Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sad Face Work

A small, wispy blonde headed kindergarten girl clutching a worksheet stamped with a big red sad face at the top of the the page was a recipe for a shattered heart. It was a long bus ride home that day. It was a long walk down a gravel road from where the bus dropped me off to where my mom stood waving & waiting for me at the end of our drive, like she did everyday. I'd done a decent job at fighting back tears from the moment I'd embarrassingly stuffed that graded worksheet into my backpack to the time the bus flung open it's squeaky door & I bolted out, wanting the school day to simply be done & over with. But the tears, they were festering. And I'll let you in on a little secret about me...I don't bawl my eyes out very often. But still to this day, if I'm fighting tears with all my might & someone inquires about whether or not I'm okay...oh, boy howdy, brace yourselves. There were tears. So many tears. I cried my heart out over that rotten, red sad face at the top of my kindergarten worksheet. And though I can't remember the exact happenings, I'm sure my mom went on to comfort me & reassure me that it was all okay-- that a sad face didn't imply that I was stupid or dumb or a failing failure, like my little five year old self was feeling inside.

Isn't it funny how little moments of life can nick your heart & leave a mark that stays forever. It makes me laugh, that still to this day I remember, in great detail,  the 'sad face story'. It's interesting that some moments leave a monumental impression.  

The past few days have just been funky. I've been in a mood. I've been grouchy & cranky & short & when that happens, it trickles right on down to the rest of the family. It's incredible, how we as mommas, hold the key to how the day goes in our home. Sure, kids are kids & they will undoubtedly have their moments, but our momma reactions, our momma perspectives--they matter so greatly. They set the tone & the stage & when we are off seems that everyone else in the home follows suit. The quote "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" didn't earn it's right to be plastered on every piece of scrap wood & metal for no reason. There is truth in it.

Jett has been three lately. And what I mean by that is that he is figuring out this world & he is trying it on for size. And for the most part, it is sweet. I love hearing his inquiring mind, questions about this world, about people, about life.  I enjoy the moments where I'm able to teach him & guide him & where sometimes life sends him a gentle lesson of it's own & I see a lightbulb goes off on his head. He is a precious boy, a good boy with a fiery spirit & heart of gold. I love the unsolicited words,"I love you so much, Mommy" & how he is so eager to be a big helper. I am so proud of my little boy--who he is & who he is becoming. But sometimes, three ain't all that sweet. Sometimes three looks like telling his grandfather to "Shut up". Sometimes it looks like pulling the pom poms off the neighbor girls bike while giving another neighbor girl a dirty look as she rides by on her scooter, saying ever so sweetly, "Hi, Jett!". Sometimes it looks like a bouncy ball, bouncing off the walls, hollering, "Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!" as he pulls out every single stop {& every bit of trouble} to try & steal the show when his aunts & Gigi come to play for the day. Sometimes it looks like a bowl of mac & cheese splattered all over the kitchen floor at the end of the day & a momma who looks across the room at daddy, a smile to keep from crying, saying, "Yep. This is the kind of day it's been". 

Last night, after the kids were tucked in bed, Jared & I sat up & talked about the day, about the past few days. I admitted my less than proud moments as a mom & as a wife. I questioned if I'm failing at this whole momma thing & wondered if there's something I'm doing that's gonna land my kids in a therapist's office down the road. I cried. I ate half a bag of Oreos. And I stamped a big, red sad face on the day. Fail. Failing. Failure.

Some work deserves a sad face. Some work simply isn't A+ effort, therefore resulting in C- results. If I'm being completely honest with myself, I've had a crummy attitude & my work--my children & my husband & the energy we create here, is a reflection of that. Sometimes a wake up call--whether it be in the form of a circled sad face or a three year old outburst, can be a really good check point. It can be a place to take inventory, to figure out the areas where I'm slacking & not giving it all I've got. I'm not a failing failure. I am a mom, a wife, a daughter, sister & friend & I make mistakes on a daily basis, yes. But I choose to give myself the grace that we all deserve to give ourselves--room for improvement, room for growth, room for second & third & fourth chances. 

When the day broke through the blinds of my bedroom this morning, I felt thankful. Thankful for the new day before me. Thankful to wad up my sad faced work from yesterday & toss it into the wastebasket. Thankful to get busy on the clean worksheet sitting on the desk in front of me. 

How about some smiley faced happenings?

 Taking advantage of the drop in temperatures & enjoying our breakfast outside

Drinks from the garden hose

Baby steps. She stands on her own. She walked yesterday--nine steps with a full & complete turn around. I have  Gigi & two aunts as witnesses. Who knew she was simply waiting on an audience & applause?

