Tuesday, February 28, 2012

choose the right

choose the right (and NOT in a church sense) has always been my parenting mantra.
it seemed so simple.
just pick the right parenting philosophy/style,
then do it the right way,
and your kids & your life would always be just right.
oh, boy!
after a day like today i'm wondering if i've done anything right in my mothering!
i'm not so sure that will be my parenting mantra anymore.
it just doesn't seem right.
i'm beginning to wonder if there really is a "right" way to parent.
there are so many ways to choose to do it.
to spank,
to time-out,
to blatant ignoring bad behavior,
to unschool,
to preschool,
to late start,
to free play,
to structured play,
to chore charts,
to simplify,
to overstimulate,
to play date,
to isolate,
to handmade,
to store bought,
to plug-in,
to stay un-plugged,
and on,
and on,
and on.
while i'm always trying to balance these types of things
and "figure" it out,
my kids are still spilling water, accidentally & purposefully, many times a day,
still fighting with each other,
still never wanting to play with a toy,
but still always needing cardboard boxes & just a few more nails,
still needing a snack,
and still needing me within a 3 foot radius at all times.
today has been a bit of a rough day.
(sam reminded me that he sometimes wakes up on the wrong side of the bed & can't snap out of it all day so he understands. bless that child!)
the rough day part is not really even the purpose of this post.
it's more a reminder,
a blatant one at that,
that my kids are just kids.
and certainly kids with their own strong personalities.
it would be the best gift for them & myself if i could remember that above any parenting strategy.
because then on days like this i won't get myself in such a tizzy.
it would be easier to remember that days like this just come sometimes.
that it's not my fault,
and that another parenting tactic wouldn't change the frustrations or exhaustion that comes on a day like this.
it would be easier to celebrate just how delightful my kids are,
especially because i know they aren't like this everyday.
then when i reach my limit,
i would be able to kick back easier,
turn on a show,
and toss them another dry beach towel to clean up the 19th water spill of the day.
that's what feels the most right.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


quite some time ago my sisters and i read the book "this i believe: the personal philosophies of remarkable men and women".
this book contains essays of 80 americans...
some famous and many unknown.
each essay depicts a personal belief and how they arrived at that belief.
it was certainly a stirring book.
my sisters and i tried to answer the question about the one thing that we believe.
it took only an instant for me to know my answer.
i believe in time.
it is a universal gift,
and not to mention the most unbiased gift.
when we all wake each day,
assuming that we don't die that day,
we all have the same gift of 24 hours,
regardless of if we are a bum on the street,
a single mom,
on the wealthiest list,
or anything in between.
while everyone's circumstances are different,
the amount of time is not.
i question often if how i am using my time is a reflection of my goals.
at times yes,
but more times than not no.
i'm often guilty of thinking "i will use my time better when..."
or "if only...then...".
even in my busy current stage of life i know i could be using my time more wisely.
use it or lose it,
and this i believe.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

happy happy day

i have this sister that is 18 months younger than me.
i didn't care too much for her as little, little kids.
i spent a lot of time choking her
and even more time bossing her around.
well, i definitely don't choke her anymore,
and i try really hard to not boss her around.
instead, i'm trying to squeeze in as much time as i can get with her.
thankfully she only lives 1.2 miles away
and thankfully she doesn't mind my company.
she turned 31 today.
it's not too old.
i'll always be older.
we spent her birthday lunch discussing how we don't look at early 20 year olds and wish it was us anymore.
we are grateful to be comfortable in our maturing skin.
happy birthday, little sister.

Monday, February 13, 2012


on november 29, 2009 pete had a cardiac arrest
AND near death experience might i add.
he fell out of bed,
dead body weight,
and he crashed the night stand over.
that's how i knew something was terribly wrong.
he knocked the nightstand so hard against the wall that it chipped some paint off the wall and left green paint scuff marks from the nightstand.
they have been on my wall ever since.
it has been the only physical reminder left in my home of that terrifying night.
i have looked at them often over the 2+ years since.
i have touched them at times, too,
remembering what it sounded like,
oh, it was so loud.
i was certain the lamp was broken.
(it wasn't).
it also has made me remember what he looked like laying face down in that night stand.
chills still haunt me a bit at that image.
i guess you could say that those paint scuffs have meant something.
those paint scuffs have crossed my mind every time we have discussed moving out of this house.
i was afraid to let that last tangible thing go.
well, i'm not afraid anymore.
i just re-covered them a few days ago with a fresh coat of bedford gray paint.
i hesitated right before i rolled over them.
i looked at them closely again.
i even touched them.
and recalled again the exact details of that night.
then i painted over them.
the scuffs were gone just like that.
it was an important sign to me that i must be pretty recovered now.
and i prefer the bedford gray.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


do you ever have days where you wish someone could be capturing all of your candid moments because they are just so memorable?
since there were no candid takers around here,
i had to do the next best thing.
i imprinted each of our memorable moments right onto my heart.
i was watching with fascination,
and with the kind of joy that makes your heart feel like it's coming out of your body,
as my children used their wings all day long.
their gifts were so clear to me as i watched each one of them do their thing...

maggie mothering her baby doll the whole day with sips out of her bottle, rides in her stroller, and wrapping her in her blanket and squeezing her so tight.
what a perfect little mother she is already!

will engineering and constructing the perfect forts all day long
and being happy.
so happy and content with all that was going on around him.

and sam.
he finds his joy in creating.
and organizing.
he re-arranged his dresser top several times.
he offered insight onto what i should hang on my bedroom walls,
and best of all he organized an amazing activity for our family last night.
it was perfectly orchestrated right down to the angle of the chairs.
he wanted a stargazing activity.
he stood for quite some time in our front yard looking from every corner trying to decide where we would be able to see the most stars unobstructed.
he carried kitchen chairs outside and lined them up in a perfect row,
and each one was covered with a blanket for the crowd's comfort.
hot cocoa was made for sipping while outside.
and there we sat as a family,
right on our busy street,
looking at the stars,
drinking hot cocoa,
and telling jokes.
lots of made up jokes that didn't really make much sense but were still funny.
then the deer came.
the deer always come.
we watched with wonder
until the boys decided we needed to clean out the remaining produce in our fridge for their midnight snack.
we followed the deer up the street dropping tasty morsels all along the way.

tender i tell you.
watching these delightful children having the space to be exactly what is in their heart is about the best thing this mama's heart could hope for.
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