Five Things I Learned in February

Can I just say that February was a doozy?!?

This is one reason why the blog has been so quiet and why I’m just now posting almost halfway through March.

February has been busy, rainy and left me parenting solo for two weeks while The Hubs was in Israel. Yes, Israel. Israel as in 10 hours ahead, he was going to sleep while I was waking up, Israel.

I’m trying to get back into my writing groove and I’ll be honest. It’s been challenging.

When you put something off unintentionally (or intentionally) and then put it off, and put if off and put if off………you get the picture, it becomes so difficult to just bite the bullet and do “it”. It could be simple like a phone call or difficult like a hard conversation. Or it could be sitting my butt down and typing out a blog post.

I had some good reasons for being MIA, like my husband left the country for two weeks and I was feeling a tad overwhelmed. But now the excuses are gone and my fingers are tapping at the keyboard once more.

Ya, so February. Kinda nuts. But here’s what I’ve learned:

1.) Boys are gross. Between the not getting the pee in the toilet (I shared a toilet with H for 4 days due to some plumbing problems.  G-R-O-S-S.), the eating of the boogers, the blowing of the spit bubbles and the general licking of well, everything; it’s disgusting. This does not diminish my love for him in way at all; but it’s yucky just the same.

2.) Cooking is not my jam and that’s okay. And it’s only taken me 16 years to figure this out!! I have felt guilty and a subpar wife and mom for years because of my lack of creativity and general culinary skills. And here’s the thing…… I just don’t enjoy cooking that much. I still have to cook (My family still needs to eat.). And while I appreciate his help, The Hubs can’t make breakfast for dinner every night. But I’m going to give myself a much needed break in the guilt department and chalk it up to the fact that I’m better at other things. Cooking is not one of them. And that’s okay.

3.) Speaking of guilt,  I’m ready to throw my mommy guilt out the window. Who wants to join me? I haven’t perfected this way of thinking yet, but I’m working on it. As a matter of fact, I have a lot of thoughts bubbling up inside of me on this topic. So much so, that I’m working on another blog post about it right now. For now, let’s just say I find the mommy guilt to be exhausting and I’m tired of being tired.

4.) The Hubs and I have been trying to encourage our kids to try new things and step out of their comfort zones, even if (and when) they fail. I’m beginning to see that this is one of the best gifts we can give them. Lily played basketball for the first time this year. This was very much out of her comfort zone and I don’t know that basketball will even be her thing. But she tried something that was a little scary to her at first and found out she really enjoyed it.

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Here’s Lily’s team, The Fever, with Coach Mike. They came in first!!

 

She didn’t score a basket until the very last game. I knew that she may very well go the whole season and not score a single basket. I was just happy that she was out there moving and gaining confidence. Let me tell you, when she did score a basket (at the buzzer no less) I blubbered like a baby. A baby! I was emotionally drained for the rest of the day. Through all this, it’s also teaching me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things, too.

5.) Speaking of crying, am I’m going to cry and be a hot mess when my kids do sports? This world is so new to me and I don’t quite know how to handle all the feelings that come with your kids competing in sports. I did not grow up doing any sport really. I’ve realized that sports, as a parent, is emotionally exhausting!! I’m also coming to realize that my Saturdays are never going to be the same again. RIP lazy Saturday mornings.

As you can see, February had a lot going on. Now that spring is just around the corner I know life is going to get even busier. I’m praying that I will embrace the crazy and take time to savor the little moments and my people.

Sticky Doors:: We All Have Them

 

It’s been a rainy day. It’s quiet and dark in my little writing space. Just the light from my bedside lamp and the gray of late afternoon through my bedroom window.

The only way I can get away to write these days without leaving the house is shutting the door to my bedroom and having a hard and fast rule of “Don’t bother me.” That goes for everyone, even The Hubs.

Once a week. That’s all I ask.

Just one afternoon. And half the time I don’t even get that.

