Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Today Stinks

I am having a bad day.

Why?

Oh let me count the ways. So MANY reasons. Nothing that truly matters. Just a little bit of this and this and that piled all on top of each other, coupled with my raging pregnancy hormones and the fact that despite it being a perfectly chilly fall day, it is 80 degrees in my house and I could cry at the drop of a hat.

So what should I do about it?

I'm going to focus on the positive.

There is a BABY in my belly! And this wonderful little miracle is kicking away!

My little Gray has been showering me with kisses and hugs and cuddles today!

My Bam, despite his problems at school, is truly learning! He came home today and sang me a song he learned. He SANG a SONG! This is huge for him!

My Tee is celebrating a birthday this week. Her existence is amazing and we get to celebrate the awesome person that she is!

My husband is bringing me home dinner! And I don't have to cook it or prepare it in any way!

The sun is shining!

Life is GOOD!

*deep breath*

That helped. It truly did!

Taking the negative of today and letting it go, focusing on the positive and breathing it in. I can't ignore all the negatives...most of them do require some action of some kind. I just can't put effort into those things when I'm crying and yelling and wanting to pound my head into my desk. It's not productive or helpful! So back to that breathing...

It will be okay. IT WILL BE OKAY. It IS okay. IT IS!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Organization is the Name of the Game!

What's the key to being a Super Mama?

Well, heck if I know!

I do know, however, that the key to staying sane as a Super Mama is organization. I'm all about embracing the chaos and living by the seat of your pants. I don't think that every minute of every day needs to be scheduled or planned. I love the freedom in having a day free of plans and just letting life happen!

The organization I'm talking about is HOME organization.

You know what I mean, mamas. I know you do!

As a mom with two kids in school, a toddler, a baby on the way, a husband, a business, and my own schooling to contend with...if I don't have a plan or a place for everything...this house becomes chaos. And not the good kind of chaos. The oh-gosh-I-want-to-pull-my-hair-out-and-run-away kind of chaos.

Mmmhmm, you know what I'm talking about!

Truth time...I'm not that great with this kind of organization.

I want to be good at it! I strive to be good at it!

I'm just not quite there yet.

So this month I'm going to explore organization and what it means for my own family and how we can make things work smoother and easier in our house.

Join me! I know other mamas out there struggle with the same thing! Where's my shoes? Where's my backpack? Did you sign my planner? Did you move my library book? Why is my pillow in the dog food?

(what? you don't get that question often?)

An important factor to me is how to organize on the cheap. I'm overwhelmed with possibilities as I peruse the magical website Pinterest, but often a lot of the best ideas are just not realistic for my home, my family, or my budget. So I plan to take those genius ideas and mold them to fit my life.

YOU CAN DO IT, TOO!

I embrace the chaos. But I like to embrace it without truly going insane.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Easy

The school year has started, the big kids are in school, I'm taking online classes, and me and the little one are still figuring out our days.

It is odd to be suddenly alone with just one child throughout the day.

We are still working out our routine. We spend a lot of time cuddling, a lot of time nursing, and a lot of time laughing. We enjoy lunch together, she typically steals all of my breakfast, and she's started napping early in the morning which gives me some time to work on homework.

It's quiet here. Not something I'm used to. We wait as patiently as we can for the clock to tick the hours away so we can pick up her big brother and big sister from school. Oh how she misses them! She squeals with delight when she sees them get into the car after school. The love they all have together is incredible.

It feels easy, for the moment. I'm sort of sitting around waiting for the other shoe to drop. Is this wonderful easy feeling our reward for the hectic summer full of questions? I suppose I shouldn't look at this ease so unkindly. I should revel in this moment, allow it to be and exist, let the worry slip away.

The chaos is coming, though.

With that...our big news! Baby #4 is due in January!

So my easy mornings with Gray are soon to fade, and we will share our time with her little sibling.

With this sudden ease has come a feeling of peace. As we recover from the unexpected blows of the summer, things are far from truly peaceful. But at the same time, I'm content. I'm happy. Our family is growing, in ways we never expected, and in ways we are truly blessed to experience.

I feel GOOD. Right here, right now, in this moment. It feels GOOD.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Summer That Wasn't

Did this summer really just fly by? Are we seriously halfway through AUGUST? This is crazy. Ridiculous! I had this big idea of achieving everything on our summer bucket list...

We never even finished writing the bucket list!

What happened?!?!

So maybe this summer wasn't as magical and fun-filled as I had planned. It was filled with a lot of loss, actually, in more than one way. It was not the "best summer EVER" like I had hoped it would be.

I guess that's part of this whole living/parenting thing, right? Not every day goes according to plan.

For a moment this morning, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, and for my kids. Thinking that they have to wait a whole 9 months or so to try this summer thing again.

Then I stopped myself.

Stop the crazy talk, mama!

Why wait 9 months? Why does fun only have to happen in the summer? This may not have been the summer filled with fun trips and play dates and parties and excitement that I had envisioned. That doesn't mean that TODAY can't be fun! Or tomorrow! Or September! Or winter!

School is starting and the fall is almost here. That means fun of a different kind. School events. Apple orchards. Cider mills. Hayrides. Movie nights. Sleepovers. This is fun, too!

So though summer kind of got away from me, you better believe that fall is going to be pretty spectacular.  There will be no bucket list to hold over my head, making me feel incompetent and lazy. I can give myself the grief without the list watching me day in and day out.

I did just bookmark a couple websites with ideas for summer bucket lists, though. Maybe we will try again next year. Maybe we won't.

Maybe I will just try and make today special and then go from there.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sleep, Baby, Sleep

Hello, bloggy world. It has been awhile, eh?

Life sure can get complicated.

Finals. The cold from hell. Family obligations. Softball. T-ball. Breastfeeding this kid all day...and night.

And so.much.more.

It's hard to keep up with life.

