Mother’s Day Weekend

On Friday afternoon I decided to use the youth of my children to my advantage. Right after I picked Caden up from school I announced, “Well guys, Mother’s Day Weekend starts now!”

I could tell they were mildly confused. Since we homeschool a couple of days a week we have a monthly calendar and we use it to count down to important days, like Mother’s Day. So they tried to argue for a minute that Mothers Day wasn’t until Sunday, but I just told them that, “Actually, here in America, we celebrate Mother’s Day all weekend long.” (Of course I made that up… along with the story about Jacob being born a monkey and trading my banana for him to come home with me.) So, starting immediately I was expecting things like flowers, and drawings, and songs sung in my honor, and foot rubs.

They were cool with everything but the foot rubs. Why am I the only kid that fell for that??? Was anyone else coerced into rubbing their moms stinky feet? Just me? Mmm kay.

Friday night was pretty typical. The only exception was after the big boys were ready for bed, when given the chance to watch a show, Caden chose Dancing with the Stars because he knows I like it. How sweet.

Saturday, however was all mine. I slept in and woke up to a fresh pot of coffee. Then we all put on our tennies and headed up Mt. Rubidoux.

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Afterwards we moseyed around the farmers market and ate lunch at a little sandwich shop downtown. We ended the day with church (our usual Saturday night) but when we came back home for dinner Jacob said, “Mom, do you know why we’re acting like we like you so much? Because its Mother’s Day weekend!” Thanks for the act, kid.

Honestly, I was SO looking forward to Sunday. It was going to be my day off. I woke up to breakfast in bed and the cutest cards and gifts a mom has ever seen. I was going to meet my sister at Glen Ivy but then we thought it would be pretty crowded and since she lives on the beach (literally on the beach) I decided I would just meet her at her house. So after I stopped at Target for a magazine (and ended up spending $100… Why Target?!?! Why?!?!) I met up with my sis for lunch and lounging on the beach. Ahhhhhhhh.

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The perfect weekend, right?

Here’s the thing. As I was driving home on Sunday evening I was thinking about how blessed I am and how I had SUCH a great weekend, but, if I had to pick one day to have been my Mother’s Day celebration day, I would have picked Saturday, the day with my kids and my husband.

Weird, right?

All along I thought my gift was going to be Sunday, a day to myself, and while it was wonderful (truly, truly, truly), my people (my husband and kids), THEY fill me up.

I love being with them. They have some crazy ability to love me like no one else.

How about you?

It kinda feels like (and I’m totally calling myself out on this one because I’m just as guilty as the next mom) it feels like it’s completely acceptable to not like your kids and husband, or at least act like you don’t. It’s almost expected to go on facebook and read status upon status from moms complaining about their kids. And if you get a group of women together discussing their husbands, it’s almost as if he’s the big dope that couldn’t make it to the dinner party.

I know there are times when we are having a particularly bad day, and maybe facebook or blogging is our only outlet into the adult world, but I’m talking about the habitual status updater or blogger. The one that is constantly venting. The one that you really start to question if they even like their kids. That one.

I don’t know when this became acceptable, but it has. But I’m challenging myself (and you, my readers) to stop “venting” and instead, let’s speak highly of our kids and husbands. Who cares if we sound mushy or sappy or we think we’re annoying people. They are OUR people.

So, what do you think? Have you seen this trend? When did it become okay? And are you guilty of it? Go ahead and call yourself out. I did. But just accept my challenge to stop right after.

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Don’t forget, Geric and I are going on a missions trip to Honduras in July. If you’d like to support us financially, click here!
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Being Intentional… Again

I already wrote a post titled Being Intentional, thus the title of this post, Being Intentional… Again.  In my first post, I started out with this sentence:

There’s a lot of things I need to be more intentional about… mothering, eating well, exercising, bible study, etc.

Then I went on to write a post about being more intentional with my writing… because we all know writing is WAY more important than any of those other things.  Not!  (Have I mentioned that I’m bringing back “Not!”?  Because I am.  Geric and I just talked about it the other day.  We’re bringing it back.)

