Sunday, August 6, 2017

The blubbering ball of goo

I'm an awkward person. It's my identifier. When someone starts to cry my first instinct is to crack a horrible (and usually inappropriate) joke just to make them stop. I do not handle crying well, my own included. A friend of mine came to me heavy burdened once, weeping and heartbroken. I knew I needed to comfort her, but All I could think to do in that moment was to google "what do you do when the weight of the world is on your shoulders?"  So I did. We laughed and decided a boat to Mexico and some margaritas would be an easy fix but maybe staying around and roughing it out would be the wisest choice. I may not be the best person for advice but I'm always good for a sarcastic comment and a fiercely love abounding hug. I say all that to say this: few things are sentimental enough to me that it causes me severe sadness. The kind of sadness that I don't push back to the outskirts of my brain because let's be honest, if we don't think about it, then it doesn't exist right?!? I must say the first day of school gets me EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Watching that kid walk into school by himself reminds me how fast time really moves and how precious it truly is. I have to turn my head everyday (after the first day of course) and not watch him walk in or I turn into this huge blubbering ball of goo. Some days, just to torture myself, I will sneak a peak in my side mirror thinking "You can handle this" just to realize "no you can't". I do the same thing when I watch Steel Magnolias when I know good and well that movie makes me ugly cry. When he starts a new chapter, I start a new chapter. Although it's fun and exciting, the reminder that you have to close the old one is gut wrenching. Today he has decided he is too old for me to walk him to his class. Maybe it's because he is my only child, but the realization that he is big enough that he doesn't need me to walk him in on his first day today has  made me physically ill. I wanted to park the car and pull a full on recon MacGyver kind of mission where I follow him with my camera and take pictures without him knowing and photoshop myself in the picture later. I will never walk my child into school again. I will never have a picture of him at his desk in his class on the 1st day of school again (unless I can bribe a teacher friend to go snap one for me). Chapter closed. Door shut. Insert any other metaphor you can think of..... Life is moving forward. Time is ticking and I can't slow it down. So yes, I'm heading to work today with mascara stains on my face, a heavy heart and a complete emotional ticking time bomb but I also know that there are fun and exciting things just around the corner. Every new year brings something new to discover, explore and try out. I now know why my mentors in life always told me to not wish my life away. I see now what I never saw in my youth. You do blink and suddenly you wonder where has the time gone. So to all you other moms who were blubbering balls of goo today too, you are not alone...... and I am sorry if this made you cry again....just go cry somewhere I can't see you okay?!?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

That one time we made slime....

I've never done a "How To" blog, that's really not my scene, so today I'm gonna add my own "Real mom" step by step take on a semi-fun, really messy, wish they would have done it with grandma at her house craft that I just had to clean up.

The kid wants to make slime. He's been begging for months and I've been putting it off for months hoping he would forget about it. Now before you criticize me, I'm all about making memories with my kid but something about working with glue and food coloring has BAD IDEA written ALL over it. So what happened instead to change my mind you ask? My mother. That's what. He asked NANA to buy him the stuff to make it so she did and sent it home with ME. So here we are on a Saturday, the week AFTER VBS I might add, making slime. So here is a step by step guide on how to make this ooey gooey glob of nastiness. 

Step 1

Say a quick prayer over these items... lay hands if you must. 

Step 2

Pour 1/4 of a perfectly good jar of Elmers glue into a bowl that you don't ever care to use again. 

Step 3

Pour 1/4 cup of warm water into glue mixture. Side note: Make sure you feel the water first to make sure it's warm and not scalding hot before your kid throws the measuring cup across the room screaming that his hand is melting...

Step 4

Add food coloring of your choice. Don't ask me how many squirts, just wing it. 

Step 5

Add 3 heaping (that means overflowing to the point you have to stop and clean after this step because it looks like sugar exploded on your counter) tbsp of Borax. 

Step 6

Find a utensil you never want to use again to stir this nonsense up. I chose a skewer stick. At this point with the red we realized that it was in fact a fourth of a cup and not 1 1/4 of a cup of water so we had to start all over

Step 7

Make your kid pick up the mixture and knead it until, well, it turns into slime. You will hear a lot of "this is gross" and "can you please just do it" at this point and that's when you say "this was your idea kid!" 

