Sunday, March 30, 2014

We did it. I'm not gonna say "never again," but I hope it's true. Friday was a success but my mind was elsewhere. 

My heart is burdened for two people close to me. It's not my place or right to tell details but it's just burdened and heavy. Lord have mercy. If there's anything I've learned these last few years it's that life is short, and we may never have tomorrow with our children, our parents, our spouse, our friends. Only God knows how long we live here and unless we want to go through life numb, we will know pain. Once we love somebody it's gonna hurt when we lose them. It's gonna hurt when people we love lose people THEY love. It's tempting to try to make myself numb again, but God says there's nothing to fear. Joy will come in the morning. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The one where I'm done with soccer

I'm about done with soccer. It started last week and we go to practice every night, well not every single night but it feels like it. The girls are on the same team and Ty is on a team that practices at the same time but clear across town. 
Yesterday on the way home from soccer practice (at 7:45 pm,) ok wait. 


7:45 in the PM. Almost dark. Past bedtime. In the car with stinky kids. This just ain't right. 

When your kids are normally in/on their way to bed at 7:30 it's just not right to be in the car with ALL THE STUFF hanging over your head that has to be done when you get home at 7:45. Baths, stories, Sheriff Callie episode that makes them all laugh til they cry, brushing teeth, etc. Throwing the night schedule off by hours. Soccer, you're not my favorite. You're messing with my happiness. 


Last night in the car on the way home (7:45!!!!!!) Ty announced that he finally decided what he wants to be when he grows up. This is how it all went down:

"Mom can you turn the music down? I need to say something."

"Sure." (Braced myself)

"Well. I have decided I want to be a soccer coach AND a baseball coach AND also a PE teacher when I grow up. Man I'm gonna be great at all of those don't you think?" 

Me: "Oh yeah Ty that's a great plan." 
Charlie: "Ty you will be a super coach you're really good at soccer." 

He's had two practices in his life.
Two practices. Zero games.

Joy: "Ty you're a really good baseball player so I think that you will have the best baseball team in the world."

Those who watched the last few baseball seasons know this is questionable.
Now let me say that I was pleasantly surprised at how kind the girls were in their responses. I mean, ok good for all of the positive stuff flying around in the car, right. 


Charlie: "Mom I finally know what I'm gonna be now." 

I knew this was coming. Nobody better put Baby I mean Charlie in the corner.

"Yep I'm going to be a school teacher when I get big." 

Joy: "Good Charlie you'll be a good teacher!"

Charlie: "No Joy I said a SCHOOL TEACHER not a teacher. There's a big difference. I'm gonna be a SCHOOL TEACHER Joy you got it?"

Joy: "Got it."

Ty: "Yeah Joy you won't get to go where Charlie is teaching. You're too little. And you for sure can't come to where I'm the PE teacher my school isn't for LITTLE KIDS."

Now they've stirred the pot. 
Awakened the giant or whatever. 
I don't blame her for getting tired of hearing it. I was #3 too. I was "too little, too scared," too and we're sick of hearing it YOU OLDER SIBLINGS YOU. 

At this point I usually shut it down since bad things can come out of Joy's little mouth. She gets scrappy when challenged. 

This time, I was just too tired. Half asleep.
Remember what time it is. (7:45!!!!)

Joy: "Oh yeah well one day I'm not gonna invite you to my birthday party!"

Now she's done it. Below the belt, that one. She has two speeds: happy and scrappy. Not much in between. 

Y'all thought I was gonna say she already cusses or something, right? Nope. Not yet. Just the threats that can cut deep into the very souls of the other 2. The dis-invite to the parties of the future. 

Cut back to the scene

Charlie crying, Ty processing

I say ok stop it guys and I make all necessary threats to shut it down. I'm internally cussing soccer because, why , WHY do we need so many practices before the first game when we all know good and well they'll get out there at the first game and just stand there anyway. 

The season doesn't really even get going until about game 3. 

We turn into the driveway and I politely ask, "Joy, what do YOU want to be when you grow up?" 

"A mermaid."

Y'all she is in a whole different league.
Charlie and Ty just sat there stunned. Why hadn't THEY thought of something that cool? It's like Joy can turn the tables faster than they can come up with a response to match hers. Before they could grasp of the absurdity of her comment they found themselves envious of her answer. 

"Wow Joy. Good one."

I couldn't make this stuff up.

Friday, March 21, 2014

WIW: One Time Wonder

What I Wore: 

Cardigan: Target (old)
Dress: American Eagle
Belt: thrift store
Leggings: Ross
Boots: Old Gringo (eBay)
Earrings: One Little Momma shop on Etsy

Off to a fun night with friends! 
35, let's do this! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

A smaller table

I read a blog post yesterday that hit the nail on the head and explained so well why I want to downsize. Not just downsize, I want to start completely over. The blog is called One Fit Widow and yesterday the author wrote a list of things she regrets. It's a list that touches everyone, anyone, no matter the season of life. Here's a screen shot of what hit so close to home for me.

