Thursday, August 30, 2012

Making Mistakes as a Mama

Yesterday I failed as a mama. And I wore the sin of that failure all day long.

It was early. Much too early to already be at my limit. Too early to get frustrated at that one hundred and fiftieth, "Moooooooooooom." We had a play date to get to. I was trying to get myself ready and I'd just finished putting the cutest little braid in Lauren's hair. I had no idea she would hate it so much. I had no idea that that one braid would send me shooting off of the cliff right into the crashing waters below. 

She started to whine. She started to cry. The braid, she hated it. She wanted it out of her hair. How would her headband fit, she cried? 

And, me? Well, I lost it. 

I yelled. Loud and full of a million other hurts that have been on my mind, I let her have it. I knew in that moment of the yelling that I was wrong. I knew that I was sinning. But, I couldn't get over myself and my frustrations long enough to stop. 

It was absolutely the worst. 

As she sat there in the bathroom with tears rolling down her face and I turned back to my makeup and routine, I realized with a piercing quickness that I had to fix this damage I had just done. 

I turned around and got down on my knees right before her tiny little face. I looked at her,  full of hurt and questions, and I said the only thing that mattered....I said, "I'm so sorry." She leapt, I mean literally catapulted herself, into my arms and I knew in that moment she forgave me. Simple as that. 

I told her that I was wrong. I told her I shouldn't have yelled, even if I was frustrated. I asked her if she forgave me and she nodded her head vigorously and then hugged me again. 

She moved on, but the sinful nature of the way I reacted followed me, haunted me, throughout the day. Of course, I confessed my sin to God. I asked his forgiveness and I know that just as quickly as my precious daughter forgave me, so did he. But, the memories of my actions....those stayed with me. 

Lauren? She let it go completely. As I tucked her in to bed last night and we shared our, "happy days & sad days" I told her my sad day was yelling at her. I asked her again if she forgave me. She looked at me with a puzzled expression as she tried to remember this infraction against her. Meanwhile, the memory was burned into my brain. I'll never forget what she said to me. She said, "but mama you already told me if I forgive you," translation - mama, we've been over are forgiven. I smiled at her and thanked her for being so kind to me and then I tucked her tight into bed surrounded by bedtime prayers of sweet dreams and protection. 

Being a mama is hard. There are days that are brighter than the sun and there are days that are downright ugly. 

I'd say that yesterday was a mixture of both for me. How thankful I am for the forgiveness of my Heavenly Father and the daughter I love more than I could have ever imagined. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

P - A - R - K!!!!

Since we've moved to our new little town the one thing we've probably missed the most (or at least tied with the library) are the public parks. In the town we used to live there were parks on every corner. Good parks too.

We finally ventured out to the only park I know about here in our town...right next to the sad, sad excuse for a library. I was hopeful. I mean, it's a park, right? And, while it wasn't was definitely not as awesome as some we've been to.

Lauren wasn't a fan of the sand. Surprise, surprise.


What a little sweetie this girl is...she absolutely melts my heart. And, also, can someone please tell me how she is this big. I am fairly positive I had her just a few hours ago. :(

This, my friends, was huge. She made it all the way across the moving step-thingies (I'm pretty sure that isn't the correct name for this particular piece of equipment, but we are rolling with it) all by herself. Ya'! Proud moment.

Another proud moment? My youngest eating rocks. Really son?!?! Rocks? Playground rocks? Dude. Gross.

Some of you will be shocked that after all the equipment playing and the rock eating that I let my kids touch food and then place it in their mouths....however - you would have missed the tiny green container full of AWESOMENESS (don't tell me bad stuff about hand sanitizer...I don't want to hear it, k?!) that kills all the ugly germs from our hands. 

Also, sorry about this pic of your eyes Lolo. I know you don't really have a weird eye in real life. Love you, baby!

Probably Easton's favorite (and Lolo's least favorite) part of our little adventure to the park was our trek down some steep rocks to sit by the river. He was obsessed. She was over it. She was over it before we even went down there. "Mom, those are rocks. Mom, I can't go down there I will fall. Mom there are leaves and bugs. MOM!!!!!" Meanwhile, Easton had already traversed himself about halfway down so she was forced out of her comfort zone while we chased after him.

