There’s a saying that goes something like your children are your hearts beating outside of your body.
What a very simple way of saying something so very complex and yet so absolutely true.
I know I’ve been absent from my blog for almost 2 months now. It’s taken me a long time to come to the place I am now regarding social media and blogging…blog/Tweet/Facebook/Instagram when I want and when I don’t? Don’t. It sounds simple and yet it was VERY hard for me to get here because so many of my friendships have been made online. Yes, most of my “online” friendships have been taken offline to meet ups or even vacations together but the fact remained that I wouldn’t have these friends if I hadn’t been online a lot. So, being in the place I’m in now is a huge milestone for me.
I was struck with inspiration to write this post at like 11 pm last night and really, I should have written it then but I waited until today so it’s probably not going to come out as well or as passionately as it would have last night but I’m going to try anyway.
It started much like how I’m sitting now…with a cup of coffee. I made myself coffee late last night after the kids were in bed and The Man was still at work. The TV was on the background but I wasn’t watching it. Instead I was staring across the room at the couch. There were a few toys piled up on it and my usual response would be to make a mental note to nag the kids about it the next day because we have a new rule that the toys have to stay upstairs now. Instead? I smiled. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled at a mess of toys in my 10 years of being a mama.
I had a feeling of relief. It came out of nowhere. For some reason I instantly thought of the grief friends of mine have faced in their loved ones dying way too early in life. I pictured moms and dads who would give anything to stare at a mess of toys just one more time. I thought of kids who weren’t blessed with piles of toys because they live in poverty. I thought of parents who were on their death beds and memorized messes of toys because they knew their time was short on Earth and they wanted to remember every little thing. I’m pretty sentimental and emotional and yet most days these things don’t strike me…especially not randomly at 11 at night.
After I thought of those things I thought of my girls upstairs sleeping. Two perfect, beautiful girls lost in dream land lying side by side in the same bed. I was so overcome with love and appreciation right then. I am so glad that my girls get along so well together. I am so grateful that Hannah, 10 years old and 6 years older than Livie, is so good to her and includes her instead of excludes her. I am so grateful that I have two girls with this incredible bond that will surely last a lifetime. I am so grateful that the dreams I had for my family life have come true in some way or another. I thought of The Man and how his latest text said he would be home soon and how grateful I was that he is so dedicated to us…his girls…his 3 women as he says.
Hannah told me that my sister told her she’s glad she’s having a baby boy in June because she’ll be the only girl in the house still. I could tell she was looking for me to say something wise about that considering that none of us were the only girl in this house. I told her “Well, that’s nice for her and I’m sure a lot of moms say that when they aren’t blessed with daughters because they don’t know what it’s like to have a daughter. And that’s okay. I’ve not been blessed with a son so I don’t know any different but you know what? I’m glad I’m not the only girl in the house. I never wanted to be and never will want to be.” She smiled after that and I smiled too.
The days of painting their nails and Hallmark movie marathons are just beginning. The tender side of The Man I see when he fathers his baby girls is something I wouldn’t trade for anything.
God gives us what He wants us to have and He wanted me to have girls just as much as I wanted them.
They are my heart beating outside of my body.
There will still be days of nagging. I will still lose my patience. They will still tell me they’re mad at me and slam their doors. I will still want to run away for a few hours…or days. These girls challenge me and inspire me at the same time.
So the pile of toys that I stared at last night that usually would make me crazy? It’s still there…and I’m still smiling.
Today Hannah came downstairs with her iPad while Face Timing her friend. With a smile on her face, she said “Mom. Madison wants me to spend the night at her house. She wants you to Face Time with her step dad so y’all can meet and I can go over there.”
This is not the first time she’s bombarded me with a sneak attack Face Time moment except the other times it was just to have me say hi to her friends. I was annoyed those times but I let it go. Today I did not.
I told her I was busy and to hang up. Once she did, I lost it. I yelled at her and told her it’s inappropriate to “meet” parents on Face Time and I sure as heck wouldn’t talk to a parent for 2 minutes on Face Time and just let her spend the night. I also reminded her that it’s rude to just surprise me with Face Timing anyone, parent or a friend. I also told her that it’s rude for her friends to put their parents on the spot as well. I ended it with if she ever did it again, I’d take her iPad.
She was mad. I was mad. And it ended with her stomping up the stairs.
If your kids have Face Time, have this discussion before this happens to you and you’re the one sounding like an asshole while I’m sure the other parent is somewhere close by and can hear you say you’re too busy.
I feel like I suck at this mom thing about 32% of the time. It’s definitely a learning journey and Hannah, God bless her, gets to be the one I figure things out with.
And now for some happier moments from the past couple weeks. It rained for like a week straight but then for the past week? Sunshine. 70 degree weather. No humidity. It’s been amazing and we have been outside a lot.
