Monday, January 30, 2012

I Wouldn't Have Missed It For The World

We were talking over lettuce wraps and sweet tea at Mongolian BBQ. It was just Joe and I which was a nice birthday surprise from my mom.

So, as the kids were enjoying some grandma time Joe and I were enjoying some good conversation. As we sat there and talked about all sorts of things, mostly parenting, I was taking note of the eighties tunes quietly playing overhead.

I love eighties music. (Right now my sister Emily is rolling her eyes and throwing up in her mouth a little bit...she's not a fan of the eighties music...)Like, it's probably my favorite, that and country. I never ever listen to either of those genres anymore though. It's all KLOVE all the time around here. The contemporary christian music station we jam to as we drive around town. I love it. I especially love hearing my kids sing along to worship and praise songs. Probably the sweetest thing my ears have ever heard.

But last night it was nice to hear familiar songs from my childhood. Songs that took me back to favorite memories of my mom and dancing in our teeny living room together, songs that brought back precious memories of my dad, songs that had special meaning in significant relationships. And songs that, as I listened, began to have new meaning. Like I heard them through different ears and for the very first time. Songs that I've heard a thousand times but for some reason brought tears to my eyes as I thought of them in a new way.

"I Wouldn't Have Missed It For The World" by Ronnie Milsap did just that. It had a whole different meaning to me all of a sudden. That song made me think about things like countless sleepless nights. Nights where I noticed distant train whistles at two in the morning, certainly something I wouldn't have noticed before rocking a hungry baby in the stillness of the night.

It made me think about how difficult it can be now to just drop everything and go out to lunch with a friend or make a trip to the mall. How it's hard to do anything spur of the moment.

How I used to keep my house spotless. I even had the ability to have something for years and years before it broke. Now chubby, sticky fingers move pretty fast and have superhuman strength as they toss the remote across the room, or in my case, the mouse that just took a bad bounce onto a linoleum floor and split into two pieces. Yeah, that never happened before kids.

And neither did about a million other scenarios.

But ya know what?

I Wouldn't Have Missed It For The World...

No mama would. We love our kids no matter what. Those are the things we know we will someday look back on and laugh. It bonds us to all the other mommies out there when we meet at play group and try to "one up" each other with our "Oh yeah, well guess what my little one flushed down the toilet" stories.

Right now I can't really imagine a less chaotic life. One that doesn't require prying three DVDs out of the DVD player or breaking up fights over who gets the first slice of cake or going through homework folders and making sure my big boy reads at least twenty minutes every night. What in the world will I do when I only have to do laundry once a week?  What will I do when my days don't require two, three or four cups of coffee??

I know what. I will miss it. I will miss these days. I will think back and remember how very challenging they were and wonder how I made it through. I will wish I had little people clinging to my leg and begging to play kitchen.

So, for now, I will soak up every single second. I will be more patient, I will stop and play when they ask me to, I will refrain from rolling my eyes and muttering under my breath when I walk into a room strewn with toys. All too soon the toy room will transition into something else, maybe a room with a couch that doesn't have peanut butter marks or hot wheels under cushions. Too soon.

Every soaked floor from a crazed bath, every Lego I've stepped on in the middle of the night, every girls night out I've missed well, it's okay because this kid thing?  I agree with Ronnie, I wouldn't have missed it for the world...

Happy Monday out there. Go hug your little people :)


Saturday, January 21, 2012

This Week

This week...

Selah got strep throat, two days later Gabe came down with it. He broke my heart, "mama, will you sleep in my bed?" You know it, little buddy. The next day, as he was watching television, I looked over and saw tears streaming down hot cheeks. That darn fever had him crying. I did my best to comfort him, his head in my lap, as I stroked his hair and rubbed his back. I dare say it was the happiest I've been all week. Not because I was nursing a sick baby but because I didn't feel any guilt for sitting down and putting my feet up. It was nice knowing I was needed to sit there and watch Sesame Street. 

This week...

My friend celebrated her fortieth birthday. It has me thinking about things. Like the kind of woman I am, the kind of woman I want to be and the steps it takes to get there.

This week...

I dropped everything to play with my girl when she sweetly asked, her head tilted to the side "play in my kitchen?" I love the way she pulls out a pot and starts making me some pretend oatmeal, or her favorite, pizza. And if you haven't tried pretend oatmeal and pizza from a two year old, well, you haven't really lived.

This week...

