Wednesday, December 30, 2015

lately..

i have noticed a trend lately with my mom friends on social media. we seem worn down and defeated, telling ourselves that we haven't been good moms and are letting our kids down. i have SO been in that place lately.

sometimes, it just feels SO hard. i go to bed at night going over all the ways i failed my kids that day. all the times i raised by voice, over reacted, made up some stupid consequence that didn't really apply and disciplined out of frustration and annoyance. it seems like the thing in our lives that brings us so much joy and fulfillment can also leave us feeling so inadequate and exhausted.



when i start to feel this way, i try to refocus and remember that at the end of it all, i am really not the most important person in my children's lives. that i am not the deciding factor that all their future happiness and stability hinges upon. and man, i am SO grateful for that. i am so grateful that the well being of my children doesn't rest on my ability to parent them well but on Christ's ability to redeem and restore. i will always fail, no matter how much i don't want to or how hard i try to love well, i will always make mistakes. but God. whew. but He is always faithful. and when i remember that, i can breathe a little bit easier. when i remember that, i feel a new sense of freedom to love and parent my kids the ways that i know how, trusting that i'm not doing it alone.


it can all feel so hard sometimes and that's okay. the hard things in life are often the things that are the most worthwhile and important. parenting is by far the most relentless call to selflessness that i have ever faced. it is by far the most refining experience and the thing that pushes me towards to Jesus every single day. every single day i need Him to come after me and redeem my heart and point me towards Him. every.single.day.

a month or so ago a good friend sent me this article and when i read it, it felt like a breath of fresh of air. if you are struggling with living up to that "good mom" in your head, i would encourage you to read it to. and re-read it as often as needed.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

this may be the longest period of time i have gone without writing something here.

we've had three birthdays, start of kindergarten and lots of other stuff going on since august. i have thought about writing but then lost energy before getting to it.

i came across this list of writing prompts for December a few weeks ago and it seemed like an easy way to jump back in here. obviously, we are on the 6th day of December and i'm just getting started, so there is no real plan to do everyday but i will do what i can.

the prompt for today is:

Name a song that triggers emotions from the past and describe those emotions.

i am not even sure where to start with this.

i will pick a good memory rather than a hard one.

way back in 2004-2005, i was really in to indie music mostly due to some friends having introduced me to it. if left to my own devices, i stick to whatever comes on the radio. thankfully, i had friends who were willing to search out better music.

The Shins were at the top of my playlist, along with Iron and Wine, Deathcab, Sufjan, etc. For the longest time I had New Slang by the Shins set as my ring tone of my awesome pink razor phone. remember those? they were a really big deal. i know you are impressed.

during this time i had just graduated from A&M and was in living in Austin alone in my one bedroom apartment. i cannot tell you how often i think back to that one bedroom apartment and that period of my life. i was so happy to be living alone but it was definitely a weird time for me. i moved to austin not knowing anyone, still trying to move on after a break-up and really unfamiliar with living in an actual city. i remember driving up down the streets of downtown Austin being in awe that i actually LIVED there. i grew up in a four thousand person town and then moved to another small town for community college before finally transferring to Texas A&M in the thriving metropolis of College Station, Tx. to be fair, College Station felt like city life based on my previous homes. i mean a mall AND a target in town?? it was pretty exciting.

but when i graduated and moved to Austin, it was a whole new world and, while i loved Austin, moving to a place where i knew no one wasn't exactly easy. that transition from easy going, free flowing college life to the monday to friday, 8-5 life was pretty rough too. it took awhile but i finally found my place there. now, when I hear New Slang, i think about driving around Austin exploring my new city, the friendships i had at the time and my first post college job at the Capital Area Food Bank. and i think about the first time my phone rang and a number with the Jacksonville area code "904" showed up on the screen. i had no idea what answering that first phone call was going to lead to. life is crazy that way.