Oh my goodness. I love this pic for so many reasons, but I'll just name a few. Easton could care less about us. In fact, it looks like he is thinking, "oh my gosh....these girls. Get me out of here. I am not with them." Then there is Lauren. What can I say about that? Pure awesomeness. Oh, and myself....aside from the no makeup and hair pulled back I love that I am looking at who in the world knows what. This is what a picture looks like when you take two kids to the park by yourself.

Oh and of course, how could I forget this major milestone. That's my baby. My BABY for crying out loud on a big kid swing. He loved it. Couldn't get enough.

And, my other baby....goodness these kids are growing too fast.

All in all, though the park was a tad bit icky, we had a great time. It was impromptu. It was just the three of us and it was pure goodness.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Fun Day

Today we had the privilage of watching Ryan while his mama and daddy found out whether they were having a little BOY or GIRL! We had such a great day and are all thoroughly worn out! I thought I'd share some of our highlights.

1. Feeding and hanging out with the fishies!

2. Running, running, running. Even Easton did his best to keep up with the princess and the dinosaur. ;)

3. Playing a little kickball.

4. Swinging in the shade.



5. Picking acorns.

6. Baking muffins.

7. Building a fort.....

...and figuring out it was a cozy place for some good reads. 

We had so much fun and would do it again any day! As I loaded up my THREE kids for the day to head back to Tanner and Kelly's for the big gender reveal party I couldn't help but smile at the sweet cuties all piled in my car.

Apparently I am a great driver because when we arrived at our destination....they were both O.U.T. :)

Beautiful day full of laughter and tickles and books read and snacks. I certainly felt blessed. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Homemade Bath Paints!!!!

I have been wanting to make the bath paints that have been floating around Pinterest for like ever. Well, after a cah-ray-zee day yesterday I decided last night was the night. I found my recipe from HERE and only changed it a little (based on what we had on hand) but it was a HUGE hit.

First of all, I chose to make these with cornstarch, food coloring, and baby soap. There are lots of recipes out there that call for shaving cream. While that might be okay for my kiddos if they were wearing bathing suits, I didn't want to risk them getting shaving cream in places where it would surely hurt. Just a little FYI for you.

The first thing I did was put a few squirts of a gel based food coloring into a muffin tin. I was originally going to make one tin for each kid but didn't end up with enough baby soap. It really worked just fine for them to share. :)


Then I mixed up the concoction of cornstarch and baby soap and poured a little bit over each puddle of food coloring. I didn't stir it together because I wanted the kiddos to have the excitement of seeing what color they would get when they stirred!!!


After that, its pretty simple. Give them some paintbrushes and re-assure them over and over that it truly is okay to paint on the bathtub walls....and themselves! :) After quite a while of painting everything will start to turn a muddy brown color, the bathtub walls, the water, and even those crazy kids....I just washed them off, drained the tub, then filled it back up so we could finish up with our normal bathtime cleaning!

Seriously, the cutest little hands ever, right?! Oh, and this was before we added a little water to the tub. 

Oh, and you are SO welcome for the sneak peeks of our master bathroom. Its pretty awful in there. We've pulled some wall paper off, but we never get too far. We just have SO much else going on with this house right now. It can wait!!!


It was seriously a great way to end a kind of stressful day. And SUPER easy. It took literally no time or extra energy on my part because after yesterday....I didn't have a whole lot extra to give!

Homemade Bath Paint Recipe: Adapted from here

3/4 cup baby soap (I think that using baby shampoo would work just fine too...especially if it is tear free)
8 tablespoons cornstarch (really just add as much as you need to get it to a thicker consistency)
gel food coloring

*PS for those of you wondering....the food coloring did not stain my bathtub or my children! Win, Win!*

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Some Randomness For You

Is it fall yet? Oh my goodness I am sooooooo ready. We've had the windows open in our home for the past few days (partly due to it being a smidgen cooler and a bigger part due to our last electric bill, ugh) and I just keep wishing we could go ahead and bring out the pumpkins and cardigans and my denim jacket for crying out loud. Shawn says that thing is my safety blanket. He even asked me if denim jackets were still in style. What? They will always be in style for this girl. I'll be the 80 year old with the denim jacket over her polyester suit. They go with stinking everything....well except for jeans. I draw the line at paring denim and denim.