Part of the reason I’ve been so absent from this here blog is because I’ve been being more intentional in those other areas of my life.  And I like it.  So, I thought I would share.

EATING WELL:

I was living in ignorance.  And, as the saying goes, it was bliss.  Then I watched a little movie called Food Inc.  And another one called Food Matters.  And then I read a little book called Skinny Bitch.  And you know what, they changed me.  Number one, I felt nauseous. For days.  No joke.  What really got to me was the part in Skinny Bitch that talks about the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses.  Ugh.  So sad, and so disgusting.  I’m not getting into detail, because you should read the book, and because this is a family blog and I just can’t go there.  But honestly, to think that there are people out there that treat animals like that is just demented!  (Please don’t leave me a comment how there are people out there treating people like that, because yes, I do realize that, but it’s just not the topic of conversation right now.  Mmmm… kay?)

So, anywho, I went vegan for a minute.  That was rough.  I like cheese.  So, then I went vegetarian, and that lasted awhile.  I really like fruits and veggies, but don’t give me fake meat.  I’m now back to eating chicken once a week-ish, but I need to know it wasn’t in one of those dark chicken coops where they’re so fat their little legs break underneath them.  So, only free range and organic.

And we’re in the process of eliminating processed food.  Honestly, this one is really hard with kids in tow.  They’ll go Ghandi on you if you do too much too fast.  So, we’re easing into this one.

We aren’t food Nazis (there’s an example of people treating people similarly to the way people are treating animals in slaughterhouses, but still, don’t leave me a comment about it… maybe another post in the future… don’t hold your breath), we’re just trying to make healthier choices.  And so far, we’re feeling better about it.

MOTHERING:

This one is a biggie as far as my absence from this here blog.

Does anyone else feel like someone has pushed the fast forward button on life?  I mean, it was just yesterday that Caden was going to his first day of preschool, yet I just got a letter about ordering a cap and gown for kindergarten graduation.  (Which, by the way, is ridiculous.  Yet, I did it.  Because, God forbid my kid be the only one walking across that stage without them.  Yes, I still care what strangers think about me.)

So, I’m trying to relish the moments before they are gone.  And honestly, it’s changed my perspective a little bit.  I still have my days of wanting to rip my hair out (or pull my ears off, depending on the noise level) but mostly, I really, really enjoy my kids.  We went to the aquarium the other day, and I was caught up in a moment of realizing, These are my kids.  And they are great.  They are great people.  I really like them, and not just because I’m their mom and they grew in my belly and I have to love them.  I really like them.  I think they are funny, and smart, and compassionate, and joyful.  And honestly, I really like spending my days with them.

So we’re bringing back Family Nights.  Can I get a “woot, woot!”  (And not a girly “woot, woot,” more of an Arsenio “woot, woot.”  Thanks.)  The boys have been asking why we haven’t done one in so long.  So, I’m planning  Cinco de Mayo one ahora. (That means “now” in spanish.)

PRAYING:

I would LOVE to say I get up at 5am and pray and read my Bible, but then I would be perfect.  So there, you’ve found my weakness.  I like sleep.

But I am being more intentional about praying and reading my Bible.  And I’m kinda glad it’s not just a morning event for me.  It’s more of all day thing.  A moment to moment thing.  I’m getting good at listening to God’s voice and praying what He puts on my heart.  I also stumbled upon this blog called MOB Society (MOB stand for Mother of Boys.)  They are doing a 21 day prayer challenge that started May 1st, and it’s already so awesome.  Peeps, if you have boys, you must participate.  It’s that awesome.