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That’s okay, though. These are the days of being busy with my family, in a good way. Oh, and it’s never really quiet. Except for the very rare occasion that everyone is gone, there is always a low hum of background noise. Muffled through my closed door I hear the T.V., the fridge opening and closing, puppy paws pacing up and down the hallway and that sweet high pitched voice of Little H.

There is no ideal situation for me to write. If I wait for the just the right circumstances, it will never happen. So I take my glorious two hours and then panic.

What if I can’t get out all the ideas that have been bounding around in my brain all week? That great opening sentence for a blog post……what was that again? If I don’t type it out, I’ll forget it. Then it will be lost forever, somewhere in the murky depths of my mommy brain.

Today, though, my thoughts keep coming back to- my sticky doors. Yes. I said sticky doors.

We bought this house in May and moved in June. We repainted, refloored, sanded and knocked down walls. (Okay, one wall. One half wall.) We scraped ceilings and textured. We took every door off it’s hinges to paint them.

3 things happened:

1.) We forgot to take one door down completely. It’s the only brown door in our hallway with 4 other white doors.

2.) Because we were in an extreme time crunch one of the doors, didn’t get a second coat of paint. And it shows.

3.) Our bedroom door sticks, terribly. And I’m wondering if in our haste, we didn’t put the doors back in their proper door frames. Now that the weather has changed, the door has swelled and it’s even worse. It’s painfully loud each an every time we open or close it.

And……

It wasn’t until about a month ago that we realized the hallway bathroom did not have a lock! I mean, seriously? How did we miss that? Right before we had our Open House, we had a bbq and a friend asked me to guard the door while she went to the bathroom. I was puzzled as to why she would ask me to do this. That’s when I discovered we had no lock on the knob.

This was not our first gathering of friends or family at the new place.We had had several of them. No one of ever mentioned it to us. I’m sure they all assumed that we knew.

There is still no lock on the bathroom door and now the door doesn’t latch closed at all. I discovered that this week after I’ve berated my kids about leaving the bathroom door open. Open bathroom door= puppies in the bathroom= toilet paper from the garbage can all over the floor and puppies drinking out of the toilet.

I’m sure they weren’t remembering to close the door but the dogs can simply push the door open with their noses. They know where the sweet toilet water is and they’ll do anything to get it!

This house, like everything else in life, is a work in progress.

It will never be “finished”. Can I get an AMEN homeowners?

When I wait for things to be finished (or what I think will be better) to be happy; happy I will never be.

I’m shooting for contentment in the moment, in the process, in the journey.

My house and it’s sticky doors are a reminder to me that life will always have a sticky door or two. What I don’t want to do is let my sticky doors distract me from all the other great things about our house. I don’t want to let certain circumstances in my life or hard relationships distract me or detract from the things and people that bring me joy.

So, here’s to sticky doors and a trip to Home Depot to buy a new knob for the bathroom door, with a lock!

*I actually wrote this post a couple of weeks ago and I’m so glad to report that we did put a lock on the bathroom door. The door closes shut so our toilet is no longer another water bowl for the puppies. Thank goodness!!

 

Choosing Between Good and Best

I was browsing through some old posts of mine. I stumbled upon this post and wanted to share it again here. It’s from a year ago when I wrote and posted every day in October as part of a writing challenge. My theme for the month was My Best Yes. 

It’s funny how my very own words were the ones that convicted me. It’s so easy to get off track and fall back into bad habits and practices.

I’ve been feeling a bit like a chicken with my head cut off these days, running from here to there and everywhere in between. I’ve been doing a lot of good things, fun things. But some of the most important things have been falling through the cracks.

Time to get back on track. Maybe say “no” to things that are good, but just not the best for me or my family right now. And then there are commitments and activities that are just part of our lives right now. It’s a season we are in. How is my attitude while I’m doing them, though? The right attitude can make all the difference.

Here’s to making some Best Yes decisions!

You can click the link below and read the post.

A Tale of Two Sisters

 

10 Years of Blogging:: Lifetime Writer

It all started in the 6th grade with a black and white marbled composition book. I started writing then and I’ve never stopped.