You got it dude
Coffee on said patio
Foggy drives on country roads
Smiles because it’s nice out. And also the only pics I’ve taken on my DSLR in weeks because I suck at New Years goals but also because Instagram is an addicting whore and I take all my pictures on my phone so I can post them there.
May this weekend be filled with smiles and less drama around here.
Wanna know the last time I got excited to throw my kids a birthday party?
When Livie turned 1. And before that? When Hannah turned 1.
My reason for saying this is because until Hannah turned 9, for her 8 other birthdays, I threw big parties. I STRESSED OUT. I invited all of our family and some friends. I spent money (that I currently don’t have) on decorations and a cake, presents, food…etc. Last year I asked Hannah if she wanted a party or if she’d rather us give her a bigger present and have a little party with just the immediate family. She opted for the bigger gift and I’ll tell you what- that’s the way to go.
I can remember about 3 of my birthday parties ever. Sure, there are pictures and I knew I had fun but to actually remember it?
This year Hannah opted for a hotel night with her cousins instead of a party and I guarantee you she’ll remember that way more than one of her other parties.
Livie’s birthday is next month. Her first and second birthday we did parties at home with just a few people. Last year for her third birthday we invited A LOT of people- all of our family AND friends, got a bouncy house plus all the food and decorations. Want to know the difference between this
About $200. Why?
The first picture was just the close family with no extras with just a cake and a few decorations. Last year I went all out. What I realized today? Both parties were fun. Both were memorable….FOR US. She’ll never remember either one.
I’ve been mulling over what I wanted to do for her birthday next month. I can’t get away with no party like I can for Hannah yet BUT do we really need a bouncy house? Do we really need balloons and decorations?
No. We don’t.
So here’s what I decided and after getting the opinion of a few close family members I knew I made the right choice: have the immediate family over, get a cake, skip the decorations, skip the bouncy house, make an easy and cheap spaghetti dinner, and call it a day.
She’ll still have candles to blow out. She’ll still have presents to open. She’ll still smile and know it’s her special day. And us? We’ll have saved a LOT of cash.
Kids birthday parties are expensive to throw. And since I suck at being thrifty and pinterest is a nightmare to me, throwing the party like this is all I came up with and also all I’m willing to do. Life keeps getting more expensive, I keep getting overwhelmed, so this year I decided to make some changes but still give our baby a good party.
Related: can you believe she’s going to be 4 next month? Oh. Em. Gee.
Also, a couple quick random pics because I still am so grateful they play together even if they’re 6 years apart.
Here’s to minimizing stress and expenses in 2013!
I will continue to enjoy my life with my girls and really take the time to enjoy things like Christmas mornings just a little bit more…
and continue to appreciate how amazing my in laws have been in adopting me as their own since my family is so far away…
and also to continue to appreciate how amazing The Man is to me and how blessed we are to have brought in our 15th new year together…
and to continue to love how gorgeous it is here even in the winter.
There will be ups and downs this year just like there have been every year before this one. It’s how we handle the downs to make it back to the ups that keep us going.
Goals for this year to keep the ups coming:
Go to church more
Stand up for myself more
Take more pictures on my actual camera
Read and comment on the blogs of those of you who read and comment here
Here’s to a fabulous 2013.
10 years. That’s how long my baby has been on this earth. 10 years ago I gave birth to the child who made me a mother.
The daughter I dreamed about since I was a little girl. The daughter I imagined each time I played house. The daughter I prayed I’d have one day while I imagined my perfect future life.
And then she came.
After a long 9 months of waiting, she came. Hannah was born.
My perfect baby with gorgeous, thick hair and big blue eyes with long eye lashes.
Even as time went on and she grew up, through sickness and stubborness…
through easy times and hard times…
through becoming a big sister…she has been my baby still.
It felt different when she turned 5 and now it’s different again at 10. Milestone birthdays are always extra special to me. They’re a bigger deal for some reason. Her turning 10 is the first year of double digits. I remember turning 10 very clearly as I’m sure she will too. We’re making a big deal this year over her birthday. She got an iPad mini. She’s going to stay at a hotel with us girls in the family and her friend. We’re going to spoil her rotten because you only enter preteen life once and it IS a big deal.
Happy birthday to my baby who will always be my baby whether she’s 10, or 100.
I said in the last post that I was going to hop on the Christmas train down a red, gold, and green rainbow.
You know what? Not only did I get on the train but I rode up front with the conductor. That’s how much I’m embracing Christmas right now.
