Friday, October 5, 2012

Pulling Out Of The Rest Stop Of Grief

Grieving is a necessary passage and a difficult transition to finally letting go of sorrow - it is not a permanent rest stop.  ~Dodinsky


We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.  ~Kenji Miyazawa

It is time to burn my fuel and leave the rest stop behind.  As a mater of fact, I believe I have back up reserves to supply anyone who may be in need?  Anyone?

Michael asked me last night why I don't write on my blog.  Well, I lead a pretty boring life, one I'm probably not grateful enough for, I've been stuck in a funk since mom died, the world really does not need another "Suzie Homemaker Blog"...and I feel like I need to sensor myself for friends and one wants to see me blubbering about silliness and seeming ungrateful for all the gifts that life has bestowed upon us....who really wants to read that?  

Who wants to hear about how angry I am at my mom's death, at a world that goes on and does not seem to have a clue how short life is and that people are walking around looking normal on the outside but dying on the inside.  Frustrated at how easy it is to "say" you "believe" in God, and that you have "faith" in him...but in your head you are screaming....WHY GOD?  Why do we have to suffer, lose people that we love, a struggle to exit on a selfish and self serving planet where we are all so wrapped up in ourselves that we forget to care?  And I do have Faith, and I do Believe, and I know that God is by my side, but boy do I feel alone and most of this world feels completely pointless at times.

But not always.  You can be relieved that I'm not going to jump off a cliff just yet!  KIDDING

I don't know what God's plan is.  But I know that I do care about life.  That I believe there is hope and meaning (even if it's just to be a good mom to Emma and Jared at times), and there is a way to spread kindness and love around to others and leave the rest stop of grief and mourning behind.  It is kind of a relief that life has gone on while I have been in a funk of grief and self pity this year.  It means that there is something to go back to.  That there is hope, and though my mom is gone and there are so many things that I will never be able to discuss with her, that by actually getting out of this funk and just by saying "I'm done" mom's time on this earth was not for naught...hopefully her soul is hanging out somewhere taking us all in and believing in me when I forget to believe in myself.

My mom used to say I'm my own worse enemy.  I wear my heart on my sleeve and I'm idealistic..sometimes I live in a very black and white world and hold myself and others to impossible standards...and I become judge, jury, and executioner. I have shut out so many people this year, and almost succeeded in dragging my marriage into the darkness with me. What a lonely world this creates. I almost forgot that we are all human, that we make mistakes, and that we all have selfish may have a fairy tale moment from time to time, but most of the time life is a up hill trek.....I bet the view is beautiful when you get to the top.

So last night Michael reminded me that this is my blog.  This is my life.  It is not neat and tidy, and there are days that you might think I'm crazy...there are days I think I'm crazy, and lazy, and that I've given up...and some days that is probably true, but on most days I'm full of hope and love and I know that this world is a good place and I'm so grateful to be is a bit sadder without my mom, because, despite all of our ups and downs, in this far from perfect life she was my mom and will always be my mom, and the best way to thank her for bringing me into this incredible world is to live, love & forgive as many times as it takes to get to the top of that hill.

Thanks Michael for your honest feedback and your belief in me and us.

                                     Image From


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Oh Where Oh Where Did July Go?

It is August 2nd already!  My mind is reeling trying to figure out just how July spend by so quickly!  As a matter of fact more than half of the year is over.  How did that happen!

July was an amazing month!  Emma took her first trip by herself to spend two weeks with her Nana Rollins in Myrtle Beach and didn't seem to miss us one bit!  My baby is growing up!  She will go back next year and hopefully go to an arts camp in Michigan.

We joined Emma for a week in Myrtle Beach as well.  We drove from North Brook, IL and went through some beautiful parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina.  It is wonderful to see different areas of our country.  I'm looking forward to heading back to North Carolina for a rock hunting trip!

The week in Myrtle Beach with Michael's family highlighted the fact that we don't get to spend enough time with our families.  It saddens me that Emma and Jared don't get to spend more time with their Nana, and they don't really know what cousins, aunts or uncles are.  Not trying to sound whiny, and I feel very blessed for the time we do get with family, but we do need to make more time for family and memories.

