Monday, March 25, 2013

Catching Up

I have a habit.  When I can't sleep . . . I pray. . . and then if I'm still awake, I write blog posts in my head.

The biggest problem with this is that most of them never make it to the actual blog.

It is what it is (as the Coach would say).

The Coach and I had a fabulous weekend ALONE.  Wow.  That seems like forever ago.  And it wasn't.

We had another week of school, Daughter's (#6) 10th birthday, Spring Break, and just last night, Little Man's SIXTH birthday.

That's my baby.

Who is six.


Life is moving at a crazy pace.  It's busy, fun, overwhelming, and usually LOUD.  We are blessed.  And tired.  And trying desperately to ENJOY the moment and not just hang on for dear life.

Or maybe just enjoy hanging on for dear life.

Over Spring Break we had a mini "cousins camp" at the farm house with some of the younger cousins and their parents (the Coach's siblings).  Ranger rides, bonfires, Dutch Blitz, ping pong, and lots of yummy food.

When we settled back in at home, we took the troops to a Thunder game (so fun!), cleaned out closets, found/bought sandals for the girls, did some shopping for Daughter's (#2) Spring wardrobe, and the Coach and the boys worked in the yard.  And watched lots of basketball.

The three oldest boys took cousins and a friend to the farm for a one night campout.  They came home early, tired, and smelling of . . . outdoor smells.  Yay.

We slept in.  And stayed up late.  Ugh.  We watched basketball, Hoosiers, Vertigo, and episodes of Monk that none of us remembered (we've seen them ALL!).

It feels good this morning to be back to our normal routine. Even though I'm bleary eyed and struggling to get my head around what needs to be done first.

Easter program this week, then choir tour for the older two, a nephew's wedding, Son's (#4) THIRTEENTH birthday.  Yikes.  School-wide community service project, a girls' beach trip (for 40th birthdays - mine, included), JSB, 6th grade DC trip for the Coach and Son #4, and the Memorial Half Marathon for Son (#3) and me.  All in April.  Ha!

And this week?  Visits from the aunts.  Which ALL of the troops are excited about!

It's so easy, at this stage of life with older kids, to just constantly think, "OK.  Get through the next thing."  Birthdays, trips, projects.  Just bearing down and getting it done.  Because it's a lot of plain ole WORK.

But my heart's desire is to ENJOY it.  Not just survive it.  Although sometimes surviving seems questionable.

Purposing to ENJOY today.  And tomorrow.  And the rest of it.

Grateful for the Giver of Life ABUNDANT (don't you love that word?)!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Almost Ready. . .

The Coach and I have a weekend by ourselves scheduled.  Starting tomorrow.

I'm a little bit excited.


A lot excited.

I started feeling better on Tuesday (Thank heavens for antibiotics.  Hate them until I need them.).  My first and foremost item of necessity was to dig out from under the PILE (laundry, mail, school stuff, errands, etc.).

And my second order of business?

Getting my sorry self ready for a weekend with my man!

So began the:
Hair coloring
Teeth whitening
Manicure giving
Toenail painting
Lotion applying
Facial scrubbing

At which point it occurred to me that since there was no possible way to lose 10 pounds by Friday, I should just let it all go.


My mom (who is beautiful, by the way) and I were laughing the other day about what a waste of time these "beauty" routines, are.  There's only so much a girl can do.  And most days, when the kids are clamoring and there are other things needing to be done, the time I spend on myself is minimal, at best.  It seems like such a waste when it all has to be done again, tomorrow!  You know this is the case when your 9 year old says, "You are wearing THAT to Sam's?"  Huh?

But it's a weekend AWAY and it doesn't happen often.  Time to go all out!  I've also looked at restaurants in the area, what movies are showing, and whether or not the hotel is close enough to a Starbucks that we can walk.

Along with figuring out where the kids are staying and with whom.  Typing up a schedule for Saturday volleyball games, planning and getting what groceries the kids at home will need, getting movies from the library for them to watch, making sure all of the cars have gas and that they have money in their accounts if they need to get anything.

So I'm almost ready. . . A few more errands today, along with allergy shots . . .one more pass over the house with a vacuum and windex. . .maybe another teeth whitening strip or two.

And I'll be set.

Of course, tonight, when the Coach gets home, he'll get ready, too.

He'll throw two pairs of jeans and two Nike half-zip pullovers in a duffle bag and declare, "Alright, then.  Let's go."

Love him.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Confession Time

I've been reading a book called "Desperate" by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae.  I'm enjoying it.  It was a good book to dive into after devouring "Love in the Balance" in just a few days.  "Desperate" is written for young moms.  Encouragement and practical help for those "little" days.

I'm not feeling so young, today.  But I remember having little ones.  Lots of them.  Taking six kids seven and under grocery shopping when our baby (#6), who didn't ever take a pacifier and was quite fond of screaming, always made it interesting.  My favorite time of the day was when Daddy walked in the door, followed closely by 8:00 PM, when all of them would be snoozing in their (own!) beds.  I miss those days.