I feel like it has been one thing after another since the end of April. I don't know that we are completely out from under all of the obstacles and challenges, but I can finally breathe a little easier and see a small light at the end of the tunnel.

It's small, but it is promising.

I can hold on to anything promising.

I'm trying to grasp on to life as it is right now, trying to catch up, trying to be in control. We have a few more weeks of summer and I want to truly enjoy it. I want to be organized and prepared once school starts for myself and for the two big kids. We have a lot to do.

I have a sleeping baby next to me on the couch. I don't dare move because she senses it and I really needed her to take a good nap today. The other two are running around in their bathing suits squirting water at each other from their baby sister's bath toys. Part of me is impressed with their creativity as they've created an entire world for themselves; the other part of me is horrified at the mess I'm going to have to clean up.

But I will just sit. Let them enjoy. Let the baby sleep. Breathe. Convince myself that I got this whole mommy thing down.

My poker face is pretty good. I can pull it off.

Deep breath.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

If only I had more hours in the day

There comes a time in life when you need to just move on.

This has been true in many aspects of my life lately. Relationships. Poetry writing. All of it.

I had great expectations of myself. Sure! I can write a poem a day! And take care of my three kids! And finish final projects, papers, and exams for six classes! And start a business! And breathe!

So yeah, something had to go. Bye, poems. I felt a bit of failure this morning thinking about it, and then went on to complete a really amazing project for a business class and I feel much more accomplished with myself.

There's always next year, right?!

So much to say. So much to share. My heart has been overflowing lately. My kids are just incredible. I watched my girls play together yesterday and it was almost too much to handle. I watched my two youngest cuddle on the rocking chair today, just the two of them, and I almost cried. I am SO happy! How did I get this blessed? It's such an incredible feeling.

This next week is going to be rough. Finals, finals, finals.

Pray for me.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Love On

Well. I made it 6 straight days.

Here I am, 7 days later, no new poems.

And let's be honest, at least half of those 6 were last minute.

So to catch up to 30, you lucky ducks will get two a day.

Well, maybe. That seems like quite a bit of effort.

I also noticed I get less views for the poems than I do for a post about how I'm exhausted and my house is a mess.

They must be that bad.

Or you all just relate better to the exhausted, messy house mama.

I hear that.

Respect!

Posts will come later tonight. We are off to celebrate my baby brother's birthday today - the big 21! This lunch will indeed involve alcohol, so that's fun.

For him, I mean. This mama is still breastfeeding, so I'll take in a nice, refreshing water. Party!

This weekend has been amazing. We went to one of my best friend's weddings last night, and it was beautiful and we had a blast. The hubs and I got to go out on our own, talk with friends, dance, and just enjoy each other. All three munchkins stayed with my mom, grandma, and brother and had a fabulous time.

It's wonderful when it all works out like that!

So we've been celebrating love this weekend. And it's good. Love is so good.

Love on, friends. Love. On.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Day 6

Giggles
Sweet songs
Laughter
Chaos
Life in my world is never boring
Exhausting
Busy
Hard
Life in my world is never easy
Exhilarating
Exciting
Amazing
Life in my world is pretty awesome


Does that count? It should. I'm so tired! Tomorrow's goal: get this thing done before 10pm ;)

NaPoWriMo

Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 5

My frustration level grows
I try to push it down
Deeper and deeper
I try not to let their attitudes control my life
I want to scream
I spend too much time crying in my pillow
Too much time lost in pointless emotions
There is no resolve
I cannot fix you
We cannot fix this
I cannot be the only one trying
Let it go
Let it be
Moving on is so hard to do
Letting go is near impossible
Your grip on my heart is painful
I feel suffocated by my grief
I want to go back
Before it happened
But at the same time
I know that I must have been blind before
This doesn't happen overnight
So maybe this is what needed to happen
To open my eyes
To shield my children
I just pray for you
Pray that I won't spent so many hours pitying you
I hope you find joy and happiness

I'm moody tonight. Tomorrow will be happier. I promise.
NaPoWriMo

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day 4

Listen closely, my little child
Be brave and be bold
Live your dreams
Never grow old

Swing from the trees
Let down your hair
Make wild choices
Don't give a care

Love passionately
Speak your mind
Take chances
Always be kind

Listen closely, my little child
Be brave and be bold
Live your dreams
Never grow old

It was a rough day around here. Breakdown after breakdown, from me and from them. Tonight, before I go to sleep, I will kiss them and hug them and whisper in their ears how madly in love with them I truly am. And I will vow to be more patient in the morning. I truly will.

NaPoWriMo

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Day 3

Life
Always changing
Moments constantly rearranging
Go with the flow
Or quit living
Just stop
Breathing

Anger
Bitter resentment
Push and pull
Giving more of myself
Throwing it back at me
Pushing me aside for something else
Your burdens are no bigger than mine
But yet I am always wrong
I am always hurt
I keep giving
Never quitting
Hopeful

Positivity
Good thoughts
Glass half full
Putting myself out there
Taking chances and huge risks
Hoping and knowing it will happen
Holding on to that hope so tightly
Believing in myself and going for my dreams
Not allowing anything to hold me back
Knowing I can do great things
Trusting in my own abilities
Reaching for the stars
Never giving up
Deep breath
Jump 

Check out NaPoWriMo

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 2

 I want to succeed
Pushing myself to be more
I was built for this

To be a mother
And a business owner
A college student

I am a wife, too
And a daughter and sister
A friend and a foe

Passionate, joyful
Hopeful, positive, happy
All rolled into me

Frustrated, doubtful
Emotions do not skip me
I keep my head up

I just keep going
One foot in front of the next
Choosing to see good

My soul aches for more
More creativity and
More good in this world

I continue on
The path is not always clear
I want to do good

I want to do more
To give more and to be more
And to mean something

To do something big
To change the world for someone
To be positive

I want to succeed
I will never stop trying
I was built for this

Check out NaPoWriMo to join in - 30 poems in 30 days!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Day 1

