You’re not inadequate, you’re the perfect fit.

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family walk time

I got a phone call from a friend I haven’t spoken to since – 2008? Now that I count it up, almost a decade ago! Wow. Thank goodness for social media to help keep tabs on those friends!!

We talked of many things, but something that stayed on my mind was the feelings we shared in our ability to be good mothers.

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run baby run

After pondering on the matter for some time, the thought came into my mind that my children chose me.

They chose me.

Of all the brilliant, kind, talented mothers in the world, these kids chose me.

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run dance run

I don’t have any evidence to prove to you that this is true, it was just something that came to me and brought me peace.

I want to remember that feeling any time the temptation to feel inadequate creeps into my life.

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our deep thinker

They knew you before they came to this earth and thought, “yeah, you’re going to be the perfect fit!”

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He loves to bring me flowers

Keep trying your best. Keep giving them your time, your love, your hugs and kisses.

Keep praying that they will continue to grow up to become the incredible humans you pray they will be.

Keep taking the time to do the things they want to do – even if you can’t finish all the things you want to do.

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They need you. They want you. They are your greatest treasure.

There are still long days ahead. They will need your guidance, your patience, your understanding and most importantly…

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everyone gets a turn on daddy’s back

They need to know that you love them.

Each child will understand, feel and show love in different ways.

Just like you understand, feel and show love in different ways.

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Take the time to learn how they communicate.

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In time you will see that not only were you not inadequate, you were exactly who they needed you to be.

“Life must be understood backward. But… it must be lived forward.” -Søren Kierkegaard

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hold on as long as you will

In writing this open letter to myself I want other parents to know that you are doing better than you think you are.

XOXO

Me

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Our oldest turns Four years.

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This boy makes me laugh – No, I didn’t make him sit like this.

Today at church I briefly stood before my congregation and bore my testimony of God’s love, how sometimes in His love  (and infinite wisdom) He asks us to do hard things…because He knows that it will make us strong.

Motherhood has been a struggle for me lately. Particularly with my first born. He is determined to help me be strong. Really strong.

After my testimony, I returned to my seat.  Wiley was so happy to see me and said, very enthusiastically, “Mom, you did a great job!” followed by a sweet little boy kiss.

Floating – his kiss and exclamation had me floating the rest of the day! (much like the hot air balloon we saw fly over our home.)

God sent me a strong willed, funny, intelligent, happy, passionate, particular and loving boy we call, ‘Wiley.’

Wiley turned 4 years old last week.

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Lord knows time is flying and somedays it doesn’t fly fast enough to bedtime…

I am well and healthy today, but the entire month of April I was sick.  So, as Wiley’s birthday neared, I knew he wouldn’t care if he had a party, but I wanted his day to feel really special. I wanted him to know I thought he was special.

He started his day with cartoons. I had blown up several orange balloons to litter the floor and got him four floating balloons and two dinosaur puzzles.

[go Dollar General!!!]

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Happy Birthday!

I had to coax him away from the TV for a morning outing – just with mom.

I took him to the grocery store and let him pick out anything he wanted! Cause, I’m money bags like that.

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The birthday boy wanted fresh strawberries, raspberries, whipped cream and donuts.

He also wanted a “grown-up sippy cup” (those plastic drinking glasses with straws/screw on lids) colored orange. The boy likes orange.

I’m pretty sure most of his t-shirts are orange.

Kind of fits his personality.

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Dad and Wiley had about 30 minutes of just ‘them time’ before I came out.

After our breakfast outing, he wanted to put his dinosaur puzzles together with me. He and his little brother had hours of fun playing with the balloons. I read some books…and I let him play on the iPad, because that was just what he wanted!

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I love his face as he bites into that marshmallow.

Daddy took Wiley and Tyler to the “big slide park” for about two hours later in the day.

(I love, LOVE, when Dan takes them to the park – no bedtime troubles – and quiet time for mom.)

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The grand finale to the birthday boy’s day was after the two babies went to bed.

Daddy made a fire in the fire ring and they roasted marshmallows!

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It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten marshmallows, they aren’t my favorite.

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We didn’t have cake, I pointed them out in the store, but he wanted donuts for breakfast and marshmallows for dessert; who am I to argue with the birthday King?!

Wiley stayed up late. I wish I could say it was way past his usual bedtime, but he typically refuses sleep until around 10pm every night, so it was business as usual.

Wiley finally passed out on the bed next to mommy and his sleeping baby sister.

Fighting sleep till the bitter end.

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The nearest ocean is eighteen hours away, sorry son…

Danny and his dad made a beach hut...from a tarp and some sticks.
Danny and his dad made a beach hut…from a tarp and some sticks.

Since our return from spring break, at least twice a week, my son has asked if we can, “go to the beach mommy?”

