Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day #91: What If?

One of the goals of this project is to create a more Christ-centered home.  Service is very important to us and we would like our children to grow up serving others without a second thought.  I want our children to realize how blessed they are and to truly appreciate what they have.

If you recall, I recently read Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch.  In her book, she spoke of the extreme poverty in Africa and about not only her charitable cause, Mercy House, but of an organization called Compassion International.  Her journey to "yes" began with Compassion International as her family sponsored children in need.

For the past few weeks, I have had this nagging voice in my brain inviting me to look into helping a child in need.  Taking into consideration the economical status of people all over the world, the majority of us in America would be classified as wealthy.  We are privileged enough to buy what we want at the store, see a doctor when we are sick, receive an education, and treat ourselves to everything from flat screen televisions to exotic vacations.  We are blessed.  Plain and simple.

What if we set aside a small percentage each month and sponsored a child?  What if, instead of buying a gift for everyone for the sake of buying a gift, we put that money in a pot and sponsored a child?  (We could share their name, picture, and correspondence as it was received.)  What if we stopped pining after things we really don't need and sponsored a child?  We would all be just fine if we did.  Hmmm, maybe we should!

We are not sure what organization we will work with or the specifics of how we will help, but I see more service in our future.  To raise generous children, we need to model generosity.  We do a decent job of this already, but I think it's time to do a little bit more.

Day #90: The Halfway Point

When I set out on this journey, my goal was to make permanent changes in 180 days.  Hmmm, I am not so sure I am going to see the results I am looking for in the next 90 days!  At this rate, this may be a Motherhood 360 project.  It is hard to believe how difficult it is to break bad habits and create new, positive ones.  One day at a day at a time.  I think this might be my new mantra!

Today I did something I haven't done in a long time:  I got up in the morning and ran.  To many, this might not seem like a big deal, but for me it was.  It is, what I hope, the beginning of resuming the great routine I was in for the majority of the summer last year.  To make it a little more enticing, I have decided to run/walk the Bix 7 this year with a friend.  I need a goal.  Something tangible to work for and make me accountable.  I would say a 7 mile race should do it!

My oldest son learned how to ride his bike today.  He tried last summer without success, but he kept at it.  Though there were days he was very discouraged, he didn't give up.  What an exciting day it was for him!  He is so proud of himself and spent nearly all day riding his bike.  It is easy to forget how important these big accomplishments are to a child.  I can still remember learning to ride my bike and how excited I was to ride in circles on the driveway for hours.  Yet another milestone achieved...amazing how many we've seen in his short seven years.

Thanks for the lesson in persistence, Son.  I'm going to work on that!


Day #89: Crabby

I'm pretty sure if you asked my kids what they thought of their mom, they'd say, "She's crabby!"  I do not know why some days are worse than others, but today was a crabby Mommy day.  I tried to break out of it, but just didn't have a whole lot of luck.  Sigh....

I don't know if I need more sleep, exercise, or simply time away from the family to replenish my patience tank, but something's gotta give.  I think my husband could sense my need for a little "me" time, so he kindly suggested I call a friend and go out for a bit.  I did just that (and made a stop at the local chocolate shop!) so by the night's end I did feel a bit more refreshed.

I know I've said it before, but creating this blog project has made me realize how many days I struggle.  Acknowledging this is important for growth.  I am starting to feel like this saying is relevant to my life right now:  "Insanity:  doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."  Yes, that is me!

Tomorrow is another day.  Hopefully the chocolate and time with a good friend will carry over until then.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day #88: A Case of the Naughties

My kids have been on a kick for quite some time using what we have deemed "inappropriate" words.  Butt, booty, and poopy are their favorites and they seem to enjoy saying them in the van or at the dinner table the most.  I know it could be worse, but we are so TIRED of listening to this nonsense every time we get into the van or sit down for a meal.  These parents have had enough.

We have tried multiple ways of attempting to curb this behavior.  Today I  tried yet another method:  if you speak the word, you will sit on your bed and think about it and then complete a chore.  It worked pretty well until the tiredness crept in late afternoon.  All of the sudden it seemed to be the only words in my middle two's vocabulary.  Ugh.  When will this end?!