Step I've lost count

You start ALL over with a new color 😫😫

Your almost done step

Spend 10 minutes washing their hands with baking soda because they will look like permanent skittles. 

Your almost done step

Put nastiness into individual zip lock bags and mash away! 

Step your done

Put slime in refrigerator below the Little Ceasers pizza that has been there for almost two weeks and let it sit there until it grows mold and you remember to throw it away because your kid has moved on to something new and forgot it was ever even in there until you actually DO throw it away and they have a melt down because "They weren't done playing with it" three months later. Did you read that huge long run on sentence in one breath?

✔️ memory made, documented and hopefully never to be repeated again. Now to think how to get my mother back. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Why am I so domestically challenged?

My mother made Paige and myself a cookbook several years ago for Christmas that had to have taken her hours and hours to put together. It was by far the most thoughtful gift anyone has ever given me. It was full of all of her recipes that Paige and I request for her to make on holidays. Paige got the baking gift but it skipped directly over me. In the back of this precious book, my mother made a "Google Mom" page with all the ridiculous questions I call and ask her complete with thorough and sometimes sarcastic answers. Yes one of those does in fact read "How do you boil an egg?"

It isn't just her that I annoy either. I had to call my friend Brandy from Kroger one day because I had the genius idea to make cornbread for the first time, found a list of ingredients online, and couldn't find the first one in the store. I think I may have called her 5 times before I left the store. Flour comes in more than just the color white? This item pictured almost sent me into a full fledge 2 year old toddler meltdown. I couldn't find it anywhere and had walked all over it a million times.

Today from inside Dollar General, I had to ask my friend Jessica where the Baking Soda was because I couldn't find it either. I'm not even going to mention that I was looking for it beside the household cleaner because the only time I really recall using it was once when I had a grease fire on the stove and I somehow knew to throw Baking Soda on it.  I'm a special kind of special. You get the picture right.

My friend Ashley loves to tell me about these amazing dishes she cooks and I am tempted to look at her and say "Well let me tell you about this superb dish I cooked the other night that came straight from Hamburger Helper that was DIVINE!" Jason requests this gourmet dish at least once a week.

And this one....

So how did this amount of ignorance come from such a wonderful mother who's Chicken and Dumplings will put ANY of yours to shame? I live with a house full of picky eaters that's why! Their inability to eat anything that isn't a hamburger or cooked from a box has made me domestically challenged. One day I decided enough was enough and I decided it was time for a change. I tried 3 weeks of cooking from Pinterest and cookbooks, hence the cornbread fiasco. I broke out my crock pot, blew the dust off and put it to work. One night Jason walked in with a Dominoes Pizza because he had waved his white flag. Out of the 20 meals I cooked, only 4 were eaten by all three of us. They were the most basic 4 meals out of all the others. I cried defeat and went back to business as usual.

So Paige, moms legacy will fall upon your shoulders. I am glad Ross will eat pretty much anything you put in front of him. Count that as a blessing sweet sister. When we are old and you are cooking the holiday meals, know that I am good for the Rolls and Sweet Tea.

On a side note, my cornbread turned out awesome. It was the first and last time my iron skillet has ever been used.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Repeat after me.....

I am writing this blog at the request of a friend who said she desperately needed to hear it. While laying in bed last night with all the thoughts of what I wanted to say to her running through my head, I grabbed my phone and shot her this quick preview and reassurance before I went to sleep, because I KNEW she was still up studying with her son and preparing for a test they have today. So here is my pep talk my friend.

So after reading that text, I know you do realize that in fact some kids performance does in fact reflect their parenting, or lack thereof. I'm not talking to that group of people. What I am talking about is when we choose to lump ourselves in with that group of people and begin to judge OUR success on the shoulders of our children's success.

At football practice or games, we moms tend to sit around and gripe about homework, studying, tests and playground bullies. As each mom starts to rattle off their kids issues and problem areas, we find comfort in knowing we aren't alone in these issues, but we start to feel inadequate when our kid struggles where another has excelled. We start to shrink down in our chair when one parent is concerned with B's and you are struggling with F's.  We start to feel like a failure when we hear the scores their kids made on that hard test and yours was significantly lower even though you studied just as long and just as hard. We watch our children on the field and start to judge our success on how much play time they received. When they make a mistake, we take it personally. When whether or not our child made the honor roll determines how we feel about ourselves as parents, there is a problem.

