summer time

I haven't been blogging much because the kids are on summer break and I've decided to dedicate my days completely to them. I wrote a little bit about this for mom.me, but basically this could very well be my last summer with these crazy kids of mine. I don't know what the future holds, but I am thinking I may get a job by next year and won't be available to them all summer long. So I'm doing what I can to enjoy every moment. Everyday is like a new adventure. We have so many plans to spend our days having fun and making memories. 

It's only been a few weeks but I'm really having a great time. I don't feel exhausted or worn out yet (talk to me in August). The kids are at a great age. They're both walking and talking (well, Isabel is getting there). They're both potty trained (hallelujah!). They play well together, are on the same nap schedule, and love going out to explore the world. It's really fantastic. Once again, I must reiterate my love for the toddler/preschool years. Babies are cute and all, but this...this is my sweet spot

So hang in there, friends. I won't abandon this beloved blog of mine. Promise. Think of it as a bit of a summer break. In the mean time, you can find me on mom.me. This month I've written about our summer plans, how I deal with other parents trying to fix my kids, how we need to let our kids develop at their own pace without putting labels on them, and letting grandparents do their job without getting huffy about it: spoiling the kids

Happy Reading!

getting out of my own way

Lately I've been feeling a little lost and pretty useless. I could tell you all the reasons why but they don't truly matter. Suffice to say that I felt like I was falling short in every area of my life. When I start feeling that way I can head into a downward spiral pretty quickly. It's easy for me to think that I have no purpose and my life is going to be one big meaningless mess of blah. I know, I'm so melodramatic. 

I had a coaching session with Rachael Kincaid recently (this lady is a gem, total spirit animal) and I started realizing my potential. And I also started realizing that I need to get out of my own way. Not to sound like a total snob, but I know God has gifted me in many ways. I see my talents and giftings and passions...and I want to acknowledge them. I want to nurture them. I want to cultivate them. Rachael encouraged me to think up some themes to focus on for the rest of the year. After some reflection and prayer I came up with these two: openness and unity. 

Openness. I want to be more open. I tend to be a very closed off person. I put up a wall. I'm not very friendly and I don't open up to people. I'm not vulnerable. I don't take chances or risks.

I don't want to be that. I want to be open to new opportunities and God's plan for my life. I also want to be more open to people. I'm not saying I'm going to be everyone's best friend, but I do want to open myself up to others for the purpose of building true community. We need each other, y'know?

Unity. When Alex and I get stressed we tend to separate and go at each other instead of coming together to face problems head on. I want to be more united with my husband and have a stronger marriage. We are for each other and we need to remember that. I also want to unite with other women to encourage and learn from each other. Women, we should be each other's biggest cheerleaders. Gossiping and maligning and "one-upping" and drama is all just a waste of time.

Moreover, I want to let go of anything that divides. Bitterness, cynicism, fear, the need to be "right" all the time - these things cause division. They separate me from God and people. I want to let these things go for the purpose of unity. 

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So I'm slowly formulating a plan and seeking God. I'm praying and writing and reading. I'm getting inspired and making changes. Only God knows where all of this will lead, but I do know that if I delight myself in the Lord He will grant me the desires of my heart. So I'm holding on to that promise and trusting that God will come through. 

 

lucky number seven

Seven years. That's how long Alex and I have been married now. I'm not feeling that "seven year itch" that some people talk about, instead I'm feeling pretty lucky. Alex and I have had some nasty fights and gone through some dark times over the years, but I have never ever doubted his love for me. I've realized over the past year especially that Alex is a really special guy. I could not ask for a better partner in life.

He may leave his socks on the floor and forget to take the trash out...but he remembers the things that count. He knows my Starbucks drink by heart. He always brings me a cup of coffee in the morning. He understands I need "me" time and encourages me to pursue my passions. He tolerates my Real Housewives obsession. He picks up the slack when household chores are lagging. He knows all my favorite treats and indulges me when a craving hits. And he still looks at me like I am the most beautiful girl he's ever seen. He makes me feel beautiful and sexy and smart and capable and loved

So happy seven year anniversary, handsome. You're still my favorite. 

grateful, not greedy

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My son is three years old. It's a wonderful, magical, and painful time. Everyday he's learning so much and impressing me with his knowledge. He's hilarious and smart and sweet...and also stubborn, defiant, and willful. Everyday is an exercise in patience, sometimes I fail and sometimes I don't. What can I say? I am also a work in progress.

One thing that we have been struggling with lately is the issue of gratitude. You see, Liam loves toys. I get it. I have my own "toys" that I love (iPhones and clothes and books, oh my!). He has this thing with YouTube Kids and loves watching all the various toy reviews. He plans out which toy he wants to get next and is constantly adding to his wish list. 

The other day he really wanted a dinosaur. Mind you, this kid has a bunch of dinosaurs already. But he didn't want those, he wanted the specific dinosaur that he had seen on YouTube Kids. I tried to reason with him to no avail. You try reasoning with the three year-old, it's not easy. Alex and I were getting so frustrated that it prompted Alex to get out a garbage bag to throw all of Liam's toys away. (We didn't end up throwing them away.)

Later, at a less emotionally charged moment (which I'm learning is the key with kids), I had a talk with Liam about gratitude. I told him that he needed to be grateful for what he had instead of being greedy. I explained to him the difference and what the Bible says about greediness. I explained to him that there are other boys and girls who don't have any toys at all. We talked about all we have and how thankful we should be. I think he got it, but kids are kids and, well, he still brings up the dinosaur every now and then.

It's hard raising kids. You walk this line between wanting to give them the world and holding back so you don't spoil them. I want to say yes, but I know I need to say no sometimes. Heck, sometimes I have to say no because there just isn't enough money for all the dinosaurs in the world. 

And I also know that this is something I have to learn myself. I am always wanting more. More cute clothes, more dinners out at fancy restaurants, more gadgets. Admittedly I often feel sorry for myself because we're just not as financially well-off as I wish we were. I dream of a fancier car, a bigger closet, a newer phone...but I have so much. Instead of being greedy and wanting more I need to practice gratitude and contentment. It's okay not to have the latest and greatest. I have my family, my home, my God. What else is there? 

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever." -Psalm 118