The other thing that God has put on my heart is Honduras and my Teamer T, Robin.  I never wrote about it on the blog, but she lost her husband in a fatal car accident last December.  It was tragic and awful and all things bad.  But since then, she and Honduras have been on my heart on a daily basis, so when I was presented (that sounds so formal… it was more of a mention in an email about cakepops, but still) with the opportunity to go on a trip there with a team from North Hills Community Church, it was kind of a no brainer.  Actually, I had to make sure my babies would be taken care of while Geric works and that God really, really, for reals, not kidding, totally sure, write-it-in-the-sky, was saying to go.  And He was.  So I am.

But more about that in another post.

So, that’s what’s been going on.  Nothing big, or major, or earth shattering, but it’s good.

And just so you all know, I am planning on being more intentional about blogging, again.  And this is where I would normally say, “but don’t hold me to it.”  But you can.

And I’m not even gonna say “Not!”

Reasons to Stop Blogging… even though I never really will

Where in the world have I been?

It’s been way too long since a blog post, I realize.  And I was contemplating just giving it up altogether.

My reasons?

Well, for some reason, this blog puts pressure on me.  I can’t explain it.  But when I write something I’m putting myself “out there” and if no one comments, then I think I suck.  Or if it’s really good and I get a lot of comments, I feel like “how am I going to top that?”

And then there’s the whole idea of strangers reading my blog.  And honestly, complete strangers don’t bother me.  The mommies from other states or whatever.  That’s fine.  It’s the people who I kinda know that might find me through facebook or mutual friends and then they’re reading my blog and watching me live my life and not leaving comments, so I don’t really know they are there, but they are.  Like a stalker.  That I kinda know.  Okay I’m talking about ex-boyfriends.  It freaks me out that ex-boyfriends might be reading my blog!  We cut ties, people!  I don’t want contact.  Especially if they aren’t owning up to their stalking ways.  I don’t even know if they really are stalking me, but just the thought that they might be, freaks me out!  I mean, honestly, I’m totally stalkable material, right?  Right?

I sound crazy, right? But that’s not news.  Really.  Ya’ll knew I was crazy.

Then there’s the thought that strangers (not ex-boyfriends or mommies from other states, but weirdos) are really reading about my kids.  It’s just kinda weird.  And Oprah has gotten me all paranoid that there’s a child molester around every corner.  Which according to the Megan’s Law website, there kinda IS!  What if there’s someone reading my blog that IS a child molester and they’re printing out pictures of my kids like that one guy on Desperate Housewives who had that kid shrine in his basement.  *shiver me timbers*  Or the guy from Silence of the Lambs.  What if there’s a freak like the guy from Silence of the Lambs reading my blog?!?!  Then what?  Huh?  Then what?

I’m not the type of mommy blogger that is all discreet and only shows pictures of the back of my kids heads or makes up names for my kids like “Peter Pan” and “Simba,” because frankly there just aren’t enough cute male Disney characters, unless I start naming them after mice and ducks.  But if you sit and think about this stuff for too long, it’s just a wee bit freaky, right?

The world is a scary, scary place.

Alright, maybe not that scary, but still…

And finally, my kids are getting older.  I mean, my oldest is in kindergarten, but I have thought about how he’s going to feel one day if he reads my blog.  Is he going to be embarrassed about some of the stuff I’ve shared?  Or will he think it’s funny, as we all think it is, right?  Will he feel like we’re laughing with him, or at him?   It’s one thing to talk about my almost-5-year-old who still defiantly wets his pants on facebook to my 337 close and personal friends (haha) but putting it out in the blogosphere… kinda embarrassing… but maybe that’ll teach him to stop peeing in his pants, for heaven’s sake!

So, anywho, that’s what I’ve been thinking about and that’s why I’ve been gone for so long.

But it’s nice that some of you have facebooked me and said you’ve missed me, and the others that have “liked” that comment… that’s nice.  Those little blue “thumbs up” really make me feel special.

So, I’ll be back.  Me, Peter Pan, Simba, Nemo, and Sulley have a lot of updates to tell you all about.

I think I’ll adopt the name Mrs. Incredible for myself… for obvious reasons.

Crossroads

I’m pretty sure this is going to end up a verbal vomit-ish post, because I feel like I have all these thoughts swarming around in my brain, and I just need an outlet to get them all out.