Keeping things the same was never an option for me--so many things triggered sadness so I painted everything I didn't get rid of. I kept a ton of Sean's things, mostly preserved for a time when the kids can actually appreciate seeing, holding things that were his. I tried to give them things right away and there was an immediate threat of ALL OF THE SAID THINGS GETTING LOST OR COLORED ON so I did what any parent of little kids would do-put it up on high shelves. There are pictures up of them with Sean and that is what I understand to be healthy for them. As far as for myself and my grief, though, every time I passed certain things in the house it caused flashbacks. There weren't many memories with him in the house because he only lived in it for two weeks...slowly but surely though the flashbacks came. To this day driving into the driveway brings back hard memories, clear as can be, from those weeks following his death. It's just the way my brain works. I can't watch scary previews much less scary movies. I can't get images out of my head easily.


Much has been changed, painted, moved, sold, and traded but there are a few pieces of furniture I have that were originally his or from our first few years of marriage. The kitchen table. I repainted the chairs a long time ago. I recover them all the time. Duck cloth from Hobby Lobby and a staple gun=new kitchen chairs. Easy. A few months ago I painted the brown kitchen table white. I thought that would be enough. I sanded it, I repainted it. A different color white. A new stain. Nope. It's full of memories. Dang. It's not that I avoid memories-y'all can imagine how many times a day I see him in an expression or a look from one of the kids! It's just that for me, to go out into the world as a mom and face the future head-on, I need a new start with fewer things, fewer chances to feel less-than. Less than a "full" family, less than a unit. Less than what I once was. It's more than the way things look. I can change all that. Clearly I have already! It's like I've had this internal struggle-my old self vs my future self, and I'm stuck mediating and pacifying them both as long as home stays the same.

I've set our table over and over, (we're talking with plastic decorative placemats and paper napkins, nothing fancy,) and each time I look at our table and think, "This is too big for us. It's too many places, not enough people to fill them." Another reminder. Four placemats, not five. We only need four. We only have four. Four of us. For the rest of our lives, there are only four. We ARE ALL HERE, this is our family. We all pray and hope for more people around our table someday but for now I want to just switch to a smaller table. Less to long for, more to be thankful for. Less pretending everything is the same when so much is not at all the same. Pretending to be okay with the struggle between my pre- and post-loss self, hearing it was normal, etc was fine for a while. Like two years a while. Not anymore. For our family, a new start is exciting and promising, not scary anymore. It's so fun to imagine what life will look like in a few years for us. I don't dread it, I don't wish it would go by quickly, and I don't fear it. Do y'all know what a miracle that is? I know that you do!

Please pray for me as I make decisions and plans. I don't want to be careless, just fearless. Perfect love drives out fear, and God loves perfect love. When fear or timidity creeps in it's just my past talking and I'm tired of listening to it.

It's late so I'm sure I stopped making sense a while back. Oops.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What have I done to deserve this?


This morning Joy came downstairs in her Ariel PJ's shirt and panties. I told her to go put pants and shoes on before we took Ty and Charlie to school. I didn't pay attention to her or her outfit, what with all the chaos that happens here between the morning greetings and school drop-off. Somebody really outta put a nanny cam in my house.

So...we got home and got out of the car and...this.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The game changer

It came on Saturday. For two years I've said, "No," to what I knew God was urging me to do. I knew it the way that you know something you'd bank your whole lot on. The inexplicable peace that only comes from Him finally soaked into my heart. For two years I've asked for this very peace, this very desire to surrender...but I kept it at arms length.

It goes against my prized possession that has camped out in my heart and in all areas of my life-fear. It's finally leaving the building. With it goes bitterness, questioning "fairness," and deep deep (did I mention it's deep?) anger. Oh and also a very raw pain that was accessible at a moment's notice. Goodbye to all of that, not for a season. For forever.

I'm saying "yes," to what comes next. Not that I really know fully what that is. That's the best part of this revelation. That's the best part of what Jesus is doing now in the spaces I've finally let Him into. He can reside there and tell me what comes next when He's ready. It's not about me and (gasp!) it's not even about the kids anymore. The whole thing, the pain, the out-of-the-loop-of-life season, the uncertainty of my own ability to DO THIS LIFE without a partner--it's all what He needed to use to get me here.

He allowed a few extremely hard days and one final blow to my very core because, well, I'm stubborn. At the end of those days came Saturday. Throughout the course of that day, I vividly recalled when I started down the path I've been on. I remember saying, "No," to a life of helping other people through their loss and pain because I felt like I'd always be the one needing to be helped and put back together. The truth is that He may put me back together every day from now until He comes back which He's perfectly able and willing to do. What's still missing from my story is what may be missing until I see Him face to face...and I'm okay with it. Finally. I don't care to understand "why," because He knows. When He shows me or tells me I will be no less or more complete for it. I am complete because once I said, "yes," the hundred of "no's" didn't make Him question me. Just as He said, "Follow Me," I'm jumping at the chance to leave all that i know behind and get out there with Him. Man it took Him a lot of trouble to get me here!

He found me in the storm.

The same storm that I was beginning to think would never EVER let up. Turns out I just needed to stand up and say, "I'm coming." Doesn't matter where, and it doesn't matter when. My life, my kids' lives, they're His and for Him. The One who made us all and allowed me to hold Him back in my little bitty plans for my little family can have His way.

Am I nervous?

Not at all.

I couldn't be more certain that it's the best decision I've made so far as a parent. To show the kids that following Him means stepping out before we know the plan seems like a pretty great lesson for them to learn at a young age, don't you think?

Gotta run y'all. I'm so grateful I get to share life with you!