Friday, February 14, 2020

Getting My Sh*t Together

Today is Valentine's Day.

February 14, 2020. Honestly, I have dreaded this day for many weeks.

Today I will also travel with four women {three I've never met before} to a placed called Land of My Grandfathers.

My bags are not packed, yet.

I have not fully completed my pre-work, yet.

My anxiety about today is not gone, yet.

But today is the day that I start getting my shit together {sorry}.

Today is the day that I start getting my life together.

Those are two sentiments that I express often to myself and others. "Well, you need to get your life together." "I'm getting my shit together."

Part of my pre-work was to ask those close to me for three things they liked about me and three things they disliked (would like to change). Each response echo'd the one before and the single thing that stuck out more that others is the fact that I have very little love for myself.

I have done years of work to get over hurts and push past shame, but I still have not master the ability to have compassion and love for myself.

This has been so hopelessly apparent in the last three {almost four} years. I have allowed myself to disregard the positive and only see {and hear} the negatives. 

This behavior has spilled out into my relationships. I have purposefully let people down so that they would pull themselves away from me. I have not returned phone calls and texts. I've ghosted so many people who love me dearly.

I have let opportunities to spread my story of hope fall apart. Why would anyone see hope in the person I have allowed myself to become.

I wanted to say that I have been so far away from God - the furthest I've been in way over a decade. But I know that is untrue. I may be attempting to pull away, but there is peace knowing that He is here even when I am fighting him. {a little ray of sunshine for you}

This weekend I am going somewhere that is designed to challenge you to take a hard look at what is and not working in your life. We give you the opportunity to wrestle with God and discover new truths about yourself — and embrace your God-given masculinity or femininity.

Sounds like a blast, right? On the day of love I get to go wrestle with God and come out the other side loving myself. 

The packing list said to bring clothing that can get wet, dirty or destroyed. Yep, this will not be a pampering weekend. 

I have been through many healing weekends. I trust me - I fully see God's hand in the fact that four years ago this week I felt the same nervousness as I prepared myself to face the process of abortion recovery and healing thought Rachel's Vineyard. And I remember to positives of that weekend along with the positive things that came out my 5-day Grief to Grace retreat

I know this isn't going to be fun. I know that I will cry. I know that it's going to take work and that I have to be present in that work. And I just don't want to do it, but I know it will good. It might even be one of the best things I've done for myself, but right now I don't believe a single word of that. Right now I want to get back in bed. 

Seriously, though, I saw how positive this same process was for Matt a few years ago. I have sat through many graduations from these weekends. I have seen lives changes, but dang it's hard to want to walk into the process to change my own life. It's difficult to dig out of the nice hole I've made for myself. 

So it's time. Time to get my life together. 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

North Pole Breakfast 2019 :: Rose has Returned with Resentment

The downstairs has cleared.

It's quiet for a moment.

Just her and I remain.

Scattered crumbs and half eaten donuts cover the kitchen table.

She's still there, perched on top of a green balloon, giving me the stink eye.

She's wondering how long she will be left to hold the same position.

How many times will she frantically be moved at 6 am before the girls wake up?

She's wishing that she was purchased by a more organized, less scattered parent.

She's hoping to be re-gifted to a family with out an over-sized german shepherd. Most years her red felt jumper is covered in dog hair probably due to the fact that I've dropped her just a few times in the middle of her moves.

She's judging my thrown together North Pole Breakfast. She talks the other elves - she knows the big elaborate shindigs captured on Instagram and shared countless times on Pinterest.

She's giving me a look that says, "Let's not mess it up this year, okay?".

Rose is back.


The high maintenance elf has returned with all her animosity! 


The full letter is below. I know that Rose begrudgingly included a P.S. to cover my butt. When she was a young elf she dreamt of different life, but she got stuck with me. 




This year Morgan read the entire letter out loud - she didn't miss a single word!


Rose brought ornaments for our playroom tree!



She even brought one for Shelby, though she is no longer a believer - tisk, tisk.

This year the letter brought messages of kindness {guess that doesn't apply to her relationship with me}.

So, Hooray Hooray {I know you can just feel my excitement} it's Christmas...the time of year where you can hear "Oh, crap! If forgot to move that dang elf" ring through my house at around 11 pm each night!

Let me tell you Canva is a lifesaver. I created our sign, Rose's letter and the food picks all using Canva. You can design amazing images for free. This is not an add, but do get Canva Credits when you use my link to create for first flyer, poster, facebook image, pretty much anything...Click here to start designing! 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Kind Words Only at the Back to School Brinner

As we close out the Summer I feel like I have said, use kind words, your tone needs to be nicer, or that's not a nice thing to say to your sister far too many times. Everyone is looking forward to school starting tomorrow and the opportunity talk to someone not related to them.

