It Started with a BANG & a Busted Head

Y'all, I honestly cannot believe 2018 is here!

Wasn't it just yesterday that I was saying goodbye to Gabriel as he boarded the USS Lake Champlain to deploy?  Actually, yes, it was.  As eerie as it made the new year feel, Gabriel deployed the exact same week as he did last year!

However, I have a full year of mommy'ing under my belt so I am good, right?!  Haha!  I wrote about how I struggled with Post Partum Depression when he left, and how Dresden was super colicky.  I wrote about the struggles in our marriage, and how we had some huge goals for ourselves. 2017 was a doozy. There were some really tough moments, but boy...there were some beautiful ones too.  I have a gorgeous one year old son, and he is absolutely the cutest one year old, with the best personality...albeit headstrong.  Ok, ok, I might be biased.  

Aside from the ups & downs of the last year, one of the things that I struggled with the most was consistency.  I've never been the most consistent individual in my life ("no way, really?!" you exclaim, as you notice the gap in time between most of my blog posts), but as I disclosed in a prior post, I struggle with the need for perfection.  Either I'm all in or I'm all out.  I've never been able to be ok with the in between.

One of things I am most excited in 2018 is my intentionality in living my life with the motto of "Done, Not Perfect".  I am not entirely sure who coined this phrase, as I first heard it while listening to Jenna Kutcher's Goal Digger podcast.  **Side note: if you are a #bossbabe, or aspire to be one, you will want to take the time to listen to this incredible, inspiring woman as she picks the minds of soooo many other incredible, inspiring women. I love.love.love her podcast**  And the "Done, Is Better Than Perfect" phrase is now the cool, little reminder on my iPhone background, that I snagged FREE from another incredible boss babe, Lara Casey.


The thing is, so many of us live life as it comes towards us...by default.  I know I have.  Anyone else with me?! I have this insane need to be in control of my life - my money, my circumstances, my child, etc, etc, etc - and God has to keep teaching me again, and again...nothing is in my control.  Yet, instead of reacting to my life lessons in a way that gives me purpose, I have allowed these circumstances to just dictate my mood, my mindset, my accomplishments.  So this year, instead of allowing my worry, fear, and frustration to take over, I am setting the intention that I am going to take each moment for what it's worth.  

I wasn't given the strength to deal with tomorrow's problems yet - I have the strength for today's problems.  So often, I see this huge picture, this huge problem, and I just shut down.  Or, I've had a bad day and didn't do a single thing on my to-do list....so, I'm going to sleep, eat junk food, and be in a bad mood because life sucks.  I don't want to live life by default anymore. If I have a bad day, if I don't accomplish a goal, if my son gets three staples in his head (true story - read on), then it's ok.  It is ok, it is within my power to accept this situation with grace, and to understand that I cannot control my circumstances, but I absolutely 100% can control my reaction to them.  And guess what?! Every day is a new beginning - even every HOUR can be a new chance to change your mindset and your perspective, and start over.


Katie Den Ouden

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And now...the story of how I learned to handle a curveball with grace because my son now has three staples in the back of his head...

All of my life lesson keep happening at my son's expense.  I think I need to wrap him in bubble wrap until I stop being so hardheaded.  Or, not, because this things will still happen, I'm sure, but they won't be followed with a Mia Meltdown, speaking it into existence! One of the intentions that I set for this year was to handle my curveballs with grace.  Well, I still have some growing to do! 

Dresden has been chronically ill with respiratory issues, since May and while it was initially monthly, it has progressed into bi-weekly issues, and is now every week - with our most recent episode leaving us spending Christmas Day in the Emergency Room.  With that, we feel that Dresden really needs to be out of daycare.  His immune system just can't handle it, and some of that is a result of the fact that he spent a week in the NICU because of sepsis.  

Well, the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 end and start off with me....stressing.  Shocking, I know! I'm worried because Gabriel is leaving, I am worried because we don't qualify for Family Medical Leave coverage, so these work absences are not excused, Dresden needs to be out of daycare, I need my job, I have no family here, worry, worry, worry, so and so forth.  You get the picture.  And, sure enough, the day after Gabriel leaves, Dresden starts to get sick again. Andddddd what does Mia do? Mia calls her mom, having a meltdown, because....well, she's Mia and that's what she's defaulted to in the past (No more, though right?!).

Once I pulled myself together, I take Dresden in to the pediatrician for his follow up visit.  They had given him a steroid shot the day before because his oxygen levels were already lowering, and we have been through this enough times to know that the sniffle turns to a cough, turns to cold, turns to bronchiolitis, turns to Reactive Airway Disease (early onset Asthma).  The Doctor tests him for the flu and she also wants to have me give him a nebulizer treatment in office.  Well, to give you some background & set the scene:  at home, Dresden and I have been in a power struggle with these breathing treatments.  With his Papi, he's super calm and totally on-board with the mask over his face.  But with Mami?? No way! Power. Struggle

So, we are at the pediatrician's, and I am trying to coerce my son into wearing this mask by giving him a cookie, putting on his favorite song - I am even trying to put it in FRONT of his face instead of ON his face.  No dice. Nothing.  So at this point, I am bear-hugging this kid, arms pinned down, as he is WAILING bloody murder because I am such a horrible mother for trying to make him better.  We eventually finish the treatment, but he is covered - literally dripping - in sweat, and proceeds to rub it all over me as he sobs into my neck and holds me (be still, my heart), and I'm sweating my own sweat from holding him down.  So...we are a mess.   The nurse comes in and tells me his flu test came back positive - awesome - and so we are waiting for the Doctor come check his breathing and oxygen levels.  At this point, I am ready to have my second good cry of the day.

As we are waiting...Dresden decides he wants to throw his cup across the room.  He's in a "let's throw everything" phase.  And after he throws everything, he wants me to get it again, so that he can throw it...again.  So, he's throwing this cup off the table, and he's crying for me to get it, again, and I keep telling him, "Stop throwing it", and he keeps doing it, so I finally say, "Ok, you're done. No more cup."

Well, this signifies the end of the world for a one year old, right? Obviously. This child proceeds to then throw himself back in anger...SMACKING HIS HEAD ON THE WINDOW SILL. I immediately pick him up as he's crying that cry where he can't breathe but he's crying and I'm trying to calm him down, when I realize....my hand is literally covered in blood.  He's bleeding.


My child cut a hole in his head.  It was at this moment that I couldn't help but laugh.  I didn't want to cry anymore.  I didn't feel upset, or out of control.  I just couldn't help but to laugh.  I laughed off all the worries of trying to control my life, my son, his health.  I can't control it.  Even when I think I'm controlling it, like going to the doctor, there's always going to be something else that can happen.  

I went home from the doctor that day with a flu positive son who was the proud owner of three, new, shiny, massive staples, and believe it or not, I felt 1 million times lighter than I had earlier that day.  I cannot control what happens, I cannot control the events of the day or the circumstances, but I am absolutely in my power to control my reaction to them.  And it was honestly so incredibly refreshing to be able to walk away from this bloody mess with peace in my heart.  "Ah", I thought, "this is what grace feels like."

My words for this year... GRACE & UNAFRAID.  No more living in worry, no more trying to control life, and then falling apart when life happens...as it is so often prone to do.  With this new mindset, and a new system I have to stay on top of my goals (read: future blog post headin' your way), I cannot wait to see how this intention will help make me a better person, wife, mother, and friend.  

2018...I am coming for ya.