Friday, August 30, 2013

Insta-Friday on finding the perfect moments among the hard ones

Ahhh Insta-Friday.

Insta-Friday puts the week back into perspective for me.

By Friday I'm exhausted and the week is a blur that I have to consciously think about in a focused manner to pull bits and pieces out of.

But these little pictures help me remember the little moments that make up our week...our months...our years.

Looking back at what we've accomplished encourages me to keep moving full steam ahead and not lose momentum.

Because this parenting thing is hard.

Balancing school and activities and chores and family time is hard.

Channeling energy and time and effort into specific needs of each individual kid and not letting an area (social...academic...spiritual...)slide is hard.

Being consistent is hard.

Not taking the convenient or easy road is hard.

But these pictures remind of how precious

and so worth it everything we do as parents is.

When everything comes together.

And there are perfect moments among the chaos.

Like this moment on the couch after we bonded over painting our nails when Ab was so chill and content she rested her feet on me and we just hung out.

That moment was perfect.

Taking in Abby's excitement to dress up as Ariel for a princess dance party was awesome. Watching her giggle and twirl and dance and shake her groove thang with all the confidence in the world at that party was perfect.

Watching Brody devour his chocolate milk and doughnuts Sunday morning was hilarious. Mornings like this are perfect. Mornings together as a family.

Experiencing AJ's joy and pride as he conquered riding his bike without training wheels was awesome.

We worked so hard last summer. It was painful and so frustrating.

And then it just happened. Just like that. On his first try the other night.

It was a reassuring parenting moment.

Sometimes I think we push something, when something isn't ready to happen. And we make life harder on ourselves than it has to be. Seeing him ride that bike that night reminded me to just let go of some things and just breathe.

That things will happen when they are ready to happen.

And then when they do, they will be more beautiful than ever.

Him getting to ride his bike to school with neighbors is perfect.
It is such a good feeling knowing he is safe and excited and proud to bike to school and in the company of good friends.
Watching Brody watch his older siblings and learn from them is pretty fascinating. That kid's ambition and drive amazes me every day. He sees what he wants, he goes after it, and most of the time he gets it. Not much can hold this kid back.
His determination is inspiring.
Not to give up.
To push through the hard work and fatigue.
Because the reward in the end is so worth it.

AJ started soccer this week.

He asked to play, but I'm not sure his heart is in it this year.

This is a hard, uneasy feeling to experience as a parent.

He is on a U8 team, so he has two practices a week and games on Saturday. That's a lot to throw into a family of five's weekly schedule. They play positions, have goalies, and have bigger teams. It's getting more serious at this stage in the game.

I want to help AJ find his thing, his niche. I'm not sold on if it's soccer yet. It will be interesting to see how this season plays out.

I have a feeling that AJ may learn this season that sticking to a commitment is hard.

Seeing the excitement and hearing the awe in Abby's voice as we caught a ladybug was a pretty cool experience one evening. There is something magical about watching a ladybug up close.
Letting the magic of the ladybug go so it can live is hard.

Watching anything you planted and care for grow is pretty awesome.

Checking on the pumpkins you helped plant in your great grandparents garden each week is even more awesome.

In my quest to rein in the chaos of the daily grind and raise kids with good character and strong values, I have learned that although this parenting thing is hard, it doesn't have to be as hard as we make it when we become more purposeful and focus our efforts towards specific outcomes for our our our the little things.
It's when we just get by or wander aimlessly that things get muddled and become overwhelming.
I know that I want to raise kids that are...
kind, truthful, courageous, hard-working, show humility, go the extra yard to help others, have self-control, speak well of others, are purpose driven and passionate, take responsibility for their actions, persevere through the hard times, serve others, show respect, and love and seek God.
And having a framework or knowing these things help me stay on top of my game, be purposeful, and persevere through the hard parts to fully experience the perfect moments among the chaos.
But I don't come up with this stuff on my own. I need help. Help from examples of good families and books. Help articulating my direction and remembering all these things.
When I was pregnant I read every baby book I could get my hands on, but as the kids got older I stopped reading parenting books. I don't know why because it only got harder. So I'm back to seeking out my resources.
I love finding good books that help me define how to be a better mom.
And I love sharing those books.
I am super excited to have started this book this week!
Now if only I could stay awake passed the first chapter!

Have a great weekend!

