I am a 44 year old (young? I certainly don't always feel like an adult) wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend. I've been married to my Hot Potato for 22 years. We got engaged three months after our first date and got married six months after that (no, I wasn't pregnant). We have five children ages 22, 21, 18, 16, and 14 going on 40. (Our oldest daughter was adopted as an adult...I didn't lie about not being pregnant when we got married.) I work for our local school system as a computer tech, but know next to nothing about computers. I'm also the children's director for the church we attend, but I do know a lot about kids. Our oldest daughter lives in Philadelphia with her biological father. The next two kids are in college and the last two are still at home attending high school. My time is taken up by my man, my kids, their band and soccer commitments, my jobs, my church, and having fun with friends.
We live in the basement of my in-laws' home (hence the Stokes of the Basement). In 2003 my husband felt the call to go into full-time Christian ministry and became the youth minister of a small church. We sold our home and most of our big stuff to pay off bills and moved into the Basement so that we could live off of my husband's new salary (and mine as I went from being a stay-at-home mom to a work-outside-the-home mom).
I am unfortunately a fairly negative person, but for being so glass-half-empty, I sure do find a lot of amusement in life. My kids all know that the best way to get me out of snappy mood is to get me laughing.
I was diagnosed in spring 2008 with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which basically means that my body thinks my thyroid hormones are bad and develops more thyroid antibodies to attack and destroy my thyroid hormone. I take a little pill every day and see my endocrinologist periodically to check my levels. When my levels are working for me, I'm good, when they aren't I get fatigued, achy, have ridiculous brain fog, depression and moodiness. My hair also falls out and my skin gets badly dried out.
My husband and I are processing what's happened to our family recently. Our oldest daughter has decided to live with her biological father. While we desperately wanted her to have a relationship with him, we certainly didn't expect it to mean that she removed herself totally from our lives. It's been an intense life-lesson for all of us and we are still working through the hurt, the accusations, and the feelings of betrayal.
But through all the pain and trials, I know that I am blessed beyond belief. I take comfort in that and in knowing that through the good and bad, the up and down, my God is in control. I can trust in that, cling to that, and know that love conquers in the end. I may not know what tomorrow brings, but I know Who holds the future!