Reading Hosea

If there is ONE thing I’ve learned as a mother. It’s this: IT.IS.HARD.  This doesn’t mean that it’s not full of love or tender moments or realizing that this is the BEST thing that you’ve ever done. It just means it’s all of that wrapped into one.

Since becoming a mom I’ve realized a few things. I’m a MOM!! I promise you’ll have that moment a few times a day and many times a week. I look at my 4 year old and 16 month old and I kind of have this moment where I realize for the millionth time that I’m in fact a mother to 2 very amazing and adorable little people. Another thing which I’ve stated is that it’s hard. And yet another thing that I’ve found important is raising them for Christ.

I’ve fretted over how I was going to do this. How can I make my kids be like those other little kids that can say verses word for word & know the love of God? How could I be that mom who saturates her kids in God 24/7? I’ve wanted to be those moms. I have failed miserably. I’ve learned that you can tell your kids this & that, but if they don’t see you do it. If they don’t see you live it then they themselves won’t do it. I’m the worst when it comes to reading the Bible. THE. WORST. I will even go as far as saying since having kids it’s been worse than that. Which I never thought possible, but it’s possible. Trust me! I’ll pick it up and start a Bible study only to set it to the side and never finish it. Hello! I have more important things to do like wash the dishes, laundry, change diapers, dust, make appointments, worry about my husband finding a job, worry about the lack of money coming in, worry, worry, worry……………………………….. I come from a long line of worriers and I’m winning!

I’m sort of getting off track here. I struggle daily with a lot of things. Wanting to be a good mom, wife, friend, Christian, person. It’s been a rough year. I’ve struggled with God. Or fought with God. Or went between what’s the point to look at what He’s done for me.  I honestly feel like my kids have seen it. They might now have understood it, but it came out through my crying or yelling or just not trying. In those moments when I’m talking to God or trying to understand why things have happened the way they have  I end up coming back to what I know. God. Christ. What He’s done for me. 

I desperately want to be in love with God. I yearn for it. I feel like I don’t know how to get there. I feel like the walls are in place and because of that my kids can feel it. See it. Hear it. I don’t want my kids to grow up not knowing what God can do, not knowing the LOVE of God simply because I can’t wrap my brain around it. I want to raise them for Christ. I don’t want it to be words in my mouth. I want it to be a reality.
So because of that I thought I would pick up my Bible again. I thought I would open it and see what He has to offer. I went to shereadstruth.com and figured I would just read whatever they had on tap for this week. Instead I randomly picked a Bible study to study. I’m that person that likes to close her eyes & put my finger on a verse in the Bible in hopes that God will magically speak through that scripture. I’ve landed my finger many a time on those verses that read something like (this is the land of ‘ites) and thought well what am I supposed to get out of this?? Today however I randomly chose one of their studies and I chose Hosea. I wasn’t expecting it to be any special message from God, but I think that it is. And I’ll tell you why.

“If you feel like a mess today, the book of Hosea is for you”. This is me EVERYDAY.

“If you long to love Jesus more, but there are idols towering over your head and heart, the book of Hosea is for you”. I imagine that my constant worrying could very much be an idol. I mean I focus on that much more than I do the Word of God or I don’t know anything else.

“……….and you wonder if He’s walked away, the book of Hosea is for you”. I have felt the void of God for close to a year now. Since the death of my uncle and I’ve had such a hard time getting back to where I think I should be.

Maybe this is what I need. I’m going to finish this study. I hope someone holds me accountable. Maybe through this I can begin to finally see God. See my kids being raised how I want them to. Not because of what I say to them, but because they see me live it. They see me open my Bible. They see me BELIEVE it. Now isn’t that the proof.

We’ll wait and see………………

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Mom’s Night Out

My friend From Faye threw down a challenge. She challenged me to start blogging again. She challenged me to write about the 5 best toddler activities that I’ve actually done with my toddler. I’m here to say ……… this is not that blog post. I tried to get the juices flowing, but it disappeared quicker than Lois Lerner’s e-mails.

So as I wipe away these virtual cobwebs I thought I’ll accept her challenge to start blogging again. At least this one time.