I had to run to Target the other day (of course I could have chosen Wal Mart, but umm, no thank you very much) and although I just needed toilet paper I moseyed on over and through the clothing section and goodness gracious they had their fall clothing out! I fell madly, deeply in love with this beauty. And no, Leslie, I'm not joking. ;) I am in LOVE with this little lightweight rain jacket. It has a hood, it's a teeny bit longer in the back, and it is floral people! Unfortunately I didn't fork over the cash to purchase it but I'm hopeful that she will be mine one day. So hard to walk away from those you love, right?

In other news, I tried to shoot a bow the other day. I'm not strong enough for Shawn's. :( So, I might try my hand with a gun this fall. Look out y'all!

My car has been an absolute disaster for a while now. Like, you couldn't begin to even see the floor below the kids' seats. Dis-gus-ting. So, last Sunday I finally worked my tushy off and cleaned it out. It was gross. I'm vowing to never let it get that bad again. We shall see. Anyway, I decided to finally make one of those cute baby-wipe containers turned first-aid kit/whatever other necessary items you might need. I got all fancy and used my glue gun to stick that fabric on. Impressive, I know.

Then, I just filled her up with all the "necessities" for our little family. A few extra diapers, bandaids and antiseptic spray, tissues, ibuprofen, diaper cream, Chapstick, sanitizing wipes, and hand sanitizer. It makes me feel so much more prepared! I still need to add some gum (definitely a necessity) and a binky for the dude (in case we *gasp* forget to leave home with one and he is fussy!)

Random, right? You're welcome!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Follow Up

It's been such a long time since I bared my heart here. Cracked it wide open and let all the icky spill out and onto this space. It was a difficult time for me. If I'm honest, it still can be. Oh, the medication has been a life saver and I don't still feel those same raw edges that cut me every time I moved. But I know how close I was to losing it. And though I know it isn't the right thing to say, that still haunts me. The loss of those months haunts me.

Scarier still is that I know how close I could be today and in this very moment to losing it. It's there. Under the surface pushing for a chance to release and God and these pills choke it out day after day after day. Sometimes hour after hour.

Who am I now? Now that I've been that far gone? Who is this person re-emerging? Some days I feel as though I'm finally pushing that last bit of dirt off of myself and seeing the bright, too bright, light of the real world again. I lived in gray for so long that the sunshine burns. And I shield myself from the light and in doing so push friends away, push things away, push everything away. I can only handle one intense thing at a time and the sun is it right now.

But God is merciful and he is unchanging and he is not surprised by how long this mending is taking. So, I take it day by day and he gives me enough grace to make it to the next.

Healing? Yes. Healed? Closer than yesterday.

"I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me." Proverbs 8:17 

Dining Room Progress

I snapped these pics late last night as I stood back and realized we were getting somewhere on the dining room. We still have a lot of little touches to go (and that mirror won't be there...something I heart so much will be) but I am so excited that things are moving along.

So far we've:

completely replaced the back wall (the one with the dresser on it)
painted the walls a nice deep grayish-brown (Sherwin Williams Anonymous)
spray painted the chandelier a white matte
purchased a Craig's List dresser that is awaiting its paint day
bought burlap inspired curtains
hung a shelf above my office area

Still lots more to do, but the heavy lifting so to speak is done. Phew!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Small Town - Big Impact

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to head to my hometown. The church I grew up in was having their annual women's conference and my mom had asked me to teach one of their breakout sessions. Before you think I was teaching on something uber spiritual let me tell you the name of my class.....Bath Salts & Sugar Scrubs. Haha!

My sweet mama took me to get a pedicure on Friday afternoon so my toes would be purple...the main color for the conference! :) Honestly, it was such an awesome time with her. Usually I have to share her with my kiddos :) but for that hour or so I had her all to myself. It was wonderful.

I drove by myself to H*Ville and it was an awesome morning. I had my music blaring and didn't have to do anything but drive.

I took this pic as I pulled into my hometown. There is the one lone blinking red light. It always feels so good to roll into town. It's so familiar and welcoming.

As soon as I got there I had to recruit several guys to help me carry in all the bath salts and huge jugs of oil. I was so thankful to see my daddy there and to have his help! The men of the church went above and beyond on Saturday. They helped the ladies set up their rooms, served breakfast to the almost 400 women in attendance, prepared tables for lunch, served lunch, cleaned up, refilled drinks, and literally did not sit down the whole day. It was such an amazing example to me of the church working together and ministering to others.

