Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Year of Lasts

It's the night before school starts and I'm wondering how this went by so fast. Normally, it's just the beginning of another school year for our family, but tonight is different. Aside from the fact this summer lasted 4.5 seconds (a quote from a dear friend), this is not just any "night before schools starts" for us. This is the last "night before school starts" for my oldest. 
He is a senior this year... and this year begins the year of lasts

He's already had his last, first soccer game of the season. I shed a few tears in the cereal aisle of Walmart when my friend sent me this picture of all the seniors boys huddled together.

Me and the kids were traveling home from seeing family last weekend and I cried from Lawndale to Shelby because of a few songs that came on the radio. (To see what all the fuss was over, click here and here).

Going through scrapbooks last night, looking for the "first day of Kindergarten" picture, had me tearing up again at the blonde haired, blue eyed little boy who wanted to be a fireman when he grew up.
Well, here we are 14 years later... and he is a fireman. He's following his passion and this is the career he has chosen to pursue.

I can't begin to tell you how fast these years have passed. Trust me when I say this...


When Chandler got his braces off this summer, I looked at him and thought... "He's no longer a kid, he's a man." This hurt my heart a little but also made me joyful to see what a handsome, young man he's grown into.

We also have another last... my baby's last year of elementary school. Whew... it's going to be an emotional year...I can already tell.

When we wake up in the morning, we will all be too busy getting ready and eating breakfast for me to stop and think about this "last" milestone... at least until I get to work. Hopefully, I won't get too many complaints from the kids, because this mama is going to get in her First Day of School pictures, too. So, my prayer for all of my kids is they will have a great school year. I pray for safety, for smarticles (that's my made-up word for them to learn something new), and for them to be the difference in someones life they come in contact with this school year.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

Chandler's First day of Kindergarten, August 25, 2005

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Another school year has come and gone and I find myself wondering how it could have passed so quickly. Even my kids thought this school year went by fast. And kids NEVER say that. 

So, I'm sitting here scratching my head and thinking about the summer, which will be a different kind of summer for our family. I started working full-time in January of this year, so a 40-hr work week remains the same now as it did during the school year. My kids were not very happy about this, so we are all going to have to find a way to adjust. 

I've spent every summer by the pool, having playdates with friends or being lazy watching a movie with my kids since there were born. They don't know how to wrap their heads around this new normal and I don't blame them. Alll they've ever known is for mom to take them places during the summer. I know plenty of parents work full-time and it's fine. Kids are fine. We all survive and find ways to keep entertained. It's not that I am dreading working, because I'm not, rather it's the guilt of me not spending the summer doing fun stuff with my kids, that's getting to me. Day trips to the pool, spending a few days with family, watching them jump on the trampoline with the water sprinkler under it, eating popsicles on the front porch...those will take place far less than used to. My kids are growing up and I have a career now. Nothing stays the same, but for 15 years, all of the above is what I knew.

However, all is not lost for the summer, because we have another driver in the family now. It's still very fresh and I'm still trying to decide how I feel about it all. BUT, when I come to terms with the fact that I have a 16 year old that can help cart people places, I think it will be a plus. The younger two kids are already making their lists of places he can take them. 

So much has transpired this year and it's all happening too fast. I often get wrapped up in work or distracted by activities that I miss opening my eyes and seeing the bigger picture sometimes. I don't want to miss it. I feel like I've missed too much already. Missed too many opportunities with my kids or family... missed sitting down and investing into them. They are not going to be living at home forever and that's hit close to home these past 6 months. So, I've made a few observations that I want to "journal" and hope that maybe this might resonate with some of you as well. 

High school flies by. FLIES. I thought my oldest went through middle school pretty quickly, because it was only 3 years. Right? That was nothing compared to the 2 years he's been in high school. I swear he JUST STARTED 9th grade... JUST STARTED. But, no, he's getting ready to be a Junior and driving a car. By himself. And now my middle one will be joining him at the high school too. People told me it went by fast and I was like "meh...whatever." It's true! Drivers Ed, then it's the permit, then it's the license and then it's graduation. I've already marked 3 of those off the list with one of my kids. I can't believe I only have 2 years of school left with my oldest. All I did was blink...once... maybe twice... and here we are. 

