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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Would Take Her Place

In a heartbeat.  I would take her place.


Since birth, Madelynn has struggled with a huge issue. POOP.  Many of you who have read my blog since February know the battle we have had with her and the poop.  Since birth, Madelynn has always struggled with going "#2" more so than anyone I know. 

Her constipation and poop issues go back to birth.  I have talked to our doctor about it on several occasions.  Madelynn is only three but she poops like a grown man (if I can visualize a man poop in my head, it would look like hers---that is just gross. I re-read this writing and it really makes me gag). 

Although she is now going "#2" on the potty like a big girl, and at least every two or three days (sometimes every day) it is still painful. Either Phillip or I have to help her by pushing her back or tummy to get it out.  She shouldn't be hurting like this, I know. I have tried to explain this to the doctor EVERY TIME we take her in... and...

Finally... finally a doctor witnesses the poop meltdown.  In August, Maddy and I were at the doctor's office getting her physical for pre-school and she had to #2.  She started hitting, kicking, and pinching me.  We walked to the bathroom and she screamed and had a breakdown... right in front of the doctor.  The doctor asked if this happened all the time, and I said not always but when it hurts really bad this is what we deal with.  The doctor finally said, this is not normal but to monitor it to see if it gets any better.

Great.  She is three.  You would think that the pain would go away by now? This kid poops big.  You guys, her poop is so hard and big it clogs the toilet ALL THE TIME.  So, I am glad I get to "monitor" it more.

After going to the doctor, the next morning we headed over to the hospital so Madelynn could have her blood drawn for pre-school.  That afternoon I received a call from our family doctor... I will never forget it...

 

"Melissa, Madelynn's blood work came back and it looks like she is anemic." 


I said, "How is that possible? She eats well and she gets enough protein." 

The doctor said, "We should monitor it and see if her blood work comes back more normal after she has a bowel movement."

Great.  What could be wrong with my baby?

She had a bowel movement, and again the blood work shows she is anemic and most likely due to other issues besides iron deficiency. The doctor then lists off all of the things that could be wrong... words like Hodgkin's and lymphoma, and Crohn's disease, and a multitude of other things being spit out at me from the other end of the phone... and I sit there in disbelief.

The doctor scheduled us to go in and see a specialist next Tuesday in Iowa City at the University of Iowa Pediatric Specialty Clinic. 

I would lay my own life down to take the pain away from my daughter.  I would rather carry her pain thousands of miles versus Maddy to even have the pain for one more moment of her life. 

Life is so precious.  And even when our kids are arguing with us, being so disobedient, or even hurtful, they are our children and at any moment... we would take their place.  In a heart beat.  That is what a parent would do... unconditional love...

I think part of me is still in disbelief because she is silly, she dances, she laughs... but she does get tired quickly... and her eyes look darker... but she laughs and she talks up a storm (um, last night she used 12 words in a sentence... yes, she did... my little smarty pants).

So, next Tuesday... I wait... one week... Phillip and I will both take off work to take her... her biological father cannot make it for the appointment because he has to work (don't even get me started).   But for now we wait. 

I have faith.  Faith in the swiftness of the doctors at the university for finding out what is going on... faith in God above for watching over my sweet baby, Maddy... and faith that I can be calm and strong even through the scariest of storms.

Please keep Maddy in your prayers as we go on this medical poop journey. 

One lesson learned: Always trust your parent gut.  We took Maddy into the doctor a LOT on poop finding missions... finally, FINALLY someone realized that the issue was more serious than just constipation from a child who doesn't like to poop.




Thursday, September 20, 2012

Carrying the Weight of the World

So, last night when I got to Bible study I was so distracted.  I had to rush through making dinner, I worked late (and worked while I made dinner), dealt with Maddy throwing her apple slices all over the floor, rushed to church to find out that the teens were at a different church last night, but someone would take Alex with them over to the other church....dropped off Maddy to her class, Kennith to his and I finally was able to sit down right before the study started to catch my breath.

I talked a minute with my friend and then the woman who opened up the study said,

"Where ever you are, you should EXPECT that God has something for you."


And I knew I was supposed to be there. Why? I don't go to Bible study traditionally on Wednesday nights.  I usually stay home.  But last night, I went because my friend was going and I wouldn't be alone... And I learned a very valuable lesson...

What made me ever think that I had to carry the weight of my world on my own shoulders? As a full time working mom, I have a few different full time jobs and it can get exhausting.  I work from home, so instead of taking a coffee break, I take a coffee break and throw in a load of laundry or start getting dinner ready and then I go back to work.  I worry about my kids, my husband, my mom, my friends, myself... finances- you name it, I worry about it.  I try to figure out a solution to everything and I internally stress.

