of a person becoming clinically depressed. So much so that they also have an increased rate of suicide. They will need your love and support. They will need the assistance of a professional and some meds to help them get through life.
• YOUR LOVED ONE IS STILL IN THERE. They still love you. And they desperately want to be able to do the same things they were use too. But they can’t. Speech may be affected. Other motor skills can be affected. Be patient. Be kind. I can get frustrated. And angry. And it’s sometimes hard for me to not want to lash out at my husband. Maverick was just 2 months when it happened. Nick couldn’t get out of bed for WEEKS. I was exhausted from lack of sleep, working, and what felt like taking care of 3 kids and 3 dogs all by myself. I was so angry and sad. I ended up having to be put on Zoloft to help me cope. My advise, join a support group. Talk to someone. But try not to lash out at your family member, loved one, spouse. It does absolutely no good.
•NEW NORMAL. Say goodbye to doing things together that might cause over stimulation. Concerts, places with too many people or noises. Night clubs. Anything with strobe lights. If the person has been exposed to several TBIs, say goodbye to doing any activities that has an increased risk of getting another.
•Ongoing MEDICAL NEEDS. He/she might need ongoing counseling to battle depression or help with managing stress, temper, memory improvement and problem solving. Treatment for migraines and vertigo.
•They are Brain Damaged not Brain Dead. Okay, sometimes you’re going to want to just do all the shit yourself because it’s easier than watching your significant other struggle or get it done painstakingly slow. But don’t. DO NOT start taking over everything as if they are some helpless child. They need to relearn. It’s hard to watch them struggle but it’s part of the process. It’s also damaging their pride and self worth. Help if it gets to be too much or if asked. Don’t treat them like incapable children.
I could go on but it would take up entirely way to much time. I hope that this has opened your eyes a little bit to the struggles people have when it comes to TBI. Or at the very least let you know that if you’re going through this, you are not alone.
Have an amazing and blessed day! Love, The Brett Family