Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympics 2008

Watching the Olympics has been rather difficult this year and for a while I couldn't figure out what in the world is wrong with me.  Why has it been so different from the Olympics of 2008, why am I not enjoying it as much as I used to, and why in the world have I not heard a word the announcer has said.  Then it dawned on me, the last time the summer Olympics was on I had a two year old, only, one child, who went to bed no later than seven, every single night, took two to three hour naps every day, and slept through the entire night, every night.

I keep reflecting on how much a life can change in four years because today as I try to watch my beloved Olympics my life is some chaotic (wonderful) version of that life times three.  Back in the day Michael Phelps never doubted he would win a swimming event and I cleaned my house, I mean for real busted out the dusting liquid and toilet brush, every single Friday (I find this the most unbelievable memory).  I experienced real silence in my own home on a regular basis, and had no trouble hearing what the announcer was saying about the life of the Russian gymnasts.

I didn't own a DVR back then (though I'm sure they existed, I'm always about 5 years behind technology), but it was no problem I put my angelic child to bed each night and settled down to watch one of the best Olympics ever, live!!  I was tired each morning when I woke up after a short six hours of sleep but it was okay because having one two year old is not exhausting and I could take a 3 hour nap if I wanted to every afternoon.

Me and my one baby in summer of 2008 (I also had short hair back then, oh I miss that haircut!)
My life was calm in 2008, it was clean and it never surprised me.  As I look back I see it was boring and empty and less than it should have been.  Even though I've only heard 15 words on TV during this Olympic games, I can't help but looking around me and thinking, this, this three kids, this dirty house, this people over (again), this dealing with brokenness, this toothpaste on the wall and pee on the carpet, this yelling and flipping off of chairs (darn gymnastics), is a gift.

I used to have a small, quite life, where perfection was the goal and being uptight was the norm, I used to think people with crazy children were bad parents and people with dirty houses were lazy.  God gave me exactly what I needed to mold me into a woman who could better follow after Him, who would desperately need Him, and better love those around me.

He gave me three children, and chaos, and brokenness I never understood, and he used it to strip me down, to begin to remove piece by piece the abilities that I thought I alone had created in myself.  He took me to a place where I would throw my hands up in the air and say, I surrender, I can not do this by myself.  And once I was there He began the (long) journey of putting me back together.  Building a woman who sees perfection as pride, who wonders what God would like me to accomplish in this day, who daily calls out to God for help on how to love/discipline my children, because I fully realize I have no idea what I am doing.

For the Olympics of 2012 my house is a whole lot messier, my kids are a whole lot crazier, and Michael Phelps turns out to be human after all.  But I think it's better this way, we're going to be fine, sometimes gifts are found in the strangest of places and there's always the 200 meter Butterfly.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Planning toasts, the end of babies, and TV zombies

My sister is getting married, I'm super excited, like a little bit, maybe, sorta a crazy person excited.  I may or may not have written a toast in my head today and then in hopes of not forgetting it (it was good in my humble opinion) :) recorded it as a voice memo on my phone.  Did I mention that she has been engaged for one week, has yet to set a date, and has not asigned me any toasting duties.  In my defense I can't help it, I write random things in my head all day long, though I (obviously) rarely write them down, which is the problem if I don't write it down it'll soon be gone, I've lost really good stuff that way.

Kylynn has been devouring every Boxcar Children audiobook our local library has, she'll check out all they have available and listen to them over and over, while at the same time be in the middle of one which we read at night before bed.  Our library is a little behind the times and they have more of the books on tape than CD, so Kyle took his old boombox out of the garage and put it on her dresser so she could listen to even more.  The other day we were driving somewhere in the car and she said, "Mommy I know something we can do together when I get to be grown up, like a teenager, I can come home and visit you and we can read Boxcar Children books together."  Girlfriend knows how to have a good time.  It is true that the first Boxcar Children book is one of my favorites of all time and I too once devored each and every one I could get my hands on.  It just occured to me in the 100+ books of solving crimes, do they ever get any older?

I packed up all my baby stuff this weekend.  I mean we've still got one in diapers and two in boosters, but all that stuff needed for babies under two, is out of my house!  Kyle optimistically asked me if this meant I feel done having children now and I have to admit getting all of that crap out really did help me feel done.  The other day a friend of mine said that, "it wasn't in her plans" to have any more children, she doesn't know what God's plans are, but she is not planning on it.  That's my new answer, I feel done, but I'm ready to change my mind if God has something different for us in the kiddo department.

Speaking of kiddos the motivation to get rid of all things baby, was having to move, our baby into a big girl bed.  Chloe has always been a climber so really were lucky to last this long, the transition has been a bit rocky, but tonight went amazingly well.  She has also {finally!} begun giving me kisses, without me begging or bribing, she is settling more and more into our family and it's such a great feeling!

