Precious Moments

Remember those cute little plump figurines that were popular to collect? You remember Precious Moments.  I had a bride and groom one, a bridesmaid one, and a first baby figurine. If you are unfamiliar with this fad or under the age of 25 then go google it and come back.

Well, this precious moment was experienced two nights ago when Zoe got her book out for me to read a chapter before bed. A regular occurrence that sometimes after a busy day a mom wants to rush or omit. Until you remember they aren’t going to be nine forever.  The book of the week is Clementine. A classic, funny, read aloud and as I began reading where we left off the night before, Blaire popped into the room. She curled up on Zoe’s bed and they both snuggled in for a bedtime story. Sometimes our kids pull out the old Green Eggs and Ham or a Fairy Tale to be read and it feels like the 100th time. I was always a fan of when they graduated to chapter books. Something entertaining for both of us, you could say. This was a classic I remember from when Blaire and Jacob were little. I do love to read out loud to kids. One by one they are growing up and getting married and I feel like it’s deja vu. This is not a complaint one bit. Today I’m full of nostalgia. Full of reminiscing and enjoying it. I don’t hate that Blaire isn’t going to live here anymore. I will miss it but she’s ready to fly off the branch. Away from mamas nest. She is confident and secure and yet reliant on Jesus in a way that makes any mother proud. She isn’t leaving us and can still join in on a story-time or two. So yes, I choked back a few tears this night. I tried to read without cracking my voice. I want her to know I’m good with the new change. 

It’s Zoe, that’s more difficult to understand. She doesn’t cry much or show much emotion and although she’s excited to be a bridesmaid in one day she still tacks on, ‘I hate that I’m missing field day though’. Yes, Friday, May 31 has been deemed Blaire and James’s wedding day for a year now but field day is important to my third grader too. Maybe when she’s older she will grasp the love she has experienced by her sister. Blaire, at the age of 8, wrote in a journal, ‘I wish I had a younger sister’. Her wish came true through a series of miracles and now Blaire gets to have her sister join her sister in law and the best friends a girl could ask for, to stand up and support her on her long awaited wedding day. 

This mom is a big fan. I don’t think I needed to write this blog to convince myself. No, I will allow myself to feel all the feels. (advice from my sister in law.) I don’t want to be a blubbering mess but when someone texts me ‘I’m praying for you’ I get choked up. When we listen to a special chosen wedding song I get choked up. And when I picture my husband walking his baby girl down the aisle… well, I’m a bit of a mess right now. I’ve heard it said that you can’t prepare yourself for these kinds of moments. Someone also asked me if it’s different this time with Blaire as it was for Jacob. No, it’s the same. You love your kids so much and train them up to be strong and God fearing adults. You pray that they surround themselves with good people and then you let go. That’s where faith comes in. They have always been in God’s hands but under our roof. I think the biggest gift we can give our children is our blessing. 

I was reading in an old journal I wrote on Blaire’s second birthday, nearly 19 years ago; 

‘Today Blaire is 2!   My little one is 2! I can’t believe it.  She’s not a terrible two although she’s very independent and stubborn.  She is starting to play with Jacob and she loves the attention.  I thank God for her.  I want us to be friends.’

This has been a precious journey. Can’t wait to read chapter 2. 

Real words by Zoe: dated this morning…  “I don’t have any tears unless you’re doing my hair”

Broken Together

He looked at me with a sincere loving look.  A look I remembered from a time when we were dating.  ‘Babe, I want to grow old, rocking in our chairs, next to you.’

Son of a gun, this guy always makes me cry. Not in the bad way, either.  Celebrating 27 years married to Scott this May, just weeks before our daughter’s day of nuptials, and I still manage to ruin a good 5 day trip away or a simple date night. ‘We need to communicate better’ is my plight. Why do we women let things fester and build up in our minds?  We have had arguments before but this one hurt him.  I hated the look in his eyes.  I didn’t set out to hurt.  I wanted answers.  I wanted him to admit I was right.

Yes, I’m going through a lot of emotions these days. I thought I could predict when I’m going to act out irrationally but no! I can’t see it coming before I begin to hurt the loved ones around me. First,  it’s a snap at my 9 year old for not understanding her fractions homework, then it’s an unkind ‘teaching moment’ for my 20 year old on what goes in the dishwasher and what does not. Then it hits Scott. He’s been doing the dishes all wrong these days. I proclaim that it has been for 27 years but I like it when we have company and I get to sit with my guests and the kitchen gets cleaned. That’s just him. So I have to ask what’s my inconsistent problem? Hormones? Won’t go there. Some foot pain? Too easy. Stress? Ha! If you knew me, it’s not that. Change? Possibly. I actually don’t know the right answer. Even during an impromptu counseling session with good friends over for a home cooked steak dinner (cheaper than paying for the counseling, let me tell you.), I felt like I couldn’t quite express myself properly. It was nice to have someone else hear how we talk to each other, for a change. I’m saying a lot of words but they don’t make sense. I’m not unhappy with my marriage. I’m not going anywhere.  I sometimes feel like my role in the home becomes under appreciated. That’s still not really it, though.

Funny enough our church is going through a marriage series. I didn’t think I was going to be blown away with how-to’s. The steps to take away were things we do on a regular basis. However, what hit me this past Sunday was the song they ended the service with. Also funny since I admitted in two blogs ago that I don’t love worship music in church. But this song wasn’t new. It was by a popular christian band called Casting Crowns and the song came out in 2014. I’ve never heard it before or is it that I am actually hearing it now for the first time?