I need to get the creative juices flowing. What better than a writing challenge that forces me to break out of my shell and write? I happened across a blog post today about NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing Month. You may have heard of NaNoWriMo in the past, and this is a twist to that. A poem a day for 30 days. Is poetry my thing? Not at all. I used to write little poems here and there as a kid, and I thought they were all genius. They may have been good for a six year old, but the quality hasn't really improved since then! That's the fun part of this challenge, though, they don't have to be good! They don't have to rhyme or follow any type of rules, they don't even have to be about anything specific. Want to write a poem about equality? Go for it. Want to write a poem about the peanut butter sandwich you had for lunch? Go for it. It's that simple. So I'm going for it. Don't expect anything good. There may be a day that I write about my hatred of peanut butter sandwiches, because the deepest emotion I felt on that particular day was the pure hatred for the substance when I got some on my finger while making my kid a sandwich. It could happen. It probably will happen.

Damn peanut butter.

I'm just going to take the leap and we'll see if it helps jump start the creative train. That's what I'm hoping for.

New Beginnings

First of the month
It's like starting over, again and again
A new page of the calendar to be flipped
Putting the past days and weeks and months behind you
A whole blank page of possibilities awaits
Shedding last month as you shed your skin
Leaving the old, stripping the chains of the past
Moving ahead
Letting go of the people and the places and the memories that hold tightly to your heart
Squeezing your chest and never letting you breathe
Never allowing you to be happy
Letting them slip away
A new month can be a new beginning
A chance to step into the person that you always intended to be
Those blank boxes filled with dates are new chances to get it right
New opportunities to be brave and take a leap
New people and places and memories to fill your heart with love and joy
Today is that day


Don't forget to check out NaPoWriMo and jump in! Be courageous with me!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

And We Go

Running and running.

My attempts at slowing and seeing and feeling are lost in the chaos.

I pull moments together, here and there.

A light saber fight in the playroom in the five minutes we had left before heading out for the day.

A small, important conversation after a little girl has been in bed for an hour but apparently had too much on her mind to sleep.

Walking around the living room in the dark, carrying the baby in our Ergo, hoping to lull her to sleep.

Little moments, slipped in between the light and the dark, the quiet and the noise. Each moment simple and important.

My mind races as I think through my lists of things that must be accomplished. Deadlines. Assignments. Projects. Things. More things. Too many things.

It's a lot, sometimes, to juggle life.

We wear so many hats.

I try and be everything to everyone at all times.

I feel like I can, that nothing is impossible, that I can do all and be all and everything will just work itself out.

Kind of unrealistic.

I'm not perfect.

But I do and I go, and we live and we make it work.

When the days blend together during the busy times, I take comfort in those stolen moments with my little ones.

This season of our lives will not last forever. In many ways. They will grow. I will grow. Life will change.

We won't be this busy forever.

We will breathe again, and the quiet, stolen moments will gather together into bigger, louder moments, and we will fall into that season as we did this one.

Imperfectly. Purposefully.

Monday, March 11, 2013

One Year

We did it!

Gray is one year old today which means that we have successfully breastfed for an entire year.

This is HUGE for me! Gray is my third baby, but the first baby that I breastfed.

I tried with Tee. I lasted two days. It was horrible. It was so painful. The nurses at the hospital were so mean. I didn't really have anyone to help me figure it out. The hubby was supportive, but he was just as clueless as me. My heart still breaks thinking about the moment I gave her formula for the first time. I cried and cried, feeling like a failure. I was told I couldn't do it and I believed it.

With Bam, I used formula for the start. Tee was fine, she never had any problems, so I didn't think twice about it. This is one of my biggest regrets. My sensitive boy would probably have benefited so much from breastmilk. His first year was a nightmare.

When I found out I was pregnant with Gray, I knew that breastfeeding was something I had wanted to do. I was nervous, thinking back to that horribly mean nurse who told me I'd never be able to feed my baby on my own. This time I knew I had to take control of the situation, take control of my body, and take control of my baby. I did so much research. I joined every breastfeeding support group I could find. My awesome hubby was on board with me and we decided we were going to do this, no matter what.

And we did just that.

I will admit, the first two weeks were not fun. I was so exhausted, and unlike with my formula feeding babies, waking up for feedings in the middle of the night fell completely on me. I had no clue how to manage the older two and feed the baby at the same time. I was in tears almost every night when the hubby came home from work. I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and doubting my own ability to nourish my child.

After one particularly rough day, the hubby looked me in the eye and said he was going to help me and went off to the store. With no knowledge himself about breastfeeding beyond what I had told him, he marched into Babies 'R Us and asked for help. He came home loaded down with an electric pump, breast pads, and the single most important item that saved me - gel pads for nipple relief. Seriously, I will buy them for every new mama gift from now on!

Just like that, with his help and belief in me, I settled back into my mind that I could do this. I read through my favorite book several times and tried every trick to make sure I had the perfect latch.

If you are planning to breastfeed, this book is a MUST!
 
Then one morning I woke up and everything was better! I wasn't sore, Gray slept a little bit longer, and I suddenly felt like I could do this.
 
And I did.
 
We did!
 
As is customary in the world of mama wars, here is my disclaimer: this post is NOT about me judging YOU for YOUR choices! Your choices are yours alone. As a mama who has fed her babies both with formula and breastmilk, I could never judge, and would never. This post is purely me feeling proud of myself for doing what I chose to do.
 
And I'm ecstatic that we did it! Through the support of my amazing husband and the many friends I've made in support groups, I was able to withstand the challenges of breastfeeding, along with all the negativity that comes with it - the name calling, the dirty looks, the mocking. I've become a better person for it. I no longer look at other people's opinions of my actions as an indication of whether my choices are right or wrong. I am firm and confident and sure of myself.
 