Monday, August 31, 2015

bedtime.

you know why we go to bed feeling like crappy parents most nights? because we just endured bedtime. no one can possibly feel awesome about their parenting coming out on the other side of that.

abbey made bedtimes seem like a fairy led walk in the park....until 2.5 yrs old.

tucker was pretty straight forward about his intentions when it came to bedtimes from the get go. wasn't havin it.

eisley is a complex little thing. when it comes to bedtime, she is perfect. when it comes to literally everything else...she is, well, complicated. in the cutest way possible of course.

it took me 1.5 hrs to get my 3 children successfully to bed tonight. ONE AND A HALF hours. that may not seem that bad (as my husband had the audacity to say..) but let me tell you, it's that bad.

you know what comes before bedtime? bath time. you know what comes before bath time? dinner time.

for the love, how are the cards so stacked against parents when it comes to schedules.

by the time bed time rolls, or crawls, around i am so emotionally and mentally traumatized by the previous hours' happenings that all i can muster up are some bedtime prayers and a kiss goodnight. i don't have it in me to do songs and stories and long cuddles. power to you if you can find energy for all that but after flying solo through dinner and bath time, i'm literally hobbling into bedtime.

eisley puts up a little fit every night when i put her in bed but it doesn't last longer than 2 mins and she is out. or at least quiet.

abbey is pretty hit and miss these days. some days all is dreamy in her little world and she obliges to staying in bed to look at books until quietly putting them and laying down for sleep. but some days all is the opposite of dreamy and her bed is suddenly the most lonely and terrifying place her little eyes have lied eyes on. on those nights, she likes to get out of bed and come remind me of her new found aversion to her room every 10 mins until i finally issue some half empty threat about taking her tv time away, at which point she supernaturally musters the courage to face her bed, closer her eyes and go.to.sleep.

but tucker. tucker is holding true to who he laid himself out to be from day one when it comes to bedtime.
eisley lays down the weight of the task of my sanctification at bedtime and tucker picks it right up from her and carries on. i am at a loss with this kid. it should be noted that the two nights a week that gregg is home for bedtime are a TOTALLY different story. tucker also taps into the supernatural on the those weekend nights and finds the ability to lay the heck down and go to sleep within a 5 minute time period. but mon-fri night he is running hard to make sure that mom sanctification responsibility doesn't get neglected.

by the time it's all said and done, i collapse into bed and start trying to gather the engery to do it all again the next night. i need at least 24 hrs to get ready for it again.

bedtime; killing parent's confidence since the beginning of time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

real life

social media is a strange thing.

we all hear the complaints of everyone shows the "highlights" from their life, how no one shows or talks about the real stuff, the less than ideal stuff.  i agree with this consensus for the most part. most of time when it comes to posts, people stick to the highlights of vacations and smiling kids in cute clothes adorably eating their kale. or something. on the occasion that someone admits that their child or life is less than ideal there is almost always a positive spin put on the end of it. something like #stillgrateful or #lovethemanyway or #atleasthescute...i've done all of those too.




there seems to be a desire for realness based on all the comments and talk about how frustrating social media can be in creating unrealistic expectations and setting us up for comparison and let down. but, when you get real and are willing to talk about the hard and annoying parts of your life, you open yourself up to criticism. i feel like this especially applies to parents.




i feel like i post real moments from our lives and i don't always throw in the positive spin hashtag at the end of the caption, because frankly, that's just not (my) real life.

when i have put my kid back in bed 7x at the end of an exhausting day, there is some real frustration. when the 2 year old will not stop screaming her face off in the car for no apparent or fixable reason, i'm feeling pretty done. when the 5 year old decides that for whatever reason, tonight would be a good night to become suddenly and inexplicably driven to tears by the thought of her bed, i'm not feeling super gracious. that's real life. sometimes i put those real life moments on facebook and instagram because i know they are relatable and because posting it out there for the world to see somehow helps me feel less alone in this madness.

it does not mean that i am not grateful for my children. it does not mean that there weren't funny and sweet moments all day long surrounding the chaos. it does not mean that i wish my responsibility to parent away or regret our three children. and, yes, as irrational and crazy as it may sound, it does not mean that i feel like we have met our child quota.

