My favorite picture from Easter

My favorite picture from Easter
Bunnies aren't the only ones who drop eggs.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

I can only imagine

Please watch this video and read about the increbile love of this father.
I can only imagine how beautiful it will be for Rick to see our Heavenly Father. He will be free to use his legs. Walk beside our Maker. Dance with Jesus. How glorifying it is to think how this life is just a stepping stone to where we really belong because we don't belong here---this is our temporary home.

The Early Years
Rick was born in 1962 to Dick and Judy Hoyt. As a result of oxygen deprivation to Rick's brain at the time of his birth, Rick was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Dick and Judy were advised to institutionalize Rick because there was no chance of him recovering, and little hope for Rick to live a "normal" life. This was just the beginning of Dick and Judy's quest for Rick's inclusion in community, sports, education and one day, the workplace.

Dick and Judy soon realized that though Rick couldn't walk or speak; he was quite astute and his eyes would follow them around the room. They fought to integrate Rick into the public school system, pushing administrators to see beyond Rick's physical limitations. Dick and Judy would take Rick sledding and swimming, and even taught him the alphabet and basic words, like any other child. After providing concrete evidence of Rick's intellect and ability to learn like everyone else, Dick and Judy needed to find a way to help Rick communicate for himself. More...

The Beginning of Team Hoyt
In the spring of 1977, Rick told his father that he wanted to participate in a 5-mile benefit run for a Lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Far from being a long-distance runner, Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair and they finished all 5 miles, coming in next to last. That night, Rick told his father, "Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped."

This realization was just the beginning of what would become over 1,000 races completed, including marathons, duathlons and triathlons (6 of them being Ironman competitions). Also adding to their list of achievements, Dick and Rick biked and ran across the U.S. in 1992, completing a full 3,735 miles in 45 days. More...

In a triathlon, Dick will pull Rick in a boat with a bungee cord attached to a vest around his waist and to the front of the boat for the swimming stage. For the biking stage, Rick will ride a special two-seater bicycle, and then Dick will push Rick in his custom made running chair (for the running stage).

Rick was once asked, if he could give his father one thing, what would it be? Rick responded, "The thing I'd most like is for my dad to sit in the chair and I would push him for once."

The 2009 Boston Marathon was officially Team Hoyt's 1000th race. Rick always says if it comes down to doing one race a year he would like it to be the Boston Marathon: his favorite race. Dick Hoyt hopes that he is able to push Rick in the Boston Marathon when he is 70 years old (2011)! Neither Dick or Rick are ready to retire yet.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

we aren't embarassed to ask random strangers to take our picture.

Nah, taking three kids to UHD to speak to an advisor and then talking to the financial aid department wasn't that bad. I mean, after son is wearing an indian hat. This was a very important day for us. Before we walked into the university, I told them the importance of this trip. I told them that this is the first step to mommy being able to buy us a house. Buy them nice things and have a comfortable life. Other than fighting over who was going to push the elevator button first, they were actually very well behaved. I think they get it. I really do. Well, except for the sumu wrestler in the stroller ;-) She is oblivious to mostly everything. And well. Ok, the indian guy pretty much walks with his head up his ass, but he sure is cute doing it. Reese is taking all this in like a sponge. She is a 35 year old stuck in a 5 year olds body I think.
All in all, I wouldn't have imagined that important day of registering for 18 hours at UHD spent with anyone other than my three babies. They give me encouragement, inspiration.

My hope is floating.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

tears are falling. but, from sad to happy.

All is peaceful in the Bredehoeft household. Bredehoeft. B r e d e h o e f t. I love my German last name. But, here we go again with the annoying pronunciations. Richardson was so much more simple. But, simplicity is not what I want out of life.

It is night #2 here. I actually have no shame in living with my parents at almost 30 years old. I know that it is the best for the kids and me. I have registered for 18 hours at UHD Fall semester and will graduate in May 2011 with an Interdiscliplinary Studies specializing in Humanities.
If I am going to put my babies in full time daycare, you bet your ass it's going to be for a good paying job. That damn piece of paper I have been so close to for so long is almost at my fingertips. I can close my eyes and visualize Reese watching me walk across that stage. I can also visualize telling my daughters to never be dependent of a man. Never. I don't want them to ever feel "stuck."
These next two semesters are not going to be easy. But, this is something I must do. For me. For my kids. For Grandma Lena.

Reese starts kindergarten on Monday. I am having conflicting emotions. Seems like just yesterday I found out I was pregnant with her. It was Valentine's Day 2004. The best Valentine's gift (and LAST, enter bitterness here)anyone ever gave me, the day I found out I was going to be a mommy. I can remember thinking about her big day starting school while she was growing inside of me. I would rub my belly and tell her that she needs to take the next 6 years very slow. Why am I crying as I write this? Is it because I am really upset about her starting kinder or is it because I have been a single parent for the last 6 years? Either way, God blessed me with three incredible children who are healthy and I couldn't ask for more out of life. But, as I sit here and write I am hopeful of the future. Not long ago I was asking my OBGYN to cut me off from the baby making department---the tears are falling again---Now, I'm hopeful that one day I will have someone to talk to my belly as his baby is growing inside of me. Go to dr's appts with me, not asking for all but for God's sake atleast the one we find out the gender. Talk to me about baby names with excitement. Help me with the baby's room. Stay with me at the hospital and stare in awe at our creation. I only thought that happend in the movies, but I am hopeful that I can have that one day. I am ONLY 29. Yes, I said only. I know with all my heart that God will allow me to share that with someone one day. One day after graduation.

