Friday, February 3, 2012

"Enjoy the little things in life...

...for you'll one day look back and realize they were the big things."

24 days and counting.

It is quite obvious, not only because I have said it time and time again, that I am a planner.  Even now I am planning for what I am going to do after my AmeriCorps adventure.  I used to say this was one of my strongest qualities, and while I still find strength in that, I can also see how it is a hindrance.  I plan so much so that I lose sight of what is going on right now.  In high school I was planning for college, and looking back now I find myself wishing I had been more involved within the school.  In college I was again planning for my life after, so much so that I feel like my last semester in Cape Girardeau was spent doing nothing but work and I wish that I would have lived more in the moment.  Don't get me wrong, I loved every moment I spent in Cape, but my last few months there could have been a little more enjoyable in the way of hanging out with my friends and doing things I always wanted to do. (Jamie and I even created a type of leap list of things and places we wanted to do before we left, and while we accomplished some, the majority of the list was left uncrossed).

This is coming off a little whine-y, so let me clarify.  I don't want to sound like I am living with regrets, because I do not regret anything my life has handed me, because it was all of those experiences that has made me who I am today.  And not to toot my own horn or anything, but I am pretty proud of who I am.  What I am trying to get across is that I need to challenge myself to learn from my past and make my future better.  I can do that in the way of taking a breath and slowing down.  I need to stop counting down, stop planning, stop worrying, and blah blah blah. (Okay, maybe not stop, but slow down a bit).

 Slow in the moment!

I wanted so much to say I would start that once I leave for MS, but I think know it is something I need to start now.  I have spent many nights since graduation talking to my mom about how I am bored and ready for AmeriCorps to start so that I am doing more than just sitting around.  Sitting around watching television with my mom, talking with my dad, playing with the kids, sleeping on the couch, and babysitting seem like such little things to me right now, but I know these two months are times I will never get back and these small moments are going to turn out to be big memories for me.  As crazy as it is having 9 people crammed into a story and a half house, when will I ever be living will my entire family again?  When I think about it that way I want to cry and I see these times as something to cherish.

all of us, plus 3 more all livign under one roof, shesh!
As independent as I am always claiming to be, and as much as my mom and I butt heads living in the same house, I am going to be so homesick once I leave!  My family may seem a little dysfunctional, but that is all the more reason why I love them and will miss them!

What I am going to miss about my mom when I am with AmeriCorps is our daily bickering, because though it may seem all we do is fight, I know that we both take our frustrations out on each other because we know the other understands.  For example, when our nerves are short dealing with the little ones all day!  I am going to miss laying on the couch attempting to sleep while she is in her chair laughing at the stupidest shows...big foot exists my ass. I am going to miss arguing about having to go to get the kids just to be arguing, because in all honestly, its not that big of a deal.  I am going to miss her bed and sharing nap times with the kids so that we both get a nap in!

What I am going to miss about my dad is waiting up for him at night to see how his day was. I am going to miss those nights I try to fall asleep before he gets home but can't until I know he is home safe.  I am going to miss listening to him make his coffee, play solitaire, and watch the morning news.  I am going to miss laughing at him as he stumbles half asleep to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  I am going to miss being able to see him daily, even if only for a few minutes, because I know how much and how hard he works for this family.  I am even going to miss, as strange as it sounds, falling asleep to his snoring (because when were not on the same floor, and through the sound of my moms fan,  it is not as deafening!)
if PawPaw is home, Isabel isn't far behind!

What I am going to miss about Cherie is the constant surprise of what the hell she will be wearing next.  I will miss her strange obsession with following a schedule.  I will miss the strange characters she goes into (Hazel).  I will miss watching Glee with her and I will miss not being able to see her in her school play. I am even going to miss her 'Cherie speed' of doing things!

What I am going to miss about Rachel is attempting to pawn her children back on her when she gets home from work.  I will miss finding delicious looking recipes on pinterest, getting the stuff to make it, and never making it.  I will miss arguing with her over trivial things that we only argue about because we live together.  I will miss hearing her yell 'go to sleep!' from upstairs when the kids don't want to listen. I will miss sitting in the living room with her and my mom talking about, well, nothing really!
with four kids, someone is always picking on her!

