Measure of Life 

Lately, I have been thinking about the measure of my life. Perhaps it was losing so many of my family members in such a short period of time. Or it could have been almost losing the boys in the accident and Alex twice more after that. It could be because my 20 year high school reunion is this year. More than likely, it is because I am going to be, ummm, 40 next year. 

What have I really accomplished in those 40 years? What about all of the dreams I had for my life? How will I check off these bucket list items, and who in the world thought it was a good idea to pressure people to create bucket lists in the first place?!?! 

My life simply didn’t turn out like I intended it to and most likely, my life is already half way over. For all I know, it could be over tomorrow. Three generations from now, no one will remember me, other than by name. I will be a person that family members tell stories about. My image only captured by photographs. Sounds quite melodramatic, but it is simply the truth. The earth is billions of years old. My short time here means nothing against those numbers. 

 I’ve come to terms that my life is not going to have this monumental change on the world that can be measured. I won’t be famous for a medical breakthrough. Obviously, and if you know me, I most definitely will not be a Grammy award winning singer. I will never be the President of the United States. Thankfully, I believe that God does have purpose for me here, even if it cannot be measured by those standards. 

 After the accident, we started using the saying, “You only get one life, so live it.” I’m trying to determine now what it means to actually live. What is happiness? At the end of my life, can I say that it was worth it all? 

I don’t have the answers to these questions. What I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that I have raised strong and loving boys, and they may actually change the world. I have a feeling that it will be all of those small moments in my life that add up in the end to have created a life worth living for. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for… 

Love and blessings, 

C.C. 

Not so Good News 

Going to Vanderbilt still feels in part like coming home. You would think that being there would bring all of the negative memories rushing back like running down the hallway to where each child was located to find out how badly each was hurt. Receiving the news that Jackson would never walk again. Holding Alex’s hand as he screamed from the pain of Accute Compartment Syndrome. The sleepless nights, and day after day of countless surgeries. I experienced the most frightening moments of my life inside of those doors. 

And yet, what I remember above all else when I am back at Vanderbilt is the hope I felt as God answered prayer after prayer. Learning that our family was loved by many… more than I could ever have even possibly imagined. The kindness and generosity of strangers. The power of love and the strength of family. The importance of prayers, even those that seem hopeless. The lessons I learned about life. The testing and growing of my faith. The comfort of knowing that we were in the care of more than capable hands. 

So, while Jackson and I were at his 6 month check-up with his spinal surgeon this week, I leaned on that comfort as the doctor explained that Jackson would have to have another spinal fusion in a year and half, possibly sooner. It wasn’t what we wanted to hear. I sometimes forget that our journey isn’t over. There will be more surgeries, more medical scares. Alex and Jackson’s lives will never be what they were before the wreck. But we keep pressing forward, having faith that God will get us through whatever lies ahead. As I told Jackson yesterday as we all huddled in the closet during the storms, Jesus didn’t save you and take you to heaven for nothing. You have a purpose here on earth and no storm is going to change that. 

Love and blessings, 

C.C. 

Things I’ve Learned

If you’re human and have a pulse, chances are you have been thinking back on what you did this year and most assuredly what you didn’t do. Millions of dollars are spent by big corporations to remind you that you should have a resolution and that this is THE year for you to keep it! Everyone on social media is talking about their goals and what they’ve already accomplished or plan to accomplish in the new year. Better yet, there are “those” people that make sure to announce they don’t do New Year’s resolutions. And seriously, how many meme’s about New Years could their possibly be? You know, the ones designed to make you contemplate your life’s purpose and just for a second you think you really can aspire to achieve it? Until real-life sets in of course.

With all of that, how could I not be thinking about my last year and everything I learned and did? I should warn you that this is not one of those posts meant to inspire you into greatness just by reading it. The things I learned this year were real-life lessons. Some good, some bad. The truth is, that is real life. It isn’t always all rainbows and sunshine. Life is great, but with it comes heartbreak and loss.

The hardest thing I learned this year? Giving up on your dream, even if temporarily, sucks. Like… a lot. For those that don’t know me personally, 4 of our boys were in a car accident last year paralyzing our 8-year-old son and setting off a whirlwind of hospitalizations and surgeries for our 19-year-old. I remember reading an article about Joanne Gaines and how she decided to close her very first storefront to be a stay-at-home mom. Of course, now she is a super star running a multimillion dollar business. I wonder if she easily transitioned to both roles with as much grace and ease as it sounded in that article. If she had those moments when she thought she would go crazy if she couldn’t be around other adults for one more single day. I knew that being at home with the boys was where God wanted me to be. I simply couldn’t be at my store without feeling guilty about not being with my boys, nor could I be with them without thinking about all I needed to do at the store. By nature, I am an overachiever who needs stay busy. I must have goals and something to achieve. It was difficult to switch gears so completely and abruptly. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard. You don’t earn a paycheck and in most cases, you aren’t even thanked for all that you do. But my point is this: Just because we are where God needs us to be doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Sometimes, it is harder. But it is in those places that we are able to grow and to learn the most.

A few other things I learned this year?

It is okay to have days when it is simply too much work to put makeup on and fix your hair. This is totally acceptable. However, it isn’t acceptable to not brush your teeth, brush your hair or wear pajamas in public. For God’s sake, please don’t wear pajamas in public…

It is okay to be late or accidently miss an appointment. Believe it or not, the world does not shift course on its axis. It actually happened to me and I assure you, the world kept on turning.

It’s okay to not have a clean house every single day. Really, how many people ever actually come to your house to even know if it’s clean or not??? And if you’re OCD and you actually do want your house clean every single day like me, it’s okay to own that shit too. As I told my husband, being OCD is my coping mechanism so he is just going to have to deal with it.

I am never going to be the person I want to be. Sounds melodramatic, doesn’t it? But the truth is, we should always strive to be better than we are right now. Why was this such an important revelation to me? I am not perfect. There, I said it. And guess what? Neither are you. Isn’t that so freeing? It is okay to be who you are, right this very minute.

Some friends, even the ones we think will always be there, won’t. They will hurt you deeply and you simply have to learn to let go.

It’s entirely appropriate to scream at people while sometimes showing them your bird finger when driving because they are an idiot and shouldn’t have a license. Well, perhaps not but as I just pointed out, I’m not perfect.

I don’t have to fit my body into mid-rise jeans when high-rise jeans are so much more comfortable. That’s all.

It is okay to sometimes want to stab your significant other in the eye with a fork. Because there is no way I am the only one who has thought this. Right?!?! My point is, marriage is sometimes hard. Life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine, as mentioned above. Life is real and let’s face it, sometimes crappy. It is why we vow until death do us part. There are days when we don’t feel “the love.” And that’s okay too.

I hope that if you too have spent time thinking about your life this year and where you want to be, you have been able to accept that who you are is exactly who you were meant to be.

Cheers and Happy New Year,

C.C. Andrewshappy-new-year-2016-funny-quotes