Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Another school year has begun

Yesterday came and went as it usually does once a year.  It was the first day of school.

We had dinner, chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, at the request of the littles.  Pinterest gave me the recipe for our dessert, Cupid Floats, see here: http://eclecticallyvintage.com/2012/02/sugar-high-valentine-party/  

We had a nice relaxing Sunday.  James and Camden took part in the annual Fantasy Football draft.  Channing and I cleaned the house and hung out, while Chayce was away at her dad's for the weekend.  Early bedtimes came and anxious, excited kiddos laid down for the night.


Chayce started her Jr/Sr year.  She is classified as a junior but is taking extra classes online to graduate early, in May.  (See my previous post about my thoughts on this.)  Channing started a new school this year.  Where we live, 5th and 6th grade are in their own separate school.  She is basically getting a preview of middle school...she has her own locker, changing classes, expected to be more responsible and has to wear a uniform for the first time.  She's getting so big.  We were in such a hurry to get her to class that we didn't even get a chance to hug and kiss.  I reminded her of that after school.  :o) 

This leaves our little monkey in 2nd grade at the elementary school, all alone.  I cried when we left him.  Channing has been there with him for the last two years, checking in on him throughout the day, walking out with him to the car after school.  I just felt better knowing that they were there together because big sister takes such good care of him.  I am SO thankful that they had those two years together.  Camden mentioned several times over the summer that he was going to be sad that Chan wasn't going to be with him anymore.   

I don't know if it's the fact that Chayce will be graduating this year or what but for some reason I'm really aware of my kids growing up with the start of this school year.  Chayce is gone so much already with work and her boyfriend that many times it seems like we are a family of four but something is always missing.  Nothing makes me happier than when all of us are together.  It doesn't matter where we are, it just matters that all five of us are there.  Yesterday was one of those days and my heart was full.  We were all home getting ready for the first day of school, we all went together to see each of the kids off to school.  Then, James and I spent the whole day together.  That is our annual tradition and has been since all three started school. A whole 8 hour date!!!  This year we went to a movie and then lunch afterwards.  It was so nice.  I told him that we need to start doing days like that more often because we both know that we don't get enough alone time or dates even , for that matter.   

Another first day of school marked off the calendar. 

Another year of cheering under the Friday night lights, soccer games and baseball tournaments. 

Another year of homework, school parties and all three kiddos wanting me to come eat lunch with them at school.

So thankful for another year of this crazy, busy life and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thank you, Jesus!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Being a Mom to an early grad...

Chayce this is my letter to you.  An answer of sorts, to your text messages about how you are feeling and how you perceive that I am feeling.

I'm putting this out there for all the world to see, well not really since my blog doesn't have 10 million followers but you know I am better on paper than I am in person so this is for you.

You are my first born, I became pregnant with you at 20 years old and had you two weeks before my 21st birthday.  I had no business becoming a mom at 20 because I was very selfish, chasing after a guy who didn't want to be with me and I had this fairytale vision that once you came along everything would fall right into place.  I was pretty freaking clueless about what it was to be a mom and especially to raise a child.  I also didn't realize how hard it would be and that I would be doing it alone, or rather with Mimi and Pops.  Blah, blah, blah...I know you have heard all of this before.

Looking back on everything, God knew what he was doing.  Mimi had been diagnosed with cancer less than two years earlier so you were a bright ray of hope, sunshine, and flowers in every ones lives.  Although I know that I probably broke Mimi's heart because I'm sure being an unwed, single mother wasn't what she had planned for me, she never, ever made me feel bad about having you.

Just like I probably broke Mimi's heart (in a much bigger way), there have been times when you have broken my heart.  I have big dreams and high hopes for you because I see your potential and (not because I'm your mom) but I think you are pretty awesome.  You have made me so very proud over the years and you are so many things that I wish I could have been. 

I admire so many things about you. 

I realize that you have dreams as well and that my dreams for you may differ from your dreams that you have for yourself.  THAT is MY issue.  I am only human and sometimes I don't deal with my emotions well and for that I truly am very sorry. I am still selfish because I see you as mine so it's hard to let you go.  I also have a love/hate relationship with my emotions.  I shut down when maybe I should open up.  I get angry when I should cry.  I try SO hard, I really do...I hope you know that.  I want us to have a good relationship, I want to share in your joys and sorrows.  I want to teach you to cope with the cruel world and but most of all I want to protect you from it.  I can't do that though because when you are flying solo you wouldn't be able to stand on your own two feet and then I would have failed you.  (Remember my story about how you are my beautiful flower and I'm trying to keep all the weeds away from you?)

