Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Eve Peace

There is something so sweet, so simple, and so quiet about Christmas Eve night. Once the church services have ended, new jammies have been opened and the family settles down for their “long winter nap”, there is a quiet that seems to stretch so far and wide and it’s as if the whole world settles down into a quiet space. It’s unlike any other night I have ever experienced. The stores are closed, no more opportunities to find the “perfect gift”, school programs and Christmas letters have all come to a close, and no more rushing around with baking or wrapping presents. It is the calm before the morning storm of opening up presents and playing with new toys. It is a moment right there in the midst of everything that hushes even the most hurried heart. It is the Christmas Eve peace.

Now rewind to today, 6 days and counting and I am feeling anything but peace. It was just one of those days. You know, the kind that makes you want to rock in a corner and eat all of the chocolate chips you have set aside for your holiday baking.

In an attempt to fulfill my dream of making my life a musical, I decided it would be more fun to tell you about my day in a song. Set to the tune of I Wish You A Merry Christmas.

I woke up to find our 2 bikes stolen
and even the ba-by seat is gone
oh what was I e-ven think-ing
when I didn’t put them in the garage.

 Next it was time to g-o to Cooper’s class party
and the tea-cher said to bring the ba-by
got to- the front office and they wouldn’t let us in
how sad he will be.

Got a text from insi-de the classroom
Said si-blings are al-ready in here
So I marched back into the of-fice
And still, got, denied.

Cried my wh-ole way out to my car
Thought, wow, how can this get a-ny worse
Be careful wh-at you wish for
As it’s only 11o’cock.
Baby refu-ses to sleep
Work calls are going unanswered
My house is a—di-saster
Why can’t I get a break

Time to distract the crying baby
She wants my k-eys to play with
At this point I am desperate
And she can have whatever she wants

It’s not until I try to take big sister
To d-ance to disco-ver
That those keys have come-- up missing
Oh boy- What is next?

Luckily the dance stu-dio
Is not far fr-om our hou-se
Enjoyed a n-ice walk in the
Beautiful weather instead.

 Had a large dose of cho-colate popcorn
Thank you Bec-ca f-or the hook up
Got a second wind and de-ci-ded
To look for the keys

Little did we kno-w that--
Keys can hide so well- in my home
Check the gar-bage even the toi-let
Finally heard the jingle in daddy’s dirty clothes.
 Warmed up the old left-over pizza
Then prayed for this day to be over
Lord please forgive my colorful language
And my poor attitude!

 When it’s set to a song, it really doesn’t sound as bad. I desperately need a Christmas Eve peace….right here…right now. In the midst of the madness. Quiet my spirit and help me refocus on you Lord!  

For now though, I sit and nurse a crying baby…maybe she would like some keys to distract her. Come on Christmas Eve peace, I am ready for your warm roasting!




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Is Age Really Just a Number?

Hitting the pavement again but this time with some new kicks. Happy  Birthday to me!
We were watching some home videos this weekend of Christmas pasts. It was only 7 years ago, but there were 2 details that I haven’t been able to shake.

1. I looked so young! What happened in the last 9 years since having children that has aged me so much?

2. In the video, both my husband and I can be overheard saying how chaotic the morning was going. This was before all 5 grandchildren and it was just 2 young ones and 1 one newborn. For all accounts, I thought it was quiet and calm compared to the couch jumping, squealing, and screaming Christmas mornings we now embrace. Blane even zooms the camera in at one point to me rubbing my forehead saying through gritted teeth, “Can we please just turn off the video!” I laugh at that young mom now. She had no idea what real chaos would look like in a matter of years. Now fast forward….

Happy Birthday to Me…

I woke up this morning to my 6 year old kissing me on the forehead saying, “Happy Birthday Mommy. You are the best Mommy in the whole world”. It was magical, my heart swelled like the Grinch to 2x its size. I laid there thinking about maybe I hadn’t been such a bad mommy after all and what an amazing boy he was and what a great man he will one day be. Then my 9 year old daughter walks into the bedroom and kisses my forehead and says, “Happy Birthday Mommy”. My heart swells even more. Cooper then pulls her aside and a lot of heated whispering begins to take place back and forth between the two. It ended with a remark from Parker, “Oh and you’re the best Mommy ever”. Cooper proceeds to tell me that Daddy told them to tell me that but Parker had forgot. I could feel the air slowly being released from the balloon as my heart fizzled back down to size. I tried to justify that at least they were obedient and followed their Daddy’s instructions.

37. 37? 37!

I am questioning how that happened! I am now at an age that I can remember my mom being the same age. I asked her last night, “What were you doing 37 years ago today?” I was anticipating this heart felt moment of “ah, I remember when” but instead she responded, “I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast this morning”.