Though I had given up on the perfectly decorated Back to School Brinner (breakfast for dinner), I knew I wanted to do something meaningful. So I grabbed the butcher paper placemats from Hearth & Hand (found on clearance last year) and some sharpies. I wrote each daughter's name at the top and you are... then I brought each one down one at a time as I made waffles. They were each supposed to write something encouraging and kind to their sisters without knowing what their sisters had written about them.


Matt and I also wrote kind things about each of them. My heart was so full seeing them write loving encouraging words about each other. They all said, "you are going to have a great year."





We went around the table and each girl took turns reading what had been written on her placemat. There were many, Ah, I love you, too's. 

Yes, Shelby was there too, but the picture I took was not approved for posting. Next time I will look at the picture to make sure everyone's eyes are open. 

Over waffles and bacon, we discussed what we are excited and what was making us nervous about tomorrow. Even I am a bit nervous about their first day of college, 2nd grade and 1st grade, so nervous that I may have labeled the half-wall.


Bekah and Morgan have awesome teachers this year - I have nothing to worry about, but feel I MUST ORGANIZE ALL THE THINGS! 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Graduation Party: Fiesta and Fun!

I think it's no secret that I LOVE throwing a themed party. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I could not throw the standard "Congrats Grad" graduation party for Shelby. And, also, no shocker that we decided the theme for this party close to a year in advance - I just can't help myself!

I originally envisioned papel picado draped between the trees in our backyard and tables with Mexican Serape blankets but quickly I remembered that June is Houston is hot! So, I did what I normally do - I carried loads of furniture and decor into my garage to make room for the fiesta. Oh, how I would love to live in a mild climate...think of all the parties I could throw.



We had a chip and dip bar - this was before everything was out. 
I spent some time debating on dessert - cake or a full spread of random treats. I decided to have cookies made and it was the best decision. They were adorable.







The photo op was well used by guests.


We used Shelby's Instax camera like we did at her 16th birthday party (another party that I loved - click here to see the details).

Two other partygoers were still snapping pictures hours after the party had wrapped.




Balloon garland has become one of my favorite things to make. You can see the adorable one I created for our Donut Day Party by checking out my recent post on Houston Moms Blog.




Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Graduation :: Let Me Tell You How Fast Time Goes By

Want to know how fast 13 years of school for your oldest child will feel?

Probably about as fast as you can flip through these pictures.

Seriously, it's THAT fast. CRY!














Advice for You :: I thought that waiting a week after graduation would take the sting out of writing this post, but I was wrong.

Something horrible has happened - I blinked and my sweet little girl has grown into a beautiful young woman. I feel like I've slept through it - how did this happen already?

Man, I love her!

Well, she did it. All of my denial and begging for her to just spend one more year in high school didn't help - she graduated.

I didn't cry at all leading up to the day. I didn't cry when she left for prom. I didn't cry when she shared her legacy video.


I didn't cry on her last day of school. I didn't cry when we got to graduation and girlfriend bolted before I could get a picture. 


But as soon as they hit play on Pomp and Circumstance the tears started and they haven't stopped. 



I looked down on her from my seat and remembered how I felt during the Fall of her eighth-grade year when the school has us plan the courses she would take in high school to prepare her for college. 


It seems I've lived in a constant state of whiplash since this girl turned five. Always asking, "How did this happen?". 

I am grateful for dear friends who snapped pictures of the Livestream and from their seats on the other side of the stadium because Shelby didn't give her cheering section a single wave of smile {time goes by, but some things never change!}. 




Speaking of cheering section, the actual graduation was much less stressful than I had planned. When 850+ kids graduate at one time it can be chaos, but It was good. We found great seats with an unobstructed view of our graduate. 


The crowd trickled in slowly which made getting my parents to our seats easier. Since my father is now on continuous oxygen he had a separate entry and had to take the elevator instead of the stairs. We were unsure if we would see them during the actual ceremony. 


My ex-husband was also able to find us and sat with us during the ceremony which was really good. Co-parenting {or our version on long distance co-parenting} is not always easy. I am glad he and Shelby's step-mother were able to be there.  



I found myself a little sad thinking about how when we took her to her first day of kindergarten we didn't see what was to come and how the day she graduated we would take separate pictures with her. God had many different plans for our lives and I am pretty happy with God's plan. 



I am pretty stinking proud of my girl! I look forward to seeing what life has planned for her. 


Shelby's final report card slid into my mailbox as I was finishing this post - now that's some mean timing! I'm off to find my box of tissues!