Grant jr is turning FOUR in a month. I honestly can't remember too much of his first year or two. Truth be told that was the hardest time of my life. I had a wild toddler and a colicky baby. And when I say wild I mean Reese was into EVERYTHING and when I say colicky I mean that Grant screamed his head off for hours and hours and hours every night for months. There were times that I hated life. I loved my kids but hated the situation. Hated that I had to bathe a wild toddler and a screaming baby and get that wild toddler to sleep while breastfeeding a SCREAMING baby all my myself. I think that was a defining time in my life. It changed me. I became angry. Angry that I was doing it all on my own. Angry that I was alone. Angry that three years later I spent almost everynight alone pregnant with Rowan. Rushed to the hospital three times due to preterm labor from dealing with two kids everynight by myself. Angry that I delivered her 6 wks early because of it. But, what good is anger if you can't learn from it? I have learned to never put myself in that situation again. Do I need to explain that I am so grateful for my children and that I mean that I will never marry someone who I didn't think would help me with his child. But, if you know me, I guess I needn't explain anything.

Rowan is the most precious child I have ever laid eyes on. I have missed her. The last 6 weeks have been strange for me. She is my first baby that I haven't been able to be with all day, any day. But, it became easier as time went on. I found myself happy as I was trying to find myself. I never would have gone more than an hour without Reese when she was a toddler. And only my mom watched her that one hour. I didn't even let her sleep in her crib...... she slept next to me for two years. It does get easier with each child. I am a professional mommy and even though they drive me nuts sometimes, I love them with all my heart.
And I am ready for happy tears to fall. I am done with the sad ones.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

:) I can go back blond now. It's who I am. And I'm ok with her.

Writing is good for the soul.

CHANGES. I must say that change is a little harder than I remember. Is it the fear of the unknown that scares me? Letting go, moving on, starting over..... ?

Packing alone has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. Add three kids at your feet and it really takes it all to a different emotional level. Although, their occasional giggles put everything into perspective for me.

When did I become an emotional eater? I have eaten an entire batch of cookies, Reese's Pieces, Dr Pepper GALORE and Mexican food just today. Still no cigarette---- so what's a couple extra pounds that my mother begs me to gain anyway. And speaking of my parents(and my brother,)

I am just shaking my head in awe at their love and kindness. They make my kids and me a priority, therefore they will always be a priority of mine.

I have a lot to consider. A lot of decisions to make about the future for the kids and me. I am not sure what the future holds. But, I do know that I have three responsibilities and I owe it to them to be the best that I can be for them. This may be a defining moment in their life.

The kids and I visited the Star of Hope today. I have come to the conclusion that I drive that 25 minute drive every other day for a reason other than donations. Maybe I'm selfish for this, but it is a reminder to me. A reminder that I do have somewhere to go. A family that loves my kids and me. Two days ago I got into an in depth conversation with a male employee of the SOH, who lives at the men's shelter. He told me of his divorce and inability to find a full time job, therefore had no other choice but to reside at the shelter. I hugged him and told him that THIS TOO SHALL PASS and then I got in my car, with my three kids looking at me with their bright,hopeful eyes and I thanked God at that moment for my family. For accepting my change. For supporting my change. That man needs the Star of Hope for employment. Not me. I need the Star of Hope for fulfillment. And encouragement that I can be a better person.

I strive to be that better person. A better mother, sister, daughter, friend, and maybe one day wife. I am a sinner. We all are. And I am not going to write as if I have perfected any one of those titles. But, the next half of my life and there on out will be devoted to reaching that perfection. Someone once shared the "backpack theory" with me. At almost 30, I feel confident that I have wrapped my head around the meaning of the theory. I have three kids in my backpack. And anyone who is positive, supportive, loving, and encouraging can join them in my backpack. Anyone else is not a worry of mine.

I am done chasing pavements. I am done worrying about what I can't control and focusing on what I can.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Falling into place.

Oh, and yes. I deactivated my Facebook. I know, this is almost unbelievable. But, you know what?? I have stepped into the boxing ring and I'm fighting for what is important to me.

It's not what happens to you in life, it's how you handle it.

The kids are asleep---and I just had my first Dr Pepper in days---- so, I can't sleep and I have much running through my mind.

The kids and I are moving in with my parents soon. I want this whole process to be a smooth transition for them. Even though I am swallowing my pride and giving up my home and my freedom, I know that this is the best option for the only three certainties I have in life: Reese, Grant jr, and Rowan.

Job hunting without a college degree is definitely not the most confident I have been. After I threw a pity party tonight, I saw a video of an incredible man with no limbs who did not let what most people would call a "disadvantage" limit himself. If this man can achieve all that he has dreamed of, I can too. It's not what happens to you in life, it's how you handle it

During my adventures in search for a job today, I ended up in a building for a property management position that shared the building with a modeling agency. I looked at the door to the management company. Then I looked at the door to the modeling agency. I knew that one door would have led me to quick cash that I could use. And I knew that the other door was going to be a fight to prove myself. Sometimes in life we find that one thing, or person, that is worth the fight.
I smiled at the modeling agency company, held my head up high, and told myself that it's fight time and walked into the property management company.

The end result may not lead to a job offer, but I chose the new path. The path that may not have instant gratification, but rather a lifetime of wise decisions. I closed the door to modeling two years ago. And this new path im on is closing doors and never looking back. With faith and visualizing the "big picture," I can reach the other side of the mountain with my heart, my knowledge, my passion, my drive. Not my looks.

Maybe, just maybe, people will look past my past and allow me put on my boxing gloves and fight for what I want, not what I use to want. And fight for me handling situations better. Afterall, it is never about what happens to you in life.