Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This and That

In no particular order (because that would take too much energy - ha!):

Our FIRST eight eggs from our chickens!  

 Sweet and FUN surprise from a sis-in-law.  How cute is that?

 Beans and Cornbread. 

Field Trip with Daughter (#6) to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

Beautiful Fall weekend at the Farm House.

Field Trip to the Pumpkin Patch with Little Man.

Quick visit with our amazing Chelle!  OH how we miss her!

That's all I have time for, today.  1/2 day at school, lunch with grandparents, PT for Son (#3), eye doctor. . .  and on it goes.  Blessed.

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

And I thought I'd be better at it. . .

As a follow up to Tuesday's post, I don't suppose life is ever quite as you imagine it will be.

Sometimes it's horribly different.

Sometimes a wonderful surprise.

But it's impossible to anticipate what it will really be like.  Even tomorrow!  Things often completely change without our permission.  Think "surprise" ACL surgery for Son (#3) 6 weeks ago.  Ugh.

Before the Coach and I had a family of our own, I think we exuded confidence.  We "knew" a lot of information about parenting.  Books, seminars, classes, and most of all?  We had amazing parents in our own lives who we had learned from.  And maybe our own share of pride.  Yikes.

Turns out it was more complicated than it seemed.  (Yes, you can laugh.  I am!)

I remember when Son #1 was born. . . we walked in the door to our little house with him when he was a mere 4 hours old.  All 5.5 pounds of him.  Just the three of us.  Sat down.  Looked at each other.  Then, "What in the WORLD do we do now?"


It was rough.  The nursing, the recovery, the lack of sleep.  I thought putting him on a schedule would be easy.  Um.  No.  I thought (later on ), teaching him "no" and to fall asleep in his bed would be a cinch.  Not so much.

I was grateful we'd done it, though, when we discovered we were expecting #2 when our little boy was 6 months old.  Ha!

I can laugh about it, now, but it was hard.  I wouldn't change it.  But it wasn't easy.

And you know what?  I wasn't that good at it, either.  I had vicious and relentless nausea.  I was exhausted (some things never change - ha!).  I couldn't gain weight (what a joke!) and I did NOT glow.  Unless "green" is glowing.

Turns out. . . becoming a mom does NOT make you instantly unselfish.  Is spite of the cute little Pinterest graphics that declare that it does.

A selfish, spoiled, self-centered, girl who really likes clean and quiet and her own personal space will not instantly morph into a fabulous mother.

Well, at least I didn't.

I wouldn't change the process.  I wouldn't pretend it's over.  And I'm eversograteful to be a momma and have my troops to show me so much about myself that I wouldn't have known otherwise.

But I've honestly had SO much to learn.

And still do.

Of course the kids ARE the thing, here.  It's our job to raise independent kids who can THINK (what an amazing concept - ha!) and make wise choices when they leave our nest.

But this doesn't happen by default.  They don't learn by being left to themselves.  They learn by being guided and taught and reminded, and allowed to fail.  Ugh.  Never mind that they are eight very different, very unique personalities.  Some of which clash with my own personality in glaring and painful ways.

Somewhere in the teaching and training and correcting and disciplining and loving and returning again and again to how little we actually KNOW about this whole process. . . we've been changed WAY more than our kids.

The Coach and I are better parents then we were 18 years ago.  In some ways.  In others. . . we've relaxed a lot (I have been much more easy going with Little Man - for better AND worse).  We laugh a LOT more.  I hope that never changes.

And in the process, we love each other AND our troops in ways I never thought possible.

Maybe the key has been the realization that we aren't good at it at all.  But that our Lord IS fully able to work in and through us and in the lives of our kiddos.  In spite of us.

They don't really need sufficient parents, anyway.  They need to know their sufficient GOD.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I thought it would be easier.

Silly me.

I didn't think it would be EASY, mind you.  No, not easy.  I had watched too many parents in their struggles to think it was easy.

But I had no idea how hard it would be.

Parenting is the hardest job in the world.

And somehow you are supposed to do the hardest job in the world - and do it well - while completely exhausted.


Might explain why it's not easier?

Two imperfect humans (if your extra blessed to have a partner in the journey -  single parents - I don't know how you do it!) trying to train, guide, correct, instruct, and prepare for life - another imperfect human.

All while trying to insure that our own issues don't end up being their issues, too.  Because they will surely have their own to deal with.

And the scariest part of all?  You literally blink . . . and you are out of time with them.

Our date night on Saturday was spent discussing how to deal with the current issues and conflicts and areas we are struggling with.

This doesn't need to be done once.  Or twice.  Or yearly.

With eight kids it needs to be done almost weekly.


OK.  Sometimes we just talk about FUN things on our date nights.

But most of the time it needs to be a productive time where we catch up and discuss and plan.  This week?  A new standard for picking up their rooms - and appropriate fines.  Think Starbucks fund for mom.

After 18 years?

I'm tired.

I know I shouldn't be.  No babies.  No toddlers.  No potty training or diapers or bottles or night-time feedings (I've done my share.).

No.  Now it's teens and pre-teens and responsibility and teaching and (still) training and discussing and staying up with them to talk when they are "chatty" and we are worn out.  And yes, we still have a six year old, too.

The Lord knows.

And maybe rather than trying to be the perfect parent (having already failed in that regard), it's more about being a real parent.  Loving our kids - imperfectly.  Laughing a lot.  Being willing to ask forgiveness.  Doing the hard thing.

Which sometimes means (for this soft-hearted mom) being tougher on them than I'd like to be.  My apologies to Son #1's future wife.  I have no excuses - I've cleaned his room much too often.

So grateful for a man who loves me even when I fail.  Grateful for kids who are happy and fun and put up with this momma who doesn't always know what she's doing.

And grateful for my Heavenly Father.  The only perfect parent ever.  And some of His kids?  They've had issues, too.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Laugh or Go Crazy

I actually beat the Coach to bed last night.  It was a little Christmas miracle.  OK.  A Fall miracle.

Because he is forever and always scolding me about staying up too late.  And then going to bed without me while I fold laundry or wash dishes or line up lunch bags or wash water bottles.

But I'm not bitter.  (wink)

Last night I was so tired that the mess didn't even phase me (now THAT is tired!) and I stumbled back to bed earlier than usual.

I was trying to focus my bleary eyes on the newest edition of WORLD when he came to bed.  Don't you just love how you take out your contacts, wash your face, put cream on your face, chapstick, eye drops, brush your hair, put lotion on your hands. . .

And the guys just brush their teeth and climb into bed?

So not fair.

Anyway, I had actually DONE all of that and still beat him to bed, when he came in and said, "I love what you've done with the hall."

It took me a minute.

You see. . . a week ago (yes a WEEK), the kids had been begging to get out the Fall decorations and I finally gave in (usually October 1st is the earliest I pull it all out).  They had a great time switching out the wreath and putting the leaf garland on the mantle.  They even convinced the Coach to take them to buy pumpkins for the porch.  Sweet Man.

But in the process of getting the stuff out of the hall cabinet, I set two Fall candles on the floor and. . .


I may have just moved on and left them there.

For a week.

I laughed at the Coach's sarcasm.

Then I told him, "That's not the half of it.  I've actually vacuumed around them.


And you know what?  This is just evidence that I'm getting better at letting things go.

And yes, they are still there.

I'm thinking it's their new home.  At least until I catch up on everything else.

Happy Monday!