Hopefully you get to take in some of those moments when everything you've been working so hard toward come together and everything feels right at that precise second. Like you're really doing something right in this fast paced world. Those are the best moments.

They are simply perfect.

Friday, August 23, 2013



Super quick post before I run to pick up AJ from school.

It was a low-key, uneventful week in these parts.

We went to a free movie at a park with BFF's last Friday.

Watching movies outside is so cool.

I think Brody ate 3 bags of popcorn that night.

My roses were blooming like crazy this week.

I drank lots of coffee that doesn't't taste like coffee because that's the way I like my coffee.

The kids had school pictures.

I'm excited to see how their school pics will turn out.

Brody figured out how to unlock the pantry door this week,
and ate an entire apple core and all one day.

Abby had fun fixing Brody's hair one morning before school.

Poor kid.

We played Sleeping Beauty.

Abby said I had to be the prince after I actually fell asleep laying on the couch...

And we had a nasty hail storm that did a number on my flowers.
Stupid hail.
Ab and I had Girls Spa today.

It was a calm week.

Gotta love those.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Oh Girlfriend

Abby is a piece of work.

Always her own direction.

Passionately charging on.

Head strong, out-spoken, and opinionated.

I love how Curious George is always "Curious 'N George".

And how Mac 'N Cheese is always "mackin' 'N cheese"

And how you will argue religion and philosophy with the best of 'em.

I love how you stand up for yourself.
And plow through things with fearless determination.
Even if it means I need to hold you when you cry because you just rode
full-speed off the patio straight into the side of the play structure.
You make me smile and pray harder.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Insta-Friday Loving Life

This was a good week.

Let's be honest here,

back-to-school time is one of the most wonderful times of the year.

I love my kids.

I love spending time with my kids.

But I love not having to entertain them all day too.

I love the exciting new beginnings for them.

The getting up and around early part is a bit rough,

But having a routine is soothing to me.

Girlfriend goes to Pre-K 4 afternoons a week, so we still get to play all morning after we drop AJ off at school.

And play we do.

I've been walking in the evenings with a neighbor.

I love being outside taking nature in.

Last weekend we had dinner with good friends.

It was so perfect to enjoy good food and visit as our kids all played together.

I love seeing kids develop strong friendships.

And we all know I love good food.

I try and get up early enough to have some liquid encouragement before the kids get up.

These peaceful moments are so delicious.

I savor them.

They center me before the craziness begins.

They are delightful.

They make me a better mom.

Then the chaos begins.
Clean clothes.
Teeth brushing.
Snacks, lunches, and water bottles packed.
Shoes tied.
Car seats and seat belts buckled.

Brody has become very fond of his mega blocks.

It's so sweet how he carries them around and sets them up.

Abby loves to take care of her baby doll and carry around her stuff in her many bags. It's fun to capture a glimpse into her play world.

Lovin' my roses.


I finally got Brody's name up on his wall.

Seriously, go shop at The Vinyl Company.

It will make you smile.

Brody and I read books before his nap time after we drop Abby off at school.

He says, "books, books."

It's our special time together.

One of my most favorite parts of the day.

I savor these moments with him cuddled up on my lap.

I embellished some notecards this week with some fabric garland
during nap time.
It was a fun, fast little project.

And I may have eaten brownies straight out of the pan with a spoon in my giddy back-to-school joy...

I assure you the dishes were all done & all the laundry was caught up & the entire house was clean.

(I promise.)

Abby, Brody, and I enjoyed a trip to the mall one morning.
The Disney Store and Godiva.
Does it get any better than that?!
It was a happy, exciting, joyful week.
I love this season of my life.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Day of Pre-K

Can I just say getting a first day pic of Abby was a painful task.

First, we have the dirty faced photo bomber with an annoyed look on his face.

Hey, you photo bombed my picture buddy.

Why do you look so pissed at me?

Then we have Abby not taking this seriously at all.

Then we have the spaz smile.

That's really helpful here.

Then we have the oh but I'm hilarious pose.

Finally, 100 pictures later, we get a decent first day picture.


Ab's BFF is in her class this year.

We thought Abby was trouble...

imagine her with a partner in crime.

Not just any partner in crime, but basically the brunette version of herself.

These two are soul sisters.

Don't they just look ornery?!

It's because they are.

I kid you not.

They cannot be trusted alone.

Off they go...

Lord have mercy on that poor pre-school teacher.