Friday, June 29, 2012

Letting Go

Yesterday was profound for me. I had held on to this lingering hope that I could keep part of my old life for just a little longer. A piece that wasn't that important, but I loved it just the same. As much as I know it was time to let go, and I'm ready for it, it still stung a little. Bittersweet, I guess. I didn't think it would hit me that hard.

But that's life. Moving on.

There's more exciting things out there for me. For my family. That mean more.

Taking a deep breath, and letting go.



So what's next? I feel like with the end of this chapter, a new one is ready to begin. So many thoughts and ideas just pouring out of me. It's a jumble, I'm a mess. I need perspective.

Just in time for our annual vacation. Stay-cation, really. It would be lovely to be that family with the three young kids that travels and goes on real vacations, but that's just not us. I do enjoy our stay-cation, though. 

Family, food, fun, fireworks. Lots of swimming. Lots of laughter. Just what I need to snap me out of this funk.



*Sigh* It feels good already.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A day in the life

Summer is in full swing and my time management has flown out the window.

We come and go as we please, spending hours in our pjs and staying up late.

I feel stretched and strained and carefree all at the same time.

We are getting in a groove. Slow but sure.

I question my abilities, how to spread myself and fulfill all their needs.

One night this week Bam woke up in the middle of the night sick. I brought him to my room, throw up bucket in hand. He wants me to hold him as he drifts off to sleep. Gray wakes up and needs to be nursed. Who gets to be first? How do I decide?

I don't.

All three of us pile into my bed, I cuddle Bam in one arm, and scoop Gray up to nurse in the other. I have to do some funky bending to make it work. I'm exhausted. And uncomfortable. But these babies are happy and content. I relax and let myself doze for a moment, smiling and full of so much love.

I'm not always super mom. But some nights, I'm pretty darn close.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Here We Are

Oh, life.

Tee is out of school now. Mornings are nice and slow again. Just the way I like it.

We've just been here, being and existing and it's nice.

I had a ridiculous headache that lasted just under three days. I'm finally feeling normal again. We might even venture out of the house this afternoon. To the park or just to the yard, whatever works.

My headache may have subsided, but my head still feels like it is about to explode. With ideas. With excitement. With SO. MUCH. STUFF.

I am trying to let things be and enjoy each moment and this summer, but I'm antsy and excited for the future. It's a fine line.

I've got an end goal. Now it's just working on the plan to get there.

I washed my kitchen counters this morning. Something I do often. But today? The counter was shining, and it keeps catching my eye. Such promise. Clean, shiny counters. Clean, shiny life.

Lunch time has rolled around. Dinner is already in the crockpot so the afternoon is all ours. Gray is waking from her nap. Is it Wednesday? Or Thursday? Just a few days into summer break and the days are already melting together.

The calm is here. And I welcome it.

Linking up (a tad late) with Just Write

Monday, June 11, 2012

Savory Summer

Summer in our house officially starts tomorrow afternoon. My little girl is just a few hours away from moving on to second grade!

In the fall, I'll have two little ones heading off to school.

I sound like a broken record lately. I keep repeating how unbelievable it is that they've grown so quickly.

But seriously...where has the time gone?

They have grown up so much and developed their own personalities, mannerisms, likes and dislikes. They are their own person these days. I feel like they should still be my little babies, relying on me for every aspect of their lives. Tee can pretty much take care of herself. She's even changed a diaper or two lately!

I'm just the one who makes sure their clothes are clean and there is food on the table. Though, frankly, they don't exactly need me for that, either. Bam loves doing laundry, and tries to shove me out of the way so he can do it by himself. And Tee would make dinner every night if I let her.

Again, what happened? Where are my babies? I'm trying to savor every second of Gray's babyness. She is three months old now. (WHAT?!?)

So yeah...even my baby is growing too fast!

This summer is going to be busy. Birthday parties and graduation parties. Trips to the library and to the park. Book reading activities and a folder of homework to keep the oldest busy (though she already started, and would have finished if we had let her!). Family barbecues and weddings. Fourth of July carnival and fireworks up north. Maybe even a night out for our wedding anniversary (now I'm getting carried away...). Bam starts a summer program next week to evaluate his needs for the upcoming school year. Playdates and pool parties and movie nights galore.

Savoring each moment is my motto for the summer. Each memory. Each of my babies as they grow more and more every single day.