Me breastfeeding my baby at a parade! No cover, no big deal!
 
This journey has been amazing, and I've learned so much about myself as a mother. I feel more connected with all of my children, and I feel more in tune with myself than I have been in a long time.
 
We did it. Gray and I did it. Our whole family did it. We made it!
 
And we are not done here. We will wean when she's ready. No rush.
 
So today, on my baby girl's first birthday, I celebrate not only her existence, but our amazing breastfeeding adventure. This year has been incredible, and she completes me and our family in ways I never could have imagined. I'm grateful for her, for her life, her smile, and the opportunity to be her mama.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Time Flies

Today was my "I'm in labor!" day for Gray. I don't feel like it is possible for her to have already been here for an entire year! It seems like she was just born yesterday. At the same time, I feel like she's been a part of our family forever!

I don't have an "I'm in labor!" day for Bam every year, which always makes me smile. It's like our own special day, the last day where he was safe inside of me, and the day before my life changed in so many ways. Our little guy was THIS.CLOSE. to being a Leap Day baby! So my labor day only comes once every four years. Silly, I know, but it makes me smile.

My little guy turned five a few days a go, and my baby turns one tomorrow.

I'm just in awe at how fast time is flying by!

There have been a few days lately that have been long and hard, and I count the hours to bedtime (for them and for me). Though the days sometimes feel long, life is going by so fast! Tee was just Gray's age, I blinked, and now she's going to parties and losing teeth and having her own opinions.

I know every mom says this, but it is so true - they grow up SO fast!

I've been trying to be more conscious of our moments together. I'm trying to simplify our schedules so we have more time to be together and to play, and less time driving and doing things that aren't as important. I'm working hard to say "yes" to them more often. It's hard after a long day of school and work and homework and teething to step outside my own wants and needs, and to realize that Bam is only going to ask me to play Star Wars with him for so long. One day he won't ask me and I will have missed all of this. I'll miss the kiss on the cheek of gratitude from him and the whispered "Thank you, mama" that I love so much.

He still calls me "mama" and it's the sweetest sound in the world.

It's not easy, this motherhood thing, and I sometimes wish that we had a couple practice years or chances for do-overs. Each age and stage is so different and so exciting, and it's such a hard balance between doing the right thing and enjoying each moment and not messing them up.

Tonight I will kiss my little baby girl to sleep and tomorrow she will wake up as a one year old.

Amazing.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quiet

I've been quiet.

It's not a bad quiet, at least, it's more of a productive quiet.

I've made it through almost six weeks of yet another college semester. Still chugging along. It's starting to pick up pace, and I'm slowly becoming not quite as far ahead as I had thought. That's slightly terrifying. Six classes on top of everything else is sometimes overwhelming, but I will not falter. This is a goal that I will meet.

I've taken some steps to work on some health things that have been going on. One kid needs this, another needs this, and me...oh gosh, it's easy to put ourselves on the back burner, isn't it? I put off going to the doctor, I reason away each symptom swiftly and easily, not seeing the big picture of it all. It's easy to do. We have a plan of action for everyone in the house...even me.

On a more exciting front, and the real reason for my lack of exuberance around here lately, is that I've been in full business mode! That's right, this mama has taken the leap! It feels incredible! Exhilarating and terrifying all rolled into one.

Balance is going to be needed. Organization is necessary. But it all will come together.

We enjoyed a nice week off school for my littles. Mid-winter break is sometimes a really wonderful thing! We needed the time to decompress, to be together, to just BE. Sometimes we need that to get a fresh view of things.

So tomorrow comes another Monday. Back to school for everyone. A long lists of errands to tackle. Two birthdays in two weeks. Homework. Girl Scouts. PTA. Book fair. And the official launch of my company.

Back to reality we go. Full steam ahead!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Stepping Out

A lot has happened since my last post.

For the most part, I've shook the gloominess out of my system. Which is good.

I'm still struggling with some things. Balancing between right and wrong, what feels good and what hurts. It's a fine line sometimes.

I can't change people and I can't make things better, so it leaves me conflicted and frustrated.

And hurt. But that's my own emotion, I choose to feel that way. I don't have to let their actions hurt me. I choose to do so. Something to work on.

I am a firm believer in removing toxic people from your life. I can't handle that kind of negativity all the time. For whatever reason, negativity sucks all the energy out of the room, it dominates and it destroys, and it's hard to back away once you let it in. 

So I struggle. Because I can't just remove everyone that I should. It's not that easy.

For now, though, I need to move past that, allow that situation to do its thing, to let it grow or move or change as it will. I cannot control it, so I will not focus my energy on it.

What I will focus my energy on is the life in front of me. So much is happening in the near future, and it's all good things!

Bam will turn 5 in a few short weeks.

Gray will turn 1 just a week or so later.

And my business. It's time! Very shortly, we will be launching.

I'm stepping outside my comfort zone and making magic happen. This is huge for me. I like to stay where I'm comfortable, where I know what is expected of me and where I know I can meet all of those expectations, where there is little failure. But with no risk, there is no chance for greatness. So I'm stepping out, cautiously, nervously, scared...but I'm going.

I'm doing it!

I have big plans for this space, too. It will become more than just a place for my random thoughts. For now, though, as I deal with these personal hurdles, it will be a little of everything. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Broken

I thought I had avoided my annual January low point. And perhaps I did, because it's now February. It found me, though. The low found me.

I love the snow and the cold and the dreary, cuddly days, but today the snow and the cold and the dreary are holding me down. Suffocating me. Breaking me.

I'm not me. I turned into someone else. Somebody who sits around and feels sorry for herself. Somebody who lets others dictate her self worth.

I feel down. I feel low. I feel ugly.

Unloved. Unworthy.

I'm a pitiful mess.

This isn't truly me. This feeling finds me, sometimes, but I turn and I run as fast as I can. I know the truth. I'm not any of these things. I have so much to be happy about it, so much to be grateful for. And I am, most days, so very happy and so very grateful.

