This year is coming to a close, just a few short hours remain. As the moments melt away into memories, I
have been reflecting on what 2012 signified to me.
The moments that meant something, the milestones and heart ache and life altering decisions; the changes that shape my future.
This year has been one with many growing pains; we have added another child to our tribe, our home is different, and our relationships have grown and evolved. But I suppose that’s how every year is, full of change I mean, because if it stayed the same life wouldn’t be very interesting. I have no idea what tomorrow or the next day will bring, and I have no idea what I will be doing this time next year, but I trust it will all work out. Things don’t always get better, but change is inevitable. Good or bad, in the end it’s all a chapter in our stories, and every story an adventure. An uneventful life is hardly a fulfilling one. So instead of a New Years resolution for 2013, this year I am simply thankful I survived. I am thankful for our families and friends. I’m thankful for the roof over our heads and the clothes on our backs. I am thankful that I woke up this morning happy and healthy. Hardships make us stronger, an prepare us for whatever comes next. Stronger day by day should always be the goal, no exceptions. Life isn’t perfect, and I won’t pretend it is, but I am grateful for every moment, and pray no matter what the future brings, I never forget who holds the future.
Stronger December 31, 2012
This year is coming to a close, just a few short hours remain. As the moments melt away into memories, I
Family Christmas December 28, 2012
This Christmas was simply beautiful.
I don’t say that because of the mountain of gifts my family was blessed with,
The glimmer of the lights or the shimmer of ornaments.
I say that because the entire day was this surreal, dream like day of laughter and love and enjoying the people who mean the most to me.
No one was fighting.
Nothing else was on my mind at all except just enjoying the moment as it came.
I was blessed with some wonderful gifts this year, but I found myself more excited for my kids.
They are old enough to ask for things and excited for Christmas all on their own,
And their facial expressions are simply priceless, filled with surprise and wonder.
A few days before christmas my six year old Anthony came to me and gave me a giant hug.
“Mommy?” he said with a smile, his giant brown eyes meeting my hazel ones.
“I don’t even really care what I get for Christmas, I will just be grateful for whatever I get.”
I smiled, and felt a little warm and tingly inside.
I am so proud of my children. Every one of them, with all their unique attributes are so precious. Maybe they are just a really good batch of kids, but I like to think at least a small part of who they are comes from what my husband and I have taught and showed them.
Needless to say, my children got everything they wanted and more for christmas.
But it made me feel like such a success that even at such a young age my son understands gratitude.
My dad will be 75 in a few short months.
It amazes me every day how quickly the time has gone by, even in my short 22 years in this world. It seems almost cruel how limited by days with him are, but I am thankful for every one of them.
This year was different, only six of my dads eight kids were present for Christmas. I missed my brothers and their families, and I could see in my dads eyes he was sad the group was so much smaller this year, but I’m grateful the those of us who could be there were. Every year the family grows and changes. Fresh faces seem inevitable with such a large group, but there is truly nothing like the traditions. Opening gifts, biscuits and sausage gravy, a giant turkey dinner and singing Christmas carols in the living room. The jokes and the laughter, the happiness I can even begin to explain. It’s all I have known to be Christmas, and I hope it stays this way for many years to come. There is nothing quite like the familiar, home for the holidays is the only place to be. I love my family so much. New and old faces, the ones I see often and the ones I see almost never, you are all jewels to me I cherish with all of my heart.
Growing Pains August 20, 2012
Just got a phone call from Anthony’s school, reminding me about their parent open house tomorrow evening.
It surprised me how close to tears I came as I heard the cheerful recording on the phones other end.
Tomorrow we meet my son’s Kindergarten teacher.
Tomorrow we get to see his classroom.
Tomorrow we meet all his new classmates.
Tomorrow my son becomes an elementary schooler.
I dreamed of this day, even when he was still in my belly.
I wondered what he would be like as a “big kid.”
I wondered how I would feel,
And how school and growing up would change him.
And after six years of wondering and dreaming,
I am still not prepared for this day.
I am bubbling with fear and questions and insecurities.
Have I prepared him enough?
Have I taught him all that he needs to know?
Will the other kids be nice to him?
Will he makes friends?
Will he learn quickly?
Will he enjoy it?
Will he remember all the values we have tried to instill in him?
Will he miss me as much as I will miss him?
The last few months I have tried so desperately to suppress all of this,
Focusing on the new baby and all the wonderful new changes that has brought into our lives.
I have tried not to think about how huge this is.
It seemed so far away, and just one of those “I will worry about that later” kind of things.
And now its here.
Its real and right in front of me,
And I have to face the fact that my first born son is really growing up,
And there is nothing I can do but accept it.
My husband and I have raised him, and will continue to do so long after tomorrow,
But we just have to trust we have done what we can and given him the very best of us,
And now it is time to let go a little and watch him flourish as his own little man.