Here's to a savory summer for everyone!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

10 Years

I graduated from high school 10 years a go today.

And now you all know how old I am. Or how young I am, however you want to spin it.

I knew this was the year. There has been talks of the reunion in November. I didn't think it was really a big deal.

Then today. Today marks the official day. There is so much of high school I wish I'd done differently. I was a terrible friend. That's something I still work on today. I was so glad to graduate and get away from my senior year.

But then what? In 10 years, I don't see what's changed. I'm still sick to my stomach, rehashing senior year over and over in my mind. What about college? 10 years later...still taking classes. Nothing to show for it.

I just envisioned so much more in my life, for my life, for my family. This wasn't what was supposed to happen.

I just can't let go.

I'd go back in a heartbeat, and do it all over again. But better. I would make so many different choices.

I know I need to let go. That's been a huge crutch in my life. I just hold on to everything. I hold on to the dreams dashed. I hold on to the friendships ruined. I hold on to the pain. I want to go back and fix it all rather than accept and move on and foster the new relationships in my life. Or make new ones. I can't fix it all.

I sound so ridiculous. I should not feel so sad and defeated.

I feel like I have nothing to show for it.

I'm trying to look outside of me, and see the good. Because it is there. I married a wonderful man who loves me and supports my craziness. I have three fabulous, beautiful children. I have trouble seeing much more than that, but that's still a pretty big thing.

It needs to be enough. It is enough. It's more than enough.

So baggage be gone. Take the motivation and make the next 10 mean even more.

Brushing that off my shoulder as we speak. Insert relief here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Early Morning

I woke up early and snuck into her room. It's rare that she sleeps later than me. She's such a light sleeper, if she hears my alarm, or hears someone in the bathroom, she pops out of bed to see what's happening.

But not today. Today she was still sleeping, so I tiptoed into her room and climbed into her bed, scooping her up in my arms. She nestled her head on my shoulder, and I felt her soft blonde hair against my cheek. I smiled, soaking in this moment, holding my precious baby who isn't so much of a baby these days.

She woke up, surprised but delighted to find me there. We used to cuddle like this every morning. These days the baby is up first and usually nursing by the time the others get out of bed. I've missed our moments.

We talked, like best friends, giggling about a joke she remembered from school, listening to her tell me what her plans were for the afternoon. There's always so much to do when you are six!

Then she had a great idea. She jumped out of bed, turned on her CD player (a Christmas gift that made her feel so mature!), and we danced to children's Christmas songs. (her CD collection isn't that large just yet!)

She is just so full of life. Every day, every moment, is full of dancing and music and fun. Her smile is contagious. She's sensitive and emotional, and feels every feeling so passionately. Nothing is small to her, every moment, every feeling, every experience is a big deal. She's witty, clever, and one of the funniest people I know.

She's also so kind and generous. She's worried about how other people feel. She's creative and really goes for her ideas and dreams, something I really admire in her. I would imagine these great projects as a kid, things I wanted to write, or make, or do. But they stopped there. Not with her. When she has an idea, she does it. Nothing holds her back.

She's incredible. And growing entirely too fast. We have already had six and a half years together. How does it go by so fast? How do I hold on to it just a little bit longer?

By moments like today. When we danced around her bedroom in our pajamas, with the early morning sunshine streaming through her window. Just the two of us. I don't think I'll ever forget it.

Linking up with Just Write

Monday, June 4, 2012

You Capture - Sky

I wasn't going to participate in this week's You Capture, because even though it's super easy to take a picture of the sky, I just hadn't had the time to do it! I thought about it earlier today, but the sky was just kind of blah.


The whole day had been kind of blah. It was one of those days where you know you are testy and cranky and shouldn't be yelling so much. I was trying to figure out how to overcome it.

And then it rained. The sun was still out, except for one dark cloud over our house. It was a few minutes after our usual bedtime, but I felt spontaneous. I told the kids to take their socks off and get outside! They were shocked! It was awesome watching them run around the yard in the rain. All of a sudden the rain picked back up and they ran into the house, and we sat by the windows watching. It stopped quickly, I nursed the baby to sleep and put her in bed, and out we went again. To enjoy the puddles and to enjoy the sky.








And it was good. The whole experience erased the negatives of the day. The kids had a blast, jumping in puddles, laughing, smiling, having such a great time!

So, thank you, Mother Nature. I owe you one.