Wiley's first step in...brrr

I know he doesn’t understand, “the nearest beach is about 18 hours away buddy.”

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Yeah, our town has a pretty cute lake, with sand and he loves going there too, but it’s not the same.

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The “beach” at the lake doesn’t have waves that tease you – charging after you, only to run off again – time and time again.

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While we were in Texas in March we spent two afternoons down at Galveston State Park.

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The first visit was with Danny’s parents. Before we stopped at the beach, we made a stop to see Danny’s grandparents in Houston.

Danny and his paternal grandparents.
Danny and his paternal grandparents.

It was the first time the great grandparents saw baby T.

Sorry about the red eye, I haven't made any time for photo edits, they are what they are.
Sorry about the red eye, I haven’t made any time for photo edits, they are what they are.

Danny’s grandpa is is a man of many interests, he has a shop for his woodworking and a shop for his stained glass lamp making, where he makes Tiffany lamp replicas.

Here is our lamp!
Here is our lamp!

A Tiffany lamp? I didn’t know what one was until I married into this family.

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My husband has been saying for years how much he wanted a lamp – well – this trip his grandfather presented a lamp he made just for us!

Wiley playing with Dolly!
Wiley playing with Dolly!

Had we realized how much stuff we would be hauling home, we may have packed lighter before we came…

Grandpa stained glass workshop.
Grandpa stained glass workshop.

His grandmother also gave us some lovely Moon and Star glassware (up until then, we didn’t have a salt and pepper shaker…so we were really happy to get some beautiful glass salt and pepper shakers) for us grown ups and some soft stuffed dogs for the boys.

Hm...Grandpa managed to close his eyes on every photo. See the shelf above him in the background? All those lamps he says he doesn't like!!! Well, they look fine to me!
Hm…Grandpa managed to close his eyes on every photo. See the shelf above him in the background? All those lamps he says he doesn’t like!!! Well, they look fine to me!

I am reminded during visits with grandparents, that children grow very quickly and when they are gone, there will be plenty of time for hobbies and personal enrichment.

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right now isn’t the time for me, but it will come soon.

Danny was drooling over grandpa's collection.
Danny was drooling over grandpa’s collection.

I made everyone take a hundred photos…

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Wiley is not really a fan of taking photos…

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Dan’s not really a fan of taking “posed” photos…

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Four Generations…but the striped polo with jeans apparently ended with Danny’s dad.

After the great Grands treated us to lunch, Nona and Grambo took us to the beach.

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Baby T, you come from great legacy on all sides of your family…someday I’ll tell you more about it. 

Wiley had so much fun in the water, he didn’t want to come out even when he was teeth chattering cold.

Daddy took more arial photos...welcome to 2015 people.
Daddy took more arial photos…welcome to 2015 people.

It was a pretty warm day, but the water was about 65 degrees – which is still much warmer than the Pacific ocean!

With promises of another trip soon, Wiley reluctantly got back into the car to go back to his Papa and Gregre’s house.

We'll see in June Galveston.
We’ll see in June Galveston.

The weather is still trying to figure out if it wants to be warm or cool, so we haven’t made it to the lake “beach” here yet, but it is on our summer to-do…but so is another trip to Texas, so he’ll get to see the Gulf again in a few months.

How Some People Live..Not ‘me’ people, but some people.

Wiley spent the first two years of his life on a ranch, but in the last year our lives have been very suburban and it’s easy to forget our country life.

Papa and Gregre have lots of kids...baby goats.
Papa and Gregre have lots of kids…baby goats.

Replaced are the early morning sounds of the rooster, cows and baaing sheep. I’m now bothered by large trucks zipping by or cars blaring awful music that occasionally threatens to shatter my windows.

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It’s not coyotes that howl late at night, it’s college kids racing their crotch-rockets.

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The life I’m living now is so far from what I had as a child growing up…from what I can remember.  I wonder how much of this my children will remember?

Texas Longhorn
Texas Longhorn

So getting away for spring break was perfect for lots of reasons, first to see family and second to escape the city.

His name is pronounced "Bo-Sea-Fus"
His name is pronounced “Bo-Sea-Fus”

We stayed with Danny’s Papa and Gregre (the grandparents who looked like Barbie and Ken) and we got to watch silent film of when my mother in law was a toddler!!

T-Rock soaking in the rays...or what rays he can get in the shade.
T-Rock soaking in the rays…or what rays he can get in the shade.

Wiley got to play freely outdoors – free to dump sand in his hair – any time I couldn’t find him, Papa would say, “did you look in the sand?” (Which Wiley called the beach) that was right outside the door.

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Wiley was always playing in the sand when he could.