I'm still trying to figure out what to do with this blog....there has to be something more productive to share!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Need A Theme

I find writing about my life, or lack of one, a bit boring!  It is time to figure out what to do with this blog, or to decide that computer social interaction just is not my cup of tea!  It is time to do some thinking about what I want my blog to be about, and get more professional, or jump ship.

Off to brainstorm.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Jared and I went to see Pixar's Brave today!  I loved the movie and shed my share of tears.  It is a wonderful mother & daughter story that I can relate to so much as Emma and I journey through her preteens together!  A great family movie and even better for mother's and daughters to view together!

Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

Star Spangled Sky!

Yesterday was the 4th of July and it was such and awesome day!  Michael and I rode our bikes to the village green to see the parade that Jared marched in with a friend while we ate ice cream that melted faster than we could eat it!  What and awesome time!  I was also blessed to be able to make dinner for a friend of Michael's that we took over to his 8th floor condo that had a beautiful view of Chicago.  I have never seen so many fireworks at one was amazing!

Happy Birthday America!  And thank you Lord for our many blessings.

No Honesty Allowed

So, I have a blog, but I have no idea what to write about because every time I write a post that expresses truths from my point of view my husband says I sound like a whiny baby and says this is why I don't have friends or family in my life.  Hmm.  So, I could talk about the weather, my kids, the recipes I cook, the books I read, or just make up stuff so I sound positive and happy every moment of my day and don't bore anyone with my thoughts and view points on the going on of my world.

I apologize for being a whiny baby and sharing my disappointments and frustrations , and I will do my best not to complain and try to be grateful for the good, and especially the bad while I learn to accept how I'm treated by others (good and bad) with my chin up and a smile on my face!

Thanks for your honesty babe!  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


As most of you know I am no longer on Facebook, but I would still like to keep in touch with my family and friends.  I have found that Google+ is a good way to do this.  I am still trying to figure out all the bells and whistles, but feel free to add me to your Google+ circle is you would like, or go check it out if you haven't already!  I also don't have email addresses for many of my family and friends, so feel free to share yours if you'd like!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Going Polish!

It has been awhile since the blog bug has hit, and this one was actually inspired by my dear husband.  We are almost done with June, and the past few days have been hot and steamy....not that kind of hot and steamy....the kind kind of steamy that when you walk outdoors your hair either becomes a huge poof ball or a limp noodle, so you stay inside and hide in the coolest spot you can...there have been days where I have been tempted to crawl into the fridge!

The hot weather means I have been carting water from the kitchen sink to the flowers out front to keep them nice and perky....boy has that been a full time job.  It also means that the kids look at me like I'm insane when I suggest going outside to play or even going to the pool.  So, the short thunderstorm we had today was welcomed and the temps are a bit cooler now.

Summer means I've gotten to spend lots of time with Emma and Jared, and not as much time with Michael who has been very busy with work.  Sometimes it feels like we live on different planets and I've been a bit grumpy about this fact...this has been hard for Michael to miss since he is the target of my grousing! Poor guy.

So last night we were actually able to take advantage of a living social deal that Michael bought for a family style Polish restaurant.  We were not sure what to think at first because the restaurant was empty outside of an older couple that were finishing dinner when we arrived.  I would have to say it was quite different having dinner in an empty restaurant and kind of cool at the say time....even a bit romantic!  The neat thing about our meal is that we were able to taste several different types of Polish  foods like stuffed cabbage, very yummy polish sausage and brisket.  I loved my barley and mushroom soup, and was not brave enough to try Michael's duck blood soup....he was barely brave enough!  What a fun dining experience!

Sometimes it is a challenge to find affordable and fun activities to do do as a couple, so I feel very blessed that Michael does a great job of finding some different opportunities for us via the different coupon sites like Living Social.  Thanks babe for thinking outside of the box and helping keep things fresh!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Today Jared and  I had a wonderful time picking strawberries and having lunch with a friend and her son!  Then I got to prep 10-12 pounds of strawberries...not so much fun!  Then I got in the car and my lower back started screaming and I realized when I was picking strawberries my shirt must have rode up and I burned the devil out of my lower did I not notice this when I was picking berries?  REALLY Phaedra?!!

Michael was in the basement doing some cleaning and found a dead chipmunk in one of the closets.  This would be the second time we have found a dead chipmunk in the house!  We know who the culprit is.  REALLY Shadow?!!