Has anyone ever heard of this thing called the OLYMPICS!!  That's right it's only the coolest thing ever and it starts in 2 days, 15 hours, and 46 minutes.  That's right I'm a total Olympics geek and couldn't be prouder.  My children will be little TV zombies and we will eat more food in the den than we have in the past 4 years combined and of course, Kyle will want to trade me in for a more normal wife :).

And to go out on a high point, two pins that I made (or began making) this week,

Friday, July 13, 2012

A tea party for Kylynn

Kylynn, turned six this summer, oh why does time have to go by so fast.  So while I shook my head at how it is possible to have loved her for six years, I racked my brain on what type of party would capture her at this age.  I wanted her to get to do the things she loves, pretending, dressing up, and being with her friends.  A real life tea party seemed to fit just right.

It was by far my favorite birthday party I've had for any of the kiddos.  She invited all her (girl)friends and asked them to come dressed for tea.  About a week before the party she sat out her dress she had planned to wear (a black and white number that is not nearly as cute or fancy as many of the other dresses in her closet, but she is after all my daughter).

I of course turned to Pinterest to get an idea of one, what a tea party looks like and two, what does one serve at a tea party (can I just say again, God bless Pinterest, where in the world would we be without it).  I borrowed a silver tea set from a friend of mine and agreed to use it after she convinced me that she would have no hard feeling if it was in some way harmed by a party full of excited six year olds, which seemed inevitable to me (in the end not a single thing was broken and only one spill!)

I decided to serve fruit, cucumber sandwiches, cupcakes, tea and punch.  I made this recipe for the sandwiches, which was a total waste of time, it was not nearly as good as what I normally do, which is to spread veggie cream cheese on bread and add cucumber slices, and be done.  The girls actually loved the tea (which was Earl Grey decaf, so as to be kind to their mamas) due to the cream and sugar in it.

My friend made these amazing cupcakes, that were in an edible tea cup (made of chocolate), the girls loved them and I loved eating the left over cups after everyone left :).  She also made me three dozen teapot shaped cake pops to give as party favors (darn me that I didn't take a picture of them), they were adorable!

The girls sat at the table, and ate their food, then they ran off to play.  For a craft they each made their own place mat with stickers and glitter from the dollar store (side note: if you know me you know I hate glitter with a passion and do not allow it in my house, if my words fail I hope that is proof of just how deeply I love that little girl).  They ran around and made up their games with those amazing imaginations they have, opened presents and then played with each of the new toys, while the moms who stuck around got to catch up.

It was just what I had in mind, a day where Kylynn would be reminded just how very special she is, how very loved she is by her friends and family, when she could just enjoy being a six year old little girl playing tea party with her friends.

Kylynn Fay, when I look at you I am sure of the God we serve, I begin to understand better how very much He loves us, I can see how He works in people.  I love watching you grow up and I pray you will never stop running after Him.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Back in the saddle

It's a little intimating coming back here after being gone for so long.  I have never taken a break from blogging for more than a week or two at a time, and those were few and far between.  How refreshing it has been to take a good long break from this blog, to focus more on being with my kids than blogging about my kids, to make myself available to God and His work in my life, instead of just talking about God and the work I hope He would do in my life.  The longer I stay away the harder it is to come back, so it's time to get back in the saddle again, to talk about life around these parts with a (hopefully) honest and Christ centered perspective.

There have been no further car accidents or natural disasters since we last spoke, but I did have a child turn 6 (not as intimating as 5 for some reason)and graduate from Kindergarten, travel here and there and everywhere (not to mention to heaven Florida with just my two sisters), begun to find our groove in this new parenting style (which means it works about 50% of the time), and watch any pre-Olympic events available.

God has been teaching me about letting Him be in control, about just showing up and watching Him work, about how exhilarating it is to be used by Him again.  He also teaching me about letting some things go, about trusting Him with the money and the cleaning and the children who's hearts were never mine to change.

I've been grieving or living in denial really about the move of my closest friend.  I've been trying to not make other people's life changes about me (without much success).  I've been realizing that I have both a very full social calendar and a lack of friends who could move into her role.  I've been doing lots of praying, the normal daily kind and the spiritual battle kind, I've been reminded once again that this world is not my home.

We've been hot and a little bored and ready for school to start, while we dream of having a pool in our backyard, the only thing that would make me want summer to go on forever.  We've been calling the library our second home and watching more PBS than normal.  We have not begun potty training, because I am just not ready, I'm not sure if Chloe is ready or not, but I just can't do it right now, and I've decided that's okay.

It's been your typical summer, I never did put together a list of goals and now it seems to late, and that the only thing I have the energy for is: 1)Keep children alive and relatively happy.  So that's what I'll be working on the next six weeks, but I'll also be over here posting something from time to time, that is when I'm not watching the Olympics or playing with my new (to me) iphone.

I've missed y'all, what have you been up to this summer or onto a really important topic: what apps do I just need to have on my iphone?