Friday, July 31, 2015

Who Knew

I never knew I needed a label maker until I had access to one this afternoon. I really am in love with the thing. (I also need to replace the tape cartridge before I give it back.) This little machine is AWESOME!!! 

I went ahead and looked one up online because I have a feeling I really do have to give the one in my possession back next week. So not only does it print on plastic sticky back labels- you can buy magnetic cartridges and iron on cartridges. This is the best thing for me! 

I wouldn't have to write names on everything for school, sports, or work. I can go label happy in my pantry and you bins. I can probably go a little overboard. 
I learned something today-
The way to my heart is apparently books, coffee, flowers, and a label maker! ;-)

(I am ordering myself one next week in case you were wondering.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

First Day of School


We officially survived the first day of school. Pacey asked me to drop him off at the public library instead of the school, Calvin was embarrassed when I went to his room to get a picture, Josh has all kind of messed up chaos happening, and Miles doesn't like kindergarten because they make you sit at the table all day without moving. 
Overall though it went well. We have some bus drama that will supposedly be worked out soon. Miles has friends from last year in his class but this teacher does not spoil him like others do and he didn't have homework- which was the good part of his day. Calvin LOVES his teachers and is actually excited about going to school. And Pacey- well, he's in high school and didn't have too much to say. 

The best part- Miles was asleep at 7:30. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Vulnerability

The scariest thing out there- being vulnerable. 
Why?
Because you are putting yourself out there and can't predict the outcome. You are opening yourself up to complete heartbreak or complete happiness with no way to know which one its going to be. Talk about scary. 
I like to know what the outcome is going to be before I do something. I am not a huge fan of taking chances because I am scared of negative outcomes. I don't like being vulnerable. I'd rather walk the familiar path even if it means being mediocre forever. 
But I really want to find spectacular. I want to find the thing that keeps sparking even after the new wears off. To find all that means making myself vulnerable. 
How do you do that without being scared? 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Smile Even When The Sky is Gray

I told someone today they needed to smile more. He asked me why. And then looked at me like I was crazy when I told him "smiling will at least make your day a little better." (Really I don't think the guy likes me. He just tolerates me because I keep bugging him to smile.) 

Then when I walked back to my office, I realized I haven't smiled very much lately. I do with certain people and I do with my residents. But not at home. And not really to a lot of other people like I normally would. 

And that song from "Annie" popped in my head. You know the one about being "never fully dressed without a smile"? That song has a ton of truth to it. Smiling makes anyone look better. Not fake smiles. I mean when they smile and it shows in their whole body. Smiling completes a person. 

I am all about making people smile even when I don't necessarily feel like smiling. Because smiling at someone can make all the difference in the world to their day. Which I guess means I will be bugging this guy every time I see him to smile. Maybe one day he actually will. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

When Someone Says You Are A Bad Mom

I was told the other day that I was a bad mom. And not by someone who knows me well enough to say that- she doesn't even know my kids. She is in a Facebook Mom group I am in. I was asking for advice about my oldest child and some difficulties we are having with him. 
Apparently because he is acting out, I am frustrated, and because I have a full time job- I am a bad mom. 

I was shocked. 

This woman has no idea what it's like to walk in my shoes. She is a stay at home mom with a full time nanny. Complete opposite of what I do. We both have boys but hers are younger. She hasn't even reached the stage I am at with my son. 

I do not for one second give any credit to what her opinion was but it does bother me that someone would tell another mom that. 

I am far from perfect and I do have "bad mom" moments. But I love my children and want what's best for them. To an extent that what's best for me goes on the back burner. They come first. If I could stay home again I would. But right now that is not an option. And if working and being frustrated or having a kid who is going through a teenage rebellion makes me a bad mom; then I guess I am. In her eyes. 

Social media is a good and a bad thing. It has made judging other moms easier to do. But it's because we don't let the world in to see the hard stuff. We post perfect pictures and stories so no one sees the real struggles. I am guilty of it. We join support groups because on Facebook you don't have to see those people in real life and so you can be more open. And then the shaming and judging starts. Because she felt safe calling someone she didn't know, on the other side of the country a bad mom. 

I left the group. Because if that kind of behavior is okay. I don't want any part of it. I have things in my life that you can judge me on if you feel like it. I'm not going to apologize for any of it when it does not involve you. But by all means judge me. Just don't judge any mom who is doing all she can and who asks for help. Help her. Pray for her by all means but don't judge her. And certainly don't call her a bad mom. The next mom might takes those words to heart and believe them. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Childlike Abandon


