10. 30. 2014

Our work does a neat thing each year and allows the families of employees to come during the lunch time-frame and trick or treat. We have over 500 employees, and almost every desk, lab, or manufacturing spot has candy, toys, or glow sticks, so kids can get a huge haul (plus look at some of the neat things we build). The problem is that the window has always been something like 11-1 or 11-2. Our daycare has a recommendation that no pick-ups or drop-offs occur from 11:20-2:30, because it is disruptive to lunch and nap-time routines. That leaves me with 11-11:30 to trick or treat and get the kiddo back to school (about 10 minutes away). That’s an awfully quick trick or treat session, so for the past two years, I skipped it – despite the fact that coworkers, who have their children at the same daycare, always made it work (by ignoring daycare rules or ignoring the hours for the fun).

Let me say here that I am pretty sketched out by trick or treating. We are not originally from this area and I don’t really know safe places to go. Nor do I want to parade my children up and down the street for all the world to know who they are and that they live nearby. Call me overprotective. Last year, we took our kiddo to the mall, which hosts a store-to-store trick or treat session. But apparently lots of other parents have the same hang up as me, because it was insanely crowded. I can’t imagine fighting the crowds by myself with two small children.

So this year, I said enough with it being too hard. We are doing this. She is going to have fun and I’m not going to rob her of the opportunity because I’m too lazy. This will be a great memory for her to have when I’m gone. I need her to have those memories. To not wonder what she and I ever did together. To think that all I ever did was work.

I picked her up and got her dressed in our parking lot. We got in the doors at 11:00 on the nose. We skipped one of the buildings and bunch of the offices, and I just whipped her through my area and the really cool spots. I got her back just after 11:30, before lunch had even been served. And you know what? She was so tired from just that amount of walking that she asked me to carry her for awhile – so what we did do was perfect. Sometimes the littlest things are perfection.

Work did trick or treating today because half the employees (or more) do not work Fridays :-) Just in case you thought the world had gone crazy. I was dressed as Lucy, from Peanuts, because I always feel that my job as Project Manager is a little like being a psychiatrist – you listen to a lot of problems and complaints. And every time that happens, I think of Lucy’s “psychiatrist help 5 cents” booth. I even decked my desk out with those signs, a stuffed Snoopy we had at home, and a small football of my daughter’s.

Just one more day left of this challenge! 

10. 29. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

no place I'd rather be

I’m having a hard time knowing what to write about today. I only have three days left, if you count today. Even today is almost over. I’d love to give you a status on some new project I’ve started (and, I wish, finished) but time is precious. It’s running thin and so is my energy. I’m tired because this month has been so very long and filled with activities and baby colds and up-all-nights. These last few days, I just want to relish.

So tonight I will leave work just a little early. I’ll get my girls and we’ll head off to gymnastics (an activity that the grandparents fund). I’ll get to watch my big girl on the balance beam one. last. time.  During class, I’ll cuddle the baby as much as she’ll let me. It might be one of my last days, so I’ll probably treat myself to some Starbucks, and then we will all head over to the church building, where daddy will be waiting. We’ll attend Bible study – just like we do every Wednesdy night.. Yeah, it might be my last Wednesday night, but I think that makes worship, study, and fellowship all the more important.

Then we’ll drive the loooong drive home and I’ll try to summon energy to prepare my Halloween costume (because we are having trick or treaters at work tomorrow, instead of on Halloween). That will be the only trick or treating my daughter does with me this year, so I want to make it somewhat special and actually dress up.

In some ways, today is like any other day, even though it’s one of my lasts. But there’s no other way to live, right?  I suppose I already do live each day like it’s my last. Gymnastics and Bible study and things like that – they re just where I want to be. Wouldn’t have it any other way…

Aside from travel, what would you treat yourself to if you knew your time here was short?

 

10. 28. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

rock a bye baby

One of my first tasks during this month of “dying” was to get the baby to sleep in the crib, so she wouldn’t roll out at night with just my husband and so he wouldn’t be chained to the bed for hours each night, incapable of helping the big girl. Well, the crib is just not happening. I do not know what is “wrong” with my baby (likely nothing), but the child will not sleep long in her crib. She can be sound asleep when I lay her down, stay sound asleep, but she will wake up for no good reason within 20 minutes. I did buy bed rails at the beginning of the month, but she’s starting to pull up on those, so it’s not like my husband can leave her alone in the bed while he showers or attends to our oldest. At best, he doesn’t have to worry that the baby will roll out of bed during the night.