 After dinner ice cream cones. This was little sister's first, but you never would have known it. She swiped that thing from my hands & owned it



New kicks for Momma. Gotta love a Nordstrom sale

Happy Wednesday, friends. 

I'm off to create more happy faced happenings.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Up To Speed

I may have bitten off more than I could chew, cramming four months of life into one itty bitty blog post. But I promised an Up To Speed blog post, so I will do my best to deliver.

Home Sweet Home:
Let's start with our new home, shall we? I've had a few requests for a tour of our new place & I have pushed those requests off because honestly, I didn't want to show off a home that in no way, shape or form reflected the personality of our family. Decorating a home, I have learned, is a constant work in progress. Sometimes this reality drives me insane & I find myself wishing I could wave a wand & have my home be just exactly the way I want it. And other times, I quite like seeing the small improvements take place over time, watching a house transform into a place that looks like the people that dwell there.  We've got a loooong way to go, but I've waved my wand on a few areas in our home & slowly but surely, it's feeling like us. Here are a couple of those areas.

Not sure if you remember, but my kitchen in the old house had a chalkboard on the wall. I loved it. And I love that this new one whispers "home" to me. Now to learn the art of chalking...

Hello there, pop of color! I heart you.

Turns out, I had quite the disposal of letter B's lying around {obsessed with initials, perhaps?}. So I turned them into a "B" wall for our entry. 

A Craigslist dresser I painted & switched out knobs  & ta-da--instant toy storage. 

I plan to give more photos & complete details about how I brightened up the place & how we are utilizing some of the spaces in our home that didn't quite fit our fancy when we moved in. So hold your horses for more photos & details on that.

Location. Location. Location.
You know the neighborhoods you see in the movies--the ones where masses of children run the streets on foot, on scooters, on bikes, playing hide & seek & tag? That's the neighborhood we live in. And I love. every. single. bit. of. it. Kids dart through our back yard all day long. They hop the fences. They ring the doorbell asking if Jett can come out to play. They congregate at dinner time & we hand out grilled hot dogs to anyone & everyone who'd like one. This neighborhood is a dream & it's hard to believe that  a few short months ago I questioned if I could ever sink into & love a neighborhood like we did our previous one. It's hard to believe that a few short months ago I wondered if the pain from  moving away from our old familiar would ever ease. Yet, here I am today, knowing without a shadow of a doubt that we are right where we belong. This neighborhood is home. The people we have met here have become friends. There is no other place I can imagine raising our family. We hit the jackpot of jackpots when it comes to where we live.

This isn't even a big crowd of neighbor kids. I think I've counted 12-15 kids in our backyard at one time. 

Party of One:
Lulla Beans turned one at the end of May & we celebrated accordingly--with one of her momma's over the top birthday parties.  We had a backyard birthday bash with flower filled mason jars dangling from a big Cottonwood tree, pink lemony-lemonade served ice cold & every shade of girly we could think of sprinkled all over the place. We sang the birthday song. We ate cake. It was a sweet, sweet day. I will never grow tired of celebrating these little lives.

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted:
This summer marked our very first summer vacation as a family of four & let me just say, I do believe we've found our spot for the next oh say... the rest of our lives. Seaside, Florida-- the most magical place one could dream of. So many of you have asked for details about our trip to Seaside & I plan to compile a separate blog post dedicated solely to our trip, complete with details on traveling with little ones {we drove--all 32 hours--so yes, I've got quite a stash of tips & tricks}.

I Like To Move It, Move It:
After the longest winter in the history of the universe {Okay, I may be exaggerating, but it WAS a really long winter}, I needed get up & get moving. I was tired. I was dragging. And frankly, I was sick & tired of looking at the leftover baby weight I was stashing in my butt & thighs. So the running bug bit me & off I went. Since March, I've been running like a mad woman! Three different 5k's are under my belt & I'm mustering up the courage for a 10k in the upcoming fall. I'm working on my speed & I'm enjoying the plunge back into a fit & healthy lifestyle. Oh & I'm thirteen pounds lighter! No more baby weight on this momma. I think what's kept me motivated is that my neighbor/friend has joined me & we are knocking out the miles-- together. We meet on the street in front of our house at 5:30 a.m. & while we bust out our morning routine, we chat about everything under the sun--from babies who wake up in the night {both her youngest & my Lulla were born  5 days apart} to the funny stories from when we were dating our husbands. I look so forward our runs, to our mornings of laughter & to our blooming friendship. Everything is better with a friend by your side.

My first 5k this year--A Mother's Day Run. My precious hubby & kids made this sign & came out to cheer me on. Talk about blessed.