Here is my room set up. I had almost 30 women in my class. My sweet friend Kelly was supposed to come and be my sidekick, but the poor thing got the stomach flu a few days before and was s-i-c-k! Thankfully, my other mama Bernice stepped in to help me. And, help me she did. That girl worked! :) I absolutely LOVE her.

Let me just tell you how special it was to be a part of this conference. The time and attention to detail the ladies in charge put into this thing were amazing. I cried a bunch and got to see both of my darling grandmothers. It really was the absolute perfect day.

There is my cute mama. She worked her little tail off making sure everything was perfect for all the ladies in attendance. I adore her servant heart and I know so many others are blessed by her as well.

I can't wait for next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eli Young Band!

Last Sunday my sweet hubby surprised me with tickets to see the Eli Young Band in concert. I've loved them ever since my middle brother introduced me to their music and when I heard they were coming to town I was SO excited!!! I spent the days leading up to the concert listening to them on Pandora and dancing around the house.

When Friday finally rolled around we were both R to the eady to have a date night! We are so blessed to have parents who love spending time with our kiddos. Shawn's mom drove down (2 hours!) to watch our babies and spend the night so we didn't have to worry about getting back early! Thank you, Bev!!!

This picture reminds me of us when we were dating. Of course back then we didn't own the family car or the two Britax carseats in the back. ;)

Yes, I'm a total goober but we went to Chipotle to eat (YUMMY) and I couldn't believe how humongous my burrito was. I'm not going to say how much of it I ate. ;) 

The concert was in the parking lot of PFI Western store which is right next door to Shawn's office. We decided to hang out there for a bit instead of waiting in the huge line before doors opened. I'm pretty proud of that man and I had the chance to look at some of the projects he was working on....phew. Way over my head. WAY!

We got there in time to get AWESOME seats. We even snagged up an extra two for our friends Kasey and Jeremy who were meeting us there a little bit later.

I was so excited to hang out with Kasey. She loves the Eli Young Band as much as I do and we even ended up getting the same tee-shirts there. :) Yay for sweet friends!!!!!

I know this picture is poor quality (I was singing and jumping up and down and dancing, hehe) but look how close we were!!!! The only down side was the couple in front of us who just needed to get a room already. It was totally awkward and gross. 

They sang my favorite song ever, "Guinevere" and I might have screamed and clapped my hands together really loudly when I heard those first few notes.

We had such a great time with awesome friends. Can't wait to do it again!!!!

Monday, August 06, 2012

A Little Picnic & Kickball

Shawn's work does an awesome family get together each year. One year we did Silver Dollar City at Christmas (fabulous!) and a couple of years we went swimming at a huge local pool (had it all to ourselves!) This year they reserved a local park and we had a picnic and kickball tournament.

The kids absolutely LOVED it. First of all, there were several different areas of play equipment for them. Easton was my little fearless one and went down every single slide by himself. And, I was so proud of my shy little Lauren as she talked to the other kids, gave several adults high fives, and got right in line with her daddy to number off for the kickball teams. It was just too much!

Here are Lauren and her friend Nate waiting in the kickball line. They are just a few days apart in age so it has always been fun to get together with them!

Easton was all over everything about the day. The dirt? He loved it. The heat? Didn't bother him. You have water balloons? He'll take 7. He was quite the little trooper.

I was cracking up because we had a pre-game rules talk. It was awesome and so up my alley!

My man and my babies taking the outfield. You didn't want to mess with right field. We had it covered.

Lauren played HARD. So hard that when we got home later that evening she had little blisters on her big toes. Poor thing!

Easton? Well, Easton played in the dirt. A lot. His toes may never be the same.

We had our game faces on! I love that Shawn is so alert and ready and that Lauren was giving that don't mess with me look!

My absolute favorite part of the game was watching all the little kids get their chance to kick. I could not have been more proud of Lauren as she went right up to kick!

She was ready and kicked her little heart out. I was cheering her on as she ran the bases with Shawn right beside her. It was perfect!!!

They were so cute taking a little breather between kicks. :)

Thank goodness for some Capri Sun rehydration!!!


The water fountain was a pretty big hit too. It was crazy hot after all!

Oh, and see that gold cup? Yep - our team won and we teased over and over that Easton was learning to enjoy the sweet taste of victory. :)

We had so much fun and even though it was hot and very HOT we enjoyed getting out and playing together!!! Here's to next year!