here's the thing about parenting that i think we can lose sight of; it is a very weighty and worthwhile role. and, as with most weighty and worthwhile roles, it is demanding and refining. it is filled with high highs and low lows. it will change who you are and how you see life. you will see the best parts and absolute worst parts of yourself when you take on the role of parenting. admitting the hard doesn't mean i am any less grateful than the person who chooses to see it (or at least display it) as all sunshine and hearts. it just means i have a different approach to how i process and share life. and that's okay.




the truth is, sometimes i do need to intentionally realign my focus and perspective to see the beauty in the madness. some nights when my kids finally do quiet down and go to sleep, i walk back to their rooms just stare at their beautiful faces and remind myself what a gift their lives are to me. sometimes, i feel the rise of a well of tears and a physical ache when i consider how much i love them.



so yes, you see will sweet, cuddly pictures with my kids on instagram but it's pretty likely you will also see a crying kid captioned with sarcasm and a hashtag sendalltheicecream. that's just real life for me though.

Monday, August 17, 2015

some things...

i have some things i feel like complaining about and this seems like a good place to do it.

-crocs. okay, my kids have crocs because they are practical for kids during the summer and i got them for free and really cheap. so, i'm not 100% anti croc. i would even wear the slip on ballet flat style if i could find those for free or really cheap. here's my beef when it comes to crocs, SOCKS. for the love people. if you are going to put your kid, or yourself for that matter, in a pair of shoes that's basic selling point is breathability and ease of being washed off, why why why! would you put socks on with them. stop ruining your children. if you've got crocs, then it's no socks. easy to remember.

-rompers. i don't want to let this go, i just don't. yes, so many people can pull these things off and technically look cute in them but WHY would you want to. a little girl in abbey's preschool class apparently wore one to school and i know this because abbey made the observation of the outfits biggest flaw when recalling happenings from her day to me. she said "my friend had to get all the way undressed today just to go potty." yep, that kid's mom put her in a romper. look, i'm all about the romper on my two year but not on my 33 year old mom bod. not even if i somehow managed to not have a mom bod, why would i want to get naked in the stall of a public restroom just to pee? can they really be that comfortable? because so are "yoga pants" and they don't require nudity to pee.

-THIS i don't even know how to deal with this. period underwear, aka, a reusable pad. isn't that actually putting us back a few decades? i get the environmental awareness thing but come on. when it comes to dealing with an already unpleasant part of life, let's not make it more disgusting. if you are really that concerned about the trees there are other options out there. i can't even..no, just no.

-also, Blue Bell ice cream is making is way back out in the world. but that's not a complaint, just more of a critically important piece of information that needs to be shared via every avenue.

-abbey starts kindergarten in SIX days. six. i know quite a few moms in the same boat as me right now, awaiting to send their eldest kid off to public/private/some form of not at home school this month. i keep seeing lots of comments about how they can't believe the time has come and about the fighting of tears. i am still waiting for those feelings and thus have been experiencing mostly feelings of concern over why i am such a bad mom. where are my tears?? maybe they will come monday. yes, in some ways, it's shocking that we are at this point with her but in SO many other ways it's so obvious that she is ready and in need for something more than she is getting at home with me everyday. i guess maybe that's making it easier for me to believe the time has come? because she is so obviously over being at home full time. however, tucker and eisley are going to take it pretty hard.

the end.

for now.



Monday, August 3, 2015

oh, to be enough..

everyone feels like they aren't enough from time to time. it's just the way it is. some of us feel it come around more often than others. some of us have it hanging over our heads on what feels like every single day, only seeing the view shift for a day or two at a time before that yucky feeling edges it way back in.

lately i have been feeling a lot of the "not enough". i don't really like to talk about it though and it's not because i am ashamed of feeling this way but more because i don't want to come off as a plea for compliments or affirmation of my greatness. that's not what i need. sure, my flesh my desire that. but, i know that as lovely as it is for a friend to tell me how awesome i am, at the end of the day those words fade into the background and get overshadowed by the weight of needing to do and be more.