Thank God for this here blog.

I feel like we’re at a crossroads.

Have I said that before?  I feel like I’ve said that before.  But this time I really, really mean it.  Really.  I don’t know how to explain it except to say that it’s a stirring in my heart that won’t go away.  I know that sounds hyper-spiritual (especially if you’re not the spiritual type, but deal.  Mm, kay?)

We’re just in this weird place where everything is up in the air and every time I think it’s going to settle down, it doesn’t.

A month ago, I honestly felt like our life was spinning out of control.  I was so stressed out that I got a cold sore.  That is how you know Erin is stressed out.  Ignore her words of being okay and “giving it to God.”  If you see a huge disgusting growth on her lip, she’s stressed. Hug her.  Just avoid the cold sore.  They are highly contagious.

Anyway, here I was with my cold sore, thinking that our house was going to auction, we didn’t have enough income to go anywhere but my mom and dads (which would be perfectly acceptable in any other country but America, by the way) and it felt like there was no way out.  Then things started falling into place.  The bank postponed foreclosure and was looking at approving us for a short sale.  I interviewed for a job and it went really well.  Geric started applying at churches, feeling he was ready to get back into ministry.  We were on a path.  It was good.  New directions.  Yay.

But now the bank is silent again, taking their sweet time and having us jump through short sale hoops.  The awesome interview I had has also led to silence, actually an email a few weeks ago saying that the candidates would know by the end of the week, and then silence.  I’m taking that as a no.  Silence from the churches Geric has applied for and questions in his mind… is he too old to be a youth pastor???

And now everything is up in the air again.

And I’m praying my cold sore doesn’t come back.

I feel like God keeps taking us to this place.  And I’m really trying to figure out what it is that He’s teaching me, because I’m sure once I do He’ll lead me out of here, right?  Right, God?  I’m talking to you, Big Guy. 

But then it crossed my mind this morning as I was doing my quiet time, that maybe God keeps bringing us here to this place, because he has other plans for us.

Okay, here comes the crazy. 

I’ve always felt drawn to missions.  After my first trip to Mexico (when I was in junior high) I wrote in my journal that I wanted to win a million dollars so I could give it to the people we met.  I remember feeling like I wanted to give up everything and GO!  And I did almost every summer.  My senior trip wasn’t a wild party in Cancun or Hawaii, it was a two week mission trip to Honduras.  After college, I was directionless, and my first thought was, I should be a missionary, and it felt right.  I remember sitting on a hill at the park, and it was just right.  And I did.  I packed up my stuff and moved to Honduras… to endure the hardest three months of my life.

And then I met Geric.  I met him right before he left to go be a part of YWAM (Youth with a Mission) in Australia.  He came home after his trip and ended up going back to work in Indonesia.  And when he came back from there we really got to know each other when we were on the first missions outreach team at our church together.  And then you have to take into account the place where we fell in love… on a missions trip to Mexico.  I remember (once again) sitting on a hill and watching him dig out steps to the front of a house that we had just built and thinking, “I’m gonna marry that guy.”  And lo and behold,  I did.

Crazy, right?

Because missions are scary.

Honestly, I don’t want to go.

I don’t want to drag my kids to God-knows-where to do God-knows-what.  And raise them to be weird missionary kids.  (No offense Carrie.) I don’t want them to be in a place that’s considered “dangerous.”  I don’t want to take them away from their extended family only to see them once or twice a year for a couple of weeks.  That one seriously breaks my heart. I don’t want to be forced to learn another language, because that’s really hard.  I don’t want to meet new people who are nothing like me and my American ways, and then try to be their friend.

But at the same time, I love Jesus.  And I’ve come to realize that the only reason I’m here on this planet is to serve Him and glorify Him.  And all I really want to do is run hard after Him and His will for my life.

I haven’t even talked to Geric about all of this, although I know he would have our suitcases packed in 10.2 seconds if I told him I wanted to go.  Go where?  Another unknown.