I am in constant fear for you.  God doesn't call us to have a spirit of fear and so that is something I pray about ALL. THE. TIME.  Deep down inside I realize just how little control over you and your decisions, your life.  Deep down I know that whatever God brings to you, He will equip you with what you need to see you through it but that doesn't mean that I'm not digging my claws in hanging on to you because you are my little girl and again, I fear for you.  I fear that you will try so hard to do that things that YOU feel are right instead of letting God lead your path.  I feel like you are in such a hurry to grow up and you are angry with me for being angry with you for being in a hurry.

Did you ever think that I'm not ready for all this?  I'm not ready to let go of you.  YOU ARE RUSHING.  I'm not supposed to have a senior until next year.  Did you ever think that all of this might be really hard on me...not only the fact that you are almost grown but you are pushing things on me a year earlier than it should be.  You've been in a hurry to grow up since 7th grade.  You don't just sit back and let things happen, your actions show that everything in your life needs to happen YESTERDAY, TODAY, RIGHT NOW.  THAT is what makes me stay in a constant state of anger.  With you in such a hurry...it's painful, it's like a punch in the gut and it keeps happening over and over again.  You have dropped HUGE bombs on me each of the last three years of your life.  Is there ever going to be a time (while you are still under my roof) that things can just go smoothly and there not be a constant cloud of gloom?  I realize that teenagers are selfish, self-centered, annoyed by their parents, know everything and are invincible (remember, I used to be one) but seriously, have you ever stopped to think about how I feel about all this?

You are extremely smart, overly talented and you have so much going for you.  I don't want to see you make the same mistakes I did, again I'm living in fear.  I don't want you planning your future around a guy who may or may not be around 5 years from now.  You have to think about YOU.  You can't save anyone, I'm STILL learning that as a 37 year old. You have to live your life, put yourself first...you have to plan for YOU.  If the guy is supposed to be in your future then God will put him there.

I am interested in everything you do.  From the first time you breathed your first breath I have been interested in everything you do.  For you to say that is completely NOT TRUE.  Look over the last 16 years of your life, when have I not been interested in you?  Did I not just spend a whole day in Ft. Worth so that I could watch you perform on your first day of cheer camp?  (Were there any other moms that did that?)  Have we not discussed colleges and looked up different schools, how much they cost, how close or far away they are?  Questioning scholarship info?  Did I not just stress about you getting your head shot done?

I don't want this, I don't want you to grow up.  I don't want you to graduate early, I don't want you to be gone a year ahead of time.  My heart bleeds because you are in such a hurry...there, I said it.  I feel like I'm being robbed of another year of fun and memories with YOU.  No more cheer camps, no more picking you up from school, no more report cards.  I'm supposed to have another year of all these things with you.  You are running away as fast as you can and I'm trying to hold on for dear life but I can't so I'm letting go, trying not to care or be concerned.  Hoping this year will go by slowly.  Sometimes I want it to go by quickly so that I can just get on with life and past the pain.  I thank God every day that I have Channing and Camden because they remind me that I'm not done, that I have a second and third chance.  I try not to think of all the time and things that after this school year will be long gone for us. My hands are tied and I can't do anything to change it so my spirit stays unsettled.  I go through bursts of anger and defeat and that's why I come across as not caring.  You have made a choice for your life.  A choice I do not agree with and therefore I can't find the joy that you are searching for from me.  I feel sorry for myself and think "I really must be the crappiest mom ever for my child to be in such a hurry to get away from me."

I have a path for you. In my perfect world you would follow it, it is straight and narrow.  You would seek God first in EVERY aspect of your life.  You would feel no pain or sadness.  No one would be hateful to you, or make you feel like less of a person.  You would experience joy and contentment being alone until you find love in a Godly man who isn't afraid to lift his hands in praise, who prays for you and with you.  You would be successful in everything you do and you would live a long, healthy life.  You would be filled with a constant flow of happiness.  These are my dreams for you and you don't deserve anything less than that. 

You will not understand my love for you, you will not understand that pain I endure, you will not ever understand until you give life to a child of your own.  When your heart is walking around on this earth in human form, that's when you will get a glimpse of how I feel for you.