To see people I love spew hatred towards me and my family is brutal. It hurts. It shakes me to my core and makes me question why the heck I fight to keep it all together. Why do I so desperately need or want these toxic people in my life? I say that it doesn't matter what they say about me, and for the most part, it doesn't. I don't need validation from them. I don't need their permission to be happy.

But I'm not perfect. I'm human. I hurt. I bleed. I cry.

Because it does matter. Not in the grand scheme of my life, but in the here and the now and the yesterday. That's where it matters.

I feel bombarded by the lonely, by the cold, by the dreary. One on top of the other, over and over, until I find myself sobbing in a pile on the floor.

It's an utter mess.

And while I deal and I process with all of this, I need something to help me, to pick me up, to remind me of my worth. That isn't there. Nothing is there.

Here, it is cold and it is so lonely.

The distance grows further and deeper, and I reach out and I scream and I cry for help, and I am met with deafening silence.

It hurts. I am broken.

The rock that I relied on in my day to day has shattered and I'm caught in an avalanche of pain and loss that I had not anticipated. I keep reaching out, I keep screaming, I am begging for help, for love, for compassion, for a moment of just us.

Nothing.

Today I was about as far from a Super Mama as I could get. Avoiding and hiding, letting life happen while I sobbed into your pillow, aware but distant. It wasn't fun, for me or for my little ones.

Which is probably when it hit me. I can't allow this. I am not that girl. I am not broken by your lack of compassion or understanding, I am not nothing because I don't measure up to your standards.

So I vent, I let my words tumble out on to this page, free and easy and painful and hard, allowing the feelings to escape through my fingertips as I type and through every tear I've brushed away. Letting it go, letting them go, letting you go, letting go my vision of the past and how wonderful it all was. Today's reality is equally as wonderful as yesterday's, but with a different cast of characters, and somehow that is just going to have to be okay. I can't fix everything. As much as I want to, I am incapable. Saying it out loud, writing those words, giving it away is freeing. Finally.

I'm faced with tomorrow and the unknown.

Hoping you want to pick up those pieces and put them back together.

As I kissed each of my babies goodnight, I am reminded that there is so much good in the world, and that I have every chance to teach them how to love and how to give, even when it hurts, and especially when it's not easy.

Now I'm able to sit in my thoughts, allowing myself to cry a few more tears for the broken girl inside me, and ready and able to pick myself up off the floor tomorrow and hold my head up high as I face the world.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Now

The last few days I have done some serious soul searching. Where should we be, where do we want to be, what does the future hold?

Why did things happen the way they did?

I don't know that I regret my decisions in the past so much as I realize it would have been a lot easier to have chosen differently.

But man, the now? Anyway? It's just amazing.

I knew that being a mom was going to be amazing. I knew it would be hard.

I had NO idea HOW hard.

I had NO idea HOW amazing!

With each new age and phase and milestone, I'm just in awe.

Tee is becoming so much more of an individual, doing her thing, her way. She has the most incredible outlook on life. She still skips into a room and brightens it up with her big smile and her million ideas that she is just bursting to share! I watch Gray now and remember when Tee was that small, and it was just me and her and the hubby. It seems like a completely different life! Then I blinked my eyes and she grew into this really great person! She's sassy, smart, and so funny, with the kindest of hearts. Her energy is contagious!

Then there is my Bam. His birthday is around the corner, and he will be crossing over into this much older stage of life. He's been my baby for so long, the idea of letting go even a little seems crazy! He is the happiest boy. Always smiling, always laughing, in awe of everything around him. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he feels everything in a big way. When he's happy, everyone is happy. When he's sad, you can't help but feel sad right along with him! He has this great imagination and he's always playing and building and telling these incredible stories of events his toys experience. He is genuinely sweet and kind, the first to ask if anything is wrong, and always so polite. He loves everyone so completely!

And my Gray. Is it even possible that it's almost been a year since she came into our lives? It can't be! She is growing and changing so much! Oh how she loves all of us, she is so happy to see her siblings and waves and smiles and blows kisses to them every morning. She has started walking, and it's so much fun to watch! I love watching the older kids interacting with her. Her hair is growing, and she's getting so much taller, and oh my all the teeth! Her big blue eyes suck me in and her laughter melts my heart. She's curious and always following the big kids around to see what they are up to. She takes awhile to warm up to other people, but when she does, oh man is it worth the wait!

To think that had I done things differently back then...I might not be here today. With this. With them.

Sometimes the path isn't easy. Sometimes it's not even the path we had planned. But somehow, someway, we end up exactly where we need to be.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hello, February!

Well, January has come and gone! 2013 is off to quite the exciting start.

Usually this time of year, I'm in a slump. Life is hard, the weather is cold, my mood is dark.

This year, well, life is exceptionally hard, the weather is very cold, but my mood? It's not so dark. It's light, even. 

This is progress, friends.

I feel so powerful. I am aware of myself and know that I can overcome obstacles. I can conquer these feelings and my attitude, and I can choose happiness.

I knew January was going to be a test. It wasn't going to be easy. From the get go, I knew it was going to be a challenge to make it through.

But we did it! We made it to February! Now, things are going to change. The darkness is fading away and the light at the end of this very long tunnel is inching nearer and nearer with every new day.

It's a good feeling.


I wake up every morning and I choose to be happy, to see the positive, despite all of the challenges.

It's not easy. But being continuously negative and holding a pity party for myself isn't easy, either. It's downright exhausting and doesn't make me feel any better.

So I choose happiness. Despite it all. 

And I have a lot to be happy about!

A loving hubby, pretty babies, and a world full of possibilities.

Welcome, February. Here's to four weeks of adventure!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

To Be More

One of my favorite jobs was as a high school softball and volleyball coach. The experience itself was not always pleasant, working with people who were not supportive was often difficult. But overall, working with kids who loved to play, that part was amazing.

