Saturday, May 28, 2011

You’re a mom like me if…

Back when I was only an aspiring blogger I worked up a post on paper. I was sure that it was going to be my very first post and it was going to be BRILLIANT! I would think of things as I was doing dishes and add them to a list magneted to my fridge. I was cleaning through and old stack of papers today and found that old rough draft blog post and I decided to finally post it. I’ve included some of my favorite random pictures from those crazy days.

When I made this little list FOUR YEARS ago Lila was about 2 ½ and Abby and Zack were about 6 months old… life at my house was chaos. Literally.

“You’re a mom like me if…”

- Every time you pick up the house your child asks you who’s coming over!

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- You use a sippy cup (the last clean one) to get a drink because there are no more clean dishes. Or you forget the cup all together and just drink out of the sink.

- You throw things away (bibs, casserole dishes, Tupperware) rather than deal with washing them (generally after an extended stay on the dirty counter)

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- Each load of your laundry gets washed four times because you never remember to switch it to the dryer.

- Your kids aren’t hungry because “lunch” off of the floor around the high chairs fills them up.

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- A bath is considered cleaning the tub.

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- You measure whether a shirt is ok to wear by asking yourself if someone could believe this food, snot, spit up, etc. (or all of the above) got on you after you left the house.

- Your kids look at you weird when you do your hair or makeup.

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- Your kid says “mommy, what’s that” when she sees your hair dryer!!

- Laundry NEVER makes it to the drawers.

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- You rewash laundry because it is so wrinkled from sitting in the basket that you might as well just start over!

- You get to the grocery store parking lot and turn around and go home because the thought of going in with 3 little kids makes you want to cry. You do this more than once.

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- The next person to tell you you’ve got your hands full might get an ear full.

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- Your kid spits something out and you would rather eat it than go find a garbage.

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- You are so tired that you only realize after eating half of your PBJ that the bread is moldy and you seriously consider whether or not to keep eating…

- Blogging is your reward.

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- You just leave holiday decorations (like Easter) up all year because by the time you go to take them down it is almost time to put them up again.

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- Milk on sale gets you really excited.

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- Half of your wardrobe came from Costco (and the other half came from Walmart/Target).

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- Every time you get your kids dressed out of their jammies they ask “mommy, where are we going”. Your babies look at you funny and try to grab your hair when it is not in a ponytail.

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- On the day you actually do get ready your daughter insists “no Mommy, it HAS to be in a pony!” as if that is your standard uniform!

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- Your hair dryer breaks and you don’t miss it.

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- You get your hair cut and no one notices for months because it is always pulled back.

- Your standard answer of “I’m fine…” is only true 1% of the time… you’re right on the edge of sanity.

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- The toilet/bathroom will be called “the potty” forever.

- You can’t afford to get sick.

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- You love your kids like crazy.

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- While doing dishes you think, “when did we have spaghetti?” Answer… A LONG TIME AGO!!!

- One of your very best friends is 3 feet tall and you never knew you could laugh so hard at such a little person.

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- The smile of a baby makes all the stress ok.

- Your favorite sound in the whole word is your child’s laugh.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Growing up

For mothers day this year my four year old son picked out a stunning set of silver hoop earrings for me. When I opened them he told me how “gorgeous” he thought they would be on me and that I should have worn them to my wedding because they were so beautiful.

He then decided that it was too bad I didn’t still have my wedding dress because then I could put it on and be “gorgeous”. After I laughed at how his perception of ultimate gorgeousness included a wedding dress, I proceeded to tell him that I indeed DO still have my wedding dress. He excitedly started planning my makeover. At this point I had to burst his little bubble and tell him that I didn’t think the wedding dress would fit me anymore. This confused his little mind because he didn’t think grownups were supposed to grow anymore… Yes, well… neither did I son, neither did I!!

Grown ups DO indeed keep growing in many different ways (some more desirable than others!) I was recently thinking about my 21 year old newlywed self and wondering if I would go back.
Yes, I would LOVE to fit in that dress again and I miss my tiny waistline, but I also wouldn’t have four little people around me (who ruined that waistline). That young me was sweet and full of hope, constantly looking for someone to help. The new me is tired and busy, constantly dreaming of someone to help ME!!
I’ve been comparing myself to the girl I used to be. I look at the growth that I have made in the last ten years and I am not sure I would want to go back. I would have time for myself and I would only be tired because I stayed up late talking and staring into Johnny’s eyes. Now I am tired from folding 7 loads of laundry and getting up in the night (four times) with a scared, trembling child. That young me might have been able to do crafts (that didn’t involve finger paints) and read books (that weren’t Goodnight Moon) and sit down to watch a movie (that wasn’t Cars)… but that me would also have missed the little creature who is downstairs calling for his Mama to come play.
That younger me might not yell as much, but she wouldn’t be learning (and relearning…) patience when a 1 year old wants to dress himself. Her house might be cleaner, but she probably wouldn't appreciate the incredible beauty of an empty laundry basket or a freshly scrubbed floor. That young girl hadn't learned the difficult lessons of life that come with a heartbreaking infertility struggle or the sacrifice and sickness involved in pregnancy. But that young me also didn't know the unspeakable joy of holding a new little person or the complete bliss of watching a tired toddler finally drift off to sleep in her arms. I think she may have felt a familiar longing as she watched me rock a fevered baby (or two). She may have even shed a tear as she watched me teach an 18 month old how to pray or as she overheard my 6 year old pray for me.
At 21, I didn’t know that I would move across the country, far away from my family and friends. But I also didn’t know that I would make some of the best friends of my life and grow to love my new home (then cry when I had to leave it and start all over again in a new place).
My 21 year old self was confident, friendly, and excited about life. She was also naive, inconsiderate at times, and just slightly selfish. Though I am still far from perfect, the “old” me is strong in so many more ways than I could have imagined!
Some of the growing and stretching I've done has been painful. That young me didn't know the heartbreak of crying with a friend who has lost a child or the sorrow that comes from watching others suffer. She hadn't experienced severe loss, or pain, or the ache of quiet struggle, but she also didn't fully appreciate joy, compassion, and peace.
Sometimes that growing and stretching hurts so much but I am learning to embrace the stretch marks, both outside and inside, because the blessings that have come from my struggles have brought me more joy than my 21 year old self could have ever imagined! They are a part of who I am growing up to be!

Friday, May 6, 2011


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With the awesome explosion of Spring lately, my kids have renewed their fascination with dandelions.
A few years ago my mom took the kids shopping right before Mothers Day and let them pick out anything they wanted for me. Lila picked out these cute little vases and these days they are constantly filled with the little (wilting) yellow treasures.
I’ve been thinking about these little yellow “weeds” a bit lately.
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I can’t help but remember a poem I wrote in 1995, back when I used to fancy myself a poet. I dug my old poetry scrapbook out today. It’s a simple little poem, but I thought I’d share my little treasure with you.
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those little yellow tokens of love
are just weeds,
to the ignorant.
but in the eyes of a child,
they are priceless,
gifts from God
for a loving mother.
-by Emily Haws
April 30, 1995

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