I watched as Gabe kindly "read" books to his little sister. He also played kitchen with her. They are quite the pair when big brother is at school. Such a sweet bond being formed there. Of course, it's also quite frightful the way they can fight. I can't even tell ya how many times I've said something like, "Selah, that's Gabe's Leapster" as she tears through the house with it. Or "Gabe, please don't throw her babies, she doesn't like that, and it's not kind."

This week...

I shared a girls night out with my mom and a close friend. It was nice and needed in more ways than one. I loved that we could recount the past, relive stories and finish each other's sentences.

This week...

I embarrassingly removed an unwrapped tampon from Selah's pocket during Gabe's speech therapy appointment...hoping no one saw the tiny white string sticking out of her jeans pocket. Note to self: Move tampon box out of reach of two year old.

This week...

I taught my boys how to play Scrabble. It was fun. I felt like they are much more my speed than my step-mom and sister who could quite possibly be World Scrabble Champions...  After about twenty minutes all play came to a screeching halt as a certain four year old took his wooden tile rack and flung it across the room. Then we rocked out the Time Out...

This week...

We stayed in lounge wear all day for three days straight. And when I say "lounge wear" I mean footie pajamas with a zipper, or fleece jammies with snowmen. There's nothin' like jammies all day, a bedtime bath, a lotion massage followed up by fresh jammies and hot chocolate. It's quite grand. You should try it. Don't blame me if you get hooked.

This week...

I fretted over the two pounds I somehow gained over the last week (probably something to do with the Friday night pizza and chocolate chip cookies. Although, a friend and I declared that chocolate certainly can't be blamed for such things. It's just not possible. It's too good..) And immediately celebrated my hard workouts and dropping those pounds with a Reese's fudge thing Joe and the kids made. The scale and I won't be talking tomorrow.

And that was our week. I wonder what next week will bring...hopefully at least one jammie day...

Happy Saturday to ya!


*Again, all pictures are way old. Sorry about that. Hopefully new camera will be in the budget soon!*

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bed In Summer

Bed In Summer

In winter I get up at night
and dress by yellow candle light

In summer quite the other way
I have to go to bed by day

I have to go to and see the birds still hopping on the tree
or hear the grown up people's feet still going past me on the street

And does it not seem hard to you when all the sky is clear and blue
and I should like so much to play to have to go to bed by day?

Robert Louis Stevenson

Isaac had to memorize this for first grade speech meet. I certainly didn't want to forget it. Or the way he says it...all fast and crazy, can't sit still. At seven everything is a race! Who gets their pajamas on fastest, who gets seat belts buckled quicker...every. single. thing. But I guess that's what being a boy is all about... It makes the times when he actually stands there and says it all slow and steady, how he emphasizes certain words, well, it just makes those times that much sweeter.


This last week was all about packing and pitching. I've gone through boxes I haven't seen in years. I can't believe half the stuff I held onto for so long. Crazy. It sure does feel good to go through the old stuff and get rid of the things we don't need. As I write that I think about how I want God to do that to me. Sort through all the muck...make room for the good, make room for growing this heart...

Like I was saying, we are in our new place. I couldn't love it more. It's nothing fancy, not at all, but it's perfect. Cozy. Cheerful. It felt like home from the instant we walked in the front door the first time. It gives me hope. The sunshine streaming through the windows, that alone feels like healing. Mending a heart that lost sight of hope for awhile. And the kids? They've fallen perfectly in love with it as well. I thought there might be some scary first-night-in-the-new-house jitters. But nope. I'm always amazed how kids find peace in the simple fact that mom and dad are just a room away. The same peace that comes with knowing our heavenly father is just a prayer away. Closer than that actually. It feels good, it feels safe, it feels right.

Gotta go, time to pick Gabe up from preschool. Happy Friday, Friends!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The One Where I Cried In Barnes & Noble...And Other News...

It was last Saturday, New Year's Eve and I was out shopping for a couple of birthday gifts for Isaac. The one thing he wanted for Christmas that he didn't get was a bible cover. I had gone to nearby shoppes but didn't really see anything I thought he'd like. Joe suggested Bares and Noble. I was sitting there in the  parking lot and decided to check facebook on my phone before I headed into the store. A friend's status update said something along the lines of "leave a comment of your most memorable New Year's Eve".

And that's when I started to get all weepy. Seven years earlier at almost that exact time my water broke. Joe and I were at Kenwood Mall in Cincinnati. I had just finished a glazin' raisin pretzel from Auntie Anne's when I stood up and felt a little trickle. My due date was a week away but I had a feeling that this was "it"! I looked at Joe with eyes as big as saucers, fear written all over my face and told him what I felt. He told me to go to the bathroom to make sure I didn't pee my pants (haha)! Once it was confirmed it truly was my "water", we hit the road!  I think it was pure elation I saw on Joe's face, me rubbing my tummy as we sped down I-75...not because he was about to meet his first child, the one that would melt his heart into a million pieces,  but because he could go as fast as he wanted on the highway!