Now that I’ve typed this I want to delete it.  Because I feel like now you’re all going to hold me to it.  Like if I see you out on the streets (out on the streets???  That made me laugh.) But if I do see you out on the streets I feel like you’re going to come up to me and ask when I’m leaving and where I’m going, or if I wussed out.  Don’t do that, k?

I told you in the beginning, this is all a bunch of verbal vomit that may or may not lead to action.

So, yeah, we’re at a crossroads.

 

The Big White Sign of Shame

It came yesterday.

It actually didn’t get hung on our door since Geric was out front fixing a sprinkler, but it got handed to him.

In case you’re lost, “the big white sign of shame” is the sign that gets hung on your door when you’re in foreclosure and they set a date of sale, the date your house gets auctioned on courthouse steps.  Our date is November 3rd.  I’ll be sure to wear my cutest outfit for our date.

Here’s the ironic thing.  Yesterday morning I woke up early (and the kids slept in… praise God!) so I had some time to do a quiet time.  I did my Bible study and read a couple of devotionals and then I felt led to Proverbs 31, so I read that, which is the chapter about the wife of noble character.  I got hung up on verse 25 which says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”  I love this image.  Here is this amazing woman who daily clothes herself in strength and dignity, holding her head up high.  I want to be like her.  Not only that, but she laughs at the days to come.  She lays her worries aside and knows that God holds her future, so why worry?  Laugh!  Be filled with His joy!

I was so touched by these verses that I actually texted them to a few of my friends.  And while I hope they were encouraged by them, I realized when the sign of shame came, those verses were for me.  I had to keep reminding myself yesterday that God is in control, not me, not the bank, not my real estate agent.  God, and God alone.  And because of that, I can relax.  Not just relax, REJOICE!  He’s not out to get me.  He loves me.  He loves my family.  He wants good for us.  I can laugh at the days to come because He is in control of those very days.

So this morning, I remembered a sermon that Pastor Glen gave one Sunday at our church.  He was talking about 2 Corinthians 4:7-9.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

We are those jars of clay.  Just a bunch of boring jars of clay.  Yes, we were shaped by the Potter’s hand, but a jar of clay is pretty mundane, pretty worthless.  What makes us special is the treasure inside.  It’s Jesus!

Those verse go on to talk about being pressed, but not crushed, which is exactly where I feel like I am today.  But here’s the amazing part.  Yes, I’m being pressed on every side (like a mafioso with his head in a vice) and I’m not being crushed, but I am a jar of clay, so there are some major cracks forming in the surface.  But you know what shines through?  The treasure inside!  Jesus will shine through today!  I choose Him!  I will not be brought down by my circumstances, but I will lift my eyes to my Maker, My Creator, My Sustainer, My Redeemer, My Restorer, who gives me hope daily and fills me to overflowing with His joy!

Today I choose His joy!

And today I choose to look into His eyes when my circumstances overwhelm me.

And today I choose to hope in Him.

And today I might get a pair of new shoes for our big date.

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Homeschooling

So, I officially have two weeks of homeschooling under my belt (not full time homeschooling, just two days a week.  So, that would be a whole four days of homeschooling.  Which deserves some sort of an award.  Which is why I’m telling you all this.  Someone give me some praise, would ya???)

I’ve learned a few things in the last couple of weeks about homeschooling and I thought I’d share.

First, it’s not as bad as one might think it to be.  When I say “one” I’m speaking of myself.  I know, you’re thinking, Erin, aren’t you a credentialed teacher that taught full time in a classroom of thirty students?  Yes, yes I am.  Then why are you so scared of homeschooling your one measly child?  First, of all, he’s not measly.  Geez, that was rude.  Secondly, because teaching your own kid is way different than teaching other people’s kids.