But who said I was suppose to carry the weight of MY world on my OWN shoulders?

It wasn't Phillip or the kids, or my mom, or my boss, or even God for that matter... It was me.

I feel like I have to do everything and be everything to everyone.  I don't like to let people down, I don't want my kids to go without. I am the one who wants to make sure they have a hot meal on the table for dinner and we all eat at the table together every night.  I am the one who worries. I am the one who stresses and tries to find solutions to everything. I am the one who stresses me out.

Wait.

I am the one who stresses me out.


Yes, I said it.  I put the stress on myself. 

Revelation and my religion collide at this very moment.  I have an amazing God who will carry me through the rough times, I have a fantastic husband who is willing to help and is there for me... No where in the Bible does it say I had to carry myself through the rough times.  God is there to pick me up... matter of fact, when bad things happen we have to stand on the word of God.  He says what He means and He means what He says, can I get an AMEN?  And if HE says He will carry me through it, I best believe that He will.

I have to give up my burden and stress and get help carrying it.  People have let me down so bad in the past it is hard to give it up and have someone help me and carry the weight... but if I have faith, hope and trust I should be able to open my heart up and have help carrying the weight.

The weights of our world that are burdensome are NOT those of physical matter, they are emotional and mental.  Sharing our fears, dreams, and things that are weighing us down (emotionally and mentally) may help us expand our own understanding of the situation.

I am personally going through something that makes me worry constantly, but instead of worrying I am going to cast my faith out there and talk with my husband... stand on the word of God to see me through it. 

So, I am thinking of little things I can do to "de-stress"----
* Pray daily
* Open up to my husband and talk with him
* Hug others more often.  From last night, "You have to be rooted and grounded in love" nothing better than lots of hugs to make you feel loved (and show love to others)and know it!
* Quit seeking acceptance from others and accept myself for who I am
* Don't stop believing in myself (God never stops believing in us and He never gives up on us--- so why should I stop believing in myself?)
* Get rid of the negativity in my life
* Keep a schedule to stay on track
* Stand on faith
* Love without expectation of receiving it back
* Assign chores to the kids to help Phillip and I out around the house more

We can all make our own lists of de-stress-i-fi-cation tools.  (do you like that made up word? LOL)


You don't have to carry the weight of your world on your own either... How will you let go?


Grapic from:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_EmOwFaFOLU8/S7kTnej7V3I/AAAAAAAABnw/PTb7RqgwHhA/s400/world-on-shoulders.jpg

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Confessions of an Addict

I admit it.  I am an addict.  I cannot stop.  It is so hard to admit an addiction to something, regardless of what it is, but my addiction? My addiction is serious... I wake up at four in the morning and I feel the need to surf and pin.


I am addicted to PINTEREST.



And I don't think it is in a healthy way.  See, this visual crack has turned me into a cooking-baking-musical singing monster... I see things that look good and I start singing,

"ANYTHING YOU CAN DO I CAN DO BETTER, I CAN DO ANYTHING BETTER---I CAN DO ANYTHING BETTER THAN YOU...."

As if I have started this pseudo-gang West Side Story-esque fight with a random stranger online who just shared with me (and the rest of the world) their prized recipe--- (now mind you this is ALL in my head).

It has even gotten to the point that I am pinning nail polish pictures and taking my iPhone with me into the nail salon to show the nail tech the picture so they can reproduce it on my nails. 

See, true story....

Pinterest (from the following site: http://pshiiit.com/tag/sparkling/page/6/)














My nails:


So, how do I curb this addiction? I don't think I can quit cold turkey... Maybe I shouldn't quit either because I am getting amazing ideas that really have been fun and creative and my family has loved the benefits of my addiction... but does it make it right?

Maybe I should just limit my use of the pinterest... but it just takes that one.. that one pin that gets me started.  The one piece of visual crack that leads me to hours spent on the computer looking at random stuff... visual crack.  Dreams of what I want to do to my kitchen, my yard, books I want to read, recipes that I want to try, and nail polish....

I think what I will do is this:  limit my visual crack usage to 30 minutes a day.  In the evening after the kids go to bed.  Yes, that is what I will try...

I am not sure if anyone else out there runs into the same thing.  Do any of you get stuck on websites like pinterest? I think pinning is so much fun, and I love to see what my friends pin.  It is so cool to see who has similar taste in shoes, clothes, kitchen remodels, and food.