One afternoon, my in-laws took us out to see the property they purchased. They bought a huge plot of untouched land in the middle of a “sub-division”… not the typical sub-division you’re thinking of or living in.

large black doors on Right is the airplane hanger. Garage and house on left side of building.  Grass airstrip in front of the "house."
large black doors on Right is the airplane hanger. Garage and house on left side of building. Grass airstrip in front of the “house.” Open plot to the right of this is my In-laws…as is the forest of trees in the back of photo.

This “neighborhood” consists of “homes” that are mostly airplane hanger with a garage/house attached.

20150325_140050A beautiful grass airstrip makes up the majority of everyone’s front yard, where old guys go pleasure cruising…in their planes, not classic cars.

We enjoyed the park while Daddy and Grambo took arial photos of the new property.
We enjoyed the park while Daddy and Grambo took arial photos of the new property.

We had been in the neighborhood about twenty minutes when a plane pulls out of it’s hanger, taxis about and takes off (maybe) 40 yards in front of us.

I’m waving at the pilot as the plane lifts off the ground right in front of me and he waves back, like he’s in Mayberry…full of planes.

Another perfect day.
Another perfect day.

What the heck? People actually live like this?

They do! And if my father in law gets his dream, he will too and my kids will experience this type of thing on a regular basis.

One of the awesome parts of marriage is you get to experience ways of living that never existed before your partner came into your life.

I’m so blessed and grateful for my life and my family…and so sad that spring break is over already. Take US back!!

Channelling my inner Homey The Clown…minus the bat.

Some time during the nineties, one of the TV shows I would watch with my older brother was In Living Color. We loved the Wayans brothers.

This two year old is really testing our resolve. You'd think he'd figure out that hitting and screaming is not Okay.
This two year old is really testing our resolve. You’d think he’d figure out that hitting and screaming is not Okay.

I admit, there was a time in my life I used to laugh at inappropriate things…

Although it’s been years since I’ve seen Damon Wayans wear blue spandex and a cape or dressed as a clown, I still find myself quoting him.

It's kinda of frustrating at our house, but it's straight up embarrassing at someone elses.
It’s kinda of frustrating at our house, but it’s straight up embarrassing at someone elses.

Yesterday, while I was changing the baby’s diaper, my two year old took his sword (made from a pool noodle) and hit my head.

It was after a long afternoon of tantrums.

But he is Always quick to say he is sorry and he loves us.
But he is Always quick to say he is sorry and he loves us.

After he hit my head I said, “I don’t think so, Homey don’t play dat!”

I picked Wiley up, tucking him under my arm and walked him into his room for a time out. A nice long one.

Homey the clown.
Homey the clown.

So long, he fell asleep giving me some happy quiet time. Now that, is something to smile about.

Motherhood: resisting the urge to feel like a failure

Yesterday my two year old tested my love for him…

WHO? Me?!
WHO? Me?!

He didn’t sit in time out for stealing gum from my purse and eating half the pack.

He didn’t sit in time out for accidentally knocking over a cup of water next to the library books.

He didn’t sit in time out for taking my phone out of my purse and getting on Youtube without my knowing.

He didn’t get time out for tearing up my fancy bar of soap during bath time.

Beautiful Boy!
Beautiful Boy!

Hey, sometimes things happen…

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He screamed in my ears, tried multiple times to hit me, bit me, threw things, hit his new little brother…

Don't hit me, I'm cute!
Don’t hit me, I’m cute!

I can’t keep him out of the fridge while I nurse his baby brother…

Wise man?
Looks to me to be a future philosopher!

He sat in his Time Out chair more times than I can remember.

Although he did get his ear flicked a number of times, I resisted the urge to spank “the tar” (as we say in the south) out of him.

Somehow I managed to do the dishes, get the oil changed in the truck, get some laundry washed and a little organizing done – all while battling the two year old.

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It was after he went to bed (early) that I did a second round of dishes, tired and trying not to cry, I resisted the urge to feel like a failure.

Failure is not an option.
Failure is not an option.

After all, the two year old still said, “I love you” today and gave me hugs and stroked my face while I sang him songs before bed.

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It was doing something mundane, like dishes, that allowed me to reflect on several talks given at the General Women’s Meeting this past Saturday evening.

The work of mothers, child caregivers, is not for the faint of heart. It is work and it is the best work we can do as a society – raise up the next generation. Those children will learn life’s coping skills from us!

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My children will know they are loved, regardless of the choices they make.

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My children will know what is right and wrong, because I taught them myself and tried to show them in my actions.

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They will learn weaknesses too, because I am weak, but they will also learn to be forgiving; because we are all weak and in need of forgiveness.

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Don’t give up the fight, because we are doing a great work!

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photos were taken by my friend Jewly Ann, who takes newborn and maternity photos!

Things I Learned From Movies: Don’t End Up Like Uncle Rico.

