Sunday, September 14, 2014

On being 51

Today I turned 51. Life is just so very very good. It took a long time to get here but it is so good to be here.

I spent time with 4 of my 5 grandchildren in the last three days... yes there are 5....I was surrounded by a great church family, old and new friends, and the best husband ever. My list of blessings is so long that I can no longer count them.

We number 24 now -- this family called Fletchers... 12 kids, two parents, 5 grandchildren, and 5 other parents of our grandchildren. Our kids are so fun to watch because they truly enjoy one another and get together as often as possible. 7 of our sons live in our home, our daughters are in an apartment 2.5 miles away, and we see the other three fairly often. I get to see my grandchildren often.

Sundays is family day. We typically have at least a grandchild, sometimes two or three, and a bunch of kids at church and then with us for dinner later. It's huge blessing to watch them interact.

My mom lives 3 miles from me. I see her at least once a week. She joined us for church and dinner. She is an amazing woman of God. She inspires me all the time. I miss my dad every day but I'm so grateful to have my mom close.

I love my church. I play in bells. I sing in choir. I play keyboard in the band. The friends I have there are amazing. My guy friends, especially, though they give me a really hard time and would not admit to being my friends, are such a blessing in my life. They keep me laughing.

I love my job. I am daily challenged, pushed, and forced to be a better woman and a better leader. I work with a phenomenal group of women who I supervise and have peers across the country that I enjoy. In two and a half weeks one of the best friends I've ever had is going to join my staff as the assistant director. I get paid to live out my passion. It doesn't get any better than that.

I spent my morning with friends from church and my afternoon and evening with family. They make me smile. We laugh. We reminisce. We tell stories.

I love being 51. I have learned so much even in the past few months. Things like:

1) If something works for me and it doesn't work for those around me, it's not OK.

2) Pushing myself to do things I don't enjoy well has it's own rewards.

3) Every moment counts. I am done wishing things would be over so I can move on to the next thing. I am happy being me.

4) Sometimes people really are doing the best they can even if it isn't what I would wish or expect from them.

5) God is faithful. God is good.

6) Providing kids with place to belong during their growing up years has incredible rewards once they are grown. They are better people because we endured the tough things they put us through when they were growing up.

I've learned much more that those things but that is what immediately comes to mind.

I have little time to blog. My life is full. But for those of you who are in the murk of it all, there is light at the end of the tunnel. And life is good.

Quick update on everyone for you:

Kyle and his wife have a son, Silas, who turned a year. They both teach elementary school. They are married, as you know, and have built a house. Their lives are picture perfect... just as Kyle always dreamed it could be.

Rand is living at home and looking for work. He is currently the family taxi driver, cook, and errand runner as Bart and I are seldom home.

The son who never likes to be named in the blog lives here about 3 days a week and with friends near Mankato the rest of the time. He is a tattoo artist and we enjoy his son Aiden, who is now two, whenever we get to see him.

John lives with us. He works full time at Taco Bell and part time for a moving company. He is working hard to save enough money to be independent.

Salinda just had her second child two days ago. The baby's dad is a pro basketball player in Uruguay and we really love him. The baby, Carlos Jr. is downright adorable.

Ricardo is finishing up alcohol treatment. He has been sober for about 11 months. He lives in a halfway house in the southern part of the Twin Cities.

Mercedes is a nanny and a PCA and is living with Salinda and her two kids a couple miles from us.

Tony is engaged to Taylor who we really love. They live in Alexandria but he texts or calls almost daily. He is working for a steel company.

Leon is in his first year of college and living at home being the wonderful person that he always is.

Dominyk is a senior. Believe it? He also has a job working in the care center where my mom lives in the kitchen. He's grown up a lot and really wants to join the army.

Finally Wilson is a freshman and spends all his free time in front of the computer which we have concluded is a good thing. There are a lot of things he can't do while he is sitting there, 5 feet from our bedroom door (Get addicted to drugs or alcohol, get a girl pregnant, etc. etc. etc.)

Bart is doing great. He's such an amazing communicator and is involved in several spiritual development opportunities in and outside of the local church. I'm blessed beyond words to be his wife.

I think that's it. Maybe I'll blog again some day!


Kathyb1960 said...

I am so happy for you and Bart that everything is going so well. I remember you blogging years ago when things weren't going so well. God is so good, and He brings us through the tough times to enjoy the times of joy!

I love seeing the pics of the Grandkids, and I am so happy that your kids are doing so well!

God is so Good!!!

mainiac said...

I am so glad to see an update on your family. I'm glad things are going so well for all of you! I cannot believe that "little" Wilson is in high school!! :)

Deborah said...

It was so wonderful to read this post! Happy Birthday!! I always enjoy reading your blog and really miss it. I am so glad to hear that your life is so full and hearing about all your family.

Carrie said...

Thanks for blogging again, Claudia! Keep it up when you have the time. It does give those of us in the think of it a bit of hope!

QueenB said...

Glad to get the update! Your grandbabies are beautiful, and great to hear your children are getting along well in life. But your poor mom; why does she have to live in the kitchen of the care center? Maybe Dom can put in a good word for her and get her into a better living arrangement. Just sayin.... ;)

Lorraine said...

Loved your update and glad you are so happy. I have followed your blog and prayed for your family from the beginning. God bless - Lorraine, UK

vicsens said...

It's great to see an update on all your family. I've been following your blog for many years. May God continue to bless you and yours. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!