I will love you always and forever,


Monday, July 29, 2013

Never leave things unsaid....

The death of a radio DJ shouldn't leave me feeling compelled to share my heart but today it does.  Kidd Kraddick passed away on Saturday at the age of 53 years old.  I grew up listening to him and until about 6 years ago, he was a regular part of my mornings. 

Once I started listening to Christian radio stations, turning back to secular stations almost hurt my ears.  I couldn't listen for more than 2 to 3 minutes without cringing at the thought of what my children just heard.  Don't get me wrong, funny stuff, adult humor but not a seed I wanted to plant in my children's ears and minds. 

Kidd Kraddick was a wonderful man with a servant's heart.  He gave so much to so many.  How many of us can say that?  How many of us can leave such a legacy, how many of us could say we changed someones life?

I'm sharing my heart today, so in the event I leave this earth a little early than expected, my husband and children have my words to come back to. 

I am horribly guilty of taking life for granted.  Guilty of not appreciating the people in my life, guilty of discontentment with what I have.  Life is a precious, precious gift and none of us are promised tomorrow. 

James, my love.  You are a wonderful man.  I am so mean and hateful to you at times.  I can be childish and pouty and I do not like myself once I realize that I am that way.  We have been together for so long, we've both changed in so many ways and in many ways we've grown up together.  You took on a broken single mom and brown-eyed a little girl, both whom just wanted to be loved and valued and taken care of.  You have done all those things and more.  I look at our wedding pictures and I see two young kids who didn't have a clue but took a chance on love.  Marriage?  Who knew it could be so rewarding and yet so challenging all at once.  You are so loving and affectionate...two things I love and admire the most about you.  You are a wonderful provider, you go above and beyond at work to make sure your family is taken care of at home.  You are passionate and determined when it comes to things you have a heart for, although at times it frustrates me, being passionate is a wonderful thing.  You were so supportive when I stayed home with our kids, even though it was a huge sacrifice for our family and added extra stress on you to stretch our dollar.  You were equally supportive when I decided to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a cosmetologist.  I know that all other roads I previously took led me to right where I am supposed to be, and that is with you.  I have never felt more loved, more accepted, and more beautiful than I have being married to you.  You have loved me at my best, my worst, my heaviest, my thinnest...through it all your love never changed or lessened for me.  I couldn't imagine doing life with anyone else but you.  I hope you know that I have never felt with anyone what I have with you.  I value and appreciate all you are and all you do.  I love you today more than I did yesterday.  Thank you for loving me, even at times when I know deep down that I did not deserve you or your love. 

You are my soul mate, my love, my muff.  Always.          

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Experiencing Summer Joy

It is summer, my favorite season of the year!!  Although, it has been unusually rainy for Texas, summer hasn't quite kicked into full gear yet. We are embracing every moment that comes our way!!

We've celebrated a 16th birthday!  She wanted some cowboy boots so we delivered!!  I made her a yellow cake with Cool Whip topping and piled fresh strawberries on top, it's her favorite!

Camden has received his 'summer cut'...a mohawk!  We lighten the ends of his hair and then color it with a wildly vibrant color that he chooses.  This year it was bright red.  It usually comes out pretty quickly with all the swimming we do.  This is pre-red.

We've also been spending lots of time with sweet friends!  Yesterday was Channing's first visit to Six Flags.  I was so incredibly proud of her, she was riding rides and really enjoying herself.  I am the biggest chicken and barely ride anything.  I'm so glad that Channing is not afraid to try new things!!

Chayce has also started her first job.  She has been wanting to work since she was 15 but no one really hires at that age anymore.  She landed and awesome position at a clothing store and started work three days after turning 16.  The center mannequin was her first time to put together an outfit for display at the store.  I think she did a beautiful job!!  She is so excited and loves her job!!! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Constant sadness

There are times in my life where I go through waves of discontent, sorrow or lack of joy.  I try to dig so deep for it, really I do.  I cry out to God, I look for scripture that comforts me and I try to focus on the positives in my life.

Lately, I'm finding it harder and harder for these things to see me through.  I hate that my kids see me so down.  Most of the time I try to hide it but in truth, how many minutes is a mom actually alone with kids in the house?  Is it even a matter of minutes?  More like seconds...