For 3 days, we had a bouncey house. And for 3 days I saw this scene repeatedly. Not just with Miles, but with countless children. These kids just abandoned every care and worry they had to jump for hours. Hair flying, laughing, and sometimes falling; they had zero worries while in this huge blow up house. 
Now I personally did not get in this house. I chose the water slide. There is just something that kept stopping me. That thought of looking like a complete idiot in front of other people. I am finding that a lot lately. I don't take chances because I don't want to look stupid in front of others. And I am missing out on a lot. 
I want to be able to have that childlike abandon sometimes and just jump. Forget everything else and have fun. (Not necessarily in a bouncey house because I am a little too old for all that jumping.) I think too much about what someone else is going to say or how they will feel. And while that is a good thing most of the time, it's not a great thing when it stops you from pursuing dreams and growth. 
From now on (maybe) I'm going to just give in and jump sometimes. Making a fool of myself can't be much worse than always playing it safe. And who knows what I will find that I have been missing. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sometimes It's The Little Things


Sometimes the little things are what makes a bad day better. 
Sometimes the little things mean a whole lot more than grand gestures. 
Sometimes the little things are what keeps you from from just giving up.
Sometimes the little things are the only thing you have to grab hold of. 

And sometimes those little things are the biggest things you've got. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Coming Up Empty

We just spent the last week on vacation. 4 days at the beach, 1 day at the lake, and going on 3 days at my in-laws annual Back to School Bash weekend. I am running on fumes over here. Not energy wise- I am actually walking 3 miles everyday without complaining or making excuses. I am running on fumes emotionally. This week has been so rough. Tiny cracks are becoming craters or falling chunks of wall. Barely noticeable flaws are being thrown into a light making them huge. And endings are happening without mercy and grace. 
Endings I never saw coming. Literally it is a speeding train running at me while I am trapped on the tracks. And I don't know where to go from here. 
There is a blame game going on that just astounds me with the craziness of it. So I sit back and take it. And take it and take it some more. And nobody else notices.  From the outside looking in nothing has changed. Until a far removed outsider comes. And to him it was obvious. 
There are the nightmares that are starting back and the overwhelming sense of dispair that accompanies them. Sleep is becoming a foreign concept that I barely remember. With sleep comes the memories and the internal blame game. 
Running on fumes and coming up empty is the way of life right now. I long to be filled again and know that I am not actually to blame for the speeding train. I crave assurance when there is none. I need the security that has disappeared. 
So I get up and I walk/run to escape it all. I push myself past my walls of comfort because those don't help anymore. I get out of my comfort zone seeking something that I can't name. And I still come up empty. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Being A Grown Up......

.................. is hard.


My grandmother had a stroke a couple of weeks ago. Since then, she has moved into the nursing home I work in for therapy. So I am with her for 8+ hours 5 days a week. I don't mind at all. (Except when she is telling me that the alarm guy is hot in front of said alarm guy. That was a little uncomfortable. And apparently he didn't even hear her. OR when she goes around telling everyone in the nursing home about my childhood. THAT IS JUST GREAT.

I spent 30 minutes in a co-workers office crying the other day though because this IS.JUST.SO.HARD! I work in long term care. It is honestly where my passion is. I love my "old people". But when it's my grandmother in there it is different. We tell other people all the time that you have to separate your work life and your home life in long term care. I never actually realized how hard that is.

So right now, I do not want to be an adult. I do not like being the one who has to talk to my family about hard decisions and deadlines and things that really need to be talked about and then being told that I am pushing them. Or that I did not tell them everything about her coming into a nursing home for rehab. I did. They didn't want to listen. I want to go back to working in the nursing home and and enjoying my job.

Being a grown-up is way overrated sometimes.




Friday, July 3, 2015

"Longing for Paris"

Oh Paris! I would love to go there one day. I can picture my hubby and I hand in hand enjoying all the city of romance has to offer. But for now that is not going to happen.

Sarah Mae longs for Paris too. And she realized that just because she can't go to Paris right now doesn't mean that she can't be content where she is and find little tastes of Paris around her home.



I love Sarah Mae and one of my favorite things is getting to talk to her every October at Allume. She is 100% real every time I read something she writes or when I am talking to her in a hotel lobby. She takes the time to delve a little deeper and not just rush past you when she sees that you just need a little something extra. 

She wrote a new book last year. And it is going to be released in August. I am going ahead and telling you how much a LOVE it now because she has some pretty awesome pre-order goodies to go with it. To tell you how much I loved this book in E-book format, I went ahead and pre-ordered an autographed copy too. 

I was so encouraged reading this book. I felt like I was not alone in longing for more and trying to find contentment in my here and now. I learned that looking for adventure in the everyday doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. It only has to be intentional. I learned that 
Image credit: www.longingforparis.com 

And above all, I learned that Paris is wherever we want to be. I may not be able to hop on a plane and go to Europe tomorrow, but I can learn to make a french dish this month, I can take the kids on a nature walk and find God's beauty all around me, and I can lean a little more onto the God who made me who I am and embrace who he made me. 

For more information on the book and about all the pre-order goodies like autographed copies, journals, and a course from Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson go visit:





**I received a copy of this book as part of the "Longing for Paris" launch team. All opinions are my own and I love this book and the author!**