So, that is my random thought for a Wednesday.... and YES, I did wake up at four this morning and couldn't get back to sleep so I did surf pinterest.  I admit it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Recipe Time: Crescent Roll Pizza Casserole

Can I get a comforting HELLO?  This was an amazing casserole and another new meal at the "Wenndt" house that is a keeper!  It was a pizza but not..It was a casserole but a pizza.  It is a casse-pizza or a pizzarole! LOL

Crescent Roll Pizza Casserole


Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1/2 copped onion (and any other veggie you like on pizza--- you could add sliced mushrooms, black olives, peppers, etc here too)
1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of worcestershire sauce
1/2 bag of pepperoni slices
1 cup shredded Colby/jack cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar of pizza sauce (I used Classico traditional pizza sauce)
1 tablespoon of butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Directions:

1) Brown hamburger along with onion (and other veggies) with minced garlic, salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce. Once browned drain fat off of mixture.
2) Place hamburger mixture in a 9 x 13 pan (we used two smaller pans for two different mixtures) and add pizza sauce and stir until well blended. Top with pepperoni.
3) Add both cheeses evenly over the top of the pepperoni layer.
4) Top with crescent rolls (it is OK to leave some of the seams open to have the sauce bubble up).
5) Bake for 15 minutes until almost golden brown.
6) Brush crescent top with melted butter, and place back in the oven.  Bake an additional 5 minutes until golden brown.

This was delicious!  We served it with a side salad, grapes, and cottage cheese!  AND NO LEFT OVERS!  WHOO HOOOO!!! A definite keeper!



Monday, September 17, 2012

Recipe Time: Philly French Dip

So, on Saturday afternoon I had a hankerin' --- that's right... a hankerin' for a French dip.... Then I realized I really wanted a Philly cheesesteak sandwich with sauteed onions and mushrooms under a bunch of mozzarella cheese. But I really wanted a French dip so I could dunk my sammy in the au jus.  Then I realized it was four in the afternoon so making a really good French dip takes hours....

I decided to play around in my kitchen and I created the prefecto sammich for me...

The Philly French Dip


Now, I have eaters in my house who don't like mushrooms and/or onions so everyone could basically create their own variation of the sammich.

Ingredients:

2 cans (10.5 oz) of beef consomme
1 1/2 cup of water
1 lb of sliced roast beef (I used thinly sliced beef from the deli)
1 medium sweet onion sliced
1 cup of mushrooms (or more depending on how many mushrooms you like)
2 tablespoons of butter
Sea-salt, garlic powder and pepper to taste
8 slices of mozzarella cheese
4 hoagie buns sliced in half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Directions:

1) Melt two tablespoons of butter in a medium sized frying pan add sea-salt, garlic powder, and pepper to taste... add mushrooms and onions. Saute over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until tender.
2) Place sliced hoagies on baking sheet- opened up and ready to fill!
3) Combine beef consomme and water in a medium sauce pan on medium heat. Add roast beef and cook in the liquid for 5 minutes. 
4) Place meat on hoagies and add sauteed mushrooms, onions and two slices of mozzarella cheese on each hoagie.
5) Bake in oven for 5 to 10 minutes (until cheese melts) and serve with a side of your own au jus (broth) to dip in.

Philly French dip served with fries on the side!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Recipe Time: Cheesy Baked Potato Soup

I love fall! I love to have a fire in our fireplace and the crispness in the air! But most of all, I love fall foods, specifically---- SOUP!

I am a soup junkie, so anticipate a few soup recipes from me every once in a while. I love a nice soup and salad for dinner in the winter (and then left overs for lunch the next day)! 

Today I made some wonderful soup in the crock pot for my family. 

CHEESY BAKED POTATO SOUP! 


Ingredients:
- 1 34 oz box of low sodium chicken broth
- 1 can of low sodium cream of chicken soup (10.75 oz)
- 1 package of frozen hashbrowns (I used the Ore Ida brand)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery (If you are not a celery fan, you can always substitute with another 1/4 cup of chopped onion)
- pepper, sea salt, and garlic powder to taste (you know by now, I love my garlic)
- 8 oz cream cheese (do NOT use low fat or fat free, it makes the soup clumpy)- cut into blocks
- 6 oz Velveeta cheese- cut into blocks
- shredded cheese (I used the cheddar/jack blend)
- 8 slices of bacon fried and crumbled
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion

Directions:
- Combine chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, onion, and celery into crock pot and whisk.
- Add package of frozen hashbrowns, pepper, sea salt, and garlic powder (to taste)
- Cook on low in slow cooker for 5 - 5 1/2 hours
- 30 minutes before serving, add blocks of cream cheese and Velveeta cheese to crock pot and stir

Serve hot bowl of soup topped with your favorite toppings! Cheese, bacon, and green onion!