Soooo, I met a guy.
Soooo, I met a guy.

The last couple of days I’ve been so tired that I have been dizzy, my eyes have itched so bad they got swollen and my brain hurt.

I got married
I got married

But, I’m happy. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

and somehow he doesn't care what I'm like when I'm pregneato....
I got pregnant.

Because being a mom is so awesome.

I'm a mom!!
I had a baby!

Last night a friend and I were talking about our to-do lists that we never get around to accomplishing…and how we are learning to overcome our obsessive need to have our homes spotless every day.

He is a great daddy
He is a great daddy

we both have small children.

My baby kept eating, and pooping and eating and sleeping and pooping and somewhere along the way he kept growing!
My baby kept eating, and pooping and eating and sleeping and pooping and somewhere along the way he kept growing!

Over the last two years I have been learning to enjoy the moment, rather than wishing for the future to hurry up and “get here already.”

AH, his hair fell out and grew in weird and we made him use a pacifier that looks like a mustache. Six months
AH, his hair fell out and grew in weird and we made him use a pacifier that looks like a mustache. Six months

As a teenager, I couldn’t wait to grow up! Driver license, college, a ‘real’ job, someday marriage and maybe kids…most of all I just wanted to be old enough to travel on a whim.

Tenant and babe

I ended up falling in love (to the most attractive man in the whole wide world), and getting pregnant right away.

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Needless to say, I was counting down the days when I could get on with my life and get my body back.

He started walking!
He started walking!

Boy did I wish a lot of things at the time…instead of living in the moment.

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After the first baby arrived I thought I would never fit back into my old clothes and obsessed over my weight the first month or two.

Went camping for the first time!
Went camping for the first time!

But over the first year of being a new mom I slowly let go of my weight obsession because I was so in love with my new baby…

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and in a blink that new baby turned one…

My littler milk sucker.
My little milk sucker.

where did the time go?

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My baby was almost two and I was pregnant again!

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I’m so glad that I took the time to photograph life along the way and that I started a blog.

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I’m so glad that I took the time to pack up the baby and the stroller for a family-bound road trip.

Nona and Grandbo
Nona and Grandbo

I’m glad I took our little boy camping.

My oldest brother is really great with the baby.
My oldest brother is really great with the baby.

I’m glad I did all those things I did that seemed like a lot of work at the time –

"Ishing" just like Daddy, Grandbo and Papa!
“Ishing” just like Daddy, Grandbo and Papa!

and learned to live in the moment –

My guys.
My guys.

so I don’t have to turn out like Uncle Rico (from the movie Napoleon Dynamite).

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I wont look back on my life and wish I had organized the craft supplies better or painted that old microwave stand in the kitchen… or what ever else is on my to-do list…

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I’m going to look back on my life and remember all those small moments with my children, my grandparents, my cousins, my friends.

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Wiley and his Grandad

Isn’t it nice how we forget all the hard things in life, when we can look back on all the sweet things?

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Seize the Carp out of every day folks.

Yes, that says Carp, it’s a play on words ya’ll.

Dear Younger Self

I’ve been sleepy for the last seven or eight months and I selfishly choose sleep over most things, including food. It made me think, “if I could go back in time and tell my younger self some things, I would tell myself to sleep now because it’s going to be rare when you get older.”

That got me thinking, “what else would I tell my younger self? What would you tell your younger self?”

Dear Little Self:

You are smart, don’t ever question that.

Don’t be afraid to share your talents with others.

Your family members are the most important people in your life, remember that and treat them as such.

Don’t eat peanut butter, eggs or drink milk, that is what causes your eczema.

Don’t fear the unknown, the Lord will light your way.

Your husband is five years younger than you, so he needs time to grow up too.

Don’t run in the ocean, you’ll step in an underwater trench and break your foot.

Wear boots when you go camping, you will get bit by a poisonous snake.

Save yourself money in high school by doing your own dishes instead of paying your two younger sisters to do them for you…. do the dishes when you’re supposed to and you wont end up with dishes four months straight.

Be kind to mean people, they are hurt inside.

Don’t be selfish, let other people go first, even if you don’t get a turn.

ARE YOU CATCHING ALL THIS?

Be a better friend, because life is hard for everyone.

Go to bed earlier, staying up all night is overrated.

You wont learn how to “butter-slide” on the wakeboard during the summer of 2005, save yourself from the concussion.

Stop water skiing after you tear your ankle in summer 2004, it’s not worth that last ride.

Listen to that still small voice more often, and yourself less.

Follow all those “do gooder” ideas you have ever had in your life, even if you never see the fruits.

You were right, the Lord loves you more than you will ever know and He hears and answers your prayers.

One more thing, practice the piano more often.

Just some things I wish I had known.

Hug and Kiss your loved ones, have a happy Monday! Tootles