Gentle Reminders

The truck is rattling. Another repair. Hundreds of dollars … not sure coming from where.

Contentment and joy come from a grateful heart, not from circumstances.

Friends so close, and a bond so strong. I could only feel shock when you left me all alone.

Contentment and joy come from a grateful heart, not from circumstances.

I work so hard, no one seems to see. I’m tired, frustrated … just want to be free.

Contentment and joy come from a grateful heart, not from circumstances.

Food on the table, and clothes on your back. Love my kids … hate to see them in lack.

Contentment and joy come from a grateful heart, not from circumstances.

Death and destruction … the world is so sad. Injustice, inequality … makes us so mad.

Contentment and joy come from a grateful heart, not from circumstances.

This was written for you … for me … and anyone any of these situations could apply to. Don’t let your situation dictate your attitude. Happiness is a decision.

Contentment and joy come from a grateful heart, not from circumstances.

It’s Our Anniversary ….

He'd come up from his office working on the computer. I was across the room schooling the kids. Our eyes met … that look… that smile … that knowing how the other is feeling and gently saying, "I'm here." and "I support you." without having to release the words. That's what 13 years of marriage is about. He's my best friend, my confidante, always has my back, is a loving husband and an awesome father.

I love you, honey. Happy anniversary.

Angry Birds Syndrome

I’m that mom. The one that was at the school all the time, volunteering, taking part, active. I monitor what they watch, who they spend time with, their computer usage, etc. They brush their teeth twice a day, floss every night and eat veggies (or some semblance thereof – something green) every day. I’m by no means perfect, but I’m a pretty involved momma. Sometimes overboard, but I’m entitled. Well, one of those “overboard” times caught up with me … with Angry Birds.

I heard the name of the game, saw the t-shirts and advertisements, and immediately decided it belonged in the bad influence/my kids won’t be watching that crowd. I knew nothing about the game, mind you. It just thought it sounded, well, angry. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw a dear friend, whose parenting approach I trust completely, letting her kids play the game. Once I got over my initial shock, I was intrigued. If she trusted it to let her kids play it, maybe I’d let my boys give it a whirl. So I did my due diligence. I checked out the game. Played a couple of rounds. Had to have it pried from my hands. My research paid off, and I decided it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Lol.

And that was several days … and scores of games … ago. Goes to show you can’t always judge a book … or a game … by its cover.

Now where is my Angry Birds game?

Want More? Give More.

Blog - August - community-helping-hands

So many people are so afraid to share with others. They don’t want to share their knowledge, because then you’ll know what they know. Share their time, they’ll be behind in what they’re trying to achieve. Share their resources and what they have … less for them later. And then they’re looking around, wondering why they don’t have enough.

If you want more, the answer is simple. Give more. I’m a giver by nature. I love to help people, to encourage and uplift them, to give them resources that can help them, to give my time and efforts to assist them. And it comes back to me … in huge unexpected ways. Like all of the incredible free resources people are unselfishly sharing with me on my new homeschool journey; like a gracious new friend who invited me to her house and showed me her set up so I can see a homeschool in action; like the many beautiful Godly sisters who love me through word and deed; like my husband who gives of himself to our family every single day.

Giving pays so much more. Expand your borders. Be a giver.

O Captain My Captain

August - Robin Williams picture

Brilliance. Robin Williams exhibited that rare combination of brilliance; an actor who could have you roaring with laughter in one film, then moved and touched beyond comprehension in another. One of my favorite films of all time, and my favorite with him, is Dead Poet’s Society (though Mrs. Doubtfire is a close second). The film, the acting, the cast, were all phenomenal. And Robin Williams was the dramatic glue that held it all together. I’d be remiss, of course, if I didn’t mention some of his other incredible works … Hook, Good Will Hunting, Aladdin, and the list goes on and on.

While his works were incredible and tributes are moving, right now more of us are sadly overcome with the news of his death. Anytime a movie or television star dies, if the actor is from a show or movie we loved, we feel like we’ve lost a member of the extended family. We remember the last time we watched the person on screen; we recall the last time they made us laugh or cry, just like recalling the last time we saw a family member who passed. Such is the case with icon Robin Williams.

But I suspect for many of you, like me, that the pain of his death extends beyond this. It’s not just that he’s gone … but the way that it happened. A vibrant life, snuffed out, before its time. A life … that provided joy and laughter for so many … yet ironically was plagued with sadness and loneliness at the end. A life … spent helping others understand written words and bringing them to life … that in the end didn’t feel as though he could be understood.