I have been anti-baby swing for years. I worked in the infant room of a daycare for a very short time. I was young, without children, and had to take direction from a very nice lady who was also very lazy. She kept telling me (from her comfie teacher chair) to put a particular older child in a swing for naptime. Kept telling me how he loved it and how well he slept. Yeah, his mom yelled at me one day over it. Said he was sleeping so well in that swing that he was keeping her up all night long. Furthermore, she didn’t have a swing and couldn’t get him to sleep unless she picked him and and mimicked the motion. He was 2 years old and he was breaking her back.

For whatever reason, that mom’s story stuck with me and I have refused getting a baby swing for either child, despite the fact that neither will let me lay them down anywhere. I also tell daycares that they cannot use one – unless it’ s a last resort.

It’s a last resort. I bought my husband a swing (goes up to 30 lbs) so that, perhaps he can put the baby in it to start the wind down routine. Sh’es OK about sleeping with things going on, so he can read a bedtime story to the big girl while he watches the swing work it’s magic (because I’m sure it will). Then, if he ever needs to, he can pop her in the swing and watch her while he showers. A clear shower curtain will do the trick, so that’s next on my list…

So, you might wonder why I went to the expense of purchasing the swing when I have no intention of actually dying. Well, it’s for me. My husband travels up to 50% of the time and he’s about to head out on his next trip. It’s not a short one. While he is gone, I spend a LOT of time rocking the baby to sleep, neglecting the needs of the big girl, and forgoing any chance of being able to work my side hustles. Then, I always have to worry about how I will possibly get in a shower that day. I’ve tried a few other options and this was the next step in my book!

I had hoped to be super frugal and find a good deal, but turns out that my baby will soon outgrow many of the swings because of her weight. I needed a specific swing size and they weren’t to be found through Craigslist. Since I’m hoping this will improve my online productivity, I decided to just bite the bullet and pay full price because I’m on a short clock. I will note, however, that the first swing I looked at on Amazon was twice the price it needed to be! I found a cheaper offering and it should get here just before I “die” / my husband leaves for his trip!

What things did you swear you’d never do as a parent, only to find yourself embracing them once you had children?

10. 27. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

It’s my last week – just five more posts, counting this one. I think it’s appropriate to reflect on my funeral today, and so I’m writing to my husband. Honey, this is what I want. You know most of this, but in case the grief should overwhelm you – just give this to the funeral director.

I want to be cremated. There’s no point keeping my body in the ground because I’m not in it (and hopefully, most of me has gone on to help other people). Cremate me, save money on burial costs, and if you must keep me around, put me in a cheap urn. But if you can one day bear to part with my ashes, scatter me on the church camp grounds where we married in Tennessee. Or on the ocean, because I love the beach. Any beach and any ocean will do, but you might consider Daytona Beach, paying homage to where we met and my love of NASCAR. Your choice.

Don’t have some long, gushy memorial service, either. It would be great to tell some funny stories (please, only funny stories) and get everyone in a good frame of mind to rejoice at my passing. Please remember that there is joy in it. We will see each other again one day. Make it short and sweet because you know how I don’t like for things to drag on. And please don’t have anyone talk that didn’t know me well.

Sing some great, uplifting songs. I don’t care which ones – but have everyone join in. Pull out some hymn books or make copies – but sing uplifting, encouraging, upbeat songs. The only song I request that might not fit that bill is Lead Me Gently Home, Father. Just because I love it and it perfectly embodies how I feel right now.

Tell people to skip the flowers – there’s no grave to put them at anyway. If they want to contribute something, have it go to the girls’ college funds. But you won’t want all those flowers. It’s just so much to deal with. And they sit around the house, dying. Taking up space. Constantly reminding…

Have you ever thought about your funeral? If so, what special requests would you have?

 

10. 26. 2014

As the month winds down, I find myself running out of steam and somewhat resigned to the state of affairs I’ll leave behind in my wake (hmm, unintended pun).

I cannot leave everything in order. It can’t all get done. It never could… Whether I live 5 more days or 50 more years, I’ll always leave behind things that are unfinished.

Life isn’t about finishing things or checking items off our bucket lists. It’s about living and loving, and I believe, doing God’s will.

Why have I spent this month so compelled to create order where there was none? Why was that order lacking in my life (and you’ll have to trust me here, but I crave order)?

