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!