The lyrics begin explaining a painful relationship. This isn’t Scott and I. But the chorus hit me. 

‘Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete 

Could we just be broken together 

The only way we will last forever

Is to be broken together‘

I didn’t marry a perfect man. He will vouch for me and tell you I’m not perfect either. I hate when we go through times of being petty and when I stumble to put the argument into words. However, we always come back to saying we were meant for each other and we grow stronger. 

I’m not sure this is anything more than trying to fix every little thing that I allow to annoy me. Here’s some free counseling advice; Don’t make a list or keep score with your spouse. I’m so glad my Heavenly Father didn’t give up on me because I was broken.

I just realized this is Valentines week! Cherish the relationships you have now and right wrongs and be humble. We are all broken people so let’s be broken together. 

‘What gives our life meaning is how we are loved.’ That cheesy line is brought to you by every Hallmark movie. 

‘People who are loved the way we are are loved should have lives marked by extreme thanksgiving and laughter because of the mercy and generosity of our King.’ – Because He Loves Me by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick.


A moms diary 

I used to keep a diary as a little girl. My sister always had one with a lock and key (Like those were made so rock solid) so I wanted one too. My first one was made of thick pink plastic and if I recall correctly it had Hello Kitty on the front. Wow, she has survived the test of time hasn’t she? The lock and key only added to the importance of the secret contents. I didn’t share much. I remember writing about what boy I liked and who my friends were at school. A lot of B.F + ? And crossing out the letters you share in a boys name to equate a percentage of how much your love is worth. Like actual scientific information that does not lie. It’s 4ever you know!

However insignificant the contents were of my young life diary, the act of writing down stuff has always continued. Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert or maybe it’s because I don’t like conflict but either way the stuff has to come out in some way or I might explode. Over the years I have started many journals (as we adults now call them). Journals about my kids. Journals dedicated to certain seasons of life and some reserved for prayers only between me and God. I’ve mentioned before that blogging is therapeutic to me. Cheaper than therapy so my husband is good with it. My first blog was birthed out of our beautiful journey called adoption and as I look back God was preparing me for the next craziest summer of my life; the empty nest. Not a true empty nest because we still have 7 year old Zoe but my first two are leaving. Flying the coop! I have witnessed many a baby robin leave its nest from my office window. Hours have been spent spying on a nest that robin families have enjoyed for at least 7 years. I’ve rescued two when they fumbled out of their nest and ended up in my garage. One hopped in an open door and ended up in the kitchen of our upstairs apartment. I love how the mom and dad bird stand by and continue to feed the adolescent bird and guide it off to wherever the family meets up after all the kids have safely moved on. Maybe somewhere fun like Jamaica.

So ya, I have a lot to blog about. I have survived my daughter’s graduation party and stood by while she navigates where she should go at the age of 18. My son graduated college, helped plan his wedding while working full time, and we have hosted a wedding shower at the house back in July. My sprained ankle in May just added to the fact that I needed to slow down and enjoy. Really I couldn’t continue with my running training and had to rely on others helping so it was a blessing in disguise? That’s debatable but regardless, the clock keeps ticking and here we are 10 days from the ‘I do’s’ and then he moves out of state. I’m so full of emotion and I have to process what is happening in a short amount of time. Well actually that’s where I feel some moms might be a little more overwhelmed than me. I have been processing it all along. I remember sending Jacob off to school for the first time at age 10 and cried when he came home and was too exhausted to talk to me. We had bonded through homeschooling so no matter what age he was I was struggling to cope. I was processing when my daughter, Blaire, first chose a sleepover with friends over hanging out with mom and dad for movie night. Something that we later embraced and she has had countless sleepovers in our home. Of course I miss the questions about what topic to choose for their speech or joining them on field trips. I miss celebrating their sporting victories and consoling them in their losses. I’m still a mom. I’ve prepared them for this very moment. One is marrying the love of his life. At age 17 Jacob knew she was the one. I will look on with tears of joy (in my eyes only to not smudge my makeup) that God helped me raise such a fine young man. In three weeks I will kiss the tear streamed face of my 18 year old and hug her in a proud mom embrace as I know she was raised to make wise choices and follow God’s path. Blaire is heading to my school so this just adds an extra dose of happiness and I know she is in good hands. We never stop being their mom. We can mourn the fun years of singing songs together and watching our kids learn a new skill. A time when they really needed you. But as I look at it relying on me will never change. Creating a safe place to come back to provides stability in their life and now I just need to work on that fine line of encouragement and meddling.

To all my friends who are saying goodbye to a child at whatever age, enjoy this like when they were finally out of diapers. The moment you begin to realize they don’t need you cleaning up after every decision they make. They don’t need you to hold their hand but my kids know I will still be their cheerleader and my door is always open.

Yesterday a friend prayed for provision for my family. That’s the perfect word for our year. I’m asking God to provide wisdom to my children in their new phase of life. I’m asking God to provide the necessary needs after marriage and where he plants them. I’m asking God to provide support and care I need to gracefully move through this new stage of life and I pray for God to provide friends and mentors who can stand by them when I cannot. That is how I was taught to mother and although never perfect I can sit back and watch how this new chapter unfolds. Oh, and I bought a new journal for it already.

Romans 15:4
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.