 
Easy and delicious!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reflecting on 9.11.01: A Love Letter to My Children

It was at 8:34 am eastern when my train FINALLY rolled into Hoboken NJ. Running late because of a damn crow that flew into our electrical conduit and caused the train to stop. I remember thinking ---NOW I will be late for work, great. I knew taking the PATH train into the trade center would take too long, so I decided to take the Ferry instead. At 8:43 AM I was on my way into the financial district when the first plane hit. I never made it into the city that day, I watched the horrific events with my own eyes, from Hoboken. I thought the world was ending and I was going to die... but all because of a stupid crow... a crow that decided to fly into the electrical conduit of the train and stop it... my life was spared this day, 11 years ago.

 
 
My Dearest Children,
 
I write this letter to you as I reflect on the past 11 years of my life.  Even through my sadness, and my rough journey since 9.11, I am eternally thankful for how my life has turned out since that day.
 
YOU, my dears are my life and my reason as to why I am here.  We are all put on this earth for a purpose, and mine is to be here for you and to be blessed by you on a daily basis.
 
I know that every 9.11 I will cry, maybe even sob. I know that I may cry off and on for what appears to be no reason. The reason I cry my sunshines is because I can see it with my own eyes.  When the news plays the video and pictures, or I see posts on Facebook, I can close my eyes and I am there. I can can smell the jet fuel, see the bodies fall out of the buildings, hear the sirens, and feel the sensation and the panic of knowing I was getting ready to die. So, my tears are of morning at times and sadness for what happened on that horrible day... Sadness of what could have been for me.
 
But today, as I sit here and I look at pictures, I am sad, I did cry a few times, but then through my tears I started to smile... and my sobs turned from being that of overwhelming sadness to overwhelming joy in a matter of minutes.
 
Today, I realized for the first time why I was spared.  For so many years, I suffered from survivor guilt... why me? Why wasn't I there? But today my answer is clear as crystal.  I was spared to be with you and to experience true joy internally and laughter from the gut. I was spared to enjoy our family and learn what it means to be a mom, to give of myself without limit, to be less selfish and more giving to others. YOU have taught me these things. 
 
When I think about each of you, and having you in my life now... I am so thankful that things happened the way they did...  If the train was on time, and I was on schedule, I would have been heading up the escalator at the trade center when the first plane hit... I wouldn't have you in my life... YOU are my reason to celebrate today and always.  You, my lovely children, make my world a better place.  My bucket runneth over.
 
I love you,
Mom
 
For those of you who are reading this, maybe use today as not just a time to reflect and morn what we have lost during 9.11, but take time to reflect on what we have.  What our blessing are, the outcomes of living through one of the most tragic events our nation and world has ever faced.  Count each blessing, for we don't know when our last day breathing on this earth will be.  Make it count.
 
 
 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Baby Daddy Blues


So, I was thinking about writing a country song about my ex-boyfriend (which really should be ex-boyfriend/man-child)... and I want to title it "Baby Daddy Blues"... I can hear it now...

He took me to dinner,
and a ride in his while old lady car,
he made me laugh,
and walked me to my door.
What I didn't know,
is that he was living with his mama...
A 40 year old man,
I wish I would have known before I became his baby's mama

LMAO

Ok, so something like that, and maybe I am being a bit BITCHY here with this, but I am beside myself right now and have no idea how to handle it.

First, Maddy's daddy likes to "fabricate" the truth and he LOVES to stir the pot with people. Fine, if that is how he gets his kicks, then let him be. But for a while, he was spreading a lot of rumors around my home town about me, which was very embarrassing and when I got confronted in a Hy-Vee by one of his co-workers regarding what he had been saying (he was telling them he didn't know if he was even the father of my child, because I kicked his freeloading ass out of my house and broke up with him)...

Before I go on a tangent about stupid, I have to remember you can't fix stupid...

But what I need to fix is HOW he treats our daughter when she is with him. She is ONLY 3 and he laughs at EVERYTHING she does, even the naughty stuff. So when she comes home she thinks she can jump on everything and she can scream. WTH. His girlfriend has no control over her own son, who is in kindergarten for the second time this year, and Maddy spends a lot of time with them. NO wonder she gets crazy when she is there--- they allow it. They think it is acceptable.