I cant be with him every day, all day anymore.
I cant protect him from everything that is out there.
I cant fight off the kids who will be mean,
Because kids stink and they are all mean sometimes.
I cant keep him in a bubble.
I have thought about homeschooling him lots of times,
But that was before there was a whole other kid added to the mix.
The prospect of trying to take care of four kids, two of which are under two,
AND homeschool still makes my head swim.
I know my limits, and that was just not an option for me in this season of my life.
Still, the more I think about sending him off into the great big world,
The more I want to say “screw it! I’ll figure out a way!” and keep my little guy little for a while longer.
I know I cant do that,
But boy do I want to.
I guess this is a little bit of me growing up too,
Not just Anthony.
He is ready, and he is excited.
I’m not sure I am,
But I am praying with everything in me that I get there,
Within the next 24 hours.
I have to let my baby go,
And trust that God has him and everything else in his control.
I have to have faith in the decisions my husband and I have made together,
And believe that regardless of my doubts we chose the right thing for our family and son.
Who knew it would be this hard?
I never thought it would be.
I know I am going to miss him so much!
But hopefully it will make his time at home that much sweeter,
Because we will have a chance to miss each other during the day.
We are all growing up it seems.
Anthony into a young man,
And mommy into a grown up with elementary aged children.
Truth be told, I couldn’t ask for a better son.
He is so kind and sweet and sensitive to others feelings and emotions.
He has the biggest heart, and genuinely cares about others.
He is so smart and bright and funny,
And boy does he make me laugh.
He loves to be creative, whether its art or building things.
He is such a helper, always taking care of his brothers and even me!
He is a jewel in the truest sense and I am so blessed to call him my son.
I cant wait to see what the future holds,
And what a wonderful young man my little boy will grow into.
Yes, he has a bright future ahead of him.
He is so smart, and above all he is ready for this.
I am just trusting that even if I don’t know it just yet,
God has prepared me for this also.
Missed Memo August 13, 2012
Today is August 13th.
Peanut was supposed to come yesterday,
But yesterday came and went with…nothing.
Not a single contraction.
Guess he missed the memo.
Apparently my youngest is also going to be the most stubborn.
Sure, my technical due date isn’t until the end of the week,
But I am getting a little impatient.
I’m not usually very good at the whole planning ahead thing,
Yet somehow everything is in its place.
My kitchen is stocked to the brim with food and treats so I wont have to worry about grocery shopping for a little while.
The babies room is organized,
Every outfit and toy and blanket its in place.
I am caught up on all my laundry (which if you know me is a big deal).
The bassinet sits at the foot of our bed,
Empty, and looking as anxious to have a baby to fill it as my arms are.
If only school wasn’t starting for Anthony and Mel next week,
I really don’t think I would care at all when this baby came.
But I know I am going to need a hand for a couple of weeks after Peanut is born,
And Mel can’t very well miss two weeks of classes.
Work yes, school not so much.
Anthony’s first day of Kindergarten is also next week,
And I would REALLY hate to still be in the hospital or be in labor and miss his big send off.
But at the same time I am totally against being induced unless absolutely medically necessary.
So that leaves me in this wonderful position of staring at my belly,
Talking to Peanut,
Trying to convince him to come out and say hello to the world.
Powerless as I am, I’m still okay.
Perhaps this is a final lesson in patience before I become a mother of four.
Either way, sometime soon, its going to happen.
Whether at the most convenient,
Or the most inconvenient of times,
Baby boy will get here.
Now if only I could think about something else for five minutes it would make the wait much more bearable…
52 August 11, 2012
Another low key evening for me spent watching the Olympics with my boys and waiting for my hubby to get home from work.
After visiting the wolds of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest I found myself checking up on my blog.
I found a link I had never noticed that breaks down views by country, and found a list of over 52 countries all around the world where people have read the words I have written within the last six months.
I felt a little choked up.
I had never realized just how far and wide my posts have touched.
And maybe every person who read them wasn’t a fan,
But maybe, just maybe, some of them were touched.
Maybe something I said made a difference in someones day,
Was a bit of encouragement,
Or made them feel a little less alone in the world.
Thats all I have ever wanted,
All I have ever hoped for in my writing,
That because I pour my heart and soul out to the world,
To someone, somewhere it will make a difference.
I cannot begin to tell you how humbling it is to know that a part of that dream has come true for me,
That all over the world I have been a part of people’s days,
Even if only for the couple of minutes it takes to read one of my posts.
God is good.
It’s that simple,
I consider writing a gift and a huge blessing,
The ability to verbalize what I think or feel is amazing.
Maybe I am not as articulate as some,
I certainly don’t see myself as anything amazing,
But I do know that not everyone can say whats on their heart,
And I thank God for giving me the words.