They did get sent to their bed and have to complete a chore (and a big one at that), but I'm not sure it will keep the words at bay.  I pray this phase ends soon!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day #87: Let Go of the Guilt

My goal for this journey is to live more intentionally.  I want to look within and find areas in which I struggle and succeed and work to make improvements.  I hope to realize my life's purpose right now, in this season, and work to fulfill it.  I want to become a better wife, mother, and friend and take the time to really connect with the important people in my life.  I want to simplify our life, serve when and where I can, and stay focused on what is truly important:  my family.  My hope is to create a calmer, kinder, more Christ-centered home.  It's a big undertaking!

I love to read books and blogs pertaining to this goal.  I have come across some wonderful stories and ideas and truly appreciate the journeys these mothers are on.  They are great for inspiration, but at times have left me with feelings of guilt and underachievement.  Today I had a bit of my own revelation while I was with my kids out on an adventure to the Family Museum and I'd like to share it with you.

While it is important for us to be present in our kids' lives and not spend each day too distracted to notice the little things, it is okay to not spend every minute completely tuned in.  I stay home with my kids.  It is a demanding, round-the-clock "job."  I cannot feel guilty for taking snippets of time for myself throughout the day.  It is perfectly acceptable.  It is necessary.  It is healthy.  I will set the parameters and they make look different from yours.  That's okay.  As long as I can go to bed at night feeling like I've done my best to balance my time each day, then I will consider it a success.

Go ahead, give yourself permission to let go of the guilt and live a life that works for you and your family.  It is freeing!

Day #86: Life is Good

This morning I was getting ready with my sweet little baby in tow.  She was playing with herself in the mirror grinning and giving the sweetest little kisses to the sweet baby she could see.  The back of her outfit said, "Life is Good."  What a sweet reminder.  Yes, life is good, friends.

My sweet little baby girl has gone from clingy and wanting to be with her mama all day to walking and too busy for Mom.  I'm feeling pretty sad this happened so quickly.  Yes, there were days I longed for two free arms, but I'm finding myself wishing she would have transitioned to this a bit more slowly.

Seasons change.  Some are long and trying and some are slow and beautiful.  Through this transition I have been reminded that no matter how difficult the day, the days of my children being little and needing their mom are numbered.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day #85: The Meltdown

My husband is away for business for a few days this week, which always puts a little extra stress into my life.  My husband is a good dad and we all miss him when he's gone.  I am fortunate his mom is staying with us while he's gone, but we still have our moments of struggle.  Our routine is thrown off a bit and we typically notice his absence the most at bedtime.  Tonight was no exception.

My younger son was so tired today.  A busy weekend and late nights made for one tired three-year-old on this fine Monday.  We made it all day...until dinner.  The hysterical giggles, bathroom language, and just plain obnoxious behavior couldn't be squelched, so after one final warning to settle down was ignored, I took a deep breath and prepared for what I knew would come.  One epic meltdown.

After the screaming subsided and the crying began, he was finally able to put his thoughts into words:  "I don't like rocking!  I don't like laying down!  I don't like the lights off!  I don't like these pajamas!  I don't like you!  I don't like ANYTHING!"

I couldn't help it.  I burst out laughing.  Ultimately he did too and when it was all said and done, he went to bed relatively peacefully...but not before trying to barter one more time for his Grammie.  Sorry sweet son.  Moms don't subject Grammies to massive meltdowns.

Until tomorrow my sweet children.

Day #84: Gathering with Friends

My kids (and husband) have caught soccer fever thanks to the World Cup.  It is quite funny to see how excited they are about the USA's upcoming game.  My husband and I thought it would be fun to invite a few friends over and have a little party to cheer on the USA during their match against Portugal.  The kids were quite excited and counted down the hours until the party all day.

We had a low-key, family friendly gathering.  We didn't make a fuss about having a pristine house (picked up, but certainly not scoured!) and made sure our gathering was simple and not stressful.  I think it is so important to show our children it's okay to welcome others into our home without planning for it weeks in advance or making a big deal about preparing for guests.  Our goal is to welcome others, provide a meal, and enjoy the company...and that's just what we did.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Day #83: Healthy Family Fun

I wish I could say I am a great example to my children in the area of health and fitness, but my struggle to find the time to incorporate this into my daily schedule is not allowing me to set much of an example!  My kids are all fairly athletic and love to run around.  Today was the day of the big race we have now done for the past three years.

