Funny, I just realized I didn’t blog this summer. Technically, that’s not true. I blogged- professionally. I didn’t blog personally. Every summer I swear I’m going to chronicle the lazy days of swimming holes and picnic lunches, but as it turns out, those days aren’t so lazy. When you have a family this size, summertime is a logistical nightmare. There, I’ve said it.
I love summer vacation. I love being home with my kids. But I’m not going to lie, I finally understand those moms who do the happy dance on the first day of school. I used to give those moms dirty looks- and now, I’m the leader of the pack.
I thought for sure I’d catch up my blogging the first day of school, but nope. My football star broke his arm in two places and required surgery to fix it.
A few metal rods later, I guess we can say Tucker never does anything half-ass. That kid puts 100% effort into everything. Read the rest of this entry
Do you ever have those moments where something your parents said rings out in a moment you’re having with your children? Well, it happens to me. I find myself sounding like my mom or my dad and thinking “how did I let this happen?”
This week, two separate instances reminded me of one of the scariest moments of my teenage life.
I was driving to my step-dad’s company picnic in the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme recently passed down to me.
My little sister was in the car with me.
We spotted a young mother, walking with a baby on her hip. It was so hot outside. If I remember correctly, she was pulling another young child by the hand and she had a gallon of milk. She just looked over-whelmed. 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
Valentine’s Day really isn’t my favorite holiday, but I’ve said that before. It just never lives up to those movie-made expectations. I’m always left feeling sort-of bah-humbug. But this year I didn’t have a bad Valentine’s Day…
I didn’t sit around and write 65 cards for my kids to pass out. I sort of hate that tradition because I know where those cards end up. I also didn’t spend 19 hours perfecting the most amazing Pinterest cupcakes ever. Because I also know exactly where those cupcakes wind up. Instead the ZooCrew requested “Fruit Rollup Valentine’s”… AHHHH! The best of both worlds! A cool valentine + a snack for the party rolled into one! I’m loving the Type B personality that has taken over my life. Simple AND impressive: that’s how I roll! (OK, that’s how I’m learning to roll. Better?)
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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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There is something really wonderful that happens when your daughter becomes a mother. You get smarter. Really!
For 5 years past their expiration date I heard “If you had just let me go to this party” and “well you should have let me do that instead” and now that Ms. Presley Layne has hit her not-so-terrible two’s, it’s all “I’m so glad you didn’t let me do that” and “how did you know I’d go there?”
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My step-dad and I had a complicated relationship. There was a lot of love between us. When my teacher decided to push a gifted student over the edge by giving me Trigonometry homework in the 4th grade, he stayed up with me until 2:30 in the morning, teaching me this math that I had no foundation for, and somehow we got it done. When I proudly turned it in the next day, she looked at me dumbfounded. When I asked what my grade was, she said “oh this wasn’t for a grade…” I went home that night feeling defeated and the next day he went to school with me, and I got my grade. I’m sure I was quite a nerdy kid, but he didn’t tell me that. Read the rest of this entry
Yesterday my list was longer than the hours I had in front of me. I had work, one sick kid at home, two kid appointments, senior pictures (that were luckily postponed), voting, grocery shopping, making cheeseburger pie and keeping the grand-baby on the list. That doesn’t include the stuff I didn’t put on the list, like laundry, iTigers, lunch drop-offs, or desperately hoping to squeeze in a nap. Needless to say, it was a typical too-much-t0-do kind of day. 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