Every post may not always be pleasant,
But it is truth as I see or feel it,
And I think thats all anyone could ask for.
There are plenty of other great writers who have reached far more people than I have,
But for me,
A girl born and raised in a small town in Indiana,
52 countries around the world is a pretty big deal.
I am truly blown away.
I guess what I really want to say is thank you,
All of you,
Anyone who has ever taken the time to read one of my posts,
Or to share it with others,
You have touched me by supporting me,
And your views and comments and love and encouragement fuel my dream more than you will ever know.
I am so humbled by the love that I have felt from so many of you,
I cannot even begin to express just how much each of you mean to me.
Dream big and keep on dreaming.
You never really know just how much is within your reach,
And all that God will bring in your path.
Waiting Game August 8, 2012
Evenings are my favorite time of day,
And least favorite all at the same time.
My three little munchkins sleep peacefully in their beds,
Gently snoring like little bear cubs.
And although the peace of a quiet home is a moment to savor,
I am restless and bored waiting for my husband to come home.
Tonight feels a little bitter sweet though,
I will be 39 weeks pregnant in a little over 24 hours,
And our boy could come any day;
And when that comes I am wondering how long it will be before I have one of these nights again.
Even as I write this,
I can run my hand up and down my stomach and feel my boys back,
Just beneath my stomach, wedged in tightly is his little bottom,
Which he seems to love to jab into me and cause an intensely uncomfortable feeling.
My back is throbbing,
Simply from living day to day it seem.
But I’m so in love with this little boy,
And all the discomfort will be well worth it.
Its just a waiting game at this point,
And I laugh a little as my organs seem to find new hidden crevices to be jammed into as our boy continues to grow.
He seems so big,
I honestly almost wonder how he will get out!
(And no, not a serious question, three kids already so I do know where babies come from lol).
Yes, I can play the waiting game as long as I need to,
But I hope its over soon.
I’m ready to meet this little guy,
And begin the next chapter of our lives as a family…
Breathe July 24, 2012
Sunday evening I seriously thought I was going into labor,
Which really freaked me out since I’m not due for another three weeks.
I have done my best to be prepared for Peanut’s arrival,
But those of you with kids know that you are never truly 100% prepared.
Labor for me has always come when I have been too busy to do dishes,
The evening I am just so worn out I can barely keep my eyes open,
After laundry has been neglected for a few days;
You know, the inconvenient times that just scream irony.
But still all three of my boys have come no more than a couple of days before their due date,
So when my contractions were coming 6-8 minutes apart for roughly 7 hours I worried.
But all I could think about was that if labor stopped I was going to have to bear a day with all my kids plus three extras the next day.
So around midnight I looked at my husband and with a calm smile I announced “I’m going to lay down and take a nap because I either have a long day tomorrow or a long work out later tonight. I will wake you up if they don’t stop.”
The poor man then hopped in his car and ran to Wal-Mart to pick up some last minute items for the hospital bag, then anxiously stayed up until 2:30 waiting to see if I was going to wake up and head to the hospital.
Luckily for all of us though, the contractions stopped once I fell asleep.
Maybe a practice run was good preparation,
If nothing else it freaked me out enough to realize all the things that I still need to get done,
And accept that if they don’t get done baby boy will still get here,
And everything will be just fine.
SInce Sunday I have had random contractions throughout the day, but nothing consistent thats really setting off alarm bells.
I have found that if I am on my feet for more than an hour, they start again.
This is a dilemma.
When you are caring for small children, sitting down and relaxing isn’t part of your daily routine.
There is laundry to fold and dishes to wash and about a million other things that need to get done at any given moment.
“Take it easy.” Everyone keeps telling me this.
I wish it were as simple to implement as it is to say.
And sure, my husband has been great, helping with meals and cleaning the kitchen every night to help me stay off my feet, but he works an awful lot and so its not practical to rely on him all the time.
It seems like so many.
Mel will be starting school again right around when Peanut is born, and technically I’m not even supposed to lift enough weight to pick Devin up for several weeks after giving birth.
That will be a trick.
“Sorry sixteen month old son of mine, mommy cant pick you up for bed so please be a dear and sprout wings and fly into your crib for nap time.”
And even though all the “what if’s” can really stress me out,
I have this underlying sense of calm somewhere deep down.
Everything will work out.
Everything will be fine.
So all I can do from now until whatever day this little one decides to arrive is be as ready as I can,
And maybe try to listen to everyone’s advice and not over do it.
Try is the key word there.
Our bodies tell us things when we listen,
And maybe all these aches and pains and practice contractions are sending me some signals.
Now all I have to do is get myself psyched up enough to go through labor again.
That one is still a work in progress…*ouch*
Everything in God’s perfect timing right?
Baby will be here when he is ready,
And I don’t get to control it or predict that.