Well, I’m ashamed to admit passive-aggressiveness and laziness have ruled my life for the past 4-5 years. If HE won’t take out the trash, neither will I. I’d rather groggily drink coffee and stare at the walls than get up and fold laundry. But also, bills and budgeting fell to the wayside in favor over things like pumping for four hours a day,making homemade baby food,or washing my third load of cloth diapers. I didn’t choose balance – I chose a version of being a good mom because I was upset about having to work.

My hope for my readers is that you seize each day. Show your loved ones how much they mean each and every day. Have no regrets. Keep your life in balance – keeping your space and finances orderly. And as James Dean said, dream like you’ll live forever and live like it’s your last day.

10. 25. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

How do you know when you have done enough? How do you know when you are ready to let go?

I’ve heard people tell stories of folks who are in their deathbed, holding on to life, until they are told that particular thing will be ok if they die. Hearing that reassurance, they take their last breath.

I really don’t mind dying, because I don’t have any fear of what is next. I believe with all my heart and soul that I am headed to a better place – a place of rest. I could use some rest. Couldn’t we all?

But I do hold on to all the things here. I so badly want to see my daughters grown, with children of their own. I want to be able to be there for them through all their “first’s” of life – not just the baby ones. And I have so many things left to accomplish in this life. I also have so many things I started to do this month, for this exercise, that I will leave half done when the month is over.

But how do I know when I’ve done “good enough”? When I’ve seen enough or experienced enough? When my life was enough?

Of course there’s no easy answer to that – and even if there were, it wouldn’t matter. I wouldn’t be given a guarantee to be able to check those things off. It’s a call to live each day like it could be our last – not a brash, immature YOLO philosophy, but one of making each day really count. I want each day to count toward my eternity. I want each day to be a day of love and patience and seeing the big picture of life.

I confess that this month has worn me down, I’ve been living a lifetime in just one month. And when I look at it like that, it seems silly. I should have been living my life all along!

10. 24. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

life's homestretch

Well, here I am, with just one week left to live – I’m in life’s homestretch. It’s been a crazy, busy month (even though I stepped away from many blogging activities). I wanted to set my husband up to have an easier time after I was gone. I wanted to attempt to make memories with my preschooler. I wanted to leave behind pictures and mementos so that my youngest could feel like she really knew me – even though, at seven months old, there’s no way that she can actually remember me.

To that end, I have spent my spare alone moments cleaning out closets, making menu plans, and researching new positions for my husband. We’ve hired a housekeeper and spent a fair amount of time sorting through items and putting them away. I’m attempting to get bills caught up, passwords noted, and our financial situation generally straight.

We’ve had pancakes and cartoons every Saturday and we’ve done fun outings as a family. I rock the baby to sleep in her room and sometimes attempt to lay her down in her crib. It hasn’t gone well, but maybe after I’m gone, it will be different…

What ends will never be tied up? Almost all of them. But one end has (perhaps irrationally) pulled at me from the start – milk. Not too long before Meredith introduced this challenge, I had lost all my frozen breastmilk. I make just enough at my work pumping sessions to eke by, so my daughter has yet to need any formula, although I have a bit on standby. My goal, had I lived, would have been to breastfeed for a year, and I am just so sorry that I can’t do that. And I’m sorry that there isn’t anything to spare. Once I’m gone, it will be an abrupt transition to formula. And I don’t know why that hurts my heart, but it does.

Maybe it’s just because I feel like the baby gets the rawest end of the deal. Her world is going to be rocked the most – the one who cuddled her to sleep, the one who fed her, the one who rode beside her in the car – she’s gone…

Five minutes is up – but the one thing that I can say about the milk is that I’m happy I can keep going. If I knew I was dying in a month, chances are I’d have cancer or some other very serious illness, and I would have had to stop breastfeeding a long time ago. I’m blessed that I was able to do it, and I’m blessed that it’s gone so well this time. In the end, though, the baby would not be emotionally or physically damaged by formula :-)

Thanks for sticking by me this long into a whole crazy mess of posts! What has been your favorite?

10. 23. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

paying bills

I really, really hate paying bills. Who doesn’t? Writing the checks (or at least, the online version of a check) for hundreds of dollars for a loan payment or for my mortgage – man, it’s just not fun. And what is even less fun is that, for one system, you have to use your account number as your user name. For another one, it’s your email address. For this other bill, you had to make up your user name – but it didn’t like the user name you normally pick, so you ended up picking something off the wall and you can never remember it. Until recently, we didn’t have bill pay through our bank. We just got that set up and I haven’t had much chance to breath, much less fuss with figuring out another system that I can’t remember the log in for.