What I will miss about Hailey is seeing the baby I fell so in love with nine years ago every day.  I will miss seeing her in the same uniform I would wear everyday when I walked home from school to see a baby Hailey standing in the door waiting for me.  I will miss seeing the same face she made as an excited toddler when she saw me as I do when I now pick her up from school.  I will miss watching her read.  I will miss helping her with her homework.  I will miss rare moments when she and the kids are playing nicely together.  I will miss her crazy stories and poses.  I will missing getting a hug, kiss, and 'good night Amanda' every night.

such a diva!
What I will miss about Jayda is watching MawMaw attempt to dress her in the morning.  I will miss the sweet little Jay that curls up next me and says the sweetest things.  I will miss the cocky little Jayda that gets an attitude worse than Hailey!  I will miss watching how good she is with Isabel.  I will miss her crazy stories.  I will miss her cackling laugh. I will miss her completely irrational fear of a stuffed rabbit.  I will miss seeing her in her Joan of Arc uniform.  I will miss seeing how shy she is at school.  I will miss picking her up from school and having her get so excited and come running to me.  I will miss cooking with her.  I will miss her wanting to stay in the same pair of pajama's for a week straight.  I will miss how apologetic she gets after being bad.  I will miss her saying 'night Amanda, love you' every night before bed.
sweet but sassy

What I will miss about Jorge is his constant energy!  I will miss him running from room to room playing in his own little world.  I will miss watching his, at least, 3 wardrobe changes a day.  I will miss nap time with him.  I will miss his sweet little voice when he is trying to get something from Isabel.  I will miss his never ending hunger.  I will miss his inability to lie.  I will miss how helpful he is during the day. I will miss watching him become attached to Rachel when she gets home. I will miss his silly fear of bugs, animals, dogs, or anything else that moves or makes noise. I will miss those moments when he decides he just wants some lovin and curls up on my lap.

sweetest boy in my life <3
What I will miss about Isabel is having a shadow during the day.  I will miss her saying 'MawMaw said' when she wants something. I will miss her ability to entertain herself.  I will miss seeing her crazy eyebrows every day.  I will miss listening to her sing 'need you now' and yelling if anyone else tries to sing her song.  I will miss her announcements and pure excitement every time someone comes home.  I will miss her being my little buddy and sneaking down in the middle of the night because she wants to sleep with me.  I will miss her silly stories.  I will miss hearing her say my name over and over and over when trying to get my attention.
crazy eyes! hah love them :)

Waaah, I am homesick already and I am in the same house as all these people right now!

I know I still have 24 days with these people before I leave, and I also know that I will get to spend all the time in the world with them once I graduate AmeriCorps, but my inspiration for this blog and realizing how much I need to live for the moment and appreciate each one came from my Opa.

One of the reasons I have been hesitant about accepting my position in AmeriCorps was the fear of something happening to my Grandpa while I was gone or he not remembering me when I returned.  On January 22 he passed away from a massive stroke.  It was very unexpected and so hard for the family to deal with.  My Grandma passed away in 2009, and my memories of the two from when she was alive are mainly dominated by her.  In the past two years I have been able to get to know my Opa and see firsthand what an amazing man he was.  As hard as it was/is to have lost him, I cherish the time I got to spend with him and I know he would be proud of the journey I am about to begin.  Having lost him also showed me just how mortal we are.  As a result to him, I realize how much I need to cherish these small moments with the people I love more than anything/one else in the world.

i love you Opa! thank for all that you did for me
When I get home from AmeriCorps I will again be able to spend all the time I want with my family, but I know those moments will never replicate these, so I need to embrace and cherish the next 24 days with my family instead of counting down to when I leave them.

can't wait to see how much they will have grown when i return!
<3 Love you Mom, Dad, Rachel, Cherie, Hailey, Jayda, Jorge, and Isabel!! <3

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