24
Aug
15

Hold on! The carousel never slows down…

Frequently I have to catch by breath and stop to ask myself when did my kids get to be so grown and great and amazing and beautiful and capable and…and…and… Time flies faster each year, that carousel is spinning at light year speeds and it isn’t going to slow down let alone stop. My first baby started high school today… she was a bundle of excitement and nerves. It is a large school and she is like me, needs to know where she is going and how to get there before she can feel more comfortable.

Today as I drove her to school I looked over and said something like yeah, high school… I honestly do not remember because what she said next had arms that reached into my chest and grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go. I felt the sudden jolt of reality and pain and realized a little bit more of this parenting thing means they leave and while we know that deep down and while we may dream of plans when kids are grown etc… I think we quickly forget how fast it goes and for those of us that haven’t released a child from the nest it may as well be like and imaginary friend… we can’t see it, we don’t know what it feels like, it seems far away…

She blurted out”4 more years before I am gone mom!”

WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT? She has no idea what that did to me. Even if I told her she couldn’t comprehend that. Why did she feel she needed to say it? I mean she is 14, she knows nothing about what a parent feels, how much we love with our whole beings, how deeply we hurt when they hurt and how hard it is to not break down with each passing phase and I doubt she can understand the sorrow and joy we can feel at the same time, the kind that makes us sob so loudly, ugly and we fear we will never stop. All she knows is the excitement growing up can bring, more freedoms, driving, graduating, working (cuz work seems cool and new and fun..HAHA). But OUCH! That stung, it hit me in the gut, yet, I am so excited for all my kids and each new year.  I am loving who they all are becoming and if that carousel of life wasn’t spinning I wouldn’t know them like I do.

So today marks 12th year (preschool included) I have cried on the first day of school. Each year it seems to happen later in the day than it use to but I am not sure I will ever have a first day of school that is tear free and I have 10 more to go.

So thankful for friends to spend the mornings with after school drop off and quiet days it brings; it is good for my soul and in turn good for my family. I am very eager to hear from all 4 of them about their first day. They were all excited and ready for a new year. So very, very thankful the amazing and loving friends they all have new and old to enter this new school year with.

P.S. love my paint touches up I need to do? Gees, there once was a time I would have painted that before I took the picture…

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04
Aug
15

My Heart is just too big….the love is just so much!

love parentY’ALL! I JUST CANNOT….my heart is too big, too emotional, too real, too mushy, too selfish and selfless and too much of everything to continue to parent without being a complete basket case who needs her Costco sized box of tissues in one hand and her mascara in the other hand AT ALL TIMES.

Parenting is hard… anyone who is a parent knows that. Anyone who is not has heard it. But let me tell ya it’s not hard because they are needy, whiny, clingy, selfish, loud, cranky, poopy, don’t let us sleep or pee in peace, it’s not due to the cost of raising a child or the battles of siblings or fending off suitors or bad friends blah, blah, blah….

Yes, those things are not easy. I have had to deal with all of them and more and many days wish we lived in a bubble of only the people J and I approved of because life was hard and I couldn’t see anything but the unpleasant not so fun stuff from having babies and raising kids.

But this, this is what is hard.

Watching them grow, because they grow at light speed.

Talking to them and seeing them become the person we envisioned when they were clingy and poopy and all we wanted was a night away from them.

Watching them live out what you have taught them… all those things you never thought they heard or cared about, they do them and they do it beautifully, flawlessly and you sit there with tears in your eyes in awe of them with relief knowing they heard you, they got it… and all you can do in that moment is weep and sit there in silence while your throat closes and hear pounds and eventually you have to tell yourself to breathe.

Realizing despite how emotional you thought you were or were not, there comes a day when you cannot stop the tears, you cannot stop the crying. Crying for joy that despite all the faults, and fights and sleepless nights and bad words you said or your child said, despite the criticism from yourself, your spouse, your family, your friends, society, your child still loves you and has become the person you wished and more… they still say I love you mom and they will lay their head in your lap at age 14, of their own will and want to watch their favorite kids shows with you.

Realizing each year that it is one less year they will live at home.

Having so much fun, being chill, hanging out with them and their friends and doing fun things and having great family time in the summer and then having to give them back to whatever education system you choose that cuts into all that carefree, fun, lazy, amazing time you spent with them.

Life is hard. Living life of work, training, sports play, school, vacations, holidays, cleaning and so on takes time away that I know one day I will wish we did less of, even if we barely did it, because it was time we weren’t doing what we wanted to with one another.

It’s hard to let them go, not because you want to keep them, be a helicopter parent or make their choices for them… it is hard because you love them so, you love being with them and you love who you are with them and you just don’t want to miss a minute of their life because it is just so good.