When I was in high school, I was lucky enough to have a handful of very supportive coaches and teachers who believed in me and pushed me to succeed. I know that not every student had that. My brothers went to school there and they didn't feel that kind of support. My husband went to school there and he never had support from anyone. 

I fell into coaching after high school, when I needed some positive focus in my life. My high school softball coach asked me to come and help, and it was the motivation I needed to keep moving. He was always pushing me to do more and be more. As a coach, I wanted to do that, too.

Coaching wasn't as easy as I had anticipated. I struggled walking the line between being too friendly and relaxed with the girls and being too strict and overbearing. I wanted the experience to be fun. I wanted them to enjoy being there. But I wanted them to work hard and learn and achieve. It was hard to mix that all together. They weren't always happy with me, and I wasn't always happy with them. It was a learning experience for me, and I've taken away many important lessons from my time coaching. I do feel like if I ever step into that position again, I will be better apt to handle all that comes with it. 

More than anything, I wanted to inspire at least one girl to go out and reach for the stars. To push herself to be more than what she believed to be. I remember being that teenage girl, dealing with family problems, trying to juggle everything, and loving the game and using it as my outlet. I had coaches who helped me, who inspired me, who motivated me to work harder every practice and every game. That's what I wanted to be for the girls I was coaching.

I know that I didn't reach every girl that I coached. Several of them left at the end of the season angry because of playing time or awards, and never really understood the lessons I was trying to teach them. If I could do it again, I would do things differently. Explain myself more. Stick to my guns more. Not waiver so often. 

Over the last four months, I have heard that several of the girls I coached at one point were going to be playing in college. I'm so proud of them! It was unheard of when I played for any girl at our school to play after graduation. It just rarely happened. But here, now, these girls are dreaming bigger and taking chances and going for it! I know that their current coaches probably helped them tremendously in getting prepared for try-outs and scouts, and helping them contact colleges, but I hope that somewhere inside them, when they think back to their high school playing days, they remember the coach they had briefly who may not have brought them a championship or been a good coach in general, but who wholeheartedly believed that they could be and do anything they set their minds to. Because I did believe. I do believe. Even now, I believe in them.

It's still a passion of mine. To inspire young women to be all that they can, to reach for goals they never believed possible. I wasn't able to do it then in the way I had hoped, but I've learned so much from that time of my life, how to communicate, how to lead, how to inspire, how to do better than I did. 

I feel like if we took a little time to praise our children, to back them, to listen to their dreams and goals and validate them, that their would be more young girls (and young boys) reaching for the stars. And not just trying to reach, but actually doing it, actually getting out there and grabbing those stars in their hands and making dreams come true. I genuinely believe it is possible.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Walkity Walk Walk

I've been working on a blog post for the last week or so. It's important and it has taken me much longer to write than I anticipated.

Something about putting it all out there, putting your heart in your writing, and letting others read it...it's hard.

Even more than that, it's hard for me to put into words exactly what I'm feeling. Which is funny to me. I have no trouble expressing myself, typically. But this? This deep stuff? Yeah, that's hard.

So I'm letting it sit there, in draft form, taking up space in my heart and in my head for a little while longer. It'll come, eventually.

In the meantime, I am soaking in the moments in my little home.

Gray walked across the room for the first time yesterday!

We were lucky enough to capture it on video and I've rewatched it at least a million times. Her smiling face, the sweet giggle, how excited she was when she made it to me. Wow, just amazing stuff!

I think back to my first two babies and their first steps. Man, time has just flown by. And it's really not slowing down at all! As we cross this next threshold, she will be walking and running further and further away from her babyness, and as exciting and awesome as it is to watch, there is a teensy bit of longing for her to just stay small and cuddly for a little bit longer.

But that's not how life works, does it? I distinctly remember being 14 and just exasperated that life was going by so slowly and when the heck would I be able to get started with really living? And here I am now, half a life away from that moment, and I just need it to slow down a bit so I can catch up.

Enjoy today, friends. Every moment of it. I most definitely will.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Now

And if not now, when?
~ Talmud ~

This quote has been in my heart as I plan and move forward through my days.

What am I waiting for?

Over the last month or so, I've been reminded all too often how very short life truly is.

For many years, since Tee came into the picture, we've just been here, waiting for things to get easier.

Cause it always will, right?

Eh.

Sure, we got through hard times, we always found a way to make things work when things seemed impossible. 

But why is that okay?

Yes, we made it through, good for us. But wouldn't it have been a lot better if we hadn't needed to? 

We just sit and wait for things to change.

That's not exactly how it works, it seems.

If you want things to be different, you have to do things differently.

It doesn't just magically get better.

So, there we go.

If not now, when?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I want to thank everyone who has "liked" my facebook fan page over the last few days! If you'd like to follow me there for updates, visit: Super Mama to the Rescue on Facebook

Also! Please feel free to join in on the conversation here on the blog! I will respond to every comment! If you have a blog, I will come and visit your page, as well! 

Is there anything you've been putting off doing? Something you keep waiting to change? Share with me!

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Hard

Parenting is hard.

Don't get me wrong, I never expected it to be easy. And most of the time, these little people are pretty fabulous.

Then there are other times. And man. It is hard.

Parenting three kids is hard.

Parenting three kids in three different ways that meet their individual needs is hard.

Parenting three kids in three different ways that meet their individual needs while attempting to satisfy my own needs is hard.

Throw in a husband, a house, and a dog.

Oh, and did I mention my next semester of college starts tomorrow?

*sigh*

It's been one of those very hard weeks around here.

It's almost like I put out there into the universe that this is the year of positivity, and the universe was all like, "Oh yeah? Let's see about that" and threw at me all it could muster.

I feel like I'm drowning. Emotionally and mentally. One obstacle after another. On top of parenting those three kids in those three different ways...