When I started blogging several years ago, it was just for fun. I was simply sharing life at the time. I began to blog in 2006. (I can’t even believe I’ve been doing this, though inconsistently until now, this long!) We had no kids. I had taken a year off of teaching. I was selling Party Lite candles and serving at a restaurant to earn some money. It’s fun to go back and read those old posts. Life was so different!

My next blog, Sock Monkey Tales, reflected my life as a new mom/elementary teacher. Again, it was just to document our life and have fun writing because I love to write.

Boy has life changed! My blog changed. The Hubs’ job changed. We added another kiddo to the bunch. We even have a new dog. (Okay, writing about our new dog brings up memories of our old dog,  Jackson; and it’s still a little painful, honestly.) My goal for blogging has changed in some ways.

I am still documenting my sweet and sometimes crazy life. I love to write about the things that I am passionate about: My relationship with God, The Hubs, my kiddos, relationships, books, trying to be a good wife and mom, writing and basically embracing this life of a stay at home, homeschooling mom. I want to encourage others, whether you are a mom or not, to embrace the life God has given you right now!!! It won’t be perfect; but it can be so beautiful if you see it through the eyes of a grateful spirit.

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I truly hope my little space encourages anyone who stops by. I hope you feel like, “Hey, I don’t have to be perfect and have it all together to be a boss in the mom department. ” (Or the spouse department or the friend department.)

When it comes down to it, I just love to write. I feel lucky to have a space to do just that. So, for those of you who stop by often or from time to time, thank you for reading my words. I am truly grateful.

31 Days To My Best Yes:: Day 31 I Don’t Want To Be Wonder Woman

Did you hear that? It’s me squealing with a little bit of crying thrown in.

Why?

I did it! I wrote for 31 days straight during the month of October and posted every single day. I. Can’t. Believe. I. Did. It.

Thank you, Lord. You gave me the words to say. You gave me good health this month. You gave me peace in my heart about participating in this writing challenge. Thank you.

Thank you, Hubs and family. You have been so understanding. I’ve disappeared into the bedroom for hours and you’ve never complained. Thank you.

How do I wrap up my 31 Days To My Best Yes and hopefully encourage you?  Here are some final thoughts.

( pg. 38 in My Best Yes) “We have to put our hearts and our minds in places where wisdom gathers not scatters.”

I am so very convinced that my Bestest Yes is cultivating my relationship with Christ. With out that,  none of my other Best Yes choices really matter.

I truly believe that God does not want women to be overcommited, scattered and overwhelmed. I don’t feel the need to be Wonder Woman. I just want to do a few things wonderfully. Therefore, I can’t say yes to everything that crosses my path and I shouldn’t.

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People have different levels of juggling capacity. For some it’s one or two activities at a time. For some it’s more. There are so many factors into what we can manage, our personalities, our family size, our health, our abilities, our work situations. That’s why my Best Yes cannot be me comparing myself to others.

So, was this 31 Day Challenge a Best Yes For Me? YES!! (But please don’t look at the piles of laundry in my garage right now!)

Not only did  I get terribly behind in my laundry or any other kind of household responsibility this month, we decided to tear up our floors and have laminate flooring put in. Rignt now I’m writing this post in my pjs on my bed with all of our dining room and kitchen furniture crammed into our smallish living room. Disaster or not, I write on!

I did reflect on the blessings of this challenge and what I’ve learned. Here goes:

1.) I did not think I had the discipline to write everyday. This has been so  good for me. I still can’t believe I did it.

2.) This challenge confirmed an answer to a  question I’ve  had deep down for some time. Should I be writing? Yes!! Is it a waste of my time? No!! This has reignited my love for writing. I have  a real joy when I write, when I string my words together and they make sense, paint a picture or evoke a feeling. That realization alone, made this challenge worth it.

