Kids Were Here, Vol. 3

This photo is not the most aesthetically pleasing, but it’s a small glimpse into the current disarray that is my home. I was gone for the past two days on a girls shopping trip, so Dadda and the boys were left to themselves. Now I have an AMAZING husband. He’s a wonderful father, but it’s a known fact that if momma is away the boys will play and leave LOTS of messes. For some reason, my hair dryer had been lugged out to the living room floor along with a wooden spoon, original artwork, and a bazillion other toys and random things…

Momma's been away...

Momma’s been away…

Now go check out Charity’s lovely post of Kids Were Here for this month!

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Six Years

Happy Anniversary to me and my man! Six years ago today I was all nervous-giggly and talkative. (I get SUPER talkative and giggle WAY too much when I’m nervous or anxious.)  A lot of our wedding day is a blur, but I do remember a cold shower–our hotel had hot water issues–make-up at the Clinique counter with some of my bridesmaids, not having much to eat because of nerves, and having some of my closest friends hold my wedding dress up while I used the bathroom. I remember our pastor encouraging me to always be Rusty’s cheerleader and encourager…something I admit I could work on more. I remember our limo driver driving off with our wedding meal, and I remember my mother-in-law calling my new husband just minutes after we drove away….not funny at the time, but it’s something I can laugh at now.

wedding

Little did I know that six years, two houses, two kids, one dog, two churches, and four schools later, I’d love this man more than I did on the day we married. It’s not a grand, romantic love like the media tends to portray, but a better one. It’s deep, unconditional, and reassuring. I am blessed to have a man who loves me enough to change dirty diapers, clean up poop, wipe snotty noses, give numerous baths, read thousands of bedtime stories, wake up early, pick up milk and eggs (and probably some cookies), and make sacrifices for his family. He loves the Lord, and he demonstrates his love for me in ways I never imagined. He gives up time with his friends, watching live sports events (thank the Lord for the invention of the DVR!), and extra duties at school in order to make his family a priority. I am forever grateful for his leadership, commitment, sacrifice, and that he can always make me laugh (and probably roll my eyes too). He’s an amazing father, husband, and friend, and I’m so excited to see what is in store for us in the years ahead

Three is HARD

Someone should’ve warned me just how difficult a three-year-old can be. I’ve always heard about the “terrible twos,” perhaps I’m looking back with rose-colored glasses, but in our house, 2 didn’t seem all that terrible. Sure there were tantrums, the whole potty-training bit, and general neediness, but that was nothing compared to 3. When did this adorable, intelligent, energetic baby become such a demanding, constantly negotiating, very opinionated child? One minute he’s strangling his baby brother and the next he’s saying, “I love you mama” in an aren’t-I-so-sweet-and-innocent voice.

This morning was especially hard. Dadda had to be at a powerlifting meet by 6:30, which meant everyone was awake extra early–like 5:45 AM. (In my honest, accurate opinion, if the sun is not up, then I shouldn’t be either.) Curious George was not the babysitter I hoped for, so anything more than 10 minutes for shower, make-up, etc. was out of the question for this momma. Both boys needed to be held and cuddled, and it’s times like this that I wonder why God didn’t give parents more arms.  Sadly, when both are crying and having meltdowns, I tend to have less patience (and since it was 6:15 AM on a Friday, I had zero patience) with my three year old. I know I should be more understanding….he was INSISTENT on wearing his basketball pants. (Again, I needed a warning that my 3 year old boy would have such strong opinions about his wardrobe.) Unfortunately, someone is behind on laundry and the basketball pants aren’t clean which caused an even bigger melt down, and it was all down hill from there. After lots of tears, the forceful putting on of pants, we loaded up and headed to school. I felt a wave of relief when I dropped the boys off, followed by immediate guilt.

Sure, three is hard. But three is also very entertaining, imaginative, inquisitive, and just plain fun. I love his constant questions, his playful imagination, his need for social interaction and the great outdoors. I love that he wants to read books over and over and play “school.” I love how he {sometimes} want to play with his younger brother (this of course is short-lived because the next minute he’s pushing or choking him).  I’m certain every age will be hard, but I don’t want to waste the time I’m given with them. I don’t want to react in anger or not have any patience just because it’s still dark outside on a Friday morning. My boys are not inconveniences. They are precious gifts. I can only pray that God’s grace will be sufficient, that His power and strength will be evident in  my NUMEROUS weaknesses.

On another note, I’ve discovered that I tend to accompany apologies with food…like, “I’m sorry this morning is rough. Want to grab a donut before school?” Pretty sure my boys will be in therapy someday for emotional eating…

Decrapify (Or as Thoreau would say, “Simplify, simplify”)

I mentioned in a January post that one of our goals was to sell our house and move. At times, the decrapifying that needs to go on in our home is overwhelming to me, but I can often hear my mom’s voice saying, “Do the next thing,” and I do. I sat down yesterday and made a {MASSIVE} list of all that needed to happen in order to put our house on the market. Anyone else a list-maker like I am?

Confession: I’ll make a list and include things I’ve already done just for the sheer pleasure of marking them off the list.

I’ve also joined Ann Marie in an effort to get rid of STUFF we don’t need. Her 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge is perfect in helping me get our house ready to show. Also, we have WAY. Too. Much. CRAP. (Most of our “crap” will be recycled or donated to various places or people in need and not just thrown away. I LOVE our city’s recycling program–they make it SO easy to participate!)

My English teacher self loves what Henry David Thoreau said, “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.” Basically, he’s saying we should all decrapify (and if selfie is a word now, then so is decrapify). I want to continue to be intentional about having less crap in my life–things, media, (side-note: I’m avoiding FB these days), commitments that take away from my main priorities, etc.

Oh that I could keep my accounts on my thumb-nail and not a Google calendar. I’m certain the decrapifying will be a life-long process…

Epic Parenting Quote #1

Sometimes I find myself saying some of the strangest things to my boys…things I NEVER thought I’d say before becoming a parent.  In an effort to someday recall just how strange parenting can be, I’m going to begin keeping a record of some of the crazy things I say. At times I may provide context, and others, it’ll be a quick single quote.

Real men with swords eat their beans.”