I needed to escape yesterday, so after dinner, we all snuck to the library and took part in a family play date complete with building snowmen out of marshmallows and M&M's and a raucous cotton ball snowball fight.

The smiles on their faces? Priceless.

So despite all the hard, there we were, snowballing it up, laughing, and enjoying each other.

And I guess that's the point. The hard is going to keep on calming. It never truly ends, nothing is ever completely easy all the time. We just have to buckle down and get through.

And we will. Because we always do.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Snowman

Growing up in the Midwest, our winters were spent playing in the cold and snow, building snowmen and making snow angels, building forts and throwing snowballs. I have many memories of my brothers and I, running around together, laughing and having the best time.

One particular memory I have is of the snowman.

It was a snowy day just like any other, my brothers and I were outside playing together. A few houses down, there was a man outside building a snowman. If I remember right, he was either the brother or the son of the woman living in the house. I remember thinking how odd it seemed to see an adult building a snowman!

But this just wasn't any snowman. This was a SNOWMAN. It was huge! As tall as the man, and so lifelike! The arms were made of snow, and it had such distinct characteristics! It was amazing! 

We went over to watch him work, just in awe. The finished product was amazing. This was not your typical three ball snowman with a carrot nose and stick arms. This was an incredible snow sculpture, unlike anything I had ever seen before!

Immediately, my brothers and I had an idea. We could do this, too!! Off we went back home, immediately taking our time and trying to build a snowman like he had built.

It wasn't that easy.

I don't remember exact details. I know that what we created was okay, but it was nothing like the amazing snow creature our neighbor had built.

We went inside and went to bed.

When we woke up in the morning, we looked outside and lo and behold, there was an amazing, incredible snow sculpture in our front lawn! Just like the one the man had built down the street!

It was amazing. The details were extraordinary! It felt like magic! We had gone to bed and woke up to this amazing, magical snow creature on our lawn!

The man who build it was nowhere to be found.

I will never forget how I felt. I knew the man had built it, but could we be sure? What if this snowman was indeed a REAL snowman? What if it was really magic?

That's how I felt. Lost in the awe and magic of the snow. It was incredible.

So as I watched my own children play in the snow last night, I recalled that winter and the excitement we had all felt. I watched them build their very first snowman together, just the two of them. They were so happy and so excited to watch it come together before their very eyes!

They came inside, cheeks pink, mittens and hats wet, with huge smiles on their faces.

"Snow is like magic, mama." 

It sure is, loves. It sure is.


Enjoy the magic.

(and eat your carrots, per the above pic!)

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Test? Already?

So just a mere seven days into the new year and my "I'm all positive" motto is being put to the test.

Angsty, bitter people that are hard to handle.

Hot water heaters that decide to leak.

Decisions that are hard to make.

So with a deep breath, I take a step back.

Can I change the angsty, bitter people that are hard to handle?

Not a chance.

I've tried. Oh, how I've tried. I've tried to step up and talk to them, I've tried talking to others near them in order to keep the peace, and it's just not working. I'm at a loss. I need to let this be and move on.

And what in the world can I do about a hot water heater that decides to leak?

Not a darn thing.

It does what it wants. I will just pray that my handy husband can figure out how to handle it.

And ummm pray that he can fix it...on the cheap!

And those decisions that are hard to make?

Yeah, well, I've never been good at those.

Easy, hard, no difference.

So I will just pray for guidance. I will think about it. Weigh the pros and cons.

And inevitably we will go with our guts, because that's what we always do.

Some way, some how, it always works out.

No sense letting my mind wander and start to feel sorry for myself.

What can that do?

Not a darn thing.

I'd love to drown my sorrows in a big bowl of cookies and cream ice cream, though.

Yum.

But since the ice cream fairy doesn't work on Monday mornings, I'll have to settle for an egg sandwich and a glass of water.

Because water hits the spot like ice cream does. Yup.

See? That's positivity, people!

Positive, positive, positive.

Maybe if I keep saying the word it will click...

Positive...

Positive...

Positive...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

No Exceptions

To change one's life:
Start immediately.
Do it flamboyantly.
No exceptions.
~ William James ~

As a Christmas gift for my youngest brother, I bought him a pocket calendar and filled the pages with quotes to inspire him. In the process of searching for appropriate quotes, I came across this one, and it hit me hard. I ended up using this one at the beginning of the calendar, hoping to inspire him and push him to know that he can do anything, that it's all in his hands.

This quote has stuck with me ever since. I think it's my motto for 2013. Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.

No exceptions.

I've been stuck for a long time, going with the flow, feeling behind constantly and desperately trying to catch up. We just sit here and wait for things to change. That's not how it works.

If I want things to change, I've got to do something about it.

Sure, I can't change some situations or events that happen. It is what it is. But I can change my attitude about them. I can change the power they have over my life. And I can certainly change what I do about them.

I don't have to accept that this is it, this is the best it's going to be, that I am a victim of my circumstances. I have the power to change it.

So I'm going to.

I'm going to start immediately. Right this second.

I'm going to do it flamboyantly. Go big or go home, right?

No exceptions. No excuses. 

This is my year.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hello, 2013!

I'm a list maker. It's my thing.

My favorite gift is a notebook and a new pen. Not those smeary kinds...I'm talking a good solid ball point pen.

Then I make lists. Lots and lots of lists.

So when New Year rolls around, I get excited!

Yes, I'm into the whole resolution thing. Mostly because it involves making a list!

Also because I need a fresh start. Whether it's on the first of the year, the first of the month, or next Tuesday, I need a fresh start.

This is MY year. This year is my family's year. We will conquer it. We will own it. We will revel in the excitement and experiences and challenges and moments.

Good or bad, I'm taking it all in.

Part of me feels a bit nervous to be excited and open to the possibilities. I think I keep peering around the corner waiting for the other shoe to drop.

