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.



  1. Holly,
    I love reading your blogs. You have the ability to put what a lot of us mommas are thinking into words. I too have been in a slump and have an almost 3yr old little girl pushing the limits and finding herself. :-) Lots of sad face days around here lately. You have inspired me to throw those in the wastebasket and start anew!


    1. Thank you, Nicole! That means a lot =) It makes me smile to know my stories, my everyday life inspires other mommas out there.

  2. Beautiful. Raw and true. All us mama's have felt the exact same way.

    1. Thank you, Tash! It's nice to know I don't stand alone in these feelings!