I was feeling pretty apprehensive about taking a two mile jog today since I've run a total of four times all year, but the kids were certainly pumped up for their run today.  My middle kiddos took part in the fun run and had so much fun.  The ribbon at the finish is the best part!  My oldest son chose to run the 2 mile as well, but he was given permission to run on his own since he is able to run a lot faster than his pokey old mom!  My husband, the daring one, took part in the five mile race.

We all completed our races on a hot and steamy night.  My son crossed the finish line in 18:08!  It was a whole lot faster than my time of 25:48, but in my defense I was pushing the baby in the jogger (and for the first time!).  I was just happy I never stopped running...even if it was slow going!  My husband finished his race a few minutes over 40 minutes.  We did it!

As much as I was dreading hitting the pavement, I am glad I did.  The race is a great family event and has become a tradition for us.  The kids really look forward to it and maybe someday I will too!  What I truly love the most about it, though, are the memories we have made partaking in this race.  It's amazing to see how far they've come in three years.  They grow up so fast!


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Day #82: Embracing Simplicity

My kids taught me a few lessons in simplicity this week.  The first completely frustrated me while the second made me glad I was hands-free during that time.  Let me share...

Yesterday I was feeling like I was letting my kids down.  All week we had stayed home except for a few nights when we had activities.  I was feeling a bit stir-crazy and figured my kids were as well.  After quiet time, I called them up and asked them to pick up their toys downstairs so I could take them on a little adventure.  I let them know we were going to head to the local library to check out some books and stop for an ice cream treat on the way home.  I expected some cheers, but instead I received a pouty lip, "ughs," and an angry "but I want to play" from my oldest and the next two followed suit.

Can you imagine my dismay?  What child would not want to pick up some new books and get some ice cream?  I'm not going to lie.  It made me angry and very frustrated.  Why were my children acting so ungrateful?  They had been playing at home for four straight days with little demands placed on them.  I was so annoyed I called my husband.  I think he was a bit dumbfounded by my exasperation.  After all, we had both read a blog post from We are THAT family and I happily embraced the idea that it was not my job to entertain my kids all summer.  I had certainly not entertained my kids all week.  They were happy playing together and I was so thankful for their enthusiasm each morning when they agreed upon what they were going to play.

Truth be told, all I really wanted to do was take my kids out for some special time with mom. Ultimately I think my feelings were hurt.  My reaction was not favorable and I think my kids were a little confused why Mommy was acting so crazy about their desire to simply play.  My mind was made up, though, and we were going on this impromptu adventure.

In the end, they thoroughly enjoyed the library and were very appreciative of the ice cream treat. Kids are a mystery at times.  This week my kids embraced simplicity and enjoyed a week of play. I shouldn't be complaining, as next week they will probably all be begging to go somewhere every day!

Today my oldest was off for an adventure with my parents, so I just had my younger three.  I wanted to do something special with them, so we packed up and headed to the Happy Joe's buffet and stopped for a special ice cream treat at Whitey's.  For most families in the area Whitey's may be the norm for ice cream, but since our oldest has a severe peanut and tree nut allergy, we are unable to go there as a family because it is not safe for him.  This was a special treat!  After serious consideration, we all picked out our treat and sat on a bench outside to enjoy it.  Shortly after sitting down, my daughter saw a green car.  Nothing fancy...just a car.  She pointed it out, giggled, and expressed how cool she thought it was.  A few minutes later she spotted another car she liked.  She looked at me and said, "Mom, it is so fun to just sit here and watch the cars while I eat my ice cream."

Huh.  It is fun, isn't it?  I joined in the game, as did my youngest son, and we had so much fun checking out all of the cars as they passed by.  A simple moment shared between a mom and her kids.  I am so glad I had left my phone in the car or I may have missed it.  Today I was thankful for my hands-free moment!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Day #82: Time to Yourself

We've had a pretty laid-back week.  The kids have played well together and I feel as if I've taken a bit of a vacation from them in my own home!  Usually someone is crying or fighting with a sibling every five minutes, but this has not been the case this week.  I'm not going to lie.  I've given myself permission to let them play and enjoyed some time reading while the baby naps. When you spend nearly every hour of every day with your children, you have to fit in some "me" time somewhere!