Towards the end of the day I started planning my escape. My husband comes home from work, dinner, dishes, getting the kids off to bed, and that’s when I’m too tired to actually escape, But TODAY was a different day! I did everything except put the kids to bed and then I headed out the door. I’ve been wanting to ride the carousel at the Nut Tree all week. Every morning this week I’ve been determined to pack up the kids and head the 35ish minutes to ride that blasted carousel. And as usual I talk myself out of it by going through my long laundry list in my head which prevents me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I guess that’s why my husband says I’m not the fun one. TODAY though TODAY I was going to throw caution to the wind and head out all by myself to ride that carousel. I had visions of fun, laughter, iPhone photography, creativity, watching the sunset, and then heading over to my friends house for a quick catch-up, head home, walk into my house relaxed and rested, and then head to bed.

Here’s what really happened…………………..

As I was headed toward my destination I realized I had no idea when the carousel stopped running. It was 7:30pm and I didn’t have a clue as to whether or not it was already closed or if they had summer hours. So I texted my friend and prayed that she’d answer immediately. No dice. So I keep driving and thinking and driving and thinking and thinking and thinking. Which happens to be a dangerous thing when I want to be spontaneous. My thinking won out so I thought I’d pull into a parking lot somewhere and just check to see what time they closed. After a few minutes of searching on my handy iPhone I discovered that the carousel stops running at 5:30 pm. Boom! Spontaneity gone!

I sat in that parking lot wondering what to do next. My inner struggle went something like this:
I can just go home and help Brandon put the kids to be. No! I’m going to do something fun! I’m ALWAYS doing what I’m supposed to. This is my night and I’m going to do something. What IS there to do? I could go to a cool hipster coffee shop and contemplate my future. Or read. Or Blog. Ah no! I don’t want coffee I want to sleep tonight. Hmm…maybe I’ll go get a tattoo. ( This is where I try to Google search the tattoo parlor one of my friends frequents) I wonder how much it would cost? Probably too expensive. We still have bills to pay and the birthday party is Saturday and I still haven’t bought all the food for it yet. I have to pick up the tables & chairs for the party and I still have to get gas. I wonder what kind of tattoo I should get? Maybe just a small tattoo. That won’t cost much, right? What’s the cost of tattoos these days? Ugh! Nevermind I’m not going to get a tattoo. I could just crawl in my backseat and take a little nap. That’s if it wasn’t full of car seats and snack crumbs, clothes, baby carriers, garbage. What happened to my truck!!?!??! I REALLY need to clean my truck out this weekend. My poor truck! So disgusting! I’ve been trying to clean this thing out since 2010. This truck used to be my baby. So did my dog. Before kids. Oh we need dog food.
And then it happened………..like a beacon in the night Target heard my cry. I looked in my rearview mirror in that moment and realized I had parked in a Target parking lot y’all!!! That’s my southern alter ego coming out. She comes out only on occasions like these.
I had no idea I pulled into a parking lot that would lead me to the Stay-at-home Moms mini getaway spot. I parked so far in the back and didn’t even realize it. So I grabbed my purse and gave into that beautiful sign. I grabbed a shopping cart and wandered that store far longer than I should have. I didn’t want to be there anymore, but I didn’t want to go home either. I walked every inch of that store and then I finally bought my things and headed home. I’d like to say that when I got home I was refreshed, but I was more tired than when I left. I felt like I squandered my spontaneity time with a flippin trip to Target. Getting things I NEEDED and nothing I wanted.

Oh wait! I did watch the sunset though. I watched it set right behind that big ol’ Target.

Any other moms out there have a night of spontaneity that didn’t go as planned?

Confession of an Imposter Domestic Goddess Part…..3?

I’m already losing track……Mommy brain! It’s real!!

Confession #4 I don’t find cooking as enjoyable as I did before kids.

I know I’m a terrible mother!!! Before babies and when I was first married I looked forward to cooking meals. Baking. Creating. Making up as I went along. Impressing my hubs with all my mad cooking skills in the kitchen and making him enjoy food that was fresh and not processed. Now that my baby girl is here and I have a full of life toddler cooking/baking seems much more like a chore.