My running buddy

A date night at the Glow Run with my greatest fan, biggest encourager & sweetest supporter--my hubby

Sweet Summertime:
We are in full Summertime mode. Staying out & playing til' dark. Sleeping in late. Schedules pushed to the bottom of the pile. Summertime has been sweet & being a summertime momma has been even sweeter. We've got a pool pass we haven't been shy about putting to use. Jett took swim lessons & transformed into a little fish--swimming completely under water & going down the big slide with his friends {without Momma & Daddy}. We loaded up two cars of friends & watched Monsters University under the stars at the drive-in. We visited the blackberry patch & picked a bounty of berries. We grilled hamburgers with friends on the Fourth & watched the night sky light up in the company of our entire neighborhood. We enjoy popsicles in the backyard every night before bath time & evening walks around the neighborhood before we turn in. We throw pallets on the living room floor & eat popcorn & have sleepovers", as Jett calls them. Summer is breezing by quickly, as it always does, but we have & are continuing to make the very most of it.

This little swiper was nabbing blackberries off the bush when we weren't looking. Busted.

Sweet friends on the Fourth of July

Smoke bombs!

So there you have it. More of a scratch-the-surface blog post than an up to speed one, but I hope this will suffice until I get back into my blogging routine.

A huge thank you all for the sweet welcome back messages! You are too sweet to me & your comments both here & on facebook have brightened my days!

 It feels good to be back :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Today, I Feel Like Writing

Today I feel like writing. And that makes me excited. Because for a good four months {longer, if I'm being completely honest}, I haven't felt like even pulling this screen up on my computer.  I'm not entirely sure how to breathe new life back into  happenings of our home, but what I do know is that for today, I feel like writing.

It's been a season of heaviness. If you've followed this blog for very long, or know me personally, you know that me & change--we don't make the cutest couple that ever walked into the room.

And the past seven months? Whew, it's been nothing but a whirlwind of change. Mounds upon mounds of big, heaping, piles of change.

I tried to stay positive about our big move to this town, to this house--I tried to focus on the bigger space we'd have to spread out, the much closer distance we'd be to both sides of our family, the small town, the big adventures. I tried to remain thankful & grateful for the new home & new opportunities I'd been given. I tried & tried & tried. But when it came down to it, the cold hard truth of it all is that I found myself sitting across from my husband in a booth at On The Border, tears flowing from my eyes, admitting, "I'm struggling. I haven't gone a day without crying. I just want to be "home". I've always been the type to over analyze & second guess & drive my own self nuts going round & round in my head.  I mean it when I say I must have questioned a zillion times if the move we made seven months ago was the right one or not.

There were times I wanted to come here to this blog & tell you things I had no business in telling you. I wanted to spill my guts. I mean, really bare it all. I wanted to unleash & fire off & go on a rampage. I wanted to show my aching heart & the hurt that was overflowing from it. Sometimes I wanted to sling mud. Sometimes I simply wanted my side of the story to be heard. Sometimes I wanted to admit that losing friends--whether it be from a dirty rotten cancer or a series of unfortunate events, it hurts immensely.

But when the time came, the thought of sitting down & sharing even of a sliver of my life--even the simple crafts I'd done with Jett & Lulla or the playdate we'd just had with friends, it made me shudder. The urge to write, it had practically evaporated before my eyes.

I'm a processor. It takes me a great deal of time to settle in to unfamiliarity. It takes a great deal of time for my heart to heal over once holes have been blown straight through the middle of it. It takes time for me to feel like "me" again when my world looks nothing like I pictured it to look. And in those moments, it's good for me to take inventory & simply be still.

This blog of mine has never been intended to be a place of heaviness & I am glad I didn't turn it into a dumping ground just for the simple sake of keeping it alive.  I love coming here to share my life & the day ins & day outs of being a momma & wife to the loves I have been given.  I enjoy the opportunity to be real & sometimes raw & share the truths of my heart here in this place. Sometimes sharing my hurts & struggles are exactly what I need to do & I feel completely led to do so. And other times, it is completely necessary to take a few months off to be quiet.

I'm so thankful that today I woke up & I felt the yearning to write again. I am thrilled to say that we are having an absolutely amazing summer & are looking so forward to some very exciting things ahead of us. I am in a lighter, much less heavy place & I finally feel like sharing it all here at happenings of our home. 

An up to speed post coming soon to a blog near you. ;)

**I would like to say a big fat apology to my faithful readers. Some of you have expressed great concern during this dry spell of blogging & I can't tell you how much it has meant that you actually cared for me--for my family--for this little blog space of mine. Please know how much it has meant to my heart & how appreciative I am for your understanding.**