Do your children “live” where they live?

I’m curious how many people allow their children to actually live in their home.

If you come to my house, you will quickly realize that it isn’t spotless. I ask that you be understanding and see that I would rather lay in Chances’ floor reading books with him or CG’s room playing dolls. I grew up where everything had a place and you kept it all together, all the time. My kids? Well, by now you can probably guess that I’m a little more relaxed in that department. Sometimes, I just like to sit and watch them play. Wherever it may be.

If you can’t accept that two little people live here and share their toys with everyone, scattering them through the house, you wouldn’t make good company for us.

Why is it that the kitchen is the one place that can be cleaned 10 times a day and still be dirty? I am 90% finished cleaning our house yet random dishes make their way to the sink and clutter seems to migrate to the kitchen table. Where is it coming from???? I love a clean house, but I absolutely detest giving up time with my kids to clean it!

Legos, doll clothes, and puzzle pieces are among the most popular items this week. It can be challenging finding the balance between allowing your children to play freely and creating boundaries.

Children have their entire lives to have someone stand over them and dictate. I believe in cleanliness and teaching them to cleanup but this is their house. This is their home and they have the right to enjoy it like everyone else. I don’t tell my husband to play games on his phone in our room and practice his “duck calling” in his shed. He doesn’t tell me to read my kindle in our room so why should I confine our children to theirs?

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If I could dance with my father again.

Throughout life you will find that as people come and go, some never really leave. I was thirteen years old when he passed away. He was and is still the greatest man I ever knew. My popa. In my mind he was the most honest, loving, and caring person to ever walk the earth. He was my knight in shining armor, my Prince charming, he was my hero. Actually, he still is my hero. He served for his country would have proudly done it again. He spent his days hunting and fishing before diabetes ultimately took his site. We spent our afternoons building things in the shed and making messes for my Nanny to clean up. He may have been set in his ways but I can’t recall a time he ever told me no.

To know him was to love him. He was the first man in my life, and set the bar pretty high for what a man should be. I know most kids enjoy spending time with their grandparents, but he was far more than just a “popa” to me. There was an unspoken bond between the two us. I remember asking one time “how could ever get married?!?!? There will be no dad to give me away!” He gave me this silly face and said “well, I wasn’t going to let just anybody take you off! Figure I’ll meet him first and I might let him have you.” I knew from that moment on, he would fulfill any “daddy duty” we encountered.

Sadly, he never made it to wedding day. To honor him, his photo was with us at the arch my husband and I exchanged our vows under. My actual father and I dedicated the “father-daughter” dance at my wedding to him. It was an extremely emotional moment for everyone, but I know that for every second that passed, he was with me. I was able to dance with home again (so to speak). That was the song played. Today he is weighing heavily on my mind and I hope that everyday since he has passed he’s been proud of who I am and who I am becoming.

 

To my popa, my hero, this one’s for you.

When you’re not enough, remember this…

“No matter how good of a woman you are, you will never be good enough to a man who isn’t ready.”

 

Words to live by no doubt. We’ve all had that one relationship or person that just couldn’t or wouldn’t work and yet we spent countless times trying to force it. When I was in high school, I thought I knew everything, had all the answers and you couldn’t tell me anything. Looking back, I am so grateful for all of the missed opportunities and unanswered prayers. My husband and I have known each other our entire lives and even though we maintained a good friendship, timing was always off. He was seeing someone or I was busy running my parents crazy. Funny how we look at things later isn’t it? Blessed is the understatement of the century.

I’ll never forget the first time he picked me up to “ride through town”. To this day I can tell you where I was at, what I was doing, and at least 90% of our conversation via text messaging. I knew walking out the door things would change, but I could have never guessed how much. From that moment on we where inseparable. Don’t get me wrong, it was nothing short of a whirlwind we were caught up in but, it was my whirlwind and I’ve never been real afraid of rough weather. I knew that we where in for it. I also knew there was nowhere else I’d rather be or anyone else I’d rather be in it with. My husband saved me. Whether he knew it then or if he even knows it now, he saved me.

Truthfully, I never thought I’d get married or I assumed I would end up with some “asphalt cowboy” as Jason Aldean so eloquently put it. Someone too busy chasing a living or a dream to settle down with little old me. We talked several times about marriage and I assumed the same for him. He’d marry some high school sweetheart and settle in right here. Funny how fate intervenes. It’s something you just can’t avoid. I am so glad it came knocking when it did and not a moment too soon. The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that happiness isn’t always easy to find, and life is entirely too short. Enjoy it, when the right “Mr. Right” shows up it will be well worth the wait.

My husband far exceeds any and all expectations I had. He is loving, kind, hard-working, and dedicated. Most importantly, he reminds me that I’m just right for him. He loves and appreciates me flaws and all. He was worth the wait, the heartache, and the happy ending. If you have found yourself wondering if it’s time to close the book, I don’t have that answer. I don’t know your story or your pain. What I do know is life has a way of working itself out. Sometimes things fall apart for the sole purpose of better things coming together. This isn’t Cinderella and sometimes the shoe just doesn’t fit.

Big boys don’t cry (but Mommas do).

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I woke up a little early this morning and after getting dressed, I strolled to the kitchen and removed lunches from the fridge (as usual), and placed them in their designated bags. I woke up my children from oldest to youngest and arranged backpacks. All in the same ritualistic motions as I do every morning.

Somewhere between my driveway and the school parking lot, I must have missed someone pressing “fast forward”. As I watched him gather his things in the rearview mirror, I couldn’t help but notice his hair perfectly combed to the side, his new school shirt crisp and clean, not a stitch out of place. He looked so sweet, so perfect, so brave. That was until the car door opened.

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Walking to the front door of the school, I’m taking the 1 million pictures that I always do of every first and I can’t help but notice he seems anxious. With a few encouraging words from Mom, he was ready to kick Pre K butt! Just as we’re walking inside he let’s a small courageous smile creep out and says “Big boys don’t cry.”

We check in at the office and head for the classroom. Immediately I notice the door looks like a giant yellow
minion“, a character from a movie he recently watched. He thought that seemed funny. Deep breathe, and the doors opens. He scans the room taking in all of the art, and bright colors covering the walls. The teacher is kind, bubbly, sweet, and within a second he takes to her. He seemed so self assured. Far different from the little boy who only moments ago hopped out from the booster in my back seat, and suddenly, this Momma wasn’t.

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Do you really understand the impact a teacher has on a child or a child has on a teacher? I hope so. Our children will grow to trust, mimic, care for, and even love their teachers. Teachers carry an immense amount of responsibility. One teacher can potentially make or break a child. More life lessons are learned in a classroom than almost anywhere else. That teacher, has the ability, the right to to groom our children into young adults.

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Being a parent is far more than just having a child. We are raising a future President, astronaut, teacher, pastor, coach, or any of the other 1 billion jobs out there they may want to do when they “grow up”. A teacher shares in that journey. When you send your child to school, you loose a little piece of control. You give another person the responsibility of helping to mold your future grown up. As a Mom, that isn’t easy for me and I’m woman enough to admit it.

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Somehow, my mind seemed to have lost all control to function. As I was waving goodbye to my baby boy, it was as if I where saying hello to my little man. So full of pride for him and complete heartbreak for myself. I really don’t know how we got to this place so fast. Of course I cried, and I had to excuse myself to pull it together in the hall. Finally managing a goodbye, I left. As I made it to my car, and managed to drive myself to work I heard his little voice “Big boys don’t cry.” and I thought to myself “No, but Mommas do.

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