Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day expectations

I am really struggling with the side of me that envisions things going "a certain way" and then feels disappointed when things don't go that way. I find that I waste a lot of energy being upset over dumb crap. Can I get an Amen? And let me just warn you in advance, this post is going to be all over the place because I am processing many, many facets of my life this week.

For example, Father's Day.... I think I expected a living version of a Hallmark card to unfold within my family that day. I pictured us playing catch outside, flying kites, fishing, etc. Instead, Nick worked until 2pm and I went to church with the girls and picked up Taco Bell for lunch. (barf) When he got home from work, tired and exhausted, he said the only thing he wanted to do was lay on the couch and watch the U S Open. This is where I began to grit my teeth and stew. The Father's Day sermon was sooo good, soo moving and I was upset that he didn't get the chance to hear it because of work. Then I got worried that he may or may not have been convicted by the message the way I was. And then I questioned his priorities because he was at work instead of church with his family on FATHER'S DAY! So I started to stew; I think I said that already.

When I stew my jaws clench and my eyes smart. I imagine incredibly clever remarks that I am going to say to him that will make him feel the way I want him to feel. I get crafty, and sneaky, and snarky all in my head. Then I breathe and acknowledge my crazy, grab the keys and say, "I'm going to get gas in my car." I run through the list of "my people" that I call when I become a crazy person and decided who to call. Luckily she was free. She answered and listened to me cry-talk without interrupting. I am ever so grateful for that nonjudgmental, honest, listening friend who answered the phone and yelled at her kids so she could be there for me!

And we talked that girl talk. Not the normal, stereo-typical girl talk. The new girl talk - the talk that says that nobody has their shit together, nobody is what their FB profile suggests, forgive yourself, forgive him, offer him grace, breathe, it will all work out.

When I got home he was playing UNO with the girls, ready for our family peach picking, and then played Memory before bedtime.

Of course I made a comment or two that day. I sure as hell am not the perfect wife. I am understanding and(but) I do expect a lot out of him. Is that so bad? We talked about it, which is why I love him so much, and I was able to get all my stew off my chest in a nice way. He listened. He is a good man.

In church my friend looked at me, teary-eyed, and said, "Are you missing your dad today?" I honestly hadn't thought about my own father one bit. And that realization made me a little sad. But I never let a friend cry alone, so I just nodded my head and teared up along with her. I wasn't thinking about my lack of a father because I didn't feel that way growing up. I knew there was a void but I didn't dwell on it. I think my mom worked so hard to fill it and I just focused on her love. But the more I thought on it, I realized that that may be why I expect so much out of Nick. I want him to be the father I never had. Not for me in a creepy way, but for our girls. I want them to hold him in the highest regard. I want all boyfriends to be measured against Daddy. I want them to have special memories and date nights. I want them to know in their hearts that they are loved unconditionally by their father. That's it. All that.

And my friend was right -  it all worked out. It will.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


One of the many lessons I learned from Mrs. Mabry is that "the only thing that stays the same is that everything changes." That seems to be the case with education, mothering, and life in general.  And lately, as I've had a challenging first few days of summer, I find comfort in the fact that each stage has it's joys and hardships that should be embraced and then freed so that we can move to the next stage with grace.  I think it's the "holding on to" that can cause tension and unhappiness.  

So tonight I decided to load the girls up and take advantage of the incredible Larkspur that their Daddy planted "just for them!" If you haven't driven through Squire Creek in the past few weeks you should! It is truly lovely and makes for a great photo op!

I feel like these photos reveal so much about my girls and where they are in their lives. I really don't even need to add captions because the speak volumes. Each of my girls are special, lively, unique, and ever changing.

 Harper is my beautiful, free-spirited, know it all 2nd grader....

I die... lovely

 And Baylor is my oh so precious, quirky, sweet spirited, could charm the stinger off a bee 4 year old...

 and sometimes she gets frustrated with sister...
 But she is learning to take her own strides behind that shy smile...

And then there is Josephine Joy... my precious!

Enjoy wherever you are! Bloom!

The many faces of Baylor Kate:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mothering and all my plans

I had big plans for this "year off!"

I was going to get my children's book published. I was going to finish one of the three I have in draft mode.  I was going to blog regularly, take lots of pictures, get in really great shape, complete some Pinterest projects and mentor young ladies from college life.

Yeah, that didn't all happen.

But I did move, unpack, change diapers, shuttle girls, take pictures and savor my Mama moments with Harper, Baylor and Josie Joy. It's been fun. It is fun!

And then, with a phone call from a friend in the teaching community, I find myself questioning my role and ask myself, "Am I doing enough?" and, "Should I be working more?" Not that I don't work now. I do! But the allure of a paying job with benefits caught my eye and caused me to go into that confusing place that sings of: Am I doing the right thing? Is this a sign? What is God trying to tell me? Can I get everyone ready in the mornings? Will the kids be ok? Can I handle all of that? 

But the most important question for me is this one: Am I ready to give all "this" up? "This" being early morning talks with Harper, movies and cuddles with Baylor, and watching Josie morph weekly into her own little person.  Do I want to go back to work? or Did it just feel cool to be wanted? It really got me thinking about the decisions I make and why I make them.

It's a hard place to be because being a stay at home mom does require discipline. The pennies have to be counted and the reality of need versus want comes like a hard slap in the face. Stuff gets cut out but if I'm honest, I don't miss it. It is just stuff. (I'm kinda lying, I miss regular pedicures) And maybe because Josie is my last baby I want to savor the runny noses and tantrums and giggles and sleepy faces. I don't want to be frustrated when my girls get sick and I have to find someone else to take care of them. I don't want to miss the field trips and school programs. I like having the energy to read to them at night and fix healthy meals. I like being available if Nick needs me to run an errand.

I regularly struggle with superman syndrome - trying to do it all and do it all well.  Since Harper got sick I've lightened up on myself. Yeah, I can do it all. But, I don't have to get it all done right now. In my life, finding that balance is really what matters and then carefully taking each step so that I don't crash and burn. I've had to learn to say no to some great opportunities so that I can say yes to the ones that truly matter.

Even on days like this....

In the grand scheme of things the time I have at home with the girls is fleeting.  And so important. I can always go back to work. I can teach for twenty or thirty more years....after I raise my girls. And the decisions that work for me may not work for others. Even I few years ago I knew that it was vital for my mental health to rejoin the workforce. That is what lead me to Dubach and the five incredible years I experienced there. I had two babies while teaching at that school and lived in three different houses. I am ready to feel planted. Ready for my girls to get rooted and have memories of home.

The books, the exercise, the meals....it is also all just stuff. A friend once told me, "All that matters is the will of God and the souls of man." I've been blessed with three to look after and I can only hope I'm good at my job!