Monday, September 17, 2012

This ain't "The Real Housewives of Tuscaloosa County..."

If you are a SAHM then you have probably encountered this more than once.  You meet someone new and they ask you what you do.  Immediately the anxiety hits.  "What if they think I'm lazy? What if they think I'm uneducated? What if they think I'm spoiled?..." At least that's what runs through my head before I spout out that I am a stay-at-home mom.  Then using humor, as I often do in awkward situations, I try to play down the importance of  (what I believe is) my God ordained role. 

Noticing my awkwardness, and trying to make me feel better about what I do, they immediately respond with, "Oh no, don't say that - I would love to be a SAHM," or "Oh pish posh, do you know how many people would KILL to stay home and not go to work everyday?" And I know they mean well by saying this, I know no one means to insult me, and it's probably my fault anyway because if I stated my role with more passion, more conviction maybe they would see I really don't mean to sound apologetic for my "current occupational direction."

But let me get something straight.  This ain't The Real Housewives of Tuscaloosa County.  I don't go flitting off to the North River Yacht Club.  I don't go shopping everyday.  In fact, when I DO go shopping it is for groceries or for clothing for my child.  I don't have a box seat at the stadium, and I don't have a nanny to watch my child.  I cook, I clean, I wipe snot and boogers and poop (nine times out of ten none of these fluids are mine) on a daily basis.  I pick up toys and wipe away tears.  I loose my patience and apologize daily to my three year old.  We read Bible stories together and practice memorizing Bible verses.  I attempt to teach my child numbers, colors and letters.  I practice writing capital letters with her. I fix my child's dinner plate and make sure she eats before I feed myself.  Sometimes, I even share my favorite food with her (for those of you that know me, you know this is a BIG deal).  I bathe her before I bathe myself.  I perform a dramatic reading of Llama Llama Red Pajama practically every night. Then I tuck my daughter into bed and muster up what is left of my fizzling energy to spend a quality hour or two (if we're lucky) with my husband.

And that's just what I can think of off the top of my head....

So from now on I am going to practice stating my occupation with pride, passion and conviction. Because God placed me here for a reason. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012


This will be more of a "free therapy" type post for myself rather than a post of interest for anyone else. My apologies...

I am so exhausted.  Not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well.  The past few days have just been, well, tough.  Definitely not  the MOST difficult days in my short little life, but tough.  Allow me to vent.  Peyton has hit the terrible threes in full force.  Someone has kidnapped my precious, kind, loving daughter and replaced her with a rebellious, indifferent stranger.  She will not listen, she will not mind, and when she is punished, she acts like she's not even bothered.  I don't know what to do.  Wednesday at gymnastics was the start of it.  We actually had to pull her out of the class before it was finished because she was being so much of a distraction to the other little girls, and the teacher couldn't do her job because she was too busy getting on to Peyton!  Blake and I were MORTIFIED! Blake and I both talked to her and told her that her behavior was not acceptable.  Did that bother her? Nope.  We didn't take her to Chick-fil-A afterwards to eat her favorite food and to play.  Was she upset? Nah.  When we got home she got punishment from both Blake and myself.  Sorry? Not exactly.  She was made to lie in her bed with no t.v. to take a rest (mind you, she hasn't napped in MONTHS).  Didn't even phase her.  When she got up she was allowed no t.v, no iPod games, no  How did she respond? She wanted a cookie.  A COOKIE! She didn't even seem to know she was in trouble!! How do you reprimand a child when the child isn't phased by any form of punishment??

Then there was this morning...oh Lord help us this morning...When Peyton got up this morning the first thing she wanted was her usual cup of milk.  Blake being the attentive husband that he is (or maybe it was the solid kick I gave him followed by the guttural moaning of "you get it") got up and was going to get her milk, get her to the potty and turn on the cartoons for her, when she had a complete come apart.  She was kicking and screaming, face down in the floor. When Blake handed her her milk she took it and threw it in the floor.  We are still not sure what prompted this. 

Then she wet herself during nursery at church.  Which, I understand, accidents will happen.  I can forgive an accident a day.  But when she did it again at the restaurant, I had had enough. 

I'm spent. I just don't know what to do.  Being a parent is so hard.  And I know that harder days are to come.  We haven't even reached adolescence for crying out loud! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Allow me to introduce you to my soapbox...

With all the "hoopla" over the president of Chick-fil-A voicing his opinion on marriage and the sanctity of, I just couldn't hold it in one more minute.  Join me on my soapbox, will you?