Here is the realization that I think could radically change our perspective on this issue if we would allow it to fully center us in every thought we have running through our mind. Our kids success DOES NOT define who we are as parents. Here is a bigger news flash. We aren't all raising kids who will become doctors, lawyers, or CEO's of banks. When my child is older, he may not can tell you the difference between a declarative and interrogative sentence, but he may can fix your car when it breaks down. He may not be able to save a life in an operating room, but he may save a life from a burning building. He may not hand out orders from a big mahogany desk somewhere but he may be able to take a piece of mahogany and build you something beautiful with it. God made each one of our children with a different skill set for His divine purpose and once we realize that, our mood starts to shift.

Who ever knew that of all the things we would struggle with in the 4th grade, subtraction would be one of them. Something that seems so incredibly simple to me completely eludes my child. He doesn't understand large number subtraction. Period. Homework that week was a complete nightmare. After HOURS, homework ended with only 4 problems completed with 16 more to go, me crying at the kitchen table and him storming off screaming to his room. I had lost my temper with subtraction. I had lost my religion with my child. I had sat there all night and took it personally that my kid didn't understand something as simple as large number subtraction. The worst of it all is I completely overlooked the fact that he was struggling. After I had managed to semi put myself back together, I went in his room and crawled in bed with him. With just that one simple gesture my child fell apart. As he cried he said mom I can't help I'm so stupid. It was like the wind had been knocked right out of me. Math didn't make him feel stupid. Subtraction didn't make him feel stupid. My projection of his failure to comprehend in this relatively simple skill made him feel stupid. I turned him over to face me and proceeded to tell him he was to never ever in my presence ever refer to himself as stupid again. I apologized to him for losing it over something he could not control. The truth is he desperately wants to understand large number subtraction, the light bulb just hasn't clicked for him yet. The next day I emailed his teacher. She kept him in from music and gave him some one on one time with subtraction. We still went over it at home, and the light bulb still refused to click. He took his subtraction test a few days later and made a 67. The thing I realized after that experience is that 67 does not define him. It doesn't define me. I don't need to rely on my parenting victories to come from his success in math or how many tackles he made or how many base runs he hits or if he gets invited to every birthday party or for the love of all that is Holy his citizenship grade. I will wear that 67 like a badge of honor because I know the hours and tears that went in to that grade.

Let me tell you where my parenting victories come from. When a child on his team scores or makes a good play, my child is going to run and give him the biggest hug and chest bump you have ever seen. He comes home to tell me that at recess he asked a certain kid to play on his team to make him feel better about himself and make that kid feel included. His teacher emailed me to say that every single day he asks to take her lunch tray to the trash for her. When he is nervous, I see him start to count his fingers and repeat in his head with each finger I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He tells me he loves me a bazillion times a day. He holds my hand in the car. He helps our elderly neighbor take her groceries in from her car without being asked. These are my parenting victories. This is what defines him. Whether he turns out to be a scientist or he works at Wal-Mart, his character at the end of the day is where we find our peace. Is he perfect all of the time? That's a hard no, but the seeds we have planted are still there taking root and sprouting each and every day. Should we still challenge our children to do better? Absolutely!  Should we settle for F's and just be ok with that? That isn't what I am saying at all. Even though I am writing this, do I have a firm grip on it? Come to my house next week with a fresh set of homework and you will see for yourself how good of a handle I have on this. The struggle is real my friends. The good news is THIS TO SHALL PASS.

So to my precious friend who is struggling right now, let me tell you that you are raising a fine young gentleman. He has the best manners of any kid his age, he prays the sweetest prayers I have ever heard (even when he is hungry haha), he has a deep love and compassion for animals and his smile and laughter is contagious. You are a wonderful mother. This season of our life is pure survival. I am thankful to have you in my life to lean on when these moments seem to consume us. We shall get them to graduation, one way or the other. I can't wait to see what the future holds!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Half way to 70....