It’s strange to get older. I am the “baby” of the family and at times the younger one in my group of friends; therefore, I get the comment so often, “but you’re so young” and then brushed off like I am still 15. I wonder at what age do you feel like you are “old enough”. And have I missed it?’
I always find myself caught in between the when do I grow up and the why is it going so fast? I stare at myself in the mirror and think, “how did this happen?” Wrinkles at my eyes from smiling and laughing is understandable and even welcomed most days as it shows me the fun we have had, the deep wrinkles on my forehead in between my eyes from giving the mommy look of disapproval one too many times is most likely unavoidable. But what I was not prepared for and not one girlfriend, sister or mom warned me about…the wrinkled cleavage. Yup, that’s right. I leaned into the mirror last night while brushing my teeth and I saw someone else’s reflection when I saw the wrinkled cleavage. There was no warning, no preparation and no words of encouragement at that time. Happy Birthday to me!
I suppose like most things, it’s all relative. You think you may be getting older but then you look back at pictures and think, “I was so young, if only I had realized”. Same goes with every other female voice in our heads fighting for attention like you’re fat, should you be going out in that outfit, bangs…really?, maybe it’s time to color the grays, you are looking so much older, and on and on and on. In reality though, when you look back at pictures, you realize just how wrong those voices were and you think, “if only I realized I wasn’t as heavy as I thought, old as I thought, chaotic as I thought and on and on and on”.
It is hard to see the forest through the trees when you set up camp right in the middle of it.
I am sure there are those reading my blog right now that are older and you may be shaking your head and possibly giggling that I am even contemplating this at 37. For all accounts, it’s still very young unless of course, you are in your 20s and reading this blog. I have been reminded this week that age is a gift that not many people are given. I watched as a friend said goodbye to her Dad unexpectedly this week and my heart aches for her more than ever.

The following video sums it up perfectly. How do we see ourselves? Chances are it’s nowhere near as wonderful, young, and vibrant as others see and experience us. Today I choose to quiet the voices in my head and remind myself that age is just a number and one day I will wish to come back to this time of simplicity and youth. I wonder if that young mom from the video of Christmas pasts realized just how good she had it at the time and I even wonder if this 37 year old mom realizes the same truth before it’s passes her by.

If you are anything like me, you may want to grab a tissue before you watch it!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Days 10-14: Coming Clean

Most times around my house there is a buzz in the air. It is rare to have a quiet moment without someone talking, singing, or the most frequently heard sound in recent weeks….the sound of fighting and yelling between my 2 oldest. Chances are pretty high that if it all goes quiet, something is wrong or someone is up to no good. Same can be said for my blog. It has been too quiet these last few days with no posting. It must mean I have been up to no good.

To say I have been nursing a holiday hangover, would be putting it mildly.  You know the drill, too much food, wine, and late night fun with family. Like most things in life, I take one step forward and 10 steps back. I managed to run the Thanksgiving Day race and it was GREAT! I don’t even remember the last time I ran 4 miles and it was a feeling like none other!

I rode that high all the way to the Thanksgiving table, which spilled right into the dessert table where I had my way with anything that wasn’t nailed down.

Somehow Thursdays race turned into Friday shopping which lead to Christmas decorating on Saturday, which lead to….um, I can’t even remember the rest of the excuses. I still stand firm on the idea that it takes 14 days to create a new habit, I wonder if that still applies when you skip days 10-14?
Regardless, I decided to give myself a little grace and move forward, tie on my shoes, and start again. I told myself I would not be my own obstacle, not today! I started on the treadmill and within a ½ mile I increased my speed and low and behold the small tear I noticed in the belt earlier, gave way to a much bigger tear and a loud deafening sound as it lifted, folded in half, and then broke through the frame of the treadmill. You might be surprised how fast you can jump off a treadmill when you have to. I’m happy to report that no injuries happened in the process; however, the same cannot be said for the poor treadmill. Another obstacle.
I decided to hit the pavement. Only 2 miles, but still 2 miles. Lord knows there were plenty excuses between here and there to not go for a run today, but I knew it was more than the run for me. It was knowing that I wasn’t going to be the one to set myself up for failure. I was not going to be the one who stood in my way or told myself I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t going to be my worst enemy or obstacle, because for me, it’s more than the run, its more than a race, it’s more than the smaller pants size. It’s freedom from that which tries to hold me back and keep me prisoner from all that God wants for my life. Giving it a voice, means it can no longer hold power over us…

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened
again by a yoke of slavery.”
Galatians 5:1