Just when I thought February couldn’t get any worse, it finds a way to as I now have three very dear family members in three very unfortunate, life altering (and in some cases life ending) medical states.

First, which I have mentioned before, a very important Aunt in my life is current experiencing advanced stages of Alzheimer’s.  We know that her health continues to fail in the long and drawn out way that occurs with Alzheimer’s.  My heart continues to break for the life she is currently enduring.  And, we continue to brace ourselves for her passing, which seems to be drawing nearer with every update.

Second, one of Mr. MPB’s immediately family members, experienced a life altering medical emergency in January.  By some sort of miracle, they survived.  Thankfully.  However, after receiving some more scary and confusing news about a week ago, it has now been determined that they are experiencing another medical situation that require brain surgery.  Now, I’m not an expert in medical stuff, but I am fairly confident brain surgery is never a good thing, unless you are neurologist performing the surgery.  Once the surgery date is scheduled Mr. MPB will be travelling to be there and support his family.

And most recently, I learned that my most beloved Aunt in the entire world has pancreatic cancer.  (She knows of this blog and while I don’t think she reads it, please only post positive things here incase she read this).  This Aunt, well, she’s been nothing short of a real life hero in my life.  After my mom and sister died when I was 14, she stepped into my life in a way that no-one else seemed to.  She advocated for me, she supported me, she made sure to take care of teenage girl things and she was always there to listen to me.  And I mean always there for me, day or night.  Basically, at the absolute worst time in my life, my aunt, living halfway across North America, found a way to love me and support me, even while raising 5 kids of her own, in a way that no-one else seemed to.  She literally helped keep my head screwed on straight at such a critical time in my life.  And, then years later, when we chose adoption, she was a supportive and loving confidant and source of understanding and inspiration as she too has grown her family through adoption.  She is truly an inspirational women.  If I can be even half the women she is, then I will consider myself to have done okay in life.  Needless to say, when I was told of her diagnosis, I was absolutely devastated.  But, I’ve picked myself back up, and will be sending only positive thoughts out into the universe.  Positivity, love and hope is what is needed right now (and her team of great doctors will probably help too).  We live too far apart for frequent visits, but I can assure you, I will be making an effort to cross the continent to offer any support possible to her and her family.

At this point, I just hope we can get through the rest of February without any more bad news.  And I also really hope that March will offer up some good news, as I could use a change of pace.

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I usually love February, for me it signalizes the very early start of spring as the days start to get a little bit longer, which always makes me happy.

But, clearly 2019, February included, has not bee ideal. Honestly, my anxiety and stress levels are generally high every single day. But, I also realize how important it is not to lose site of life and be brought down by the ongoing negative events in our lives. Knowing that these things are out of my control, I am trying to focus on what I can control in my spare time.

So, I’ve been cooking. Mr. MPB typically does most of our cooking, but he doesn’t have the time and hasn’t had any interest. So, I’m now doing all out cooking. In fact, I am making fruit, spinach/kale and flax smoothies every single morning for all three of us. And, I am also cooking 5-6 suppers a week. If I know one thing about stress, it’s that eating healthy is important. So, I’m making sure that our family is eating fresh, healthy meals.

I didn’t know it, but I guess there’s a thing about not drinking in January? Called ‘Dry January’, I think? Well, without knowing it, we starting doing our own version of dry January/February. We are only having wine on weekends now. It’s not like we drank a lot, but it seems simple enough to limit having a glass of wine to 2 nights a week.

I have basically forced Mr. MPB get a medical. Given the severity of his family member’s medical situation, he now has very significant family medical history that needed to be reviewed with a doctor. And so, he is having more blood work and medical testing done then he has ever had in his life. He doesn’t particularly love doing it all, in fact, his comment was that it feels like he’s taking a perfectly functioning car to the mechanic asking them to find a problem. But, I can honestly say I gave him no choice in the matter as Little MPB and I expect to have him around for the long run. And, I assured him that he’d rather have the right testing done early, rather then waiting until it is too late.

I also have quit online shopping. This one may sound silly, but Mr. MPB and I have seriously given up amazon and ebay and any other form of online shopping for the month of February. I decided we spend too much money shopping online, because it’s easy. So, this month, if we want anything, we have to actually go to a store to buy it. Which means, some things, like books, are slightly more expensive in person but the effort to go get them means we actually really want them. I think in the end spending a dollar or two more on a book versus buying multiple books out of convenience online is a better financial decision.

And, I’ve rekindled my love for reading. I’ve always loved to read books, but in the last few years I just haven’t had time. In fact, in 2018, I managed to read only 1 book and in 2017 I don’t think I read any. Well, this year, I’ve read 4 books so far – 2 were not so good, 2 were good. I’ve even take some time off work to just sit on the couch and read. As if somehow, giving myself permission to slow down and not focus on the crazy swirling around me, even if just for an afternoon. I have my next book picked out (Confessions of a Domestic Failure, because it’s supposed to be light and fun) – but if you have any must read suggestions, please share.

We are also making a point to see friends. It’s hard when life feels like it’s falling apart to make time to socialize. But, we are having friends over for dinner every few weeks, as a way to keep ourselves a bit social. And if people are willing to come see us, then we don’t have to mess up the toddler’s bedtime, and right now, that structure is fairly important to us. So thankfully we have some friends who are willing to visit us.

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