This is the topic I'd like to address today:  taking time for yourself.  As parents of young children, our lives are busy by nature.  During these years we spend so much time caring for, teaching, and guiding our children down the right path that it seems to leave little time for personal hobbies. While my children are a priority, I don't want them to grow up with the perception that our entire life revolves around them.  I want them to see us pursuing our interests, setting goals and achieving them, and leaving them behind to go out and have some "adults-only" time.  The problem with this is finding the time.

I have the desire to start running again and get into shape.  I have the desire to have date nights with my husband.  I have the desire to get away for a weekend or spend a night out with the girls. I just struggle with actually making the desires become a reality.  If it were as simple as saying, " See ya!  I'm going to (fill in the blank)" then no problem, but in truth it takes preparation and even with the best of intentions I tend to be late or get derailed entirely.  I need some help!

Do you struggle with this?  If not, how do you make this work?


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day #81: Saying "Yes"

This past year I have begun to follow many Christian blogs and they have made a tremendous impact on my life.  Many of the bloggers I follow are also published authors and I have chosen to read many of their books.  I must say, I have felt truly inspired by many of them.  Today I finished Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch.  Her blog, We are THAT family is very well written and I agree with her parenting philosophy, so I assumed I would enjoy reading her book.

Wow.  Did I ever.  She encompasses much of what I aspire to do in life:  be a good mother, live a faith-centered life, serve others where God sees fit, and to share my story.  I admire those who have been able to be successful and achieve their goals, while continuing to be a "normal" mother raising her family.  The book turned out to be the pep-talk I've been so desperately craving.

Lately I've lost steam.  I have my hands in a lot of pots, but I'm going to take the advice of the author and focus on my "one."  Rather than spreading myself too thin and giving a less-than-all effort, I am going to focus my service in an area I feel passionate about:  education and literacy. I am so thankful this is also a project my entire family can assist with and relate to as well.

The charity I co-founded just one year ago exceeded our expectations in our first year and we are looking forward to impacting even more children next year, but there is a lot of work to be done. We have received many blessings during the inaugural year of From Cover to Cover, but it has been a challenge to build this from the ground up with my partner and dear friend.  We have a solid vision, feel our mission is important, and have seen first-hand the impact the gift we provide these children has.  We know we can make a tremendous difference right here in our community. The hardest part is sharing our mission and convincing others how truly important this project is.

As with all non-profits, we rely on donations and volunteers to achieve our goals.  Fundraising, awareness activities, and coordinating events requires a lot of time and dedication.  We have received tremendous support, but we need to grow our supportive base and it is hard to do!  I know we just have to keep believing He will provide, but there are days when I feel like we have an impossible mountain to climb.  We will continue to move forward and I pray soon we will have more help to achieve our goals!  This is my "one."  This is my "yes!"

Are you feeling the pull towards something and afraid to say, "Yes!"  If you need a little inspiration, I highly recommend reading the book.  Maybe you just need a little nudge to take that first small step.  Whatever the case, now is the time!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Day #80: Nothing Will Change Until I Do

Recently I read an article about the mood of the house being set by the mother.  I was a little concerned about this statement if it is indeed true.  Are my kids and husband short with each other and crabby because I am?  Am I really responsible for not only caring for the family but setting the tone as well?  It seems a bit overwhelming and I feel under some serious pressure!

If this is indeed the case, then my effort to create a calm, faith-centered environment in our home ultimately does start with me.  Nothing will change until I do.  Hmm, nothing will change until I do.  That's a pretty powerful statement and one I plan to pray about and ponder over.  If this is the case, my goal of slowing down and living simply has even more importance.  My focus needs to be on bettering myself, ensuring I am well-rested, and in a good place physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Wow.

Nothing will change until I do.  I accept that challenge!


Day #79: The Post-it

For years I have made lists.  I have notebooks of lists.  I love the satisfaction of crossing items off, but as time has gone on, it has become more difficult to complete my list each day.  More than likely it is because I have too many expectations and too little time.  At the end of the day instead of feeling satisfied with what I have accomplished, I am left feeling frustrated and disheartened by the amount of items not crossed off my list.  Time for a change!

My list has now been reduced to a Post-it.  A small, square little Post-it filled with no more than four tasks.  Some are quick, like "get the meat out for dinner!"  Some take more time, like "do the laundry."  I just have one simple rule:  my list may just fill the front of the Post-it and be written in my regular handwriting (no squeezing it in going on here!).