I swear I didn't finish college THAT long ago, and now my own kid is on the heels of college himself. Even though this mama is having a hard time wrapping her head around all the change & growing up, it's been great seeing all my kids mature and especially watching my boys turn into men. You worry a little more, pray a little harder, and trust that it's all in God's hands!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

So Long… Farewell…Goodbye Little House



April 2nd, 2014 is the day that this picture was taken, which was a day after our family said our final goodbyes to our first home.  I must admit… I was a little teary when I went back for our final walk through and few belongings.  We moved all our stuff on April Fools Day, with the help of some gracious friends (Chris, Erica, Troy & Romelle), into a rental home.  I know fun and exciting times are ahead of us looking for a new, and bigger, home for our family of 5.  But we have some good memories of 1158 N. Woodhill Drive so I wanted to reflect a bit. 

We bought this home in December of 1999 and I was pregnant with our first child. I remember walking into the house the first time and thinking “this could be cute” and envisioning which room I would make the nursery.  When the keys were handed over to us, we felt a sense of pride… you know “Our FIRST Home”… this is where memories would be made. 

I remember walking in the door for the first time as we brought each of our kids home from the hospital.  As I sat in the nursery rocking Chandler not long after he was born and kept thinking how in the world can I leave this precious little baby and go back to work.  I did go back to work and after 6 months of that, I decided I had enough and came home for good.  Each of our kids had all their firsts in that home. 

I remember the sweat & tears that were put into clearing the land behind our house to make a backyard for our kids to play in.  Sweat because that was some hard work bush-hogging and pulling up trees & roots for hours.  Tears because that was the first night I was away from my baby boy at 8mths old. 

I remember when we got a swingset for the boys and how happy they were as a 3 and 1 year old playing on it.  Chandler was so sweet holding Carter between his legs on the “rocket ship” swing as they called it. 

I remember when Corby built a huge sandbox in the backyard and we ordered a load of sand to go in it.  When the dumptruck pulled into the backyard to dump the load, everyone’s eyes were big as golf balls looking at the mountain of sand sitting in the middle of it and wondering how it was going to fit inside the rectangle box.  (It was a little mounded by the way Winking smile)

I remember trying to figure out where to put our Christmas tree each year because the living room was so small, but somehow we always made a spot for it.  I remember lots of lunches on the front porch with the kids when they were little. 

I remember washing dishes day after day and hating it so much because we didn’t have a dishwasher.  My parents felt sorry for me when I was pregnant with Carter because I gagged every time I had to wash them.  So they bought us a portable dishwasher and it was the best thing ever.  A few years after that Corby & I tackled a kitchen remodel that extended the cabinets and made the dishwasher permanent and put new kitchen floors down ourselves.  We gave ourselves a pat on the back for that. 

I remember hanging my head over the toilet in the bathroom when I was pregnant with Carter.  Me & the toilet visited a lot during my pregnancies.  I was looking across the hall at Corby sitting on the bed in our bedroom and saying “if I ever want to do this again, please slap me.”  We did have a 3rd kid by the way. 

I remember painting Kensley’s room pink after we found out she was a girl and when we were done, thinking… this kinda looks like Pepto-Bismol. 

I remember all the fun times we had playing in the snow.  The kids would stay outside for hours on end going up and down the hill in our front yard.  And we have some great videos as memories.  We also spent a lot of time chasing balls that rolled down that same hill. After about the 10th time chasing that ball, I made the comment that I never want to live in a house on a hill again.  People were afraid to pull into our driveway fearing their car would roll. 