First of all let me start off by saying this, I don't understand what all the fuss is about.  If I were an unbeliever, an atheist or agnostic I really don't think I would give two cents over what the president of ANY fast food restaurant's personal convictions or beliefs were.  I personally would care more about employee policy and food safety than whether or not he/she condones same sex marriage.  HOWEVER, since I AM a believer in Christ and I DO stand on Biblical truth, and since people with obviously different convictions than myself have PLASTERED their opinions and displeasure with this opinion I think I will choose this time to voice my own as well.  First of all, this was not a "hate campaign." This was an opinion made based on Biblical truths.  Oddly enough, those opposed to his opinion have been spewing the majority of the hate.  Second, and this IS opinion, but what if we as Christians banded together and boycotted retail chains/restaurants, etc etc... that contributed to and/or condoned positions and policies that directly conflict with the Biblical values and truths we hold so dear?  For instance, I used to work at a certain grocery chain and every year or so the United Way would come in and try to solicit donations per pay period from each employee.  Donating was greatly influenced by management, and refusal to participate was frowned upon.  However, did you know that some local chapters of United Way have directly contributed funds to Planned Parenthood? So does this mean that I should no longer shop at my former employer? What about that major discount superstore? Ever checked their charity list? Disturbing. 

And now the Jim Henson company have joined the Chick-fil-A bashing bandwagon.  So sad. Seasame Street was part of my childhood, I hate I won't be sharing that with my own daughter

As a Christian I am called to be the light of the world. There should be something obviously different in me.  Good for you Dan Cathy. You have been such an inspiration for me to be bold and courageous.  I'm praying 1 Corinthians 16:13 for you and for your company.  God Bless you!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I'm baaacck!

Hello faithful friends!  I can not believe it has been three months since my last post :( so sorry about that.  I wish I could say I have been crazy busy but the truth is...well I got lazy.  There is so much to update on, and I hope to get some pics on here soon of all that has been going on.  Since my last post Peyton has been in her very first beauty walk, potty training is in full swing, she had her third birthday, and we learned she will be a BIG SISTER!  So I guess life has been a little crazy...LOL.  I am sure I will have a separate blog for each of those topics, for now let's talk about our Fourth of July Celebration...

Blake has an aunt and uncle that live "down in the country" as we like to call it.  For those of you who might not know what this means, this means you can't get a pizza delivered, cell service is spotty at best and the mosquitoes are GIGANTIC .  It's not all bad though, you CAN ride four wheelers, plant gardens, let your dogs roam, "pop a squat," children still ride their bikes to the country store and despite the fact that your nearest neighbors might me a mile or more away, you still know their names, and their kids names, and probably their dogs names too...

Anyway, Blake and I love to go to their house.  Peyton loves to ride four wheelers (with an adult of course) and I love the fact that I can just let her run around outside with no fear or boundaries. So when we were trying to decide where to go and whom to spend our holiday with, that was our first pick - hands down.  And we had a BLAST! 

When we get together with this part of the family, you can be sure of this: no one will go hungry.  After giving thanks to the Lord for our vittles (and our great nation) we feasted on grilled chicken, pork chops, deer steak (another advantage to the country), ribs from the grill and ribs from the smoker, potato salad (ten pounds to be exact), mac and cheese, baked beans, chocolate cake and buttermilk pie.  Everyone pitches in and brings something.  That's family.

We also love to play games.  Normally we play volleyball, but the southern heat proved to be too much for that. So we found us a good ole shady spot and set up the cornhole boards.  Nothing gets our competitive juices flowing like a close game! And, might I add, I scored more points than Blake for the first time in a game yesterday!  Peyton wasn't left out of the fun either, we set her up with a sprinkler and a baby pool and she was ready for the heat of the day!

Once the sun started to set, we got out the fireworks.  This was obviously Peyton's first experience with fireworks, but it was also mine too.  (My dad wasn't too keen on playing with fire...) Blake was so excited to be able to share this experience with both of us.  From taking us to the fireworks store to showing me how to light one, he was happy to share with us his wealth of knowledge on the matter! 

If you judge the success of the day by how exhausted everyone is at the end of it, I'd say we had a great day!  Peyton was just about asleep by the time we pulled into the driveway and we all slept soundly through the night...despite our neighbors shooting fireworks in the cul de sac!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

But...but...I want it NOW!

Those of you who read my blog probably know that Blake and I want another baby.  I want another baby desperately. As if the feelings of wanting another baby, but instead finding your cycle month after month were not bad enough, I also have feelings of guilt that I should be so selfish.  I know there are couples out there that do not have even one child.  God blessed us with Peyton - who I am convinced more so day after day - was made by God just for me (well, us technically...). 

The guilt is a story for another time.  Today I want to talk about learning lessons.