But I can't live like that anymore.

Living now, right here, in this moment.

So my resolutions! Or goals. Or plans. Whatever you want to call it, I got 'em.

1. Be more patient. Yell less. Pretty self-explanatory. I am just like any other Super Mama - we all get frustrated and anxious and sometimes our littles just happen to not follow directions at the same time that mama is having a moment and...well, yeah. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes it's not even deserved. Then I'm left feeling like the worst mama in the world. So this year, I am going to push myself to be more patient. I realize that I will not be perfect at this, and that's okay. I want to be aware and work harder at it. My littles each have their own unique obstacles to overcome currently, and it's often hard to remember that the reason they may not be listening or following directions could quite possibly be because of these obstacles and not because they are ignoring me. This is a big one for me, which is why it's number one. I hope in a year from now to have an even happier home because mama thought a little bit first before opening her big mouth.

2. Start my business. YES. This is going to happen! March 1, 2013. DONE. More information as the time nears. ;)

3. Make my home a healthy home. We seem to be the rare house these days. My kids have never had to go to the doctor for a sick visit, they have never been on antibiotics. I have purposely made lifestyle changes and decisions to directly benefit their health. But when it comes to what we eat and what products we use, I'm not quite there. This is the year I really dive into the health world. I want to eat GOOD food that is GOOD for you. Though I'm healthy according to every standard blood test done by my doctor, I'm not HEALTHY. I don't FEEL good. I'm in pain every day. I'd rather lay in bed than get up because getting up physically hurts. I'm finally going to take my health into my own hands! This involves a number of things, but first and foremost is changing the food we eat. I'm excited to eat clean! I'm excited to feel better, to be better, to do more. We've made some changes with the chemicals used in our home, and I will continue to make those changes this year. My mom sometimes calls me a hippie...and yeah, I'm pretty much okay with that! Green, crunchy, call me whatever! When you know better, you do better.

4. Lose weight. This goes with number three. Eating better food and getting exercise is high on my list of priorities. I have a number in mind I'd like to get to one day, but for right now, I just want to feel better. Only way to make that happen is to do some work on myself.

5. Make my relationship with the hubby a priority. Oh how easy it is to let this one slide! He's a great man, a great daddy, a great husband. Because we are going, going, going trying to keep ourselves afloat, the time spent with each other is not always quality time. We do see each other every evening after the kids go to bed, and we often spend that time catching up and cuddling up to some movies, but it's broken up between nightmares and barking dogs and nursing babies. I plan to make a point of the two of us getting out together...just us!...more often, and making the time together at home a little more special from time to time.

6. More family time. We've gotten away from this over the last year. I think between the stress of life and having a new baby and every other event over the last year, quality family time disappeared. I think we all missed it. Movie nights, game nights, going out to eat together, trips to the museum and the zoo, all good stuff.

7. Spend more time with our extended family. Sometimes it's hard to fit it all in, and when you come from two very big families, it's hard to find the time. I'm not planning on visiting every single member of our family every single weekend, but I want to make an effort to visit more often. To send notes and cards, to make actual phone calls (instead of just "liking" a comment on facebook!). Life is too short, we need to spend time with the ones we love while we can.

8. Volunteer. This is a big one for me. I want to spend my time volunteering, individually as well as with my family. I've already volunteered to help with a project this month (more on that later!). We also have a local food pantry that I've signed my entire family up to help out at.

9. Continue with school. I say continue because it's true, I have fallen off the wagon a time or two...or more. I've done great for a year or two and then life happens, and here I am, 10 years after graduating high school, still going to college. I have one more semester to go to complete the business certificate I was working toward, and I plan to make that happen.

10. Budget. What? What's that word? Yeah, I know, I've never heard of it, either. Which explains a lot, really! This is the year of financial security. Or at least financial sanity! We have plans to budget, to pay off old debts, and to get ourselves in a position to make some big changes for our family in the next few years.

11. Go to church. I grew up in a home where I went to church every Sunday. I went to a school where I went to church every Friday. I did double time for years. Somewhere along the way, the idea of waking up and getting the kids ready and driving became too much. I feel a little empty in the faith department sometimes, and I want to feel renewed. God is present in my life, absolutely, but I want that connection to be deeper. I think part of the reason that we've fallen away from church is because we moved away from the church I've attended for my entire life. The church where I was married, the church where all three of my babies were baptized. I know that we need to find a church where we are now, and it's bittersweet. But the time has come, I can't avoid it anymore, I need this. I need a place to call home.

12. Teach my children values. That's our job as the parents, right? Instill in our children values. What values? I need to identify those. I want them to be kind and gracious, giving and caring, helpful and considerate, among many other things. But what am I doing about it? Do I model those behaviors and values for my kids? Maybe. Sometimes. Certainly not always, and maybe not even all that often. How else will they learn? They need to see me be the person I want them to be. Subsequently, I will become the person I want to become. Score!

13. Positivity! That's my motto for 2013. Positivity only! If I can't contribute positively to a conversation, I won't respond. I will not gossip or talk negatively about people. I will see the glass half full at all times. I won't allow negative energy in my home and in my life and in my heart. I'm generally a positive person, but I've realized that a lot of that energy has been sucked away by the negativity that I allow around me. I have the choice to be and say and do whatever I choose, and I can choose to be happy and I can choose to be positive. I will contribute only positivity to the world this year.

So there we go! 13 for 2013. Perfect!

I don't find resolutions to be hindering in any way. I don't find them to be a reminder of what I will fail at this year. I know I won't be perfect. Am I perfect at anything, really? Not a chance! So what this becomes is a road map to the person I want to be this year. A vision of the life I want to create for my children this year. Placing my priorities on what really matters instead of wasting my energy on things I cannot change.

It's good, people. Resolutions are good. Goals are good. Change is good. Allow yourself to become the person you were meant to be this year.

So, there you go, 2013. Bring it on!