Today is my 35th birthday. I can remember a time when 35 seemed so ancient to me yet here I am, 35 and still feel 20 something. Jason has repeatedly reminded me over the last few weeks that I was slowly approaching the halfway mark to 70 years old. At first when he said it a sting shot through me... Was this life halfway over? The more I thought about it, and remembered people in my life that are 70 years old that I still think are very young, that sting started to lessen. 

A few weeks ago I had to fill out a questionnaire for a doctors appointment and one of the questions asked me what my current emotional state was. It gave me a lot of options including stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, etc. For the first time in a very long time I smiled and checked the box that said content. I wasn't able to check that box because everything in my life is smooth sailing and because I do not have problems. I checked that box because being content is actually a choice, One I made not too terribly long ago. Being content is not reliant on your circumstances but plainly on your perspective. Is my life perfect, no. Do I have everything I have ever wanted, no. Do I have some dreams that I had for my life that I'm having to let go of? Yes I am. But I'm choosing to live a content life and I will gladly tell you why. 

In February this world lost a sweet precious soul. I was lucky to be able to call her friend. Jodi left behind a husband and three beautiful children, two of which she spent her life praying for because she was repeatedly told she would never be able to have children. She was a mother, a wife, a daughter, a teacher, a friend, a role model for my sister, a confidant, an advisor and she was always good for a smile and a fierce hug. I miss her terribly. At her wake I looked around and saw all the lives she had touched. Three hours we stood in line just to reach the room. In that time I pondered all the things she would miss. Birthdays, weddings, first and last days of school, anniversaries. Suddenly any problem I have had or will ever have seemed so small. 

So I choose to live content because I can. I choose to forgive because I can. I choose to love others because I can. I choose to not sweat the small stuff because I can. I choose to take a nap when I want too even though I have 100 other things that need to be done because I can. I choose to love my child unconditionally every single day even when I want to ring his neck because I can. I choose to be happy even when the world isn't going my way because I can. She can't, But I can. 

Paul said it better than I ever could. He found the secret to being content. It was a secret that I have allowed to take residence in my very core. It is life changing. Perspective altering. Soul quenching for the parched. It's simply this. 

Thank you for the Happy Birthday wishes today. I plan on smiling today because I can. Spending the day with family because I can. Cherishing each and every second of this short life that I can. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Two prayers....

My dearest Colby,
        From the day I found out that I was pregnant with you, I started praying daily for two things. No it wasn't your health, your looks, your IQ or your abilities. What I prayed for was far greater a concern for me than anything else. The first thing I prayed for was your salvation, and that your love for Jesus would take the first priority always in your life. The second thing I prayed for was the salvation of your future wife. On your wedding day, she will know that before the time you were even born, she has received just as many prayers on my behalf as you have. 
        Tonight, your daddy and I along with Bro. Jerry witnessed my first prayer come true. For over a year now, our nightly prayer time together has been filled with questions about how to be saved and with persistence you have asked to take that step. For fear of your age and comprehension of what you were truly doing, I would tell you that we would know when the time was right. For the last two months you took it upon yourself to prove to me that you were truly ready and your initiative eased my troubled heart that it was finally time. Tonight, with the heart, faith, obedience and innocence of a child, you humbly sat before the throne of Jesus and asked Him to be the Lord of your life. You were nervous to the point you had a hard time being still, but when you were done you looked at me and smiled a smile of relief, happiness and excitement. With tears rolling down my cheeks I smiled back at you with a burden lifted in my heart because now I know we have eternity together. There is nothing in life that will ever compare to that moment shared together. I will never be more proud of you than I was tonight. You will fail, daily, but the grace of God will cover you. The Holy Spirit will be your guide in life and His wisdom will always outweigh your own. You will cling to that prayer in times of happiness, in times of sorrow, in times of change and in times of weakness. You may have times in your life where you will look at your sin and doubt yourself. You will find peace in your confidence of your salvation. 

        So tonight as I lay down I start a new prayer to replace the one that was answered. I will pray for myself. I will pray that I will be what you need. I pray that I will make it my first priority to help you grow in your faith and never go slack. I will pray for God to open doors for teachable moments and allow me to always look for opportunities to show you Gods kindness, mercy, discipline, and grace. I will pray for wisdom and guidance as I lead you and set the example for you in which to follow. I pray I will live up to Gods standards that you will not settle for less in your future wife. I just pray for Gods anointing grace to be the best Godly mother to you that I can be. You deserve that of me. 

