Tuesday, August 15, 2017

*Beginning Again*

Five years ago I found myself writing about the big changes in my life as I left the classroom as a first grade teacher and looked towards a new future with Brian in a new city. I was really sad to say goodbye to so many places and people I loved but I told myself that I needed to let some things go to make way for the new things that were supposed to happen to my life. I had no idea then, but the future would be more than I could ever of imagined and I have fallen in love with new people and new places and have built a life I wouldn't be able to have if I wasn't able to close one chapter and begin the next. Knowing the possibilities of new beginnings, I feel more excited about them than anything.

Social Media is full of  those adorable first day of school pictures and the feeling of  newness is everywhere. For my sister, she is sending her son off to kindergarten for the first time which has proved to be a really big step and an emotional time. We facetimed this morning and she noted that I am living her life five years ago, with a little baby just learning to walk in the background. She's moving onto the "school" phase of life and I'm still very much in the little stage. It's crazy to think she's moving onto the next step in parenting that I'll be in sooner than I realize.

We are starting a beginning of our own in our house this year, too. Beau is only going to school twice a week but we are starting our new life as a part of a school community. I don't know if it's just because I was a teacher or that my high school was a second home, but I really don't take it lightly. Being a part of the COMMUNITY of a school is what's always been super important to me. I grew up in schools that treated us all like family and the friends and teachers I had there are still a big part of my life to this day. My sister is sending both of her kids to our former school as third generation students which is very special. My parents met in high school there, all of us followed, and now the grandkids are going. That is LEGACY right there. Even though I'm not able to do the same, God has us exactly where we are supposed to be and I'm excited for what the future holds for us and I couldn't be more happy with the school we've chosen for Beau.

If there's anything I've learned it's that each phase has it's pros and cons and the realization that these kids are not always going to be little is both freeing and devastating all at once. It makes me want to focus on all the good that this phase offers and also give myself grace when it's hard because all phases have hardships. Don't let anyone tell you that you should be "ENJOYING EVERY SECOND" of really anything because we are living LIFE..REAL LIFE. No phase of life can we ever be enjoying every second because we will always have trials no matter where we are. But we'll also have so much GOOD, too. In every phase there is so much to cherish and we do need to be reminded to soak it up when it's the right time. Luke spreading poop and ketchup all over my kitchen was not that time, but both boys cuddling with me definitely was. We do need to really cherish the sweet moments that we have because they are fleeting and so special. I won't always have two little boys fighting over my lap and so today I will bask in the fact that my lap is still big enough to (SORT OF) hold them both. Today more than ever I'll appreciate my babies and the time I still have with them to myself. :)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

"Worth It"

I'm having one of those motherhood moments where the emotions just hit out of nowhere like a ton of bricks. I never know when moments like that will happen because they never do when they should, and it hits me in the most unexpected moments.

Like tonight. Brian took Beau to a splashpad after work so I was with Luke alone who was crawling in my lap, touching my face, and giggling with his now 6 teeth showing. I couldn't help but think and be overwhelmed at how much this past hard year has been WORTH IT. He's my absolute joy and his name means "light giving" which is exactly what he is. He's brought light to me in more ways than one. The obvious being joy and smiles and a happiness inside of him that feels like a ray of light in such a fallen world. He has also been the source of bringing me light spiritually and teaching me more about God than maybe I've ever learned in my whole life put together. Because of him, I've also felt like there's a light inside of me that has been lit for other moms who are struggling in whatever circumstances and for that reason I'll never be the same. He's been so good for me.

As a lot of you know, I suffered from major sickness in pregnancy and post partum depression afterwards topped with an extremely colicky baby which was one of the toughest things I had to face in my life. It turns out that I have an autoimmune condition called hashimotos thyroidtitus that caused the pregnancy sickness AND post partum depression which is why all of that hit me so hard. I'm so happy to say that after I got a diagnoses, I've been able to FINALLY recover and get on with my life. Not only get on with my life, but live an even fuller and better one with Christ because of all that I went through. On this side of things, it all makes a lot more sense. I know that God had His reasons for allowing all of that and I can see it now and really want to use it for His Glory.

At the beginning of the each year I pray for a word to focus on and 2016 was "Sacrifice". That for sure would be the title of that year for me and I learned so much about giving of myself and truly sacrificing. 2017 is now "Joy" and so far it has been such a healing year and one that has turned from such hardship into one of the best most joy filled years of my life. It has all been so worth it. I'd do it again in a heartbeat to have Luke be mine. I think that God has a major plan for Luke because satan sure did make such a fuss in my life when he was born. I pray over my boys and get chills thinking of God's plan for them.

I'm proud of myself and I'm proud of Brian. Brian is my perfect other half and I owe so much to him. He never complained once about helping and he never made me feel bad when I was struggling and felt like I couldn't handle things. He always brought the right take out home and would go to Walmart almost everyday. He was always my rock that was everything I needed at the right times. Brian is definitely the definition of the hands and feet of Jesus. My mom said after I met him: "Don't you feel so loved by God that He would send someone like Brian for you?" The answer to that is YES. Very much so! He is my gift that keeps on giving!!

I'm also proud of Beau and what a great brother he is and how he never even noticed when things got hard. He has loved on Luke from the moment he got home from the hospital and thought this getting a new baby thing was one big party. He is three years old yet so tender and loving and the only thing I have to stop him from is hugging Luke too much when he just wants to crawl. I'm proud of Luke for how well adjusted and happy he is despite having colic and stressed parents for the first half year of his life. You would never even know it now!! He's so happy and easy and such a gift to our family in every way. Words can't even describe the love I have for him, I couldn't even begin.

Although this year didn't look exactly how I planned, God truly does work everything together for the good of those who love Him. God's promises prove true over and over again in my life and I couldn't be more thankful.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

*Unexpected Moments*

Most of my favorite memories that I play back throughout my life come at the most unexpected moments on what seems to be a mundane day.

I was driving around with the boys today in my new to me mini van that has changed my life. That's a whole different story, but seriously...mini vans are the third parent that thinks things through for us so we don't have to. I noticed the gas light came on so I turned into the nearest On Cue which is also life changing. A drive through pick up window for all your coffee and junk food needs as well as a gallon of milk if you happen to need one.

When I got out to pump the gas, I looked inside the car window and there staring and smiling at me were the two cutest boys I've ever laid eyes on. This is not unusual because they seem to always have their attention on me, but in that moment it washed over me what a blessing it is to be a mom. And I just felt this warm feeling of thankfulness that these boys are mine. And that looking at me makes them light up like that.

Those happy faces are my hard earned reward and I couldn't help but feel proud as I looked at the four eyes that are constantly on me. Smiling little faces that make me feel like I'm doing a good job. We need to pat ourselves on the back more. We as new moms need to encourage ourselves and realize that we are making a difference and we are not failing.

It doesn't matter if at the end of the day you feel like you might lose it because you've given everything you possibly have and are asked to give more. That is true, sacrificial love. It doesn't matter if you are in a good, easy phase where enjoying your kids is easy. That fun love is one of the biggest blessings we receive in this life. In both times we are ALL doing a great job. Whether we are holding a screaming colicky newborn all day or playing with a joyful toddler who makes it easy to see things are going well, we are doing a GREAT job. And both sacrificial love and fun love are equally important. I've come to realize that together they make something really beautiful.