I know it’s not cool to boast, but every once in a while it’s ok to be proud of ourselves. Today, I’m feeling like I finally accomplished a dream of mine.
When I was a kid, I was a straight A student. I was a band and debate team nerd. I dreamed of going to college and having an incredible career. My step-dad used to joke that I was going to be a professional student because I excelled in school. I think he imagined me getting degree after degree until I had myself a PhD.
I even thought about going Ivy League. I had the grades. But I didn’t have the money I needed and if I’m being brutally honest with myself, I didn’t have the determination to make my dreams a reality.
The 19 year old me was burned out. I was so tired of trying to be the perfect student and the perfect daughter and the perfect sister and the perfect friend that I beat myself up way too much anytime I made a mistake. Read the rest of this entry
I know you’ve been the one to go to school
every day most of the days for the past 13 years, and you’re the one who passed all the tests and finished the classes, but this graduation isn’t just about you. It’s about a journey, a journey between the two of us.
You see, my life is sort of divided between the years before you and the years since. You, my sweet son, changed who I am.
I was a wife and a step-mom before you were born. And I like to think my mothering was pretty good. BUT YOU brought out my MAMA BEAR.
The first moment I saw you, the majesty of the heavens paled in comparison to this miracle I made. Oh yeah, Daddy made you too, but that’s a different story.
I stared at you for hours thinking “holy crap, you were inside of me!” The bigger you grew, the more that amazed me. All the sudden one day I looked up at this young man who was taller than both his parents and I said to myself “that was my tiny little Dyl Pickle” and I looked at my hand and remembered how you once sat so small in my cradled arm. Read the rest of this entry
As parents, it’s easy to see where our children need love. They need love when they’ve had a bad day at school. They need love when they missed the ball at practice. They need love when their brother tore the head off their favorite baby doll. And they need love when the dog won’t play with them after they spilled their noodles on the floor and when they lied about finishing their homework. The job of a parent might include the roles of chef, chauffeur, nurse, counselor, teacher, preacher, laundry-doer, and referee; but no matter which role you’re taking on, being a parent always involves dishing out love.
As moms and dads, we’re consumed with the needs of our children. We want to build their self-esteem and their character. We want to foster creativity and inspire faith. We try to teach them to play fair and share. We spend every waking moment creating this list of things to do just make sure we’re hitting the mark. But there is one thing we sometimes forget, and it’s really simple. We’re people too!
Just because we’re parents doesn’t mean we don’t have our own inexplicable bouts of grumpiness. Being moms doesn’t make us exempt from overwhelming loneliness or feelings of failure. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to stop ourselves in the middle of our own destructive patterns and just let love in.
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Last night I heard yelling from my bedroom. “Hey! I accidentally paused the TV! How do I fix it?!” I couldn’t believe it was my husband asking this ridiculous question, but I went ahead and answered him. “Push play” I said. “It’s not working, I tried;” he carried on and on until he said “come fix it!”
“UMMMMMM NOOOOO! I’m pretty busy in here!” Read the rest of this entry
My little grandbaby has a cold. She’s a year and a half, and I can count on one hand the number of times she’s had a cold, that’s pretty lucky if you ask me. I had the kind of babies whose eardrums sometimes ruptured, babies who needed emergency surgery, babies who maxed our their prescription coverage on a regular basis. I thank God every day for this blessing of a granddaughter who is bright and beautiful and healthy.
My oldest kids used to miss school quite a bit. They caught every bug that went around. And of course they milked it for nursing by mommy. One year all three of them had mono at the same time. That was fun. Then our four little ones were placed in our home. At first I thought we’d never see the end of the doctor’s office. The nurse practitioner assured me we’d adjust. “You’re all carrying different sets of germs. You’re getting each other sick. Eventually you’ll all mesh into one big set of germs and everyone will be just fine!” I can’t believe how much I was looking forward to becoming one giant ball of germs.
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I did it! I survived the summer! I know, some of you moms are weeping in your Frosted Flakes this morning as your little ones made their first journeys to kindergarten. Some of you are just sad that summer and all your extra time together has come to an end. I have been both of you, but today I’m the mom I never thought I’d be. I’m the mom that shouted “Hallelujah” at the Silence of the Zoo!
Don’t get me wrong, I love lazy days and lemonade and picnics by the pool, but with these kids at home, the grocery bill is somewhere around $500 a week, and I think a whopping $50 of that is just toilet paper, so YES! Enjoy them Tigerland. I will pick them up at 3pm. Read the rest of this entry
Seventeen years ago I was a young mama full of enthusiasm. We had just moved into our house and I absolutely hated it. It was so small, so bland but the landlord offered to sell it for a rock-bottom price and I had HGTV so we started making it our own for our little family. We had a bubbly little girl, a bundle-of-joy baby boy, and a black Labrador retriever that was never meant to be our dog and she’d just had a litter of puppies.
We weren’t going to keep any of them. I swore it up and down as my little Dyl Pickle toddled through the hallway saying “puppy” for the first time. Then Blondie started getting attached to the runt. “But Mama, this one is so tiny…..” Read the rest of this entry
Ok, before I say anything else, let’s start with where the heck have I been? According to Facebook and it’s built-in guilt-trip providing insights, my followers are wondering why I haven’t been posting! The answer is far too simple I’m afraid. It’s summertime.
I have to admit this has been one of the better summers I’ve had in a while. No, we didn’t get to go on vacation. We haven’t seen anything fabulous or fantastic or amazing. We’ve seen a few cousins, hit a few family gatherings, but mostly, we’ve tried to find as many swimming holes that meet our criteria, which happens to be within an hour drive, free, and fun. So far I think we have about 5 different ones we’ve frequented.
I wish I could tell you it’s been all water holes and jars full of lightening bugs and capturing memories with my Rebel Read the rest of this entry
Yesterday I took most of my crew to my niece’s graduation. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve said they grow up too fast I could almost afford to feed this crew! All the way to the graduation I warned them that we have to be quiet and still- that’s a bit of a challenge for these kids. I expected to have to repeat myself at least 3 times. We had only been seated a few minutes when someone was pulling on my sleeve.
“Mom, mom, moooooooom?!” I glared over at my little Diva, who promptly tattled “They’re talking!” I looked past her at 3 silent brothers, and lowered my eyebrows quizzically. “Not them, THEM!” She pointed behind us at a group of people who seemed to have a case of the giggles. The kind of giggles that might be happening on “That 70s Show”… Read the rest of this entry
So apparently my husband had no idea that we give out teacher appreciation gifts! I’m not sure how he missed that. We’ve had kids in school for the past 16 years now. I used to do a Christmas gift, maybe a little something for their birthdays- but add that to the pile of “things I did when I had a few kids!” Now, I run a zoo, so it’s just once a year that I sit down and try to show my appreciation for the people who spend almost as much time with my kids as I do- and if you know my kids, you know these amazing people deserve some appreciation! Daddy should have realized that even if there wasn’t a tradition of teacher appreciation already in place, there would need to be some kind of recognition for the people who help tame our circus!
This year I thought it would be fun to make some edible arrangements. Every single time that commercial comes on, KK asks me if we can order one of those. I looked once- I was going to surprise her, and when I saw the price, let’s just say that fell off my to-do list. I thought “surely they couldn’t be that hard…”
My little ZooCrew was so excited to open the fridge this morning and see the creations they got to give their teachers! One teacher even emailed me a pic of her enjoying it!
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