Saturday, May 11, 2013
"No, that will be too hard"
That is what multiple people told me when I said that after having my son, I was going to go back to school to get my single subject teaching credential in science.
I heard "You won't be able to do it." I took it as a challenge..."prove them wrong."
Little did I know, it was my maternal instincts that would kick in after the birth of my son. The primal urge to care for my offspring would take over any other modern day urge to go back to school.
To get a credential.
To pursue a career outside of the home.
I couldn't fight it, the call to care for my young. THAT is what would make it hard.
I could handle the class schedule.
I could handle the homework.
But this test...testing me, my priorities.
What I couldn't handle was being away from my newly born child.
All of a sudden, so many other things took a back seat to the well-being of my child.
His being well included me being there.
I sat in front of textbooks, computer, pen, and paper, looked at this tiny helpless babe and saw his life flash before me in a moment.
I looked back at the books and closed them. Picked up my 3 month old son and gave him a big hug and kiss.
I choose you.
I choose to watch your life flash before my very own eyes.
Watch as you grow, inch by inch, ounce by ounce. I choose to be there when you learn to roll, when you learn to crawl. When you take your first steps, I will be right there.
And I was.
So, I made the conscious decision to become a stay-at-home mom.
Do I regret it??
I love watching each day as my son grows into a little man. No matter how difficult it may be sometimes. I embrace the challenges it brings. In the end, I enjoy it, as I get the front row seat to watch him grow and develop. A once in a lifetime experience! No, video recorder needed...I am here!!!
I wouldn't trade this for any super-sitter or super-credential in the world!!
This is what I felt God called ME to do.
From up high.
A higher purpose. For me.
Not the mom next door. But my own plan.
His Plan. His Laugh.
Hearing my children's laughter. Every day. I smile. I laugh too.
We laugh with Him. This marvelous plan of His.
That brings us to today, 2013.
Not every day is easy, but I love that I didn't miss a thing.
That I won't miss a moment.
I am present.
This is my present.
My gift from God.
It isn't perfect. It is messy.
But I love it!
Happy Mother's Day!
Sunday, April 28, 2013
I get hurt a lot. People constantly let me down.
A day filled with great expectations turns into sad disappointment.
My problem is that I put hope in people.
People fall short.
People cannot meet our expectations.
God is always there for me.
Placing small things in my life to remind me that he is always there.
My oldest son's silly ways.
My youngest son's smile.
My husband's loving words.
All reminders that God has blessed me.
He is present.
So I enjoy these blessings.
And place my hope in the Lord.
But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Saw this and had to share. Wish I had this when I was expecting!
Great baby shower gift idea:
A Book of Devotionals & Journaling for Mom-To-Be
Free Bible Verses for Expectant Mothers
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Before celebrating Christmas this past year I made a "count down" calendar to help my eldest son see when we would finally get to celebrate the holiday.
I decided it was such a hit that I did the same for his birthday. I used a small calendar and drew a picture of him on the day of his birthday. I also drew pictures for mommy and daddy's birthday :-)
Then as the day approached we began to count down, marking off days using small stickers. Then I would count with him the days left until his birthday. Since he knows how to count (with assistance) to twenty, I made sure I didn't go any higher than that.
He would get excited as he started to realize his birthday was getting closer as the number we counted to got smaller.
This went so well I decided to do it with other monumental occasions, in addition to birthdays, a baseball game with a friend, the start of a recreation class, etc.
He now has a better concept of "today" versus "tomorrow" as a result, which is a vague concept for toddlers. Plus, I love that through the use of his own calendar he is able to practice patience and math at the same time!
Friday, April 5, 2013
I was having a lot of bad moments yesterday. I started putting household chores ahead of my children and that is where it all went south. No surprise.
I don't know about you but I find cleaning therapeutic. There is nothing like tidying up to put my mind at ease. It fills a selfish desire in me for time alone to get things done. Doing my own thing. Accomplishing small tasks feels good. Unfortunately, I can get in the zone and can get carried away.