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret here… teachers rely on you parents.  They aren’t kidding at Back to School Night when they say that they are on a team with you.  We, as teachers, know that we will only have your kid on our class for one (maybe two) years, and we rely on you to fill in the gaps that may be missing or tie up the loose ends, if you will.  And if you don’t, well, it’s your kid.  We can only do so much, and if you don’t care, then we can’t really pass over that wall.

But with homeschooling, it’s all on me.  And that freaked me out.  If my kid grows up to be dumb, I can’t blame the public schools or government instated standards… I only have myself to blame.

But in the last couple of weeks, I’ve realized it’s not really that much pressure.  I think I’m blessed with a kid that really likes learning, so, so far, we haven’t had to fight many battles in order to sit down and get to business.  Also, the joy of homeschooling is that we can take breaks when things feel too stressful for him (or me) and I can always change my approach to teaching a new concept, because I can.  I love that!  Plus, I can see first hand what his strengths and his weaknesses are, and cater my lessons to those.  Love that, too.

The second thing I’ve learned in the last couple of weeks is that homeschooling can be anything, anywhere.  We went to the zoo on Tuesday for Caden’s birthday which is supposed to be a homeschooling day, and it still was!  Go ahead and try to tell me that trekking around the San Diego Zoo doesn’t count as PE.  I dare you.  And of course it was science.  We even came home and made a big elephant poster with all the pictures we took and the facts we learned during our bus tour, and he brought it to school to share with his class today.  Tell me that’s not awesome!

The last thing I’ve learned about homeschooling is that this here blog may suffer in the process.  Homeschooling is fun and I love it and I really think it’s the best option for Caden, but it requires some organization and thinking ahead and planning (even though his teacher sends me her lesson plans.) And on top of that I still have my regular mom duties (just like the rest of you.)  So, writing is taking a back seat.

Motherhood = Sacrifice

It’s a lesson I keep on learning.

So, I’m not getting rid of this here blog by any means, but just know that the updates may not be as frequent, then again they may be.  I’m just taking the bloggy pressure off of myself for right now.

Here’s a question for my fellow homeschooling mommies: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from homeschooling your kids?

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Happy Birthday Caden

I can’t believe that six years have gone by.  No, six years have flown by since the day you were born.  Crazy.  Because I remember it like it was yesterday.

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I had done the whole “dress rehearsal” thing at the hospital the day before, and they had sent me home where I spent the whole day walking around the neighborhood with your Maw and your Auntie B.  But nothing happened until early the next morning.  I made really, really, really sure you were coming this time before I woke up Daddy and we drove to the hospital.  And 13 hours later (after some excruciating pain, that I swear I am not holding against you) you changed my life forever.

Not only were you born on my birthday, so I had a birthday present that could never be topped, but you completely shattered the world I once knew, in a good way of course.  You are my first-born.  You are the kid that made me a mommy, my best role in my whole life.  The one that will never be topped.  In the days after you were born, nothing else mattered, except our little family.

And you were perfect.  I had no idea (because you were all I knew) but you were such a good baby.  You rarely cried, and you even put yourself on a schedule… that I took all the credit for.  Don’t worry, your brothers both made me see that it was actually all you, and not me at all.

You’ve always been a Momma’s Boy.  From the get go. You always liked me the best.  (It’s true!)  I said it was because I was the one that fed you, but I think we just have a special bond.  Probably because for a good twenty months while Daddy was working, it was just me and you.

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Then your brother came along.  And at first you had a rough time with that.  To be perfectly honest, I was a little scared to leave the two of you in the same room while I ran to the bathroom, because you had a bit of a jealousy streak.  But eventually, you realized that he was a pretty fun guy.

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And now, he’s your best friend.  I’m sure of it.

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Caden, you have a heart of gold, my son.  Can you be impulsive?  Yes.  Can you get excitable and aggressive?  Of course.  But overall, you are our protector.  You never run too far away from mommy, and I don’t think you’re afraid you’ll get lost, I think it’s because you want to keep your eye on me.  You always know where you brother is at all times.  You never forget to pray for your friends and family.  You help your little buddies out on the playground when they are too small.  You have such a big heart, Monkey.  And I love that about you!