        Two repetitive prayers will still take place each and everyday with me, although one will change tonight. I love you more than you will ever comprehend. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

You know you have done it.....

As moms, we like to judge how well of a parenting job we are doing by comparing ourselves to other moms, which is utterly ridiculous. I don't know why we feel the need to compulsively do this to ourselves, but nevertheless we do. So I am here today to make you either feel better about yourself or breathe a sigh of relief that you aren't the only one who does these things.

12 Things I have done as a mom:

1) I throw his artwork away. This one is tricky because you have to really use your thinking skills. Not only do you have to make sure that they aren't looking, you have to dig to the bottom of the garbage to deposit it then make sure to cover it up really well with the top garbage. Then if your trash bag is clear, you have to make sure the lovely piece of artwork is in the middle of the bag so that you can't see it once you take the bag out of the garbage. If you miss any of these steps, you get a full fledge SHAMING from your child for throwing their priceless artwork away. I'm not the mom with the filing cabinet where I alphabetize all of his coloring pages, Sunday school crafts, school work etc. I have a box I keep things that are sentimental to me, and the rest gets stashed in the trash.

2) Borrowed money from him without asking.  One day I had a hankering for a slush from Sonic. I went at happy hour, ordered my slush and my total was a little over a dollar. I dug for change and came up with nothing. I refused to use my debit card for that small of an amount. His wallet peered out from under the console. He bought me a slush that day. With nerds. He was none the wiser.

3) Find his random stuff in my purse. Just this week while fishing for my wallet, I found 2 nerf bullets. I once found a tiny dinosaur of his in my purse that I took out and stuck on my desk. That was almost 6 years ago. He still stares at me to this day.

4) I have finished his homework before. Ok after you finish gasping over there, I will add that he was watching me and we were doing it together, but nonetheless he was taking forever and it was just easier for me to finish circling the answers. 3rd grade is no joke people. Weekly I have to google his homework first to even help him.  This is why God didn't call me to be a school teacher. If we pass the 3rd grade without killing one another, we deserve a big vacation.

5) Closet eat their snacks. Jason and I secretly get excited when he has had a holiday party at school. As soon as his cheeks hit the bathtub, we are going through that loot pulling out the good stuff. God bless the mom who gives the Reese's  Christmas Trees, hearts and eggs. We thank you.

6) Blamed them for something you did. I don't know what happened to your last nutty buddy.... Colby must have ate it. There is no shame in my game.

7) Made them bring you something you could have gotten yourself. I have no issues pulling this little hat out of my bag based on the amount of times a day I hear the words "Momma can you get me ________?"  Touché kid, touché.

8) Play with his toys in the tub. WWE wrestlers have taken over my tub. They line the walls, their paraphernalia liter the floor and before you know it you are soaking in a hot tub of water putting Roman Reigns boots back on him. You might actually bounce him around the water a time or two before putting him back where he belongs. If he happens to get in a fight with one of the other figures on his way back to the wall, well it just had to be done.

9)  Pull the "Because I told you so card" that you used to hate to hear as a kid. Sometimes an explanation just takes too long and you just need something done.  I hate the words as soon as they come out of my mouth, but sometimes you play the cards you have.

10) Lose a toy...... on purpose. From the annoying McDonalds happy meal toy to the recorder your mom thought would be such a fun gift for your kid, they all find the trashcan at my house when he isn't home. This isn't something I am brave enough to do when he is actually still in the house.

11) Use my kid as an excuse to get out of something I don't want to do. I'm just going to leave that one sitting right there. Just know it happens.

12) Tell them a bold face liar liar pants on fire fib. It seems the stores he always wants to go too are magically closed for that day or I am entirely too broke to go play the .25 games at Chuck E Cheese, but I can sure go spend $12 on us some ice cream from 32 degrees.

So there ya have it. My dirtiest parenting deeds laid out for you. So either give yourself a pat on the back and decide that maybe you are a better parent than you originally thought, or laugh with me at the things we do just to survive this thing called parenting. The good news is, there is zero reasons you should feel guilty. You were once a kid too and its just the circle of life.