Jared's bedroom looks like a tornado hit it.  I told him that he wasn't doing anything today unless he cleaned his room.  He did take his laundry downstairs and put some away, but I some how missed that half the tornado was still in his room!  REALLY Jared?!!  REALLY Mom that fell down on her job and let her son spend the night with a friend without cleaning his room?!!

The plus side to these REALLY still was a REALLY good day and I feel REALLY blessed!

I do feel bad about the poor chipmunk...Shadow must sneak them in at night or early in the morning when we are half asleep.  Poor little guy.

Learn From Yesterday, Live For Today, Hope For Tomorrow

Last week in Northbrook a teenager took his own life.  He was to be a senior in high school, was on the football team, seemed to be popular and of good spirits, belonged to our Catholic church, and from all the responses and comments that follow the articles it seems like everyone knew him and his family, and they are well loved by our community.  Everyone speaks of how loving, kind, and full of potential this young man was.  It seems that if he would have just looked around he would have had a huge support network to help him through whatever troubled him, yet he turned to suicide as an option.

As a parent I'm terrified and saddened by this.  We speak to Emma and Jared about so many topics, we tell them that if they can't come to us turn to a trusted source, we tell them that we are there for them, that we love them, that God loves them, that so many people love them and want them to succeed and we are all there for them...that they never have a need to feel alone and helpless.  I'm pretty sure that this young man was probably raised with the same message.  He chose to go his own way and left a lot of people behind asking why.

This is a reminder that no matter what age our children are, and how confident and mature that they may seem, that everyone has inner struggles that may not show on the outside.  The messages that I speak to my children need to always be there no matter what age they are.  It is also a reminder that we will not always understand the reasons behind God's plans.  Faith may seem to be a simple concept, but it will challenge every part of us.  

I pray that this young man found the peace he was looking for, and I pray that the Lord brings his family through this, that the love of this community will surround them, and that each of us will remember that growing up is not an easy task, and that just because one may be a grown up that it does not mean that there are not inner struggles to overcome.  I pray that each of us search for love, compassion and empathy, and that we use these powerful tools towards each and everyone in our lives on a daily basis to do good.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We Could Fry An Egg On The Sidewalk!

Boy is it hot today!  I suppose I would take high heat over snow any day, but the humidity and heat can be quite draining after awhile.  And this is the day that we chose to take our three dogs and one of the two cats (the other one chose to be MIA) to get their three year rabies shots at a clinic.  We hopped in the van with four crying and panting animals, cranked the air and headed off for a flawless shot fest!  I'm so grateful that Emma came along to help keep the animals calm...she is the best!

So, I'm also thankful that I begrudgingly followed Michael's lead and drug myself outside at 6am this morning to walk.  There was actually a breeze that helped counter the heat a bit, and I also walked unlike Michael and a million other crazy runners I came across!  I did cross paths with Michael towards the end of my walk and jogged with him a bit...I am not a gracious runner, but it does feel good when you finish!  Thanks for being my good health example Michael!

Because of the heat I feel like a slug trying to cross wet cement, so not much is getting completed.  My goal is to turn the vacuum on and get up all the dog hair.  If I can't complete that goal there really is not much hope for the rest of the day!  I really want to just go down to Lake Michigan and sit in the very cold water!  That is a good goal if you ask me!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pedaling For Dear Life!

Today is Father's Day!  Happy Father's Day Michael!  Michael is not a big celebrator of we don't do presents, and he made breakfast for us before we got to make it for him.  His one request was to torture all of us on a 24 mile round trip bike ride Evanston, IL to attend a festival.  Sadly I have to admit that all of us moaned and groaned....a certain 12 year old louder than the rest of us, but I am so glad that we went.  Thank you for being an amazing father and husband Michael Wilkinson!  We love you to pieces and I'm so blessed to have you in my life!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Choosing To Love, For Better Or Worse

My husband has had a rain cloud over his head lately...and at times it has turned into a thunder storm.  One would think that after over thirteen years of marriage, fifteen years of knowing one another, and twelve years of children, that communication would become much easier and that I would know how to say just the right thing to turn my husband's cloudy day into sunshine...then again he's not much better at turning my gray moments in to sunshine takes a lot of work...more than work than his real job that leaves him exhausted at the end of the day.  Where did we even get the idea that marriage should be a cake walk...doesn't anything worth having take work?  Well, I think it does.  This is father's day weekend, and no matter what it takes I will hold an umbrella of love over my husband's head as long as it takes for his rain cloud to go away, and I choose to love him for better and worse, even when it takes extra work, because I am blessed to have him by my side and I choose to love him forever one moment at a time.