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You are also our little adventurer!  You definitely lead the way in the imagination arena around here.

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Swing sets are pirate ships, bunk beds are caves, and bikes are motorcycles that you ride to China!  Your mind is so creative!

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And your artistic abilities cannot be beat.  You have made me some of the most beautiful paintings and drawings.  If it wasn’t for you, I would have just a boring old white refrigerator.

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Your favorite place to be is in the water.  You started swimming when you were three years old, and you’ve never looked back!  You do back flips off the diving board and you swim in the ocean, when the waves are small enough.  Mommy and Daddy were both swimmers, so it makes sense that you’re a little fish too.

Then…

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and now…

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When Elijah came along, you could not be more thrilled.  You still had a hard time sharing me with one more kid, but you and Elijah had a special something between you two from the start.  You loved to sit on the couch and hold him and you’d ask me all these questions about him.  Once he was a little more alert, you could make him laugh like no one else around here!  He loves you!  When he wakes up from his nap, if you walk in to his room first, his face lights up and his bounces up and down in his crib.  I have no worries that he will eventually fit right in to the little posse you and Jacob have already started.

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I love you with all my heart, Caden Matthew, but you know you have a little bit of a naughty streak to you, as well.  You are a destroyer, which I think just comes with having testosterone running through your veins.  But you have been known to get in to things that I never would have imagined a child would ever get in to… like this…

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and this.

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I can’t forget the special relationship you have with Daddy.  You guys definitely do “man things” together that mommy has no part of.  You like to help Daddy with yard work,

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and you like to wrestle together, and try to conquer super Mario brothers together.  Lately, the two of you have been playing baseball together (with Jacob, too) and you are becoming quite the little athlete!  I love going to your games and cheering for you!

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One more special guy in your life has to be Pop.  I know this might hut Maw’s feelings, (sorry, Maw) but Pop is definitely your favorite.  Don’t believe me?  Remember THIS?  I don’t know if it’s because you’re the first or it’s because you’re the first boy (poor Pop only had girls!) but you guys love each other a lot!  Your relationship with Pop is one of the biggest reasons Mommy frowns when Daddy talks about moving to Australia.  Crazy, Daddy!

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Well, my Caden-boy, I love you more than words can say.  You amaze me everyday and I am truly, truly blessed that God picked me to be your mommy.  I know that He has big plans for you!  He has a destiny for you that is so great and so awesome, and I know that you’re going to run full force for it!  I know that you are growing into an amazing boy who will one day be an amazing man, and I am so blessed that I get to watch it all unfold.

Happy birthday, Caden!

I Miss Donna Reed

I actually wasn’t ever alive when Donna Reed was on TV for reals, but I remember watching the show on Nick at Nite or some other channel that played reruns.

You know what I miss?  The fact that she wore a dress everyday and vacuumed in heels?  No.  The way she walked around her kitchen in a really cute apron pouring coffee for her pediatrician husband as he read the paper?  No.  Her perfectly groomed teenage children that were perfectly perfect?  No.

What I miss is the innocence of Donna Reed.

I don’t know exactly when it started, but as a society we’ve enjoyed shocking each other.

Maybe Madonna started it.  Yes, let’s blame Madonna and her pointy bras.  Madonna started it, I’m sure of it.

Regardless of how it started, our culture has spiraled out of control.

It was so in my face the other day as I was watching Dancing with the Stars, which is supposed to be a family television program… right?  It was the show where they kick someone off, so they had a group of dancers to fill the time and the dance was so, so, so, so sexy.  And I don’t think I’m a prude (well, maybe I’m a prude.  But I’d rather be a prude than a hussy.) But I was watching the show while the boys were in the other room playing video games and I thought, “Good thing the boys are in the other room, because this is so inappropriate for them.”

Seriously, was it Madonna?  