i follow a good amount of blogs and instagram accounts of bloggers from all different backgrounds. i've got Christian girl bloggers, fitness people, healthy living/eating accounts, mom blogs...all of it in my feed along with people i actually know ;) i don't often struggle with feeling like i want to have what other people have, like homes, trips, etc. although i definitely have dealt with that in the past, the last few years the biggest ways i find myself feeling not enough are:

1) how i look, specifically my weight and body shape

and

2) who i am as a person, specifically what i "do" or rather, don't do

so yeah, nothing too heavy right? ha.

i know these have got to be really common struggles. it would be so much easier for me to say that i struggle with wanting all the fun vacations i see friends on or the adorably styled homes popping up all over my instagram feed. i feel like these are safer things to admit to wanting, because who wouldn't want to go to Europe for the summer or have magazine quality decor in their bedroom?? it's harder for me to say that i don't feel like the person i am, the way i spend my days and what i see in the mirror are good enough. it shows some deep seeded insecurities. or, maybe i just feel like these things are harder to admit to because they are the things i struggle with. ha. that could totally be it too.

i don't really have a quick fix for this, though i have been searching for quite awhile. i can tell you the fix for the body image stuff isn't in losing weight or working out more. it's not in new, cuter clothes either. those things help for awhile but the effect wears off and soon it's back to feeling like i should be losing more weight or working out harder. it just means that i start to feel even more not enough.  i can tell you the fix for not feeling like who i am and how i spend my days isn't enough doesn't come with adding more tasks to a to do list or by enrolling in graduate school.

so, my new thought is just to own up to it instead of covering it up with attempts at fixing it. my idea is to confess this struggle, recognize that it is ultimately my longing to find my meaning and worth in my accomplishments rather than in Christ that is the true problem. that this whole thing about not being enough shines a light on my tendencies to be way more inward focused than outward focused. my hope is that those in my everyday life would be able to call me out on this when they see it brewing and point my focus back to loving and serving others well.

i KNOW i can't be alone in this and i hope that in just knowing it's a shared struggle will be an encouragement. it doesn't really matter how "enough" we may appear to another person, there is a really good chance we are spending plenty of our days feeling anything but that.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

things i love lately...

these energy bites.

i have been making them for awhile but am still just as obsessed. they are SO good. my kids love them and i do too. i have to take a break from making them because at some point, they become not so healthy when i can't enable self control.
source/recipe

in more food things, i am still eating this salad at least once a day. no lie or exaggeration. i will probably get sick of it at some point but, for now, it always sounds good. i always include butter lettuce salad mix, avocado, tomato, roasted sweet potatoes, salsa and seasoned ground meat (usually turkey) and most often plantain chips. i have added in leftover zucchini and asparagus and it was good like that too. i just had it for lunch.


not wearing make-up. (more on this another time)

dresses. i am on a mission to wear simple dresses/skirts this summer as much as possible. so much more comfortable than shorts. i just got this one at target with a giftcard and i am really thinking about buying another in blue. it's so comfortable!

Body PUMP!-that should link to a video to give you an idea of what it's like if you haven't taken a class before (this is not the class we go to-just a video that popped up on a google search!)

gregg and i have been going to a body pump class 3x a week for over 2 months now. i am really loving it and can definitely see a difference in my arms. as with any workout, i don't always feel like doing it but i am always so glad i did once it's done. i like this class because it's really up to you how much you challenge yourself and how much weight you add on to lift. it's also great for me because i am just not going to do any strength training on my own. it's just not going to happen. 

30 rock! i was getting sick of watching FRIENDS on netflix (who knew i could get sick of FRIENDS?) and decided to give 30 Rock a try. i watched a few seasons while it was on but never watched it regularly. Tina Fey is all things hilarious to me, so i'm not surprised i like it so much but it has been very entertaining rediscovering how great it is.

source

and i have to mention the s'mores frap from starbucks even though i've only had it once and probably won't get it again because ohmygosh that can't be healthy...but it's SO good.

source


the end.