Speaking of rolling, I remember Corby’s car taking a tour of the neighborhood.  He went out to crank the car to take the boys to school and when they came back outside a few minutes later to get in, the car was gone.  Since the parking break hadn’t been pulled up, the car decided to back itself into our front yard, turn the wheel, go back down the driveway, jump a curb, barely miss a fire hydrant, manuever between a telephone box and a bush and land in the corner of the carport and a funeral home hearse sitting in the driveway across the street and 3 houses down.  It was still running when we figured out where it landed.  Fun times folks. 

I remember getting our first dog and how excited our kids were because they begged for a dog for years.  We were proud of ourselves because we got him for free.   I also remember that same summer thinking where are we gonna put the dog.  Then we ended up fencing in our backyard.  Our free dog turned into an expensive investment.  But it was worth it because the kids love Buster and he’s been a great addition to our family. 

Our little 3 bedroom, 1 bath house was great for our family for 14 years and we have SO many more memories there.   We never, ever imagined that we would have stayed there as long as we did.  But that little house allowed me to stay at home with my kids for a long time and raise our family.  People would always ask how we could live there and my answer was always, “you just make do with what you have.”  I’m thankful for that little house.  Now we pass it off to another couple…New floors, new paint, new memories for them. 

So as we are on the search to find a home for our family, I have full trust in the Lord that He will provide for us. 

“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” -Acts 17:26

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fa, la, la, la, la...

Seriously... April. Was. My. Last. Post.

I obviously suck at blogging.  But whatever.

Ok, so greetings... Merry Christmas and all!  Tis the season for ragged moms frantically searching for last minute Christmas gifts.  Like me... searching for a cheerleading uniform for my daughter.  Because she decided to add that last minute gem to her letter to Santa.  Last night.  Which she sent by way of the Elf on the Shelf.

{clicky clicky clicky}... that's me scouring the internet trying to find something I can order and be shipped in a couple days.  FAIL.  Unless you are a size 2T or 4T girl...or you want to pay $80 for a random uniform... or are a "ris-kay" football cheerleader wanna-be with scraps of fabric covering important parts... I caint find nuthin!  Santa might have to send an IOU this year.

The hooplah of the season graces our home as well as probably most everyone else in the US.  I vowed this year to not buy as much as last year.  And this year, as well as every other year, I have failed miserably.  I think I end up buying more every year.  It's all those little things that keep adding up.

The hubs as been asking for about 2 weeks now when we are going to get our yearly dose of Christmas fiber... I mean chex mix.  Seriously, why do people only make this stuff at Christmas?  It's not a red & green treat and I can easily make it year  round.  But I don't.  Yes, I know you can buy the bagged version of it and it's nowhere near as good.  So I bought a box of cereal here and a bag of nuts there and last night finally put them all together into some salty goodness.  I bake mine... no microwaving here.

I had chex mix for a late night snack...chex mix for breakfast...chex mix for lunch...and I'm sure I'll have chex mix on at least 2 more occasions today.  Bathroom beware., la, la.laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Friday, April 12, 2013

In All Things

"BE PRESENT.... Her favorite moments were those when she let go of all expectations and worries and just simply celebrated the very moment she was living. In those precious moments she was truly present and listening to Grace."

Be Present.  I find myself checking out a lot here lately.  I retreat to go read a book, I bury myself into my laptop to work, I rush around cleaning up the house and doing laundry.  In other words… I’m not always present even though my physical body might be visible.  But, that’s not where I need to be.  I need to be present in all forms…in the now…. with my family… with my husband…with my friends…living life and having fellowship and connection with one another.

Raising kids is hard and I’m not going to lie, the older they get, the harder it gets.  I used to think “oh I can’t wait till they are older because it will be so much easier.” WRONG!  It’s so much more complicated than giving them a juice box, goldfish and a Veggie Tales movie to watch for 30 minutes or a bandaid to cover up the boo-boo.  I am shaping them into adulthood, teaching them to grow up and make life decisions.  Fashioning these little lives to know how to face the challenges of life and do so with the perspective that God calls us to.  That’s pretty gigantic when you really think about it. 
Be present.  When I am “here” my problem with being in the present is that I want perfection.  This leads me to being stressed out a lot when things don’t go as I planned.  Meaning…. “I’ve already asked you to clean that mess up in your room.  Why is it still laying there?” Even though I’m raising these kids to be adults, they are definitely not yet adults.  I need to remember they are not going to react in an adult manner or think in one either. 