And I think that’s what hurts the most. Depression is real. It’s heavy. And it can be heartbreaking. If you’re in a sadness “you can’t get out of”, or it’s been going on for far too long, please talk to someone. Get help. As we see, you are not alone.

Rest in peace, captain.

Can We Please Not Talk About This Now?

Blog - August - children-holding-hands

A 7-year old boy wanting a girlfriend?

Thankfully, mine does not. He told me this in no uncertain terms. He was reading a book about a bear having a girlfriend, so I started asking him how he felt about having a girlfriend.

“I’m too young,” he said. “Besides, I would have to spend all my time with a girlfriend – no time for my family or my friends. No thanks.” Accurate assessment, lol.

Happy to be making some headway, I asked what he thought was the appropriate age for a girlfriend.

“Older, I guess.” He then fidgeted and said, “Can we please not talk about this now?”

Huh? Okay, I countered, albeit reluctantly.

Not sure how to feel about his abrupt end to the discussion. I don’t want him to feel awkward talking to me, so I tried to choose my questions carefully.

I went through the litany of questions in my head – did I say too much? Did I ask too much? Did I say it in a teasing way? Did I make him feel uncomfortable?

But you know what? He’s 7. Maybe it’s just not time to talk about it anymore right now. And that’s okay. :)

Me Too

I worked so hard last year to remove stress from my life. Not the everyday stress that comes from being blessed with two incredibly rambunctious little boys, but extra, unnecessary, took on too much, said-yes-when-you-should-have-said-no, stress. It tries to rear its ugly head occasionally, and I even get sucked in every so often, but overall I am doing a good job of keeping it at bay.

During this past week, as I think about starting to homeschool and continue working, I’ve felt the back of my neck stiffen and my stomach churn. Undue stress was trying to make a comeback. I prayed, refocused, refreshed, yet it remained. Nagging doubts crept in … could I do it all? Was this crazy? Was I crazy? Is this even possible? And on and on and on.

Then the most wonderful thing happened. I heard two of the most beautiful words in the English language.

Me too.

Me too – other women confessed online, in Facebook posts, that they were dealing with situations just like mine.
Me too – these women talked about struggling with decisions, with time, with busyness
Me too – they talked about making it through successfully … and coming back for another year

Who knows how sharing your story can help someone else dealing with a similar situation.
Me too.

Wives, Listen Up

My husband is an amazing man. I am very blessed. He is an excellent father, works hard and tries hard in all he does. He even manages to pop in an occasional surprise or two for me. Well he really managed to render me speechless (which is saying a lot) this week.

Wives, listen up

We’re making some big changes in our household. Homeschooling, setting up schoolrooms, revamping office space … it’s a miniature little construction village. When we were in the planning stages a couple of months ago, my husband told me he could finish walls that only had insulation, to make the room inhabitable.

Wives, listen up

I trusted him. I knew he had experience painting. I knew he’d helped his dad with many construction projects. I knew he loved handyman work. But putting up walls? To look like the “real walls” in other parts of the house? Um… wasn’t too sure about that one. But I decided to support his efforts, put out the money, and see what we ended up with.

Wives, listen up

Why am I telling the wives to listen up? Because it’s important to believe in your husband. Support your man. Validate his efforts. But your time, talent, and treasure (yes, family money) into helping him do it. And then trust him to do it. What did I end up with as a result? A room with “real walls” (he even painted them) that looks gorgeous – even better the walls done by the professionals. I’m looking for a way to get the newly painted room as mine, and let him have the old one. Now that part he ain’t having. Lol.

So glad I listened up.

For the Kids . . .

July - Final Blog pix - For the Kids

Things I have had to sacrifice for my children ….

Nights of undisturbed sleep,
Food in fancy restaurants, to eat.
Precious time to spend alone,
Upgrades to the latest phones.
New clothes, gorgeous shoes,
Exotic travels with incredible views.
A quiet home, a peaceful table,
Watching whatever I want on cable.
Climbing the career ladder,
Being selfish in decisions that matter.
I’ve had to sacrifice all of this and more for my children…

And I’d do it ALL again.

Because I’m Happy . . .

July - Happy blog 2

I just feel happy today and wanted to share it. No particular reason. I woke up this morning, and decided, I’m going to be happy today. Full of joy. Full of peace. Grateful to God for this life that I live. I decided to think happy, simple, thoughts. Nothing complicated. Nothing heavy. Here’s a few of the things that make me happy.

1. Rain against the window
2. Yellow flowers
3. A laughing child
4. A rainbow
5. Ice cream
6. Chocolate
7. A nap
8. Reading a good book
9. My favorite sitcom
10. A kiss