Linking up with You Capture

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Passion

The last few years have been tumultuous, to put it mildly. So many changes, sometimes for the best, sometimes not. Lots of pain. Lots of happiness. It's been a rollercoaster ride for our entire family.

As we settle down, far removed from the chaos, it has really dawned on me that we need to prioritize our lives. I've realized that while I was spending time with my kids, it wasn't always quality, and my parenting is not something I want to put on the back burner.

So something had to go.

Somethings had to go.

And it's okay. It hurt at first. Letting go isn't always easy. But knowing that I was making these decisions for my family made it a little less painful.

And then one day...I finally felt like I could breathe again. Oh what a feeling!

I've also realized that now that we've gotten rid of some of the baggage and some of the things that weren't high on our priority list, I've had some time to really think about what I want out of my life.

What I'm really passionate about.

First and foremost, my family. Working on my relationship with my husband. Working on my relationships with my children. Being there for them, providing a safe and happy home for them, taking care of their health, fostering their creativity and their own passions. That makes me so happy!

But as rewarding as being a mother and a wife is, there's more to me than just that.

And not that that is a small thing. It's huge. It is the biggest challenge and the biggest blessing in my life.

But there's still more.

Deep in my soul, deep in my heart, I'm passionate about so many things.

I want to give, I want to help, I want to guide. I want to make a positive change in somebody's life.

As a coach, I tried. I was blessed with a coach when I was in high school who became my mentor and who I looked up to, who helped me figure out my life when it was a mess, who believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. I tried to pass that on while I was coaching. It wasn't as easy as I had thought.

But it's not something I will stop trying to do. Whether I'm coaching or not.

I'm still chugging away at my college degree. It has been a slow process, with multiple degree changes, and I'm still not quite finished. At the root of all my decisions, though, has been this need to help make a difference.

I will get there one day. I have a big picture of what I want to do to help. There is just so much need out there!

In the meantime, I will make small changes and small differences in my day to day life. Every Sunday I will talk about them, and hopefully inspire others to make a difference, too.

Reaching deep down inside myself and recognizing what I'm passionate about has been so freeing and so exhilarating. I see all the possibilities before me, and that's something I hadn't really seen before.

One day at a time, one idea at a time, and I will follow my passion and I will make a difference.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Family Fun - Movie Night!

One of my main goals for this summer is spending quality time as a family. Not necessarily MORE time, though that would be great, but making the time we do spend together mean something.

I'm not perfect. Sometimes these once a week activities drive me crazy. The kids are screaming at each other. The husband was late coming home from work. The dog ate a turtle...

Yeah, THAT'S a story for another day. The dog sometimes makes more work for me than the three kids combined.

Anyway, one of our favorite activities is movie night. Pretty simple, right? But oh so fun!

I allow the kids to pick the movie. Sometimes if there is something on that night I might overrule, but usually they get a chance. If there's a new kid movie out, we'll occasionally go to Redbox instead.

(NOTE: please, don't be like us, return your movies to Redbox! Otherwise, after 20-some days, you'll be paying over price for a movie you watched one time...true story!)

So having two kids who are old enough to have opinions does often mean we argue about the movie. The best solution I've found so far is we keep track of who's turn it is! Simple as that. Seeing it written down, on a calendar, on a dry erase board, whatever, really sets the expectations for my kids and then we have less yelling.

I will do anything to prevent yelling. *sigh*

Another fun thing is we always have a snack! We vary between popcorn, popsicles, trail mix, something quick that everybody can have their OWN of, and that they don't get that often. Makes it a little extra special!

                                                      
We picked up some of these popcorn cups at Target in the dollar bin last year!

I usually do movie night on Fridays. It's a nice way to relax with the kids after a long week of school and running around, and before we start a weekend that usually consists of family visits and house projects. We start a little bit before bedtime. Everybody is in their pj's, we're piled on the couch with blankets, and usually at least one person falls asleep before the end of the movie. :)

I know it's really a simple thing, doesn't take a lot of time or energy to plan, but my kids love it! They love getting a chance to cuddle with me, and I love watching them laugh and have fun and...I like cuddling, too!

So tonight's movie pick is...

                                        

The kids are just a tiny bit addicted to the chipmunks these days. Plus, it's free on OnDemand!

Happy Friday...enjoy your family!!

What are you doing with your family this week? Link up and share your ideas! (please link to the blog post, not just the blog)