Yes, I would have to say that was my most memorable New Year's Eve ever. Not sure how it can be topped.

So, there I was sitting in the car, I tried not to think too much about that special night seven years earlier. I told myself I would write about it later, I didn't need to become a puddle of tears right then. I was on a mission, I had gifts to buy!  I walked into the bookstore and asked if they had bible covers. I found one I knew for sure he would like. It had little Velcro pockets on the outside, and that boy loves places to put things. He has a toolbox that he keeps organized...screws, tape measure (or tape measure-er as he calls it), screw drivers...random Lego pieces... I could already picture him finding the perfect trinkets to put in those little pockets.

With that, I went into the Children's section and started looking at a few books. I found "You Are Special" by Max Lucado. And that's when I just couldn't hold it together anymore.  This sweet book about how our Maker wants to spend time with us each day. How we gain our confidence from Him alone and not what others think. I would like to say I was crying on behalf of my boy but what really struck me is the fact that my Maker wants to spend time with me. This isn't a new thought, I was raised in church and I've always known He loves me but sometimes that realization can feel brand new.  You know, the whole Creator of the Universe really wants to spend time with me? My problems can sound more like complaining or ungratefulness. And I don't want to be that person who is all "yeah, I have three healthy kids and food in the fridge but I can't stand this teeny, tiny townhouse".

But the truth is I am that girl. And I wasn't sure how I was supposed to be feeling about things. Our life has been a roller coaster these last four years or so. We've had moments where we didn't know where our next meal would come from. I've been the mama crying over the sleeping babe in the crib not knowing where he would sleep in a month or where we would call home. I've been that mama, belly big and round with a precious soul inside wondering if the food I consumed that day was enough to sustain two lives.

The next day on my drive home from the gym, with the words of that book still fresh in my mind,  I just started praying. I've been so, I don't know, I hate to say discontent with our living situation. 1400 square feet is not enough for a family of five. Or it's at least a true struggle to make it work. I type that and then think we are so blessed, because we are. Most of the world would be incredibly grateful to have what we have.

Still, my heart was torn. I wanted a place for my kids to ride their bikes, to build a tree house, to have friends come and play and actually have a place for them to play! To sit on my couch and not be staring at my treadmill on the right and "dining room" on the eat at that table and not get poked in the back by the Christmas tree....

So, there I was, praying and crying over this. We had come to a point where we had stopped looking for the next place, we just decided to stick it out here for a few more months. A few more months doesn't sound like a long time but I know us and a few months could easily turn into a few more. I was feeling pretty hopeless. Worn out from spinning my wheels and trying to make this space work. I just asked God to reveal to me if any of this was sinful, what I had been feeling, this torn, messed up heart of mine. I drove by our old house, the one with four spacious bedrooms and a finished basement bigger than the entire place we are in now. Probably not the best idea. I just gave it all up. I said I was sorry for being ungrateful, that He would have to find our next house because I was done trying. I just couldn't keep getting my hopes up, picturing where our pictures would hang, envisioning our kids playing in the yards, the Thanksgiving dinners that would accommodate our large extended family. Because I would get my hopes up and then it wouldn't work out, or the timing wouldn't be right. And there I'd sit, staring at my treadmill and really wishing I had a window in the kitchen. Knowing all along that those things aren't the important things, but boy wouldn't it be nice?...

Later, we were all huddled on the couch watching "Winne The Pooh". I didn't know it but Joe was on his phone looking at local houses for rent (he didn't know about my emotional morning). He showed me one, we saw the price and knew it was a "steal". We called right away, we met the realtor a couple of hours later. And now, not even a week from when we first looked at it, we are packing our things. I still can't believe it. I haven't been able to sleep at all. I start to fall asleep and then remember it all over again...and get excited all over again! That darn treadmill (it's a love/hate relationship...but mostly love, honest) will have a spot, in the unfinished basement. I can't wait! What a great way to start the new year :)

I don't know what all of it means but I think there is a lot to say about Surrender. Just giving things over to the Lord. And I don't know why I get so surprised when He surprises me. If anything He's continued to show His faithfulness. Over and over and over again. How is He showing you?

I've gotta go. It's a big day. Cupcake delivery to Isaac's school so he can celebrate his birthday with his classmates, and it seems like there's something else.....oh yeah, packing :)

Happy Tuesday!