So how do I intervene without coming off as bossy, or rude, or bitchy? Maybe I just have to be a boss and have a mom-intervention. Tell him how he should parent (which I have tried. I even have made a list with her schedule, etc). A 3 year old should not be up until 11 pm on a Saturday night for cry eye NOR should she be around a lot of GROWN MEN drinking and watching college football.

How do I step in and tell him how to take care of his child? She was only there for two days. TWO days and her little life is totally disrupted because he cannot keep on a schedule nor does he have any follow through. That and he neglected her general upkeep. I don't think she had a bath, and her toes (she has eczema between her toes) were so sore when she got home, I don't think he even put the cream on her feet which is a MUST. Does he not understand that when she doesn't have her lotion on her toes they HURT to high heaven? No, all he cares about is himself... and football.

I really need help.


Suggestions. Anyone?

Here is how I picked up my child today... her face is covered in chocolate and her hair had not been combed..
 

When I asked him what the chocolate was from (and y'all know from reading my blogs I am NOT a junk food person, I am NOT a candy and sugar person AT ALL)... he told me he stopped at Casey's and got her a donut, chocolate milk and candy (2 bags--which there are 12 candies in one bag) in which she ate an entire bag of these (and part of the second bag, this is all she had left):


I kid you not. I am having a hard time trying to figure out how this 43 year old man doesn't understand how to be a grown up? (He does still live with his mom, by the way.) I worry when my daughter is there because they don't watch what they say around her, and they talk loudly and YELL. But most importantly, I don't think her hygiene needs are met. :( She comes home being so rug-ratty it is out of this world. For those of you who know my Maddy, you know she is my dress wearing, pigtails daily, perfume wearing, rough and tumbly princess.... NOT this temper tantrum throwing, disheveled, screaming three year old.

My kids are my world. I am honestly at a loss here. Suggestions would be appreciated. I am worried about her general care while she is with him. I know he means well, but I just don't think he has the wherewithal to parent.

What should I do? For now, I will have to get suggestions and think on it. She doesn't go to see him for another month. I have time to devise a game plan. Please wish me luck... pray... suggestions welcome!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

picky, Picky, PICKY!!!!

I love my family, I do.  But when did they become such freakin' picky eaters? I swear to the sweet baby Jesus, it is driving me up one wall and down another.


I  have a 3 year old who eats well, but doesn't like to eat a lot of meat and sometimes she refuses to eat at all, unless there is cottage cheese on her plate. She also knows when you try to sneak in the meat in her food.  She will literally SPIT IT OUT. On YOU, on the floor, on the dog... OYE VEY! But she loves fish!  THANK GOODNESS!

I have a 15 year old who says she doesn't like meat.  She doesn't like  beef, or pork but will eat chicken, but doesn't like veggies either and is allergic to mushrooms. Get this, I made tacos this week with ground turkey and she asked, "Why didn't you use hamburger?" To which I replied, "Because you don't like red meat."  Then she said, "Well I like it in tacos." WTH? Really child? You won't eat a hamburger but you eat hamburger in tacos only?  She doesn't like anything fish!

I have a 17 year old who doesn't like anything with any spice (so mild tacos work) and hates all things veggie (unless it is her great grandmother's corn from the farm). She DESPISES fish.

I have a husband who cannot eat peppers (green, red, yellow) for he is (in my opinion, based on how he reacts to them) allergic to them and he is not one to try new foods often because of this aversion to peppers. Crazy how many things have pepper in it, FYI. He doesn't like fish....

Then there is Kennith. He is my 8 year old foodie.  He will eat anything and his favorite side is steamed broccoli.  He is a mini-me when it comes to food.  He will try anything once. His favorite? Fish.

What they all like? Chicken and INSTANT mashed potatoes.  (yes you read that right, I have some that don't like real mashed potatoes... I know, I know)


So with this so called PICKY eating household I have been out on a challenge to incorporate different foods into our diets.

I have started to challenge each person to try something new.  If you have never tried it, how do you know you don't like it?  This challenge has been best received by Alex. I am so proud of her for trying different foods.  When we were on vacation in New Orleans, she and Kennith both tried my fish, craw fish bites, fried oysters, AND craw fish etouffee.  She liked all of it (except for the fried oysters)  So, maybe she is on a path of becoming at least a pescatarian? LOL I don't think so.  Alex has also started drinking "Body by Vi" shakes daily to get her nutrition.  I told her that as a teenage girl, if she didn't like meat she had to get protein somewhere. Thank goodness she loves the shakes!