It may sound silly, but I feel so liberated thanks to the Post-it list.  Few tasks are manageable and if they don't all get crossed off, it's much less frustrating to see one thing staring you in the face instead of three, five, or ten.  Toss out those notebooks gals and grab something small.  You'll be glad you did!

Day #78: Honoring the Dads

Today we honor the dads in our lives.  Admittedly I am still a total Daddy's girl and am so thankful we live close so we can celebrate all of these holidays with my family.  As I age, I cherish these moments more than I ever could have when I was young.  I am lucky both of my parents are still alive, well, and an active part of our lives.

We did our best to spoil the important man in our household today.  Some homemade cards, gifts for some of his favorites (beer, golf, and Mexican food...what else could a man want?), and a gourmet steak dinner topped off with warm dessert.  We love him a lot...I just hope he realizes how much we do.

I know I am guilty of not appreciating the effort he puts into our family enough.  I get irritated, complain, and feel a bit of jealousy at times when he gets to do cool things without us.  We've battled through some storms and will certainly encounter more.  I'm not sure we could have ever imagined our lives being so blessed, yet so exhausting and trying at times.  Marriage is hard, parenting may be even harder.

My hope is to encourage, support, and appreciate my husband more in the future.  He is deserving of that and so much more!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Day #77: Love Thy Neighbor

Last fall I was talking with some neighborhood friends about having a block party.  They suggested I take the lead and put one together and without hesitation I did.  I quickly had a great group of people to assist and we began planning.  The goal was to create a laid-back, casual event to give people living within our subdivision the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon/evening together with their neighbors.  It would not be anything over-the-top:  simplicity was the key.

We live in such a busy time many of us do not even know who lives a few doors down.  Isn't it a shame we may be missing out on some wonderful friendships for ourselves and our children because we're too busy to take the time to reach out and introduce ourselves to our neighbors? Some of us may feel intimidated or shy to say a simple "hello" or afraid of feeling uncomfortable. Whatever your reason, put it aside, make the first move, and get to know the people living around you!

I am thrilled we put this event together and encouraged many of my neighbors connected with others they had never met (our family included!).  My kids had a wonderful time, played with their neighborhood friends, and stayed up WAY past their bedtimes.  It was so worth it, though! My husband and I got the opportunity to meet new people and enjoy time with our friends as well. The block party was a win-win for everyone.

The days of the Welcome Wagon, casseroles, and random rings of the doorbell seem to be gone, but we can swim against the tide.  Take a chance!  Perhaps you will be the answer to a stay-at-home mom's prayer for companionship or your child will find a lifelong friend just down the street.  You may be able to offer help to someone who is struggling, be a welcome friendly face to someone who is sad about what they have left behind, or able to provide a connection they have been searching for.  Whatever the outcome, sitting idly on the sidelines will certainly leave the door closed.

This is a great lesson for our children in hospitality and being a good neighbor and a simple one at that!  If you're still feeling hesitant, turn it into a family event:  bake something yummy and drop it off at the new neighbor's house.  In the end, you'll be glad you did!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Day #76: Embracing the Uncertainty

I don't think it's any secret I've been struggling during this project.  I think it's good to work through the mess and address some of these struggles in order to (hopefully) come out changed for the better on the other side.  Being a mother is hard.  Each day brings a new challenge and admittedly I just don't always feel equipped to handle it.  I'm worn.  This season of life is hard: little sleep, ever-changing behaviors, and children trying to exert their independence.  There certainly is no one-size-fits-all answer to many of these challenges.  It's a learning experience and as with any new experience, it can leave one feeling a bit lost and deflated at times.

At this particular time in my life, I feel I am approaching a crossroad of some sort.  There a few different paths I could take, but I simply don't know which way to turn.  I feel a shift occurring in our family, but I don't know where we are heading.  When you are one who likes certainty, control, and a concrete plan, this can be a bit (okay, a lot) unnerving.  God has a plan for us, but in this moment we just don't know what that plan is.

I am doing my best to embrace this uncertainty; to relinquish control and trust when the time is right I will know which way to turn.  To believe the plan for our family will be revealed to us and we will embrace this plan.  To think that just ten years ago my biggest concern was what to wear or what establishment to visit on a particular night.  Oh how a decade can change you!

How do you handle the uncertainty?  Are you one to embrace it or push against it?