But, as you can tell, I am pretty much the one who pays the bills each month. We recently got our house professionally cleaned, but before the people came through, we were furiously picking up toys and messes, and we also had the ubiquitous stack of bills on our kitchen counter. Mr. Indebted dutifully opened each of them and laid them in piles – things he could tell were on auto-deduct, things he knew we needed to pay (one-off things like a doctor bill), and things he had no idea about. The “no idea about” pile was pretty large.

I hate the thought of him having to spend much time at all paying bills – though I’ve discovered it really isn’t bad if I bring them to work and do them on my lunch break. I don’t have to worry about interruptions from the kiddos and I can just power through paying bills. The task at home would take me an hour, but at work, I can knock it out in 20 minutes. Yet, I still have to scramble for user ids and passwords. A few bills still take time – instead of just happening “magically”.

So this month, I’m working on setting everything up on auto-pay that can be. Then, I’ve committed to figuring out the bank’s online bill pay system. Finally, I’m going to make notes of all our passwords and logins, as well as notes on using the bank bill pay. Paying bills is never fun, and I can only imagine how stressful it will be to lose me and my income, without having to also worry about what bills are already paid and what bills still need to be done. But hopefully I can at least make it easier.

And that’s my five minutes for today! Getting close to just one week left!

Do you have any bills thaat are not paid automatically? Which ones?

10. 22. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

Although I don’t consider myself a minimalist, I also don’t have many things that are of value. I have a wedding wing and an engagement ring. I have a set of pearls. I have some expensive kitchen items, including a set of china.

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I got to wondering what I would leave behind for the girls. They are mostly too young to have shown an interest in anything of mine – especially things like china, which they’ve never even seen me crack out. No memories associated with it – just something I do treasure.

But when I got to really thinking, I realized my oldest is a budding runner and she’s shown some interest in my race medals – especially the tiara one (Disney Princess half marathon). She’d probably like those. It’s things that have value because I earned them and they tell a story about my life. She can remember that her mom was a runner and that she loved all things Disney.

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Hanging on the same doorknob are the shell lei’s we got in Kauai for our honeymoon. Perhaps those are an equivalent gift for my youngest, although she seems enthralled with my iPhone. I just figure she won’t care about it when iphone 25 comes out. But the lei’s were part of the love story between her parents. Maybe that would be special to her when she’s older.

Of course, easily accessible in my freshly cleaned-out closet is my wedding dress and veil. I doubt either of them will ever wear it, but it’s there. They can pull it out and see if and touch it, if it tickles their fancy. While I am not emotionally attached to it, I’ve held on to it, just for them.

I’ve stopped short of giving the anything to the girls. It might be that they want to pick out something of their own. It might be that having something of mine right now lessens the value for when I’m gone. It’s just something I wanted to think about – beyond the memory making Saturday’s and the photos. I wanted to leave something behind something they can hold…

What’s your most valued possessions?

10. 21. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

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My time is ticking away – just ten days left (if I’m lucky), and I want to take a break from the memory making and financial planning and address the elephant in the room. Do I know where I’m going after this?

Yes. I say that with confidence. I’m going to Heaven, and not because I’m a perfect person. I’m an imperfect person with a soul that’s been blessed by grace. I’ve accepted Christ as my Savior and I’ve been baptized for the remission of sins. I’m saved.

My daily walk with Christ is not easy. I sin daily. Probably hourly. I repent only to fall back into the same traps that ensnared me before. But I pick myself up and I keep trying. I keep praying. I keep believing with an eternal hope.

Knowing where I’ll be for eternity makes my death – at the young age of 35 – a bit easier. I’m not at all sorry for me. No, no. I get to go somewhere beautiful and peaceful and carefree. I’m just sorry for the ones I leave behind because I know all to well how grief works and how those girls are going to want to have memories of their mom. How my girls will wish for the chance to call their mom in the middle of the night and ask what in the world are they doing so wrong that their seven month old baby will not sleep longer than 90 minutes. Ah, maybe that doesn’t matter because I have no answers ;-)

I catch myself being excited – almost like it’s the last day of school before summer vacation. I’ll miss my friends, but I’m just waiting for that bell to ring, because what comes next is going to be great…

It’s a tough question, and it doesn’t even have to be a “religious” answer: if you died today, would you be OK with that?

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