Blake and I have not used birth control since we got married four years ago on August 9 this year.  By October 2008 (two months after nuptials...) we found out we were pregnant with Peyton.  When Peyton was six months old, we found out we were expecting again.  Haylie Robin was born August 18, 2009.  Haylie is with Jesus now...yet another story for another time... Since Haylie I have had one very early miscarriage.  My point is that by all reasoning I should be PREGNANT! Except I think God has other plans.  "Lesson plans" if you will.

The other day Peyton and I were in Target and we were buying a birthday present for one of her friends.  I had told her before we went to the toy department that we were buying a gift for "so and so" and that she wouldn't get a prize today, unless she went to the big potty.  (Background info: On this particular day I had it in my head that I was going to start potty training. She had used the little potty at home a few times, but she is deathly afraid of "big pottys.") Anyway, we went to the restroom and she did all but have a nervous breakdown when I tried to get her near the toilet. As she was in full-blown tantrum mode, I told her that she had a choice: she could just try to "tee tee in the potty" or we would put back the toy. It was a no-brainer, she said she wanted to put back the toy.  By the time we had made our trek back to the toy department and the reality that she was going to have to put her toy back was beginning to sink in, she fell apart. Not the kicking, screaming, crying ones that you usually get from two-year-olds, but the silent tears and sobs that comes from someone that is truly heartbroken.  It was pitiful. Seriously guys, pitiful. For all of three seconds I considered just buying her the toy anyway (along with a pony, and whatever else her little broken heart desired...) but my resolve kicked in and I held tight.  As I put the toy back on the shelf I told her, "when you go to the big potty, we'll come back and get this."

What does this have to do with me wanting another baby? Good question.  Why did I put the toy back instead of just buying it for her? Cause I can see the big picture.  I know what's best for her, and I know that I can teach her a lesson.  I know that when she actually does go to the big potty that the toy will mean so much to her. 

Why hasn't God blessed us with another baby? Cause He can see the big picture. He knows what's best.  There is something that He wants me to learn first.  Maybe it's patience. Maybe it's letting go of bitterness. Maybe it's trust.  To be honest, I need to work in ALL those areas.  God loves me WAY more than I can ever love Peyton.  And as much as it hurt me to see Peyton truly heartbroken, I can't imagine how God feels when he sees one of His children truly heartbroken.  But I know He's my Father and He's only doing what is best for me.  It's been a long time since I've been treated like a child.  Even though I will always be a child of God.  It's been a long time since my parents have told me I couldn't have something.  Needless to say it's not an easy thing to get used to as an adult.

I'm not there yet.  There is so much He is trying to teach me. So much I need to just be still and learn.  And I'm trying. God knows I'm trying...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Can't come up with a good title...

Not really sure how to start this one off...there's no excuse for my absence in the blogging world.  I haven't been particularly busy, just lazy I guess.  But I refuse to quit on another attempted hobby so here I am. 

Lazy would have been a good title for this blog as I have found myself doing a bunch of nothing lately.  I haven't cleaned my house in two weeks.  (Pause for a collaborative GASP) For those of you who know me well, you know that's kind of  a big deal.  I have a schedule that I very rarely stray from.  Tuesdays are my "cleaning" day, and my vacuum hasn't moved today.  Nor did it move last week.  Don't go all crazy on me, of course I have been keeping the house in working order, there's no food residue lying about anywhere, I've done all our laundry and there are no ring around the toilets.  But the floors have went unmopped, the furniture is sporting a fairly think layer of dust and the carpets not vacuumed.  Why? I dunno. I. Just. Don't. Want. To.  Childish, huh?

 I'm sitting here thinking back over the past couple of weeks to the things that I HAVE done.  Most of them are necessary like laundry, taking care of and making more time to play with Peyton (can I put three trips to Chick-fil-A in two weeks under this category?), cooking dinner, going to Bible study, going to church.  Some of them are things that are not necessary but things I consider important like strictly sticking to my exercise regime (this totals around 270 minutes a week...) spending more time talking to and being with friends/family that sort of stuff...but then comes the things that are not really important at all: spending countless hours reading The Hunger Games series, Facebook, DVR, flitting around town in my mini van pretending gas isn't $3.60 a gallon...that sort of stuff.  I'm not saying that I shouldn't make time to do the things that I enjoy, I'm only reiterating the mantra I've adopted for my life as of recently, "Everything in moderation."

Our ABS class just started back a small group Bible study two weeks ago and the topic is the power in prayer.  Last night during one of the video clips, Jim Cymbala makes the comment, "Prayer is the barometer of our faith." Ouch. I like to think of myself as a pretty faithful person.  I would say I am spiritual, religious even.  But hey, the Pharisees were religious and spiritual too...