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day #75: Summer Adventures

I didn't anticipate how exhausted I would be upon returning from our vacation!  After three days catching up around the house, I figured today would be a good day to go on a little adventure with the kiddos.  Everyone was getting restless, so we packed up and headed out to the Family Museum.  What a much-needed break from playing at home!

Typically I would have a rough plan for the summer, but at this time I do not.  A few days ago we created our summer bucket list, so it is time for me to pencil in these activities (and some of my own) into our calendar.  I fear if I don't do this, summer will have passed us by and too much of our time will have been spent at home while I try to keep up with the household duties.

We need to go out and have some fun!  I want to enjoy this special time with my kids and explore our area.  I think it is so fun for them to come up with ideas and love to see their excitement when one of their activities is on the agenda for the day.  I just pray my four darling children cooperate and don't put me over the edge in the process!  Going anywhere alone with all of them is always an adventure.  I am hoping another year of growth will make this summer a bit easier (this may be some serious wishful thinking!).

Does your family create a bucket list?  If not, you should give it a try.  It's a lot of fun!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Day #74: Struggling to Find Balance

I am struggling immensely to find balance within the confines of my home.  There are children to care for and attend to, housework, meal planning, laundry, bill paying, and countless other menial tasks that pop up each day.  On top of these tasks, I crave time to write, read, and exercise at some point during the day.  For the life of me, I just cannot find a way to balance all of this and not feel guilty about the way I have prioritized my time.

I am a morning person.  I do my best to tackle the necessary household work right away and know once lunch rolls around more than likely nothing else will be accomplished on that front.  I simply lose steam.  This happens to be the time of the day my kids are full of energy, not terribly grumpy, and more than ready to get down to the business of young children:  playing.  I admit, I am not a great "player."  I get restless and have difficulty just sitting still.  My brain is always thinking about what needs to be done next instead of just being present in the moment.  Not the best quality, but I am trying to work on it.  I struggle with the balance:  do I get my work accomplished at the expense of missing out on precious moments with my kids?

My baby is a terrible sleeper.  Naps are inconsistent.  Some days they are long, some days they are short.  She is extremely clingy right now and only wants to be held.  Nap times are a reprieve! I just want to sit down, alone, and read or write about what's on my mind.  However, this is time when I can give my older kids more attention, because I do not have a baby strapped to my hip.  I struggle with the balance:  do I take some time for myself and feel guilty for not engaging with my children?

I feel completely disgusted with my physical appearance.  I worked so hard to get into shape and then got out of a routine.  I desperately want to bet back on the train once again, but I struggle to find the time to do it.  We cancelled our gym membership because I do not use it.  This leaves early morning or later in the evening to fit it in.  Right now I am not getting great rest at night and the morning seems to come too soon.  If I squeeze it in later in the evening, I am missing out on time with my husband without (most) of the kids.  I struggle with the balance:  do I take the time to exercise in order to improve my health and sacrifice much-needed time to talk with my husband?

All of these realizations are part of this project I have embarked on.  I am much more aware of the effects my decisions have for me and my family.  This process is hard and I still feel nowhere near the point where I turn the corner:  before this simply becomes a way of life and I feel satisfied with the path we are on.  I look forward to the day when I can say we are finally traveling down the path we desire.  I know it's coming.  First I have to peel back the layers, work through the mess, pray (a lot!), and hopefully come out on the other side.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Day #73: Setting Goals....Attainable Goals

Who knew going on vacation would leave me feeling so exhausted?  A rainy day nap would have been awesome, but three non-napping kiddos may have put a kink in that plan!  Push on, right?!

It has not taken long for my feelings of restlessness to set in again.  Patience is not my forte and I feel as if I have been waiting a long time to receive a clear-cut signal as to what lies ahead for me and my family.  I have so many personal goals I would like to achieve, but I am finding it so very difficult to attain even the simplest, smallest step for any of them.  I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and going nowhere fast.

It is time to sit down, both alone and with my husband, and begin to draft a road map for the rest of this year.  For several months my motivation has dwindled.  My drive to pursue my passions has wained and I truly just need some focus; some attainable goals to reignite the fire that typically burns inside of me.