2 things contributed to this:
1. I had to have a serious pep talk with myself. I had it before I hit publish on the last post but I guess now is the appropriate time to elaborate on said talk with myself. I told myself that just because I’m going to let go of things and move on with the season didn’t mean that the things and/or people that were holding me back were going to disappear. I was smart in telling myself this because none of it disappeared. It pretty much goes on what I said in the last post- you CHOOSE happiness therefore you CHOOSE to let those people or things, whether they’re annoying you or you miss them and can’t be with them this time of year, be. Let it be. 3 simple words. VERY hard to do. The things that were bugging me a few days ago? Still bug me. I’m just choosing to not let them ruin my day anymore. The people I missed 3 days ago? I still miss them so much it hurts. I just can’t let that keep me from moving on with my life. It’s okay to be annoyed. It’s okay to miss people. It’s not okay to stand in the shower crying for 20 minutes while your family waits on you for the bed time routine. (Guilty as charged). Will I be annoyed tomorrow by people? Probably. Will I miss the people I miss tomorrow? Definitely. Am I going to let it wreck my day? No way in hell.
2. It’s cold. I know I complained that it was too warm for December. It’s like Mother Nature heard my bitching because on Monday she blew in with the hand of God behind her. The temperature dropped from mid 80s to mid 50s. We said we were going to wait until it got cold to see Christmas lights because it just wasn’t the same sipping on hot chocolate when it’s 75 and breezy. So Monday, while the temps were well on their way to the mid 30s for a low we went to see the lights. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited in my life to wear a scarf and sip on hot chocolate with gloves on.
The bigger kids were loving it. Livie? Not so much. She had Daddy hold her most the time and said she was cold a few times. I’m definitely raising Texas babies.
So here’s the thing: we plan to do this together as a family every year. The Man and I pack up the kids, but so do his cousins and his mom and step dad go. It’s a big to do. I realize that the kids don’t see the big picture like I do and that’s okay. They don’t have to because I see it all the time. Tradition is a big deal in every family and this is one for us. The kids may bicker along the walk. Noses run. Cocoa gets spilled. The bigger picture? We’re all together and it’s Christmas.
My Christmas is back to being holly and jolly. Mission accomplished.
Friday evening I went to bed still aggravated. Mostly, though, I was aggravated at myself. One thing I’ve said plenty on this blog in regards to rainbows and unicorns and silver linings is that we CHOOSE those things. Happiness IS a choice. I said a few posts ago that I need to be content where I am in life, especially when it comes to situations I can’t control…to just BE where I am, so to speak. So before I went to bed I told The Man that I was done. I was going to wake up happy and not let the little things put a damper on OUR Christmas.
See, that’s why I was pissed at myself. If my attitude only affected me that’d be one thing. But I have a husband and babies to be around a lot during Christmas and usually I’m The Queen of Christmas. And although they haven’t told me, I know they rely on me to bring the Christmas spirit around here. They all follow my lead as the matriarch of this house and when Mama is all doom and gloom it wears off on the people who have to live with her.
I can’t live with myself knowing that. So, I adjusted my attitude. There’s a first time for everything and this is the first time I’ve ever needed a Christmas time attitude adjustment but I did.
Last night we had our annual extended family Christmas get together and I lectured Hannah later on because while she opened gifts, whichever ones happened to be clothes and NOT toys, she kind of huffed and tossed them aside. I told her that’s rude and sometimes we have to fake it til we make it, meaning smile and pretend you love the jacket or sweater someone bought you even if you don’t. After I told her that it dawned on me that maybe I needed to fake it til I made it this Christmas and in time I wouldn’t be faking as much as just truly being myself–The Queen of Christmas.
Today the Christmas music has been playing all day. We went to church for the first time in weeks. I edited pictures from last night and smiled.
Y’all, the transformation has begun. Watch out. The Queen is back on her throne.
Things that contributed to the change:
The Man- A rare occurrence on this blog and anywhere online really is a picture of The Man. He’s been doing less undercover type stuff at work so I’ve been more liberal with posting pics and talking about him. It’s hard to kind of phase him out of my life online because A LOT of my life IS online and he’s a gigantic part of my life. Filtering him out is hard to do and sometimes I break the rules so to speak and post a picture every now and then.
He’s been putting up with my attitude problem for weeks now and I gotta hand it to him- he’s handled it a lot better than I would if the situation was reversed. I would say I owe him big time but marriage is the epitome of ebb and flow so I’m going to call it even for whenever he needs an attitude adjustment in the future.
Family- I’m blessed with 2 awesome sister in laws and a fantastic mother in law. To have in laws that are your best friends is truly something to be cherished and I try to never take that for granted especially since my family is back in Ohio and they’re all I have down here.
So grateful my girls are growing up with lots of cousins like I did. Seeing them so excited last night about presents and playing with their toys together made my heart full…something I haven’t felt in weeks.
An impromtu night out sealed the deal for me. My mother in law decided last minute that the girls could stay the night and The Man and I went out with his sister and cousin. If I could sum up the night in one word, it’d be “fun”…or maybe “laughter.”
And lastly today, I caught her sneaking around things she’s not supposed to be touching again.
But when she was caught? She pulled the I’m-too-cute-to-be-upset-with-me card.
The cheer is back. I’m planning on riding a Christmas train down the red, gold, and green rainbow of Christmas joy this week.