The good is hard because it hits you in the gut, it pulls at your heart-strings, it smashes into your soul, and it stops you in your tracks and prevents you from taking a breath. Thinking on any negative or making a list of improvements and criticism would be easy, it’s easy because it doesn’t touch your soul, and it is easier to be negative than to be overcome, flooded and immersed in all the good, positive and amazing things that come from being a parent.

Listen, I hate to cry. I do not like to get a stuffy nose, wipe my tears, and make awful noises that seem to only be made when crying. But let me tell you, embrace the cry. You cannot run from it… it will find you and you will have days it doesn’t stop. It may be like a leaky faucet and turn on and off all day but it is coming. It is coming because there is so much joy in parenting. It is coming because with each new phase with each new year you will see how things in the past were not as big of a deal and you made them out to be and you will mourn the time you lost because you thought it was a big deal. That will make you cry because you can now see with better vision how you should have spent your time, how you should’ve reacted and engaged. But, please DO NOT get stuck there. That is in the past and you cannot do anything about that. All you can do is this moment, now, be the parent you want to be, love like you want to love, NO, love like they need you to love and make that choice each moment of everyday over and over again… time is fleeting, time is precious. Even though they will grow and move on and leave home make them not want to, make them always want to come home, make them the person who loves their children like you loved yours and more. Give them your heart that is all too big for all this parenting stuff so they have a heart that is too big for their kids.

Parenting is not easy it is hard and it is hard for many reasons but keep going, keep loving, keep crying, it Is all a beautiful, horrible mess that you will not ever regret, EVER!

26
Jul
15

Love Notes from Mercie

mercies notes 1This summer we have been redecorating and switching rooms upstairs. This endeavor has led the kids to go through and clean out, throw out, organize all their possessions. I sat with them most of the time while they purged and prepared to move rooms. In doing so I came across quite a few gems from Mercies notebook.

The pictures and writings say it all and say everything my heart wants for my kids. Love for Jesus, others and confidence and security in who they are.

mercies notes 3

mercies notes

mercies notes 2

04
Jun
15

In a blink of an eye

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Being the oldest it is no surprise to learn Taylor takes charge, likes to lead, thinks she is a second mama sometimes and is very responsible. Those characteristics have always made be remind myself that she is still young, especially now that she towers over me barefooted. Of course, she doesn’t like to think so. But what teenager enjoys being told they are too young?

Have you ever been somewhere and seen a girl that you just assumed she was 16 years old or older than that but then learn she is only 13 or 14? I don’t know about you but I have and then my jaw hits the floor and I think wow, she does not look that young. But, here lately I have to remind myself that Taylor is not even 14 yet.

Shopping with her is a chore, not because it is unpleasant but because it requires a lot of shopping. With her height and shoe size it is not easy to find 10 ½ sized shoes that are not high heels. Swimsuits are not made for the tall, thin framed, young girl that as a mom I would call appropriate. We spend time going from store to store or settling for what works. She is a good sport and understands things so it’s not a fight to have her agree with what we find that is appropriate vs. her preference. I am just not wanting to nor am I ready to have her look older than she is, however, this past week that slapped me in the face.

She starts high school in the fall. Her entire 8th grade class had a semi-formal dance last week. As I took pictures of her my heart stopped, I felt I couldn’t breathe. What I saw when I looked through the camera lens was a grown, gorgeous, young lady and I wasn’t sure where she came from. I mean it felt like in a blink of an eye she went form little girl to young lady. I don’t feel a day older than the day I gave birth to her so how can this be? Where have almost 14 years gone? If I don’t feel older, or drained from parenthood, how can she be so tall, beautiful, smart and ready to take on whatever comes her way?

Saying we are blessed to have her feels like an understatement. I love being her mama, I love watching her grow and become who God created, I cannot wait to see all the other changes and areas she will blossom in BUT, I want it to stop or at least slow down. The carousel of life seems to be spinning faster and faster.

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02
Jun
15

Game Night

IMG_6806When we are not having a Friday movie night with dinner we pull out the games. A few weeks ago we taught all the kids how to play Farkle. As I sat there looking on my wonderful family while we played I couldn’t help but chuckle about how the are between turns. So I had to capture the moments. One day I might need the evidence for a future spouse to help him or her understand that despite appearance of not having dedicated focus they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than playing a fun game with those they love.

 

 

 

Jason and Taylor are doing math, I think. It could have been science. I probably don’t remember exactly because it involved letters and numbers and things I never found interesting or did well.

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Hannah always has a writing utensil and paper nearby. So she was busy making art. Mercie, who adores her older sisters, followed Hannah’s lead.

IMG_6805 IMG_6804

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poor Joshua was very focused on the game. He had yet to get on the scoreboard and was sulking a bit. But each turn he was determined to score high. He eventually did and all was right with the world.

I love how each are different. It was amusing because growing up I do not remember us multi-tasking while playing a game. But then again I am competitive so I was unable to truly let my focus go elsewhere.

