Friday, May 9, 2014

Unexpected Grace

Scott has 32 days left until he completes the last class of his MBA. I'm so proud of him. And of me for not killing anyone, or anything in the past three years. We are all really feeling the stress of the end of the kids school year, the end of graduate school & the missing employees at both of our offices. Oh and the dang dog. Still not completely excited about her. Like the one time this week when she peed on the floor and then her tail flung urine into my face. My face. I digress.

So with all the stress of life right now I've become even more of a yeller. I don't think I had ever raised my voice to or at anyone in my entire life until I had kids. Now it seems to be my only means of everything. I hate myself for it.

Last night while laying face down on the floor in the hallway, listening to Scott read a story to Lincoln and wallowing in my exhaustion, Timmy came up and asked if he could lay down next to me. I turned my head to face him and apologized, once again, for yelling so much. I gave some lame excuses to him about being stressed out and asked if he could forgive me. He replied, "Of course I'll give you extra grace, you're my mom. Why wouldn't I?"

Wow. In these quiet moments I realize we haven't failed yet and there is hope.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Running Away

My children are running away. Literally and figuratively. Lincoln "escaped" twice today. He unlocked the back door and took off, laughing all the way. I was left feeling scared, frustrated and embarrassed that a two year old could do such a thing right under my nose. And how far he got before I even realized he was gone was even worse. And then I start to think about what could have happened...

I suspect this will not be the last time I feel this way about my children.

I realize more each day how fast they are growing and becoming their own humans with their own wills, decisions and consequences to face. I begin wondering if I am prepared for the consequences of how well or not we have prepared them for all of this.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Self-Consciousness & Satisfaction

We moved just about a month ago. New house, new (long) commute for the time being, and hopefully new friends. I love change. My oldest, Timmy, 5 years old, does not. He is naturally anxious and shy and extremely self-conscious.

I remember being his age, in kindergarten, and realizing for the first time that I have transparent skin. I'm really white. And through this transparent skin you can see my veins and blood vessels pretty clearly. I remember being indian-style (I think the PC way to say that these days is criss-cross applesauce) on the alphabet rug in Ms. Langer's classroom one day and sitting on my hands so that no one would notice how blotchy my skin was. I thought I looked like an alien and that I would have no friends because of it. As if all the sudden there was a spotlight on my skin and I would instantly be shunned. For life. It was a big deal.

All of that to say, I get it. I get what Timmy feels. (Hopefully he never notices his skin because he is more pale than me!) So last night when I was taking him to his very first baseball skills class at the park district in our new area, I was praying that it would be a successful endeavor for him. I was praying for one new friend for him. I was praying he wouldn't cross his arms, turn his back and scream in the coach's face the way he had done as a four year old at his first (and last) karate class.

God answered my prayers. What followed was a hour of him smiling at me on the side lines, giving countless thumbs ups, and a new found love of baseball. He made three new friends. He came in second place in the base running elimination activity. He gave kids high fives on the way out. Prayers answered. Thank you Jesus.

There is nothing like seeing joy and satisfaction on the face of your kid. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Time to Uproot...Almost

So if you read my last post (which I know some of you did because I got all kinds of texts and emails asking what was going on, thanks for that :) you know we're about to transition to something new. I'm excited. We finally got through the annoying time of indecision. We're building a house and moving in the spring!

Scott and I have a running list of things we want in our Someday House that we consulted at during this process. This list is pretty unexciting, not luxurious and includes things like: lights in the closets, no cracks in the wall, a red tree in the front yard and a garbage disposal. It also included some ridiculous things such as purple spray-in insulation like Mike Holmes from Holmes on Homes always uses when he fixes houses because its awesome. Pretty sure our house will not have purple spray-in insulation. We asked. They said no. Overall, about 80% of our list got checked off in this new house, which if I'm honest is more than I was expecting. I also have a Pinterest board of things I might want in my Someday House that you can check out here: Someday House.

This whole process still seems a bit surreal and I feel as if any minute I will get an email or phone call that puts a stop to it all. Its been a fun process so far, in which we've learned a lot. Twice people we've dealt with have said, "No one has ever asked that before."

What we've learned so far: No purple insulation. We ask weird questions. And yes I can have a tree that turns red in the fall in my front yard. Awesome.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Living with Dissonance

If you know Scott and I you know we are not ones to shy away from change. In fact, I would say we thrive on it. In the course of our marriage we've moved six times in nine years. I love the process of packing and unpacking and everything that goes along with new spaces and new places. We've been in the same place now for over a year and a half. When we moved here we knew this was temporary and recent events have now given us a deadline to get out. Exciting right?

I thought it would be. Just about two months ago I told Scott I was ready for something to change. Life was too predictable and I was discontent with its temporary condition. Now that the time has come to make a decision on where to go next I'm feeling overwhelmed. Something has happened to me now that Timmy is growing up and becoming more than just a small child that I can lug around with us on all of our adventures. He doesn't like change. He has an opinion. He has a lot of fears. He's five. All the sudden I have base our plans on his life too and its not as durable as mine.

Every couple of months Scott and I revisit an ongoing conversation about what we want. This usually includes discussion of a running list of places that we don't want to live (that list is shorter than the list of the places we'd like to live). Recently this conversation has begun to include us both acknowledging strong feelings of dissonance between wanting to live all over the world and wanting to buy a nice house where our kids can grow in a stable environment and make life long friends and memories. I don't know which dream is going to win yet. Maybe one will win for this season of life, but I don't want to lose the wanderlust.

...a time to plant and a time to uproot. Ecclesiastes 3:2

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Instagram Nostalgia

I've been listening to too much country music lately and its making me all weepy for these days of my kiddos being so innocent. Trying to hold on to them is silly, but capturing some of the little moments is satisfying.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Best Behavior

Timmy is a classic case of he's on his best behavior with everyone else, but when he comes home all bets are off. He can turn from having a perfect day at Grandma's or school or daycare to total meltdown as soon as he sees my face or steps in the house. Everyone assures me that this is totally normal because kids naturally know that their parents will love them no matter what. I'm sure there is truth to this, but it doesn't make dealing with those meltdowns any easier.

I read an article here that convicted me about my own behavior as a mom and got me thinking about this idea of who gets the best me. Sometimes I think I do the same thing my kids do: act great at work and in public, but the second we get home, I meltdown. I yell at my kids, lose patience and generally am a jerk to them and probably my husband too. I know my kids will love me no matter what, so I feel free do do whatever I want when they are the only ones watching. This week I've been thinking a lot about how I should act & what kind of example I should set for them. After all, they are way more important to me than my coworkers and complete strangers.