I've mentioned a time or two that I have battled depression in the past and it seems like it is creeping back into my life again.  I hate it because I truly do not want to be on medication but on the other hand it helped me get through rough patches before.

I feel like I've been in a year of constant sadness.  I don't mean that so literally, I do have really good days.  I enjoy spending time with my family, I find joy in my work, I do have good days. 

But those bad days...

They rush over me like huge ocean storm waves.  Black clouds looming above and all hell breaks lose.  I'm in the tiniest fishing boat out at sea and I'm all alone.  No land in sight, no rescue boat, just me and this giant storm,  Twenty foot waves standing tall above my head, and when I try to look up.


Right in the face.

Just when I get my eyes wiped clear and catch my breath.


Another wave.

I am alone.   Helpless.   Unprepared.   Cold.   Overwhelmed.   Lost.   Defeated.   Undone.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Daddy Daughter Dance 2013

Channing looks forward to it every single year...the day she gets her daddy all to herself.  They get all dressed up and they dance. Just the two of them and she eats it up. 

It's much like prom to her. We go shopping for a fabulous dress, plan how she wants to do her hair, and make sure that daddy matches her ever-so-colorfully.

It's a tradition James started with Chayce in 2007.  They sent a note home one year from school, Chayce wanted to go so we made plans with the dress and all.  Channing was too little to go at first. Then for a couple of years James had two little girls he had to dance with.  Chayce has out-grown the dance so now it's just Chan and daddy.

This year, they went out to eat before the dance with another daddy and his two daughters, from there they all rode together to the dance.  

Channing had mentioned a few days earlier that she was banning baseball talk between the dads.  The other two dads who went are are all baseball coaches on our son's baseball team.  Channing told her daddy that he was forbidden to speak anything baseball at the dance.  I thought that was hilarious!  (I also didn't blame her one bit.)  

Saturday, February 16, 2013


It's been waaaaaaay too long since I've last written.  I get online and I want to write but I feel like there's so much that has happened and it's been too long so I never post anything.

So here I sit today, contemplating where I should begin.  This is a blog, my journal, my life...when I don't write I feel like I'm doing a disservice to my kids by not documenting the goings-on in their daily lives.  My middle child is constantly wanting me to update because she really enjoys reading it, so here goes nothing.

Life is hard. 

Whether you are young, old, married with kids or single, life is hard.

I still don't have it all figured out, yet God has entrusted me with three of His babies to try to maneuver through this bumpy, messy, crazy ride called life.  

Parenting is hard.

I have a teenager.

She is a big, massive ball of beauty, pain, love, discontent, hope, fragility, promise and uncertainty.

She drives me crazy, makes me proud and breaks my heart all in the same day.

We've been on a roller coaster ride with her over the past year and never before have I cried out to God.  Begging him to change her and to change me.  While the storm has calmed, there's no guarantee that it's completely over.  

I have a 10 year old.

She's growing up so fast. 

She's still so little and silly but is beginning to experience how hard life is at times.

That breaks my heart too.   

She reminds me that little girls can still be sweet and thoughtful and care about their mother's mental well-being. (Hee!  Hee!)

I want to wrap her up and preserve her preciousness so that in 3 or 4 more years when she's a teenager I can have some of her sweetness to remind me that she once adored me... 

Then, there's my 7 year old...SON.

A boy.

"What am I going to do with a boy?" This was my first thought way back when we found out we needed to start buying blue.

Pure joy were the days when he used to rub my back when I was next to him on the couch.  The days when I would hold him in my arms and wonder whether he looked like James or myself.  

Those days are long gone.  They have since been replaced with baseball fields, dirty socks, stealing kisses from his pouty lips at night when he's fast asleep, and on occasion he will sneak up behind me and give me a great big bear hug that in return, I make sure to gush about so that he doesn't take them away from me anytime soon. I even beg him to let me hold him like I did when he was tiny. (And he still lets me!)    

Gone are the days of newborn baby smell, naps, diapers and tiny feet.  We've graduated to prom dresses, school bullies, lost shoes, and way too busy schedules.  

I treasure my kids often but many days, when life is hard I ask 'why me? ' I try to remember that each day is a new day because we are not promised tomorrow.  I know there is a plan for my life and each of my children's lives are already mapped out by the One who gave us life.

One day at a time. 

One prayer at a time. 

Loving them through whatever comes our way.

Forgiving myself for my mistakes.

And, thanking God I'm not alone in this life.