Be Present.  Let go of expectations.  This doesn't mean my kids don’t have to listen or do as I ask, or that I should let laundry pile to the ceiling and dishes scatter over the counter, or that I should just work when I want to.  I still am required to parent my children, be a wife, structure my home, and run my business…it just means that I need to simmer down.  My problem is, when I want something done, I want it now.  Not 30 minutes later… not this afternoon…not tomorrow… Now.  Most of the time, it’s not something that is really required NOW, I just think it is.   Learn the balance in things and don’t get so uptight if it isn't happening now.

Let go.  Be present.  Live in the moment.  Teachable moments.  Moments to reach out and love the ones you are with.  God gives me grace day in and day out.  Lord, let me show grace to my family and love them like my Father loves me.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Did that really just happen?

If you know me at all, you know that I love to read.  I would even go as far to say I’m kinda a book addict.  No.  I AM a book addict.  For whatever reason, I finally discovered that reading is an enjoyable hobby and I wish I had found this passion when I was in school.  ugh.  I’ve read a lot of books this past year by many different authors, but I have a few favorites that just really knocked my socks off.  Maybe not so well known in the realm you would think as “famous authors”… but to my fellow book nerds, yeah… they are super famous.  Most of their books remain at the top of Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts, so they are pretty fantastic to me. 
When I find a really good book series I get attached to it… the characters, the story, the emotions…. almost as if it’s part of my family.  So, when a really good story comes along, I often like to create something to remember it by.  Since my job is graphics design I always have ideas floating around in my head.  There have been several books series that I have sentimental endearment to, therefore leading me to create artwork inspired by the books.  This one book series I did that exact thing.  It’s the Significance series by Shelly Crane.  I posted my creation on Pinterest on my I {heart} books! board and didn’t think much anything else about it UNITL….
The author re-pinned my pin onto her boards, *ding… email notification*…. started following me on Pinterest *ding… email notification*, posted it on her Facebook page *bleep… notification alert*, sent me a private message requesting to use it *bleep…notification alert*…, sent me an email and then she sent me an early copy of her latest book *ding… email notification*.  Wow!  Here’s my journey…
SHelly Crane convos
All that to say…I was pretty happy freaking ecstatic about this whole thing.  It’s a BIG HUGE deal to me!  AND, to top it all off, this book is being made into a movie major motion picture to be released sometime next year! I have no idea how she plans to use this graphic… my mind can only dream and she said she had some things she wanted to make with it… but regardless, she totally made my day with all of our interactions. 
That’s my story & I’m sticking to it.  Yes, that really happened. 

Monday, February 11, 2013


I’m so over sandwich meat and loaf bread.  I was never a big PB&J girl growing up and still to this day could care less for it.  So I learned to be satisfied with turkey, ham and bologna.  And I ate a lot of it growing up. 

These days, I fix 3 sandwiches (at least), 5 days a week for my kids lunches.  Sometimes I just want to buy a freaking lunchable.  Why do I tell you this?  Well, our budget is on a diet.  Yes, my husband & I are currently taking the class Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey.  Three weeks in and I’m still feeling really good about the outcome and what's to come, except I’m over eating sandwiches.  See, the thing is, when you take this class, you have to learn to save money and saving money requires eating at home more.  Sandwiches. 

I know one day when I’ve taught my money how to eat a balanced meal, I’ll be able to go out to eat whenever & wherever I want.  But for now, don’t ask me to go out to eat after church on Sunday.  Because more than likely I’m gonna go home to eat a stupid sandwich. 

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