It is when I would rather be cleaning up than spending time with my children that I go wrong. The kids demand my attention and I get irritated that I can't get "what I need to do," done.
That is what happened yesterday.
I started cleaning up in the kitchen, doing dishes, tidying up.
Then the baby started crying a little in his swing. I didn't let it sway my goal or worry me because he was in a safe spot. But then his cry changed. It sounded different.
I left what I was doing to find him laying in the swing almost ready to fall out. Fear in his eyes.
He had somehow kicked the tray off the swing! Don't ask me how.
That is when I got mad.
Mad at the swing maker for making the swings latch so easily penetrable by a 5 month old.
Mad at myself for putting him in that swing.
Mad at myself for putting stupid things like housework ahead of my children.
Mad at myself for my selfish wants.
So that is when I loaded the kids in the car.
At first I didn't know where we were going. I never do.
Then I saw the sun. Low in the sky and getting lower. So I decided we would chase the sun.
We chased it all the way to the beach. Where we all got out of the car and watched it lower into the ocean. God gave us this gift of beauty and peace. A sunset. This moment to capture my heart and mind. To focus it on what mattered most.
I felt much better. We were all happier.
Then we all headed back home for bed.
Just as I chased the sun to its resting place,
Jesus wants me to chase Him.
I should be pursuing Him.
Chasing the Son.
The one who chases me.
When my focus is on God. When I do what pleases Him,
All is well.
Monday, April 1, 2013
We celebrated my eldest sons 3rd birthday this weekend, Easter weekend....Crazy, I know!
We were super busy to say the least.
Now I am not usually a "go all out" kind of person, ever since having children. I have learned the easier, the better. Simple is best. Children have helped focus my priorities in life.
So, it goes without saying that I didn't really plan on, or want, a high-stress party. Etiquette and themes are not my thing. Relaxed and casual are.
But somewhere along the way, we happened upon the theme of "Baseball" which was perfect for my son who is obsessed with all things baseball.
Baseball invite, check.
Baseball piñata, check.
Baseball favors, check.
Ballpark snacks, check.
I even ended up making 2, yes two, baseball theme cakes!
This was not the plan. Literally days before the party I was like, "I'm going to make baseball cakes!"
So, I guess in a way, it was kind of casual.
I came up with the idea for the baseball cake thanks to some inspiration from Family Fun magazine's basketball cake.
The ballpark cake I thought of on my own.
I bought all the frosting, cake mix, mini marshmallows, and string licorice at dollar tree, because who doesn't love a good deal?
We found the baseball figurines at Party City and I already had brown sugar and green food coloring in my pantry.
For the baseball cake I simply baked the cake directly in a steel mixing bowl. Cooled, frosted, and placed the licorice in a baseball stitch pattern using long pieces and small, approximately 1/3 inch, pieces. Easy!
The ballpark cake was a bit more intricate.
The first part was easiest, bake the cake, cool and frost with green icing. -I just kept adding green food coloring to the white frosting until I got the hue I wanted.
Then the more tricky part. I found an image of a ballpark on the internet to use as a reference. I drew a stencil out on a piece of paper. I figured out which parts needed brown sugar and cut those out. Placed the stencils (ended up being two seperate pieces) directly on the cake frosting and sprinkled brown sugar over the exposed areas. I made sure there was no excess brown sugar on the paper so when I lifted it would not get sugar on unwanted areas.
I carefully peeled off the stencil. Spreading more of the green frosting in areas that got messed during the peeling process. I also sprinkled more brown sugar in areas as needed. When I had the desired areas covered in brown sugar I pressed firmly to even it out, giving it the look of dirt.
Lastly, I cut 4 mini marshmallows in half and used them for the first, second, third and home bases. I cut another mini marshmallow into 1/4 and used that on the pitcher's mound.
Add the player figurines and candles when birthday boy is ready to make a wish and there you have it. An amazing baseball themed birthday!