Friday, June 26, 2015

Hey Kids, I'm Jealous of You

Hey kids I’m jealous of you.  Not in a spiteful mean way but more in a nostalgic, wistful sort of manner.  

I’m jealous of the way you sleep, like darling little cherubs, nestled up in your bed.  Me, I wake up in the middle of the night to make sure one of you didn’t leave the refrigerator open or to turn off the lights or jot down something on my to-do list.

I’m jealous of the way you can fall flat on your face and then, moments later, you’re running around doing cartwheels.  A fall like that would have me on the couch with an ice pack and some extra strength aspirin.

I’m jealous of the way you can eat pizza and a bowl full of ice cream and not regret it the next morning.  Me, I’m looking in the mirror to see the damage my binging has done.  

I’m jealous of your perfect hair with sunkissed highlights.  Please make sure never to spray your hair with Sun-in like I did in the 80s.

I’m jealous that you get to order off the kids’ menu.  How is it that your piece of chicken is the same size as mine but my meal costs $10 more?

I’m jealous of your energy.  I suppose if I slept like you did, I might have a little more energy too.  And, how can you spin around like that for minutes on end?  I suppose I should have kept doing gymnastics so I wouldn’t feel so dizzy after doing one somersault.  I might be able to do a few more pull-ups too.

Hey kids, I’m jealous of you!

But I’m also so proud of you too!

And while I have twinges of jealousy, I also realize I’m pretty darn lucky to have you.
Because, I’m the one you often snuggle up with when you’re blissfully sleeping.   I’m the one who gets an excuse to eat ice cream and later burn off those calories with a game of backyard tag.

And I’m lucky because you help me appreciate the little things, the things I don’t always notice because I’m too busy being an adult.

Tweet this: Kids help us appreciate the little things; the things we don’t always notice because we're too busy being adults.

You help me stay active. You help me want to stay healthy.   You help me better myself.  

Each day, you remind me what it’s like to be a kid again and I thank you for keeping me young.

When I put it that way, I guess I can’t really be jealous of you!

I love you!

Do you ever get jealous of your kids?  Tell me in the comments.

P.S.  I'd love to connect with you on Facebook!

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

When You Feel Like You Have Nothing Left to Give

“I am sorry” sighed the tree. “I wish that I could give you something… but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump. I am sorry...” -The Giving Tree by Shel SIlverstein

I don’t know if it was the hectic end-of-school year pace or my three-year-old’s non-stop nature, but last week I felt like I had nothing left to give.

I felt like the stump in The Giving Tree.

At first, I told myself it was ridiculous.  Why are you so tired?  You’ve been through way more challenges than end of the school year chaos and a few three-year-old tantrums.

Yet, I still felt depleted!  And, as we all know, the adulting never stops.  My kids needed me.  They wanted my attention.  And the housework certainly wasn’t going to stop piling up.

But the thing is, we all have these moments when we feel like we are running on empty.

It’s in those moments, when we realize that everything doesn’t have to be perfect.  We don’t always have to be supermom (or superdad)!  

Because sometimes, my children simply want a lap to sit on or a shoulder to cry on. They just want me to be there. My warm embrace is good enough. Just letting them sit in my lap, just reading them a story or whispering I love you, is good enough.

And I’ve discovered that even though my kids may need a lot from me, they will also love me when I’m tired. They will still love me if I don’t cut their sandwiches into shapes or make them hand-breaded, free-range chicken tenders for dinner.

Tweet this: Your kids will still love you, even if you don’t cut their sandwiches into shapes.

I’ve also realized that I don’t give my family enough credit.  My kids are not like the boy in ‘The Giving Tree’ who just kept taking and taking. They are growing up and they don’t need me to do everything for them. They are capable of putting their own clothes away or picking up after themselves. 

In fact, last week my daughter asked if she could make ME a peanut butter sandwich.

Parenting can be physically and emotionally demanding.   This is why we need to ask for help and to seek God for strength.

Isaiah 40:29  
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

We may not be able to give 100 percent all the time but that’s okay.

Because real parents sometimes feel discouraged. Real parents get tired. Real parents go through a wide range of emotions everyday. 

We are doing the best we can.

We are good enough. 

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Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Illusion of Perfection

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved looking at model homes. Fresh paint.  New lawns. Carefully placed decor.  

A few weeks ago, we went to look at model homes in our area.  Having always lived in a one-story home, my kids enjoyed going up and down the stairs, checking out the kids’ bedrooms, and seeing what was in the pantry.

My husband and I marveled at the walk-in closets, luxurious baths, and beautiful molding.  Everything was perfect.  

