I’m feeling encouraged this week to make a card to encourage a family or friend because of another amazing crafter, Jennifer McGuire. I think most people who are serious about cardmaking know who she is. Jennifer has launched a challenge with her new website/blog for the month of November and I know that this is inspiring a lot of crafters to spread love to others. Everyone can use more kindness in their lives – even if the smile lingers only a few seconds – those seconds are a change YOU made that they didn’t expect.
Please visit her blog and view the video of her story and why she launched this wonderful challenge and everlasting act to encourage others to share if you haven’t seen it yet. If you click on the image below, it will take you to her blog.
As I mentioned, this week’s challenge is to create something handmade for a family or friend. Sometimes, I think we forget that the people who need the most uplifting are the people who live right underneath our roof. My little family has been through a lot over the past few years with my husband pursuing a career in medicine. We knew it was going to be difficult when he started, but I don’t think anyone can truly grasp the hardships that come along with that process. My husband is forever a loyal father to his children and a wonderful husband to me. His new residency, which brought us back to the Kansas City area, is proving to be a challenge for us as it is physically and emotionally demanding. So I made this card for him using a Stampin’ Up! set that I’ve never used before, hoping it will encourage him and remind him of what a wonderful person is and has always been.
The stamping is really simple to I added some texture using the Marvy Snow Marker and heating to activate it for the cloud.
I didn’t make a video for this card because it is so simple…and I really just wanted to share the card and a bit of our story for you here.
I have been pretty down lately with his work schedule – because it also means I pick up a lot more responsibilities in a new home and with the kids. I am reminded of what it was like while he was in school and I was pregnant with two kids and was a single mom during the week. This went on for almost 4 years. When medical school was over, I knew that we would follow him wherever his residency would take him. In 15 month, we moved from KC (go ROYALS!) to Ohio, then back to KC again when he accepted a position at a local hospital. We jumped at the opportunity to return home to an area we love and missed. The kids get to see their cousins and family, attend great schools and we get to be a part of a great community. There was really no reason not to move back. We don’t regret it one bit. We love our home and we are happy. Except that we don’t get to see each other much anymore. He works at least 13 or 14 hours most days, doesn’t get enough sleep, and he’s hard on himself because he thinks he could be better at his job and he’s torn because he can’t spend more time with his family.
I miss my husband. I miss that we can’t have dinners together and I never know when he’s going to be off work. Sometimes he’ll hope to be done by 5 pm and he doesn’t get home until after 7. It isn’t so bad until you remember he’s been there 12 hours or more. When things get rough, I start to let resentment build and I feel bad for it. Like having to make phone calls to arrange for a fence to be put in or waiting in the car with the kids for him to get home so we can rush to a school event without delay. Everything comes to him as a surprise because he has no idea what’s going on…and most of the time, I forget to tell him because there’s so little time together before bed.
He’s really good about putting clean dishes away. I can’t find some things because he’s put them in a place I don’t normally put it. He doesn’t know because he’s not here to use the frying pan. I get mad, then I get sad. Then I cry. When he walks in the door…sometimes I’m stoic. I don’t want to talk about anything because I don’t want to cry or speak my frustrations knowing he’s had a long day.
People try to be encouraging and say that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that things will get easier. I don’t think it’s true. I think we learn to cope with it better as time goes on, but I don’t think it gets easier. The moment I became a medical students wife, I also signed on to be a medical resident’s wife and to be a doctor’s wife. He’s going miss half of everything that goes on with the kids. He knows this – and I know this. The world around us continues to spin and people continue to take but they don’t see how hard it is because they don’t ask or reach out. I don’t ask for help because I’m so used to handling it all on my own. I can’t blame anyone but myself for that.
Anyway…that is our story. When I read about this week’s #sharehandmadekindness challenge, I thought of my husband knowing he could really use some encouragement from me. Sometimes listening to him talk about his long day isn’t enough. He needs to hear that he’s doing great and that these experiences will make him a wonderful doctor in the future.
I hope you’ll visit Jennifer’s website and can be as touched and as encouraged by her to share your handmade kindness as well. Hopefully my next share for this month’s challenge won’t be as personal – because it doesn’t have to be! I just thought I would share so that readers can learn a bit more about my real life struggles. That’s all for now – go share some handmade kindness!