So I guess I just put two and two together.  The past month or so has been pretty, well crappy.  Nothing particularly bad has happened to me (thank you Jesus!) but I just feel under attack. I feel Satan trying to creep in everywhere in my life.  I feel old temptations rising up, I feel the suffocating arms of depression and anxiety squeezing the last little bit of joy out of me.  And I just figured it out.  I've been letting things become idols to me: Facebook, TV, books.  I've been putting all of that and more before spending time in God's word and in prayer.  My relationship to my heavenly Father has suffered because I've become, well, lazy.

I'm starting over again.  I've prayed and asked God to forgive me for my absence in His presence and asked Him to help me become more committed to spending time in prayer.  I've asked Him to give me a yearning and a desire to study His word and I've asked Him to give me a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  And I know H will, cause He's not a God of second chances, He's the God of third and forth and fifth....chances.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


God really does work in mysterious ways, don't cha think?

 Every ABS (adult Bible study) class in our church is working it's way through a lesson book that has a daily "lesson" appropriately themed each week.  This past week the lesson was on forgiveness. EEEEKKKK!

Not only did I walk out of our classroom this past Sunday morning feeling like Jesus himself had done a two step on my toes, but I felt his presence in my heart too.  I'm not one to forgive and forget. Forgive, yes. Forget - well that's another story. Have I offered true forgiveness if I can say that I have forgiven someone, but still recall the transgression in my heart almost every single day? Have I really forgiven someone (even if they haven't asked for it...) if I choose to remove myself completely from their life? **SIGH**And that's the hard part, isn't it? Well at least for me it is.  It's easy to forgive someone who realizes that they have hurt you and ASKS for forgiveness.  It's not so easy to forgive those who hurt you (intentionally or not) and never once give the matter a second thought.  And I guess that's where God wanted me to focus...

I have been reading a series (or technically several series) written by Karen Kingsbury.  Currently I am reading the book Learning.  Since I can't do this justice by summing it up, I am going to copy an exert from the book.  In this part, Bailey, a strong Christian young lady, is at a Bible study with some older women (Betty, Barbara, Sara and Irma) and finds herself struggling with the issue of forgiveness...

...Sara smiled. "Life can be hard on people who want to make a difference for God."
"It's true." Irma leaned forward. "I remember once when I was newly married seeing a bald eagle soaring overhead during a drive with my husband. For a while I watched it, soaring and dipping, riding the currents higher and higher toward the heavens. But then out of nowhere came a couple of smallish crows. Rather than do their own thing, the crows caught up to the eagle and began dive-bombing it, flying at its wings and talons, poking at it and irritating it."
Bailey let the picture play out in her mind. "I've seen that before. Out at Lake Monroe in Bloomington where I grew up. The eagle seemed unfazed by it...he kept flying in big arcs and circles, moving higher until the smaller birds left him alone."
"Exactly." Barbara's eyes told Bailey she, too, understood the analogy from God's creation. "And that's just what God wants us to do."
"The truth is, people pick on those who shine." Sara smiled at Bailey. "It's always been that way."
They looked at the Bible again, and they agreed that the most important thing they could do is forgive people who harmed them, and to fly - like the eagle - to higher ground until the problems of life, the hurtful people of life, were so far below they couldn't cause pain any longer.
"There is one thing to remember." Sara took a sip from her drink and looked around the room. "Sometimes we feel like the world is against us...and there are many days when we're the eagle. But other times we're the crow. And for that we need to make things right...change our actions and ask God to forgive us."

**ANOTHER SIGH** Well if that just ain't a hum dinger I don't know what is.  Needless to say God has really gotten my attention on this topic lately.  The thing is, my life to Him is no different, probably worse even. How must I look to my Holy God? The spotless Lamb that forgave me at the cross hundreds of years before I was even that "twinkle" in my earthly father's eye?  The man who was mocked, jeered, spat upon, flogged, the man whose brow was bruised and bled, the man who, after being nailed to a cross and lifted high, and right before His last breath cried out, "Father, forgive them..." That wasn't just for the Roman soldiers, that wasn't just for the teachers and religious leaders that contributed to his wrongful sentence, that wasn't just for the angry mob of Jews that looked on as He died...that was for ME.  Hundred of years before I was born, before I even committed my first sin, HE forgave ME. 

So who am I to hold grudges? To keep records of wrongs?  Jesus has forgiven me, but he hasn't forgotten.  He's done something even greater - He has CHOSEN to NEVER remember again. 

So how's the view on this area in your life?  I'm praying that I can become more like Christ in this area of mine.

If you think you might be interested in reading some books written by Karen Kingsbury, check out her website here.  And this is the order I have read in: Redemption Series, Firstborn Series, Sunrise Series, Above The Line Series, and (sadly) lastly, The Bailey Flanigan Series.