Yet, even though those houses and condos had pictures of families, working televisions, and decorations, those homes were an illusion of perfection. 

As much as I loved the designer decor, I realized how impractical most of the decorations and furniture was for a family, especially one with small children.

Tweet This: Life with kids means your house is a little dirtier but your heart is fuller.

For instance, the toddler bed frame was about four feet of the ground without any sort of guard rail.  It was so tall and narrow, I’m pretty sure my three-old-old would fall off that bed multiple times during the night. I saw fragile vases hanging out on the edges of tables. One little bump and it would come crashing to the floor. And, as for all the white furniture and bedspreads, well in my house, it wouldn’t take long for it to have cat hair and a smear of peanut butter on it.

In the model house, there wasn’t any dirty laundry. The drawers were empty. There weren’t any stubby crayons or fingerprints on the windows. There weren’t any giggles erupting from the backyard and chalk drawings on the driveway. 

Our house isn’t messy, but it’s lived in.  

As much as I liked the idea of living in a model home….it’s not realistic.  

Because life with kids means your house is a little dirtier but your heart is fuller. 

And, even when my house is really clean, you’ll still probably find a hamper full of laundry, some rogue toys stuffed into a closet, and some scuffs along the baseboards. 

My kids might be fighting over the last juice box or the lone ice pop in the freezer. Or they might be finger painting and making an absolute mess...and loving it.

My house isn’t perfect. It’s filled with sticky spots on the floor, dirty dishes, and snotty tissues.

 And, even if it did look perfect (for a few seconds that is), my life wouldn't be. There will still be disagreements and disappointments

My family isn’t perfect. I'm not perfect. Life isn't perfect. 

I don’t love my life all the time, but I do know that underneath the messes and the squabbles, there is a lot of beauty. There are some flawless moments weaved into the tapestry of life.

And, that's not an illusion.

Do you ever get wrapped up in the notion of perfection? 

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Friday, June 5, 2015

6 Signs You're Obsessed with Your Blog

My one-year blog anniversary is coming up so I thought I would reflect a little bit on how blogging has become a big part of my life.

I have a confession to make.

I’m obsessed with my blog.  I can’t eat.  I can’t sleep.  I’m always thinking about writing, blog design, social media icons, and new blog ideas.  Here are a few ways to tell if you’re obsessed with your blog too.  

1) You check your page views and stats constantly How many times a day you do check your page views?  Is it so many you’ve lost count?  Do you get in a bad mood when your stats flat-line?  Analyzing those hills and valleys can really mess with your self-esteem. On particularly low days, you might think blogging sucks but it’s those peaks that help you blog on.  

2) It’s the first thing you think about when you wake up When you open your eyes in the morning, you immediately grab your phone, tablet, or computer and go to your blog.  A tiny part of you wonders if your blog post went viral overnight.  If it did, your neighbors might wonder why you are screaming.  If it didn’t you might be tempted to chuck said phone, tablet, or computer across the room...but you wouldn’t dare because then you wouldn’t be able to blog.  

3) You feel a little lost without your computer/tablet/smartphone On some days, you give yourself a ‘technology time out’. It’s good to take a day off from social media and blogging. But, deep inside, you wonder what's going on in the blogging world.  And even though you are enjoying yourself on your vacation, you feel a little lost and anxious without your smartphone. 

Click to Tweet: A Few Ways to Tell if You're Obsessed with Your Blog

4) You’re Sleep Deprived Do you nod off while typing on your computer? Do you have perpetual bags under your eyes? Is your blog causing you to be sleep deprived? Believe me, I get it.  There always seems to be one more thing you can do to your blog.  Change the header.  Reply to comments.  Find the perfect picture.  Make an infographic.  You say you’re going to go to bed but then you decide to write a blog post.  Then, you need to find a picture, and a quote to go along with the picture.  Before you know it, it’s 2:00 am again and you have to get up at 6:30 the next day.  It’s a vicious cycle.

5) You have endless blogging ideas in your head If you’re not writing a blog, then you’re thinking about it.  You’re always jotting down blogging ideas. Your child says something funny, you write it down.  You have one of those awesome parenting moments and it inspires you to write a blog post.  Sometimes you feel like your head is going to explode.  

6) You’re so busy blogging you forget to meet your basic needs With all the blogging you’re doing, you might forget to go to the bathroom.  You might suddenly realize you are very thirsty or your legs are in desperate need of lotion and your hair has seen the dry shampoo fairy one too many days.  If it weren’t for the rest of your family, you would probably forget to make and eat dinner.  

I’m not really obsessed with my blog.  I’m kidding.  Really.  Sort of.  

Are you obsessed with your blog?
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