Just kidding.  Except for the sleeping in their own beds part.

We are in a different season, now.  We don't need babysitters - four of them live here.  I have two kids who can drive to school, practice, AND the grocery store.  The Coach is always welcomed with shouts of "Daddy is home!" but it's often immediately followed by, "I need help with my algebra homework!"  He's in charge of the math homework and I edit papers.  It's how we roll.

Reading this book has taken me down memory lane, a bit.  Reminding me that my expectations in those days might have been just a titch unrealistic.  Maybe.  Yet in my very foggy, sleep deprived memory. . . we did a fairly good job of holding it all together.

I had LOTS of help.  LOTS.  An amazing Coach who has never paused before pitching in with dishes, baths, laundry folding. . . you name it.  He's the master of bedtime stories (even if singing isn't his strength) and NO ONE in this house wants to go to sleep without his prayers over them.  Me included.

My mother - who rarely missed a day coming by to read stories, change diapers, spoon cereal into baby mouths, or fold endless loads of laundry.  Bless her heart. . . she's still folding.

Precious, sweet sitters who the Lord provided in His perfect time to help with kids, cleaning, and the MUCH needed and appreciated date nights and weekends away.

I realize I have been extraordinarily blessed.

But along the way. . . I've also learned to let some things go.  Some days I'm not so sure it's been the right choice.  I guess when you weigh "having your act together" against "sanity", it probably was. . . but I thought some confessing was in order.  For you younger moms who are still trying to do it all?

1.  I don't read my Bible every day.  I don't.  (I can hear the collective gasping!)  I should.  But I don't.  Daily Audio Bible is helping me get closer. . . but I still have days it doesn't happen.

2.  My kids watch WAY too much TV.  There.  I've said it.  Now. . . at the Troops, "TV" means "Netflix" or "DVD" - I'm not a fan of the actual television programming.  But we still over do it most days.

3.  We don't have "A" junk drawer.  Pretty much EVERY drawer is a junk drawer.  Just try it next time you're here.

4.  My wonderfully organized method of keeping and passing down the kids clothes. . . has been abandoned to the attic.  Well, I guess I keep up with the girls' clothes pretty well.  But the boys?  Good grief!  As if it's not bad enough that they grow an inch over night on a regular basis, they don't WEAR the same things.  Seriously. . . one only wears Wranglers (and I still love him!), one needs Levi's for the LONG length with a trim waist.  And another can still fit in Old Navy bought on sale.  What would BE the point of saving them from one boy to another?  Hence the abandoned tubs in the attic.  I think there is a car seat or two up there, too.

5.  I am overly fond of baking.  And eating my baking.  And baking more for my kids.  And friends.  And neighbors.  And everyone who stops by.  Especially Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (which I would be baking right now instead of writing this post except we are out of sugar - ha!).

6.  For most of my adult life. . . OK, ALL of my adult life. . . I've been battling the same 20-25 pounds. I've lost and re-gained it no less than four times since Little Man joined our troops.  And he's 5.  Do the math.  I'm either gaining or losing and right now?  I'm carrying 20 of that extra around with me.  Just sayin'.  See #4.

7.  I am not always kind.  Or happy.  Or patient.  Just ask my kids.  Although the TV helps.  See #2.

8.  I would much rather stay up late getting things done for tomorrow than go to bed early.  The Coach would much rather go to bed at 9 and get up at 5.  And yet we still manage to love each other tremendously.  THAT is grace!

9.  I still haven't written thank you notes from Christmas.  CHRISTMAS!

The most amazing part of it all?  I keep failing, falling behind, missing the standard by a mile. . . but my Heavenly Father is faithful.  Always.  His grace?  Sufficient.  Even when my strength isn't.  Even when my patience fails and my physical weariness overcomes. . . HE is enough.  And He has graciously surrounded me with a forgiving Coach and children, parents, and friends.

These busy crazy overwhelming days. . . make me even more grateful for the years that my parents invested in me. . . teaching me God's Word. . . helping me to hide it in my heart. . . so that even when I DO fail to be the model Christian (See #1.  And #7.) and the day is long and my eyes don't find the pages of my Bible. . . the Holy Spirit Himself brings His WORD to my mind and draws me to Himself.

And I highly recommend the Daily Audio Bible app.  Love it.

Should probably go turn off the TV and read a book to the kids, huh?

No, to be honest (might as well be), I'm going to let them finish their movie so I can take my feverish, stinky, haven'tshoweredintwodays self to the shower.  After I have Daughter (#6) - who quit screaming when she was about 18 months old - put some color on my one inch gray roots.  Since I won't be running today, because I have been too sick to pick up my new shoes that my orthotics go in.

This is reality.  Shins that hurt.  Fevers (mine and Son #4).  Feeling too crummy to shower for days.  Messy houses.  Long nights.  Impatient mommas.

And a God of Grace.

Happy Monday!