When did this all start?  How did it get so out of control?  Sex is everywhere.  Television shows, movies (even “children’s movies”… hello, did anyone see Hop with the playboy bunnies???), commercials, magazine covers at the grocery store, advertisements in store windows at the mall.

And why do we all turn a blind eye to it?  We used to be shocked.  The shock value is gone.

I get it that in the days of Donna Reed there were a lot of things that went unspoken that probably should have been spoken about… between a mother and daughter, or a father and son… but not on a national television show.  We have taken the sacredness of a covenant relationship and completely trashed it.  And that is sad.

Not only sad, but scary.

What is our world going to be like 50 years from now?  WIll it be acceptable to have sex in the park next to the playground?  I know that sounds like a stretch, but I bet Donna Reed never thought the things we watch without batting an eye would ever air on television.

I miss you, Donna.

What do you think?  How did this all start?  When did it get so out of control?  And is there any way to stop it?  Or do you think I’m just a big prude?

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Why I’m Not Forever 21

My friend Jessica is going to take family portraits for us this weekend.  So I, of course, was on the hunt for the perfect outfit.  I’ve found it’s easier for me to buy a really cute new outfit and then rummage around in the boys closets to find something that matches me.

What?  It’s true.

Anywho, after I had unsuccessfully scoured a few stores I decided to venture in to Forever 21.  Why, you ask?  Not real sure.  I’m not a regular at Forever 21, but my best guess would be that I was feeling sorta desperate and there is a two-story Forever 21 right down the street from me, so I thought I would give it a go.

Bad idea.

Very, very bad idea.

I just don’t belong there.  And here is a list of my reasons why:

1.  I’m not 21.  I don’t feel like I’m 21.  I don’t even wish I was 21. I really don’t understand why anyone would want to be 21 forever anyway.  I mean, it was cool, but not that cool.  32 is waaaay cooler, right?  Right?  High five?  Anyone?

2.  When I walked in, the salesgirl greeted me and as I looked up and saw her wearing a wide-brimmed black hat with a white feather in it, I thought she was in costume.  I thought she was joking.  Like, she was trying on a go-back or something.  When I realized she wasn’t, I really questioned if that was in fashion.  Then I started to question my own taste in fashion.  Am I totally out?  I swear five minutes ago, I was confident in my own fashion tastes, but I think I might be out. Blogosphere, I beg of you, let me know, am I out?  Are wide-brimmed hats perfectly acceptable indoor attire?

3.  After skimming through a rack of horizontally striped shirts (which was every rack in the whole store, by the way) I looked around and wondered if anyone else thought the music they were playing was just a notch too loud.  I kinda wanted to pull a Ross and gesture the manager with my hands to quiet down and lower the volume just a smidge.  And just the fact that I remember that episode of Friends is probably more proof that I shouldn’t be shopping at Forever 21.

4.  As I was wandering around the store amongst a busload of tiny high school cheerleader-types, I started wondering if I should take the escalator upstairs and browse in the Plus Size section.  I’ve never actually shopped in a Plus Size store or section, but I’m starting to feel like that might be my place.  And since in Forever 21 a size 7 is a real-life size -5, that would make me a size 48.  I’m pretty sure that’s in the plus size section, right?

5.  I started feeling judged by all the cheerleaders.  Like, as they looked at me with my couple of hangers of clothes they secretly thought, “She’s not 21!  Why is she even in here?  Security!”  So, I concocted a story if anyone asked why I was in Forever 21 in the first place.  Why in world would anyone ask???  But if anyone did, I was shopping for my niece, or my little sister, or any other female in my life that is closer to the age of 21, and closer to a size -5.  And then I would tell them that I get carded at Trader Joe’s all the time.  All.  The. Time.

So, anyway, I left Forever 21 without buying a thing.  I actually abandoned my selections in a corner (The wide-brimmed hat girl will probably have to put them with the rest of the go-backs, if she doesn’t try them on and parade around the store wearing them first.)

Instead, bought a really cute top at a much more mature store.

Active.

So, what about you?  Do you still shop at Forever 21?

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