Like right now. I’m making a grocery list. BORING!!!! Actually right now I’m blogging while I should be making grocery list. Figuring out meals for the rest of the week! Double Boring!!!! All the while trying to stick to a budget along with trying to stick with a Paleo menu so that my baby girl doesn’t stay up in the wee hours of the morning gassy!! I know. Poor me, right? Infinity Boring!!!

I miss the days where I would find something to cook. Make a trip to the grocery store. Get all the ingredients and then create or follow a recipe. Whichever. Now I go through my cookbooks a.k.a Pinterest and try my hardest to find something yummy, Paleo worthy, and something that can stick to my budget. Not fun!

Cooking/baking would relax me. I enjoyed spending time in the kitchen playing with food. I would often think about the next fun thing I could create in the kitchen. The irony is I constantly think about food and what I’ll be cooking next but not in the way I used to. Like I said feels like a chore these days.

Break out the violins!

Anyone out there feel the same way? I hope I’m not alone

Babywise: Controversial or no big deal?

Whew!!!!!!!!!! It’s been ages since I posted anything on my blog. Sorry to say I just haven’t been feelin’ the blog world since my last post. However, I couldn’t bring myself to delete it so I thought I’ll post when the mood arises. And you guessed it….the mood has arisen.  Hmmm….is that grammatically correct?

So anywho, I was just reading a blog and she had mentioned that she uses Babywise with her twin daughters. Now, I have never read the book. I’ve basically gotten the run down from other blog posts and friends who use it. I know that some people are STRONGLY opposed to it while others are STRONGLY for it.  I did consider reading the book before I had my son, but I never got around to it.

I would say that before having a baby I was very much the type of person that was determined to have my baby not run my life. As I got closer to having my first baby I was beginning to realize that it might not be so cut and dry. Once I have my adorable son I was hit hard with the reality that was a newborn. Along with having our  son we discovered he had acid reflux, and locking him down tight with a feeding schedule. sleep schedule, and play schedule wasn’t going to happen. I was very stressed!!! Extremely stressed!!!  I think I was still trying to control what I couldn’t when it came to the acid reflux and getting him down for naps. Wasn’t happening. Even though there were/are skeptics out there that thought I was letting the acid reflux “control” me. Something I learned quickly with a reflux baby was that I couldn’t force a schedule on him. So it became more about seeing what he was doing and trying to make a schedule from that.

Now that I am pregnant with my second baby I realize that I’m going to go with the flow. I’m going to take my cues from this little bundle of joy and see how it goes. Now that doesn’t mean I’m all about attachment parenting, but neither am I for Babywise parenting either. Somewhere in the middle perhaps.

Again I have never read the book so I am curious what others think about.  Anyone out there a firm believer of the Babywise Method? Anyone strongly opposed to Babywise? Is there anyone who has used it, loved it, and then decided after so many babies that it was no longer for them?  I would love to hear from you out there. Feel free to sound off.

Chubby hands on my face

Since my little goose was sick many weeks ago it’s been quite the transition to get him back in his own bed. I feel 100% better when he sleeps in bed with me when he’s sick just so I can be right there if I need to be. Plus, if he sleeps in his own bed I’d most likely be camped out in his room checking him every 5 seconds to make sure he was ok. Having him in my bed while he’s sick makes it comfortable for all involved. Sort of. The issue afterwards is getting him back in his bed. What tends to happen is we do our typical bedtime routine: brush teeth, put lotion on, change diaper, read story, pray, & then mom crawls into his little toddler bed with him and waits until he falls asleep.  Now sometimes I don’t mind this as it gives me time to just relax, but other times I feel like I’m being held hostage in his room. The slightest move and his eyes shoot open and he’s patting the bed saying, “mommy”. In his oh so adorable little voice that is hard to refuse.  Then there are other nights where I just leave and then we have a battle on our hands.

I have a bad habit though when I go to lie down with him. I take my addicting iphone with me so that I can waste time until he drifts off to sleep.  I often beat myself up with how I waste more time on the dreadful phone then just enjoy the quiet time with my baby. I admit that I do it pretty much all the time. Basically, cause I want him to fall asleep so that I can go back out and continue my 24/7 job as a SAHM.  However, last night I set my phone aside and just spent quiet time with my little goose.