3.) I now know that I am not meant to be a daily blogger. That is not a best yes in this season of my life. This is not a bad thing! I don’t have the time to give to that amount of writing. Saying yes to posting every day or giving too much time to my blog would be saying no other things and people in my life that need me. Also,  I cannot  keep up with my house or homeschooling and post daily.

4.) On the flip side, I do want to establish a regular posting schedule on the blog. I do want to write most days because that consistency was good for me. Finding the balance is what comes next.

5.) Finally, the mission of my blog is becoming clearer to me. I would call it a mission statement in progress. I do know that I want to encourage women to find value in who they are – right now. Whether you are old or young, wise or just starting out. Whether you have kids or not, whether you are married or single. Know that you are important. Know that what you do and your contribution to this world and in the body of Christ is important.

And there you have it. I’ve written all the words!! Thanks to this challenge I have many more  words rattling up there in my brain. I hope to share them with you in the posts to come

You can read posts #1-#30 of My Best Yes series here.

 

 

31 Days To My Best Yes:: Day 23 Was Doing This Challenge Really My Best Yes???

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If you happen to be another fellow 31Dayer, I know you are laughing with me right now. I”m rounding third base here. I’m almost to the home stretch so I do not have any intention of giving up. But my brain is on overload and it feels a bit mushy of there right now.

I know some of the other writers in this challenge have expressed running out of ideas. While I seem to have the ideas, I’ve come to a point where I just don’t seem to have the words to express those ideas. I’m. Just. Tired. Plain and simple.

I went from posting and writing maybe once a week to writing every single day for the past 23 (plus) days. I’ve also posted every day for the past 24 days. I posted that same number of posts over the last 6 months!

It’s like going from taking a leisurely walk through the park to running a marathon. It’s a little shocking to one’s body!

So I’m granting myself grace here. I’m blogging about not knowing what to blog about! I’m still writing, though. That is what’s most important. Though I’ve had to put some other things in my life on the back burner this month, I’m convinced this challenge really is the Best Yes for me right now.

Maybe your goal isn’t to write for 31 days straight on the same topic. Whatever your goal is, push through the hard parts, the awkward lulls and over the bumps. It will be worth it!

 

31 Days to My Best Yes:: Day 15 Here’s To Not Giving Up! And a Special Giveaway!

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I’m excited to share my first giveaway today.  So be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to check it out.

But first things first, I had another post planned today; but I decided to push it to tomorrow. Instead, I’m going to write about something else that’s on my mind.

It’s day 15 of this challenge of writing for 31 Days and posting for 31 Days. Since I can’t divide 31 in half I’m going to go with today, the 15th day of the challenge, as my halfway point.

You can’t see it; but I’m doing a little happy dance.

I honestly didn’t think I’d make it this far. I don’t want to jinx it and declare that I know I will finish the challenge in it’s entirety. Even if I don’t, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot writing-wise this month.

For any other #31Dayers out there, ff you’ve gotten behind in your posts or missed a few days. Just jump back in. You are not a failure. Don’t give up!

We were challenged by another # 31Dayer to read all the posts we’ve written up to this halfway point and see if we are headed down the path we intended at the beginning of the month. Then, to look ahead and see where we are going. Have we gone in a totally different direction than we planned? How do we want to finish out the next 16 days?

It’s a challenge to write about the same topic for 31 Days. I think one of the pleasant surprises for me was that some days I didn’t know what I was going to write about. It was interesting and little exciting to see what was going to come out.

I can see myself hitting publish on the 31st day and looking back on 31 posts. There I just jinxed myself. I’m going to do my darnedest to  do just that.

Right now, I’m going to stop writing and go back to read all the posts I’ve written so far and take a minute to enjoy what I’ve accomplished.

Do you have something you are wanting to succeed at (doesn’t have to be writing); but have been to afraid to take the first step? How about something you have tried but feel like you are failing?

Can I just encourage you To Not Give Up?! Even if it doesn’t pan out or turn out the way you want it to. Don’t Give Up!

Now I have a special treat for my readers.  I’m excited to share my very first giveaway!   DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

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See Days #1-#14 here.

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