I am missing "me."  Not "mom," but me.  It is time to break out of this apathetic state I have been in for months and get re-energized.  Oh, the thought of it sounds exhausting, but I am more than ready to feel that fire burn from within again.  It is time to pray and reflect on my purpose once again.  I'm hoping for some clear signs to appear soon!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Day #72: Beach Time Has Rubbed Off

(I took a little break from writing over vacation.  I wanted to keep up each day, but just didn't have the time.  I did keep a vacation journal and am so happy I did!  So many precious moments captured.)

Today is a bittersweet day.  We have made the journey to the beach and are now back home beginning to settle into our summer routine.  We had such a wonderful family vacation and made some wonderful memories.  It is a trip I will forever treasure.  I told my husband I felt like we'd taken a right of passage by trekking across half of the United States with our four kiddos in tow. It was not always pretty, but overall it was a great experience.

Things are a little hairy around here today:  people are tired after a long day on the road and late arrival home last night (especially Mommy!), we're completely out of routine, and of course, it seems every outside obligation I have has needed my attention today.  I would love nothing more to be back on that beach without a care in the world!

Instead of jumping all over every request, I am fitting people's requests and questions into my time.  I tend to feel like I always have to respond to everyone RIGHT NOW, but beach time may have rubbed off on me.  The reality is, I have four kiddos who need their Mommy, a house to manage, and some priorities of my own, so whatever request or question will have to wait until the time is right.  It is a refreshing change of pace and a reminder to not unnecessarily take on any additional responsibilities outside of the home!  Life is busy enough as it is!


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Day #71: The Long Journey

Putting everyone to bed at 12:30 (yes, as in after midnight) would normally set me over the edge, however, I am doing my best on this 17 hour journey to roll with it (as much as a Type A, super-planner can).  We did move ahead an hour, so that made it a bit better, but it was still late.  Some of our kids finally gave in and fell asleep in the van around 9:30, but one very curious and stubborn seven-year-old did not.  Can't say I blame him.

We piled our family of six into a room at the Super 8, threw a few sleeping bags on the floor, and hit the sack for the night.  After a decent night's sleep, we ate a quick breakfast at the hotel (were complemented by a woman about how well-behaved our kids were...huh?!), and hit the road. Today our travels will take us from Indiana to North Carolina.  Quite the journey!

It was a LONG day...11 hours to be exact.  Our kids acted like they had done this before, so our day was actually quite pleasant!  We stopped for a two hour pit stop in Ohio to eat lunch, play at the park, and take a potty break.  I think it was a smart move on our part!  Tired a few of the kids out, so they took a nap before we stopped off again for an ice cream treat and gas.  Our final trek was a little over 3 hours through the mountains and it was quite awesome to see things through a child's eyes.  They were pretty impressed with the mountains and thought the tunnels we drove through were awesome.

We pulled into our hotel in one piece, awaited the arrival of our Papa John's pizza, and prepped everyone for bed.  Once again it was a late night (after 10:00 this time), but we just rolled with it. I suppose vacation is a time to throw bedtimes to the curb and mealtimes as well.  What a memorable journey we are on!

Day #70: Better Late than Never

We made it to the big day!  It's the last day of school and our departure day.  To say it will be busy is an understatement!  There is a lot of excitement in the house today and an emotional mommy to boot.  I cannot believe I am going to be a mom of a second grader!  That just seems crazy!  

While it was a busy day, I wanted to surprise my son at lunch with Happy Joe's pizza-his favorite! It was important to me to be able to spend a special moment or two with him on his last day.  We had a great lunch and his friends were a little jealous of his treat!

When it was all said and done, we pulled out onto the highway a few hours behind schedule, but instead of being completely annoyed, we took the attitude of, "Hey, I suppose this is part of the adventure!"  (Don't get me wrong, I was completely annoyed up until the point we actually hit the road, however, I turned it around!).  

So, off we go on our adventure!  We are EXCITED!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Day #69: Anticipation

The energy in this house is high.  The kids are so excited to leave tomorrow on our vacation they can hardly stand it.  They have been so helpful helping me pack and have been working hard to narrow down their "must bring" list of toys and animals.  Since we are driving, we have a little extra space for these special items and the kids have put a lot of thought into what they want to bring along to the beach.

I am fully expecting early risers in the morning.  We've been counting down the past 30 days by ripping off a link of a chain the kids made about a month ago.  It has been the highlight of each morning and they have loved watching the chain get smaller and smaller.  We are all so excited for our adventure and are looking forward to wonderful memories!