Friday, January 19, 2018

You Will Want To Read This Update

I have been so busy at work I haven't been able to blog very much or even talk very much. I have a bit of a break today so I thought I would share a lot of items that are running through my constantly moving mind. Some of which some may find surprising and others exciting. 

First off I explained on my prior blog that Emily has transferred home. She started TWU this week and is going to spend a semester there before deciding to pursue her nursing degree at TWU or another TX.  Who know she may even return to Alabama. I won't get into too much detail because everyone deserves their privacy but Emily has hit that stage in life where she is trying to find herself. We have all been there and we can all appreciate the struggle that lies before her. Luckily we all know with time life plays out before our eyes and lays the path we are set to follow. Luckily she and Dan the man are doing great and he is a huge pillar of emotional support for her. We even included Mr. Dan in our Christmas cards this year. 

We also included Jude in our own special way. 

So before Jude left us Mike and I on multiple occasions talked about having another baby. I decided I didn't want to risk a child having another stroke so then we talked about adoption. We did a lot of research on the subject but in the end I made the difficult decision that although I wanted to expand our family it just wasn't right at the time. Jude's life was complicated and Emily already had enough time taken away from her. So we felt Emily and Jude needed to be our primary concern and we left out family the way it was. After Jude passed the subject came up again but I just wasn't ready. I struggled with the feeling I was "replacing" Jude even though I knew I wasn't going to be doing that because Jude is irreplaceable.  However I also knew we wanted more children and siblings for Emily.  Finally after long discussions and research our family has made the decision to adopt! It's exciting, scary, thrilling, and emotional all at the same time. With just our family knowing we have gone through the background checks, finger printing, financial checks, and more. We are now to the class stages and we even have the great Argyle Fire dept volunteering to help us with CPR classes and inspections.  We will look at children who have had their rights terminated so we will not endure court battles. This was a plan we have thought out and planned for awhile now. I wasn't sure the reactions I would receive so today I started making phone calls and I met with extremely happy and emotional "HOORAY'S" and tears. It was reassuring! We also received the most heartfelt amazing letter from Jude's neurologist that he sent as a reference. I was so touched I cried whale tears! So you guys will get to follow another journey through our blog. One that we feel compelled to participate in and help make a difference in the world. I feel Jude is guiding us and holding our hands along this path. It seems any time I need reassurance we are heading in the right direction I look up and see a picture of his smiling face. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

What I learned from Pageants and Jude

Well that's an odd combination of a title isn't it? However I was thinking recently how much I have learned from running a pageant system, being involved with Emily in pageants, and Jude's life. So in honor of Miss Texas USA (live this weekend online) here we go.

1. These situations were at times extremely chaotic but I learned that stress can cause a manageable situation to become unmanageable very quickly. So to keep myself in check I realized the world is not black and white that there are a lot of grey answers. So when I felt myself spinning out of control I would sit down and list the solutions for the problem at hand. Many times I would find there wasn't just one solution but multiple possibilities that could be implemented. This would temper my stress because I would realize this would work out and everything would be okay.

2. To be kind to everyone you meet. The old saying that everyone is fighting a battle is true. Some people have battles they are fighting like keeping a very sick child alive. Some are struggling with money, others with weight, some with depression, others anxiety, and many other situations. No battle is larger than any other battle. Plus you never know who you are dealing with so don't make assumptions. The person you may think is annoying may turn out to be a huge ally and have a heart of gold. The beggar you ridicule may be a millionaire just wanting to help someone else in need. While working pageants I reminded myself that the moms just want the best for their daughters and that many times their efforts to help are true and genuine.

3. Patience is a virtue.The car racing home really isn't going to save any time but only put others in danger so is the danger worth not having the patience?  Sitting in a doctors office for hours on end without any answers or reasons can exhaust a person physically and mentally. So this is where you have to get creative with patience. I constantly hear, "Your phone is HUGE!" I have an Iphone 6 plus. I generally just laugh to myself and refer to the line above about not making assumptions. If they only knew I purchased it so Jude and I could watch movies together in ICU.

Remember to have patiences with a child and this will prevent regrets later in life when you look back on your words and actions. Again I will reference an old saying that people may forget what you did but they will never forget what you said and how you made them feel.

4. If someone offers to help LET THEM! It took me awhile but I began accepting offers when people offered to cook for us, clean up, and help with laundry when Jude was so ill. It increased the quality of our lives. In addition one of the best oiled machines of the pageant industry (in my opinion) is the Miss Dallas USA system. The director has mastered the skill of utilizing the help of former winners, mother of winners, past contestants, and friends to make sure his pageant runs smoothly. Even having someone manage a simple job like selling program books can be helpful. When an event in life or on stage runs like a well played song it generally is with the help of many caring and interested parties. This kindness is given in return for your kindness and hard work that shows throughout your business and life. It's a true give and receive situation that is never ending

5. Don't sweat the small stuff. Seriously I cannot stress this enough. Those minimal little issues that will soon be remedied don't deserve the extra stress and sweat. I encourage others to stop when you feel upset and evaluate the situation. Is this truly something that deserves your tears, time, and trouble. If not move through it quickly and keep going. With Jude most everything was a HUGE deal but we quickly found that when something didn't need our worry it didn't get our stress. This applies to pageants too. Pageants are a form of sport and entertainment. They are there to better yourself and enjoy your time in life. If Emily lost or didn't place how she wanted I used to always give her time to be disappointing in our hotel room. Then I would tell her "Dust yourself off, congratulate the winner, thank the director, and decide if you want to try again. That's really all there is to it because once you walk out that door you don't dwell on it again." I feel this rule applies to many aspect of our life. We cannot always win everything and we cannot always be successful but if you try that's what matters.
Your commitment to a project in my opinion far exceeds the possibility of winning.

6. Stop nagging yourself and others. Whether it's a special needs parent with a nurse, your family, or a pageant director stop nagging. There are ways to express your thoughts in a clear and precise manner and a nice way to express them. This will make you happier and those around you much happier too. It will also motivate others to listen to you and product a more positive outcome. I now stop myself and ask myself if the situation is truly worth nagging or berating someone or can the situation be settled amicably and nicely. Can you leave the person you are talking with feeling better than when the conversation started? If so then why not choose that route. 

Other ways I found to improve my life when it was so chaotic is to not live in fear, push out the negative, gravitate to the positive, eliminate people that aren't nice, and try to add value to someone else's life. I know this seems like an odd combination and topic but hopefully you got something positive out of it today!

Happy Weekend!