07
Apr
15

Can someone just stand up?

kindCan’t someone just be a bit braver than the rest and show how strong they are because they are kind?

I am learning that teaching my children how to do life is the easy part. The hard part is letting go, allowing them to do life, learn the lessons, experience the pain, hardships and the joys and excitement, (although the joy and excitement part really isn’t that hard).

I feel confident with the conversations, examples and advice we have talked with our children about. I am glad Jason and I can be open, honest and real with them. I believe we have a healthy and open line of communication with our children that we all respect.

However, there is no amount of advice I can give, hugs I can wrap them in, or hours of conversation and hanging out with them that will make some situations they deal with better, or go away. As a mom, I want to make it better but also, as a mom I have to equip them with how to make it better and let them learn and have the experience so when they are on their own they are confident in the abilities to deal with any situation.

But for crying out loud can someone just offer a hand or stand up and say “the rest of you are acting like stupid, selfish, self-centered, hateful people and I won’t stand for it any longer; don’t you see not making a stand, not calling it out, not showing the right kind of care is no better than those being hurtful? At least they have the guts to be ugly and rude for the world to see. The rest of y’all are cowards.”

One of my beauties is going through friendships changing and it has not been a walk in the park. There have been really bad days and there have been good days and peace with some things. But it hurts to hear that when she walked away because the silence and rudeness given to her was deafening no one cared she walked away. If some cared why did they never seek her out, ask if everything was ok, offer to sit with her, send her a note?

Letting the situation be what it is, is not easy. I want to march up in there and call some of them out because I know they know better and I know they know their actions would not sit well with their parents. But trying to resurrect a dead horse never goes well and I have to let my children learn that letting go is ok, moving on can be good and is better than staying where you are not made to feel wanted.

Some ask why I don’t do more. If we have thought about homeschooling or a different school etc…etc… sure those thoughts may cross our mind but we do not feel the situation calls for such action. Feelings are being hurt because people change or find new friends. Swooping in to change scenery, or prevent them from learning how to let go, move on, make new friends won’t serve them later in life. Trust me if there was anything going on that we thought was a dangerous situation our actions would be different. But for now, daily conversations on what happens during the day, how they feel, what they think about the situation, what more could they do and so on is our chosen course of action. We won’t raise them in a bubble (no matter how much I want to some days) our job is to provide the tools and self-confidence that they need to learn to manage the many different things they may encounter. They have to leave home one day, I want to know they are ready, but to know that I have to see it in action while they are still in our care and protection. No one will fight harder and throw the gauntlet down faster and swoop in to take them away if things come to that more than I would. It is hard for me now because I want to do that today, I wanted to that yesterday, but what does that teach my kids? It says mom will come running when life gets uncomfortable and make it better and I won’t have to deal with things I don’t like.  That lesson will only impair them as adults.

24
Mar
15

For the love of cake!

I love to celebrate all things. I especially love birthdays. They are fun and I get to shower all kinds of love on my family and friends. And the best part is CAKE, unless I am throwing a surprise party!!!

cake and coffeeIn our house, on birthdays, cake is what’s for breakfast. Jason pointed out to me on Saturday, Joshua’s 9th birthday, while I was eating my breakfast cake and after I cut all 4 kids cake for breakfast, that it use to only be that the birthday person gets cake but now it seems cake is for everyone. I am not exactly what all I said to him but I am sure it was close to “birthdays happen once a year and shut up, I need cake and coffee” or “ I don’t  work out 6 days a week to not get cake when I want it and not feel guilty.” Just didn’t get all that negative energy from him ;)

In reality birthdays happen in our house 6 times a year and that is only if I am not hosting a loved one’s party because I will make cake for that too.

This year Joshua wanted white cupcakes but he knows his friends like chocolate so he asked me to make both. I, of course and without hesitation, said yes. I mean when the birthday boy is thinking of others one has to do what he asks. Rain cancelled our birthday weekend plans to go camping so we had a couple of families over for birthday dinner and sleep over to celebrate Joshua turning 9. Some are allergic to things I am not allergic to so I, of course and without hesitation, had to make safe cupcakes for them as well. So at the end of it all we have 36 cupcakes and one 2 layer cake and only 14 people (the 6 of us included in that number) for birthday dinner, which means lots and lots of cake leftover.

I can bake pies, pop-tarts, make all kinds of ice cream, cookies, breads, brownies and not touch them. But my goodness if there is cake around I want to eat it all the time. I have so much cake in my house I love it. I just don’t love that I can’t eat it guilt free or not feel I have to do a second workout each time I eat cake. Despite me using healthier ingredients I still wish I could eat cake and be as carefree and have the high metabolism my kids do. Oh well, we have a little over 2 months till the next birthday.(Unless I make a cake for Easter) It’s not like I am eating cake every day.

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