We even got Phillip to try the Hu-Hot and it was different, but he tried it. I am so proud of him for being such a great role model for the kids and stepping outside of his "food" comfort zone.

Now, incorporating different foods into our diet has been a challenge for me, and I almost feel a bit spy like.  I have started hiding the "good" stuff into the stuff they like for dinners. 

Evil? Maybe. Genius? I think so.


Thanks to some great friends, I have found ways to "HIDE" veggies.  CHARLOTTE, you rock my friend!

 

Here are just a few things I do:

1) Since I work from home, in the morning I boil up a bit of cauliflower and get it really mushy.  I mash it and add it to the instant potatoes with some garlic, salt, pepper, butter, and cheese... they don't even know, and when they ask for seconds on potatoes? I gladly say SURE HONEY! EAT THEM UP!!

2) I started making my own homemade pasta sauce and let is simmer in the crock pot.  This way, I can puree steamed carrots and broccoli into the sauce and wait.... NO ONE EVEN KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE!

3) Any time I make a ONE MEAL DISH, I add extra veggies, like peas, carrots, and broccoli... so far, they have eaten it.

4) I made a taco pasta bake and added tons of veggies in the sauce! (same as the pasta sauce, but more "taco-y"... lol)

5) I made a delicious chicken in a cream sauce this week... Everyone loved it! Instead of using regular tomatoes, I used sun-dried tomatoes finely chopped AND it had ONIONS in it.... bwaaahhhaaaa....


I am a foodie. I admit it. I love to try new things and I love to "create" magic in my kitchen.  I like pizza with EVERYTHING on it, not just cheese (my kids want cheese)... So, this mama is up for a challenge... I am trying to turn my picky eaters in to healthier, savvy eaters... one hidden spear of broccoli at a time!




Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day - YEA!

Happy Labor Day! 


I hope everyone is having a fantastic day!  We have enjoyed our weekend with my mama.  She came into town on Thursday night and we have been chillaxin' all weekend.  We have gone to the mall, the farmer's market, the art festival in New Bo.  New Bo was pretty darn cool and we found some amazing things in the antique store.
Antique store in New Bo


Also, Phillip and I had a date night on Saturday night (we went to the comedy club in town). It has been a fantastic weekend thus far! I am so blessed to have the ability to enjoy this long weekend with my loved ones!

Friday night my mom and I went to the mall, and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw signs in Von Maur that said, "Closed Monday in observance of Labor Day."  I almost clapped in the store--- the rest of the mall will be open, yet one of the major anchor stores is closed to give their employees the day off (as it should be). Labor day is a day for us to celebrate the "workers" and their contributions to our lives, every day.  Yet, many people in retail businesses are open today, in order to make some money---while those of us fortunate enough to have the day off go shopping or out to dinner.

So this of course got me to thinking...(while on my way to the grocery store for coffee creamer, I need my creamer, you just don't understand... this mama cannot function without her coffee... PLUS creamer. LOL) as I digress, yet again... it got me to thinking about giving thanks to those who are working today.  They too should have a joyous day with family, be able to throw some burgers on the grill and enjoy the day without having to serve anyone else but themselves.  If I had the money, I would have given everyone at the grocery store working some free burgers to grill when they got home, so they too could enjoy the day as others are. 

Instead, as I walked through the store (because the creamer is in the very back of the store in the left hand corner... and it is always freezing back there) --- I took time to thank every worker as I walked by.  I said, "thank you for working today, I truly appreciate what you do" or something to that nature. When I got up to the checker (she was an older woman whom I have talked with before), I asked her if she had to work all day and she said that she got off at noon.  I thanked her for always being a joy when I came through her line and I told her that if she is working I specifically seek her out because of her kindness.  I wished her a great labor day afternoon and told her she deserved to have some down time and relaxation.  She smiled and thanked me.  The smile was so big and genuine.  Then the man bagging my groceries (because we all know you cannot walk into a grocery store for one item and come out with JUST THAT ITEM, lol)--- he shook my hand and said thank you to me.  He was the manager of the store. 

I truly believe that good things happen to good people.  Why would the manager of the grocery store just be there bagging groceries and over hear my statement to the wonderful checker at the store?

I truly feel blessed to have this day off and the time to enjoy it with my family.

If you are out and about today, take a minute... just one to thank the person waiting on you.  Even if they have to work, make it worth it to that person by thanking them for the job they do. 


Happy Labor Day!