"I didn't marry you because you were perfect. I didn't even
marry you because I loved you. I married you because you
gave me a promise. That promise made up for your faults.
And the promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect
people got married and it was the promise that made the marriage.
And when our children were growing up, it wasn't a house that
protected them; and it wasn't our love that protected them - it was that
Thornton Wilder, The Skin of Our Teeth

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Be Brave Enough To Live Creatively

What wise words.  We have been in Northbrook, IL for almost two years.  I am bored out of  my mind.  I suppose this is my own fault for I could use my time more creatively despite my standard excuses of education, crafting, and socializing not being in the budget.  I told my myself when mom died this past Christmas at age 57 that I would live life with more gusto and not let life get in my way....guess I forgot that promise during my past five months of missing mom, melancholy, depression, and blah moments.  

On a positive note the big gray cloud is lifting, we are getting a handle on our budget, and I am looking forward to take some sort of class this fall.  I struggle with focusing on a practical education or feeding my creative root that has almost withered beyond repair.  What kind of example am I to Emma and Jared...don't I preach to them to work and hard and do what you love, and while it my be a hard and rugged path the happiness and self growth will make it so worth it?  I tend to  think of all the work that it will take to rediscover a passion and it almost seems easier to ride the excuse train. 

Enough of that.  I don't know what the rest of the year will bring my way, but it's time to live each moment with passion and stoke the fire of day at a time, for better or worse.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Look Out World...I have a blog!

I decided that I was too chatty for Facebook...have to much in my mind to share, and most people didn't really notice what I had to say because everyone uses FB in many different ways.  I have tried to journal on paper without success, and I've been told off and on for awhile that I should blog.  Several of my friends have started blogs and I enjoy reading their thoughts.

So, this is my blog.  Read it, don't read's okay because it's for me first and foremost.  If someone get's a bit of insight to who I am, who I've yet to become, and the personal journey that God blesses me with daily....then that is an added bonus.  I'm not an English Lit Major like my husband, and I'm a terrible proof reader, so if you judge people by their grammar skills, then this is not the place for you!  I do promise to do my best to improve as a writer, and to share my heart and soul...feel free to join me on the adventure.

Today's adventure?  Summer break is in full swing at the Wilkinson house.  Emma returned from the Girl Scout Rocks trip to DC at 5am.  She had lots of stories with plenty of 12 year old wisdom and insight...most of it with a twinge of sarcasm...but I think that one day she will look back on this past weekend and be so grateful that she was there.

Jared spend all weekend with us minus Emma, and boy was that an adventure...that boy never stops and wears mom and dad out in nothing flat.  Today was no different.  Thank goodness for two of his friends that came over and hung with him today.  At first they had no idea what to do with themselves, but then they got out the video camera that Jared earned by collecting diabetes donations and made improve videos all afternoon...and they were entertained!

Life is good, and I am blessed.

Happy 58th Birthday Mom

This is my first post.  Today has been a good day.  Today has been a day for remembering and missing.  I lost my mom to kidney cancer after a thirteen year fight on Dec 26th, 2011.  She was 57 and had so much life to live, so many roads that had not been traveled or explored.  So many memories with her grandchildren that had not been created.  Our life as mother daughter was not always rosy, but she was my mom, and today she would have been 58 and I miss her.

Not all is lost.  I have memories, and I have inspiration to live my life moment by moment, no matter how tough this can be at times.  I have a husband that I choose to love through thick and thin, even when we seems eons apart, and I can't remember what we have in common...he chose me, I chose him, and even on the bad days I thank God for my blessings....they are my blessings, they are my good days, my bad days, and my creative days...good mom days, bad mom days....most awesome wife in the world days, and who is this mad women I share my life with? days.

Happy birthday mom!  You created me, and for that I am so grateful and blessed.  I miss you, and I miss want will not be, but I know you are in a much better place, and place without pain or tears, and I will always carry you in my heart forever, and always remember that life is so short and precious.