In those moments last night I stared in awe at the fact that this little guy is mine. That I was abundantly blessed the day that I found out I was pregnant. That God entrusted me with such a sweet, outgoing, sometimes shy, happy, joyful little boy.  He looks just like me so that makes it all the more surreal.  Every time I take the time to just be with him I always start tearing up (like I am now).  I am just amazed that he is mine. I am amazed at how much LOVE I have for this little goose of mine. He is so precious to me! I cannot imagine my life without him and I can barely remember life before him.  He has taken my life and turned it upside down and right side up again. He makes me want to be a better wife, mother, christian, person.  He makes me want to learn all the martial arts/fighting styles in the world so that if anyone every hurts him I can fight back. Although Krav Maga seems pretty fierce!  He makes me want to discover new things and rediscover the old simply so that I can see it through his eyes. He makes me want to pull out my hair when I am at a loss as to how I can effectively discipline him and get the results I want.  He makes hugs and kisses the best part of my day.

So last night as we were lying in his bed he put both his little chubby hands on either side of my face, looked at me with his beautiful brown eyes and said, ” Mommy, I Uv Ew”.  I smiled and a little tear slid down my cheek.

I’m notorious for letting it all get to me. I can get wound up quick and worry about it all. But last night when he did that and then continued to hold my face and look at me and say mommy over an over. I didn’t have a care in the world. I didn’t care that I was being “held hostage” in his room.  I didn’t care about all his birthday party details. I didn’t care. I just wanted to stay there with his little chubby fingers on my face and never leave.

Encouraging words for Mamas

Ok so a couple of nights ago in my post Comparisons I mentioned the Gypsy Mama and her e-book: The Cheerleader for Tired Moms. I also mentioned that the second post in her e-book was the one that brought me to tears. Ok I’m not talking Oh how touching tears I’m talking full on sobs, but in a good way. I started reading it to the hubs and had to stop every few seconds to wipe away the tears that were falling down my face. Every time I stopped reading I would apologize to my hubby and then say, ” I don’t know why I’m crying so much”.

I don’t know what it was about that post that brought me to tears. Actually I do. As corny as it sounds this little e-book spoke to my soul. It spoke to what we all know happens to moms around the world yet we often times feel completely isolated with the overwhelming beautiful gift of being a mom. So when I read this e-book I immediately wanted to share it with every mommy out there that is feeling the same way and needs some words of encouragement. Words that would let them know that they are not alone. So I e-mailed The Gypsy Mama and asked her if I could share the post that she has in her e-book. Well, guess what!!! She actually e-mailed me back!! I was like Eek!!! Ya totally like Eeekkk! She said I could share it with the world as long as I direct everyone back to the original post. So without further ado I am going to give you a little morsel of it and then you all can go directly to her amazing blog that helps encourage mama’s like myself.

For the Days When You Want To Quit Motherhood

This post is for my little cousin, Bronwen, who’s at the one year mark of motherhood.

And it’s for you.

This post is for those days when “getting over yourself” is the last thing an exhausted, I-can’t-take-it-anymore, run down mother needs to hear.

Can I just take your sweet face between my hands and look into your tired eyes and tell you what you’re doing is exceptional?

Tell you that motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Period. And I’ve worked for the UN on counter human trafficking, for NGOs on the Aids and orphan crisis in South Africa, as well a corporate law firm.

And I still maintain that having the 24/7 responsibility of a child is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. By far.

Being at someone else’s literal beck and call will lay you low. It will rob you of a sense of self that can take time and tears to rediscover in this new identity of mother. Give yourself grace to realize that and to mourn the loss of who you were, before you begin to embrace the who you’re becoming.

There’s the morsel. So please click on the title to go read one of the best posts I’ve read about mommy’s. Us mama’s need to stick together.
Don’t forget to follow her blog so you can get the e-book.

Comparisons

If you’ve read my blog you’ve probably noticed a little trend. That I’m slightly overwhelmed at times or that I feel I should be all and do all. In my defense I think it’s in my gene’s. Like for real. My mom is the same way. I’m always telling her, “MOM!!! Why do you think you have to be all and do all for everyone? You ARE NOT SUPERWOMAN!!!” Then she looks at me and says,”Really? You’re gonna ask me that? Hello!! You are the same way”. To which I reply, “Well, it’s all your fault”.

I am notorious for comparing myself to others. I’ve been doing it since I knew what the word meant probably. Pretty sure it hit overdrive when I became a SAHM. The thing is I know it’s awful to do. I know logically that no one is perfect! Yes I’m stuck in this crazy cycle of thinking that so and so does it better than me. Blah, blah, blah. Even I get tired of hearing myself think this way.

So I read this awesome blog by the Gypsy Mama and she just kinda laid it out there. It’s nice to know that she feels the same way too. It’s nice to know the imperfection of others and that I’m not the only one to compare myself to others. I also subscribed to her blog to get this inspirational e-book: The Cheerleader for Tired Moms. Yes, it’s a must read!! It’s a precious book with all of her most inspirational posts for mommy’s. Just saying if you subscribe to her blog and get the book the second post will bring you to tears. I read it out loud to the hubs and had to take breaks in between reading it cause I couldn’t stop crying. I’m not sure there’s much more to say other than just that.

I could go on and on about the craziness that is comparison, but she says it so well. That it literally robs you of who you are or what you do or how well you do it.

So take a breath, enjoy the moments, make a point to see what you do well, and be thankful that you can’t do it all. Cause if you think you’re tired now imagine your exhaustion if you could do it all.

Mini Vaca for Mommy

Tuesday I had a case of the crazies.  

My little goose had been sick for a little over a week which means we went absolutely NOWHERE except to the doctor’s.  When my hubs walked in the door that evening he could see me foaming at the mouth working myself into a frenzy.  Our eyes connected and he knew without a word being spoken that I needed to GET. OUT!!!  With the crazies steadily taking over I started ranting about something or other. I honestly have no idea what I even said. As I was washing dishes he told me that I needed to get out for a little bit.

My hubs has this incredible ability to convince me to leave. It goes something like this:

Hubs:  Babe, you need to get out of the house. Just take a break for a little bit.

Me: I CANNOT possibly leave this house with all the things I still need to do. ( This is where I begin listing my various tasks that have fallen by the wayside since my little goose has been sick)

Hubs:  You can do that stuff later just take a moment to yourself.

Me:  YOU. DON’T. UNDERSTAND!!  There’s just too much to get done and not enough time to do it in. (As tears start streaming down my face and I’m shaking my hand at him trying to emphasize the Category 5 hurricane that is about to unleash on him)

Hubs: Begins grabbing my purse and keys as he hands them to me and says, “LEAVE”.

How can I resist being kicked out of my own house?  As I drive away I’m kind of giddy with excitement as to where I can possibly go for my mini vacation. I could head to Old Navy. I have a gift card afterall. I could head to Michaels.  I need some more yarn for my current project.  Hmmm….I settle on Barnes & Noble.

Let me tell you it was like Heaven to me. I can’t tell you the last time I set foot into an actual bookstore. I have a Kindle Fire that my hubs bought me for Valentine’s Day so I’ve only had to push a button to buy myself a book. When I walked into Barnes it was like I was coming home. There’s just something about walking into a bookstore and spending my sweet time looking at the books and yes even smelling them.  I walked up and down nearly every aisle of books. It was wonderful!!

I eventually found myself in the cookbook section. I begin to hear this heavenly voice that sounded so familiar and I was trying to remember where I’d  heard it before. As I was following the sound of the voice I looked up and saw this bright heavenly light shining and this is what had been calling to me.

It was The Pioneer Woman and she was speaking to me!!  Not really, but it was magical all the same.  I grabbed that cookbook and hugged it like we were long lost friends. I flipped through it and salivated at all the food I would be cooking and eating and eating and eating.  I also picked up a lovely little cookbook for Macaroons. That’s Macaroons with two o’s.  You say Macaroons. I say Macarons. Sounds the same to me.

My mini vaca lasted about an hour. I returned home refreshed and rejuvenated. I sat down with my new cookbooks and enjoyed the rest of my night.