The Long Walk to Kindergarten

The Long Walk to Kindergarten

I dropped my baby off at Kindergarten this morning. And y’all.  I cried.  Which I know isn’t surprising in and of itself, all moms cry when they drop off their babies, right? But this time, it was different. This time, my tears were a mix of nostalgia and excitement and a “we-finally-did-it” relief. Five years ago ago, I dropped my first baby off for kindergarten.  After I pulled out of the school parking lot, I had to pull over the car because I was sobbing so hard that I couldn’t drive home.  I was nostalgic, yes, because Joey had grown up so fast and he was so sweet and precious and full of hope.  But my mama heart also felt so worried for him.  So protective.  I remember watching him walk into those big double doors and having to resist the urge to chase after him, to follow him down that hallway on the long walk to his classroom.  What if he never found his classroom or his teacher?  Would he make friends?  Would he be able to eat his lunch?  And what if some big fifth grader picked on him on the playground? I was also a raging mess of exhausted hormones that day, having spent the 104th straight night up with my three-month-old desperately looking for a way to get the child to sleep.  That morning had been a whirlwind of craziness.  After hours of rocking that baby boy to sleep, he had finally dozed off just as the sun started to rise.  And so, as Joey downed his first-day-of-Kindergarten pancakes, I carried my still-sleeping three-year-old to...
3 Ways To Create Margin in Your Overcrowded Life

3 Ways To Create Margin in Your Overcrowded Life

I’m so excited to have my friend and fellow blogger Bobi Ann Allen guest post today.  And I love this post!  It’s so refreshing and I SO NEED MARGIN right now.  Find her work at http://bobiann.com/.   Even as you read this post, you are experiencing margin. Margin is the space on either side of the print with nothing–nothing but white. Space where you might add an occasional note or pause to absorb what you read. Margin isn’t necessary only in publishing, margin is necessary for contentment in our lives. Are you experiencing an angst for something more? Are you longing for room for your soul to rest yet nothing about your schedule is relaxing? The ache you feel isn’t there by coincidence. God is drawing you in. He placed a yearning within you for a life lived with meaning and purpose. Yet, many of us have overfilled our lives to the point we don’t have time to experience purposeful living. We need empty space, room for God to move, and time to process what we’re experiencing and learning. Those who live without margin are overwhelmed, maxed out and usually in need of therapy! Creating margin when your life seems to be running off the page doesn’t happen without intentionality and deliberate choices. Here are 3 effective ways to create margin: Prioritize Effectively Run on the treadmill, read my Bible, a night out with the girls, clean the house, feed the dog, volunteer at my child’s school, date my husband … so many choices on how to spend my time, and all of them good! But I can’t do...
20 Things I Never Thought I’d Say (But Said Yesterday)

20 Things I Never Thought I’d Say (But Said Yesterday)

  All of the mom bloggers had filled my mind with so many stories about poop and boogers and throw-up that by the time I had my firstborn, I knew my vocabulary would quickly change.  And it did.  By the time I had two toddlers running around, my daily commentary sounded something like this: Stop eating poop Stop picking your nose Stop touching poop Stop touching your nose It smells like poop We don’t touch mud.  (Or is it poop?) I expected this.  I knew it would happen. What I didn’t expect was some of the things I would say now.  Now that my kids a) are potty trained and b) know better than to pick their noses in front of me and c) sort of know how to wash their hands.  Yet, alas, the words I never thought I’d say just keep on coming.  Here are twenty from this week.  (Please add your own in the comments… we’ll start a list!)  Please take the bug off of your face and put it back outside so we can eat dinner.  Ten-year-olds can’t have coffee.  Okay, just a small cup.  No, the cat may not wear my necklace outside.  Don’t even tell me about the scorpion.  Just kill it, wrap it in a paper towel and take it outside to the garbage without telling me and I’ll give you a dollar.  Did you say you wanted a lettuce, avocado and mayo sandwich?  Just dig your uniform out of the dirty laundry and scrub off any visible stains.  I promise I’ll do laundry tomorrow.  You know, if you moved those glass...

Why Are We Proud of Smacking Our Kids?

It was one of those rare occasions where the stars aligned with my husband’s back-to-school schedule and my son’s soccer schedule and (Thank you, Lord) I got to go to the grocery store by myself. Like just me. No kids. No husband. So I was obviously in a great mood, humming my way through checkout when the toddler in the aisle next to me started to throw a massive, screaming tantrum in the seat of the cart. I hardly noticed (I have learned to tune those sorts of things out), but the lady who was checking me out stopped scanning my groceries to cover her ears. And then she looked at me, obviously hoping for camaraderie and said:  “I can’t believe some parents let their kids get by with stuff like that. If I were his mom, I would smack him so hard he wouldn’t know what hit him.” The lady in line behind me chimed in:  “I’m with you. My kids would have never acted out like that in a store. She needs to show him whose boss.”  And the two women rolled their eyes at the young mom and proudly regaled me with tales of their perfectly behaved children who wouldn’t dare throw a tantrum in the store. Because if they had, they would have been “smacked on their little butts so hard that they would never forget it.”  (That’s a quote.) I wanted to say something snarky like “And you’re proud of that?” or “Really?  You think that’s good parenting?” but I bit my tongue.  And I stayed quiet. And then I walked out of the...
My Sour Patch Kid

My Sour Patch Kid

My friend Mollie calls my three-year-old son Will a Sour Patch Kid.  Here’s why: He can be sweet as candy (and he tells me that often) but he can also be so, so, so sour. And so it really wasn’t a surprise to me last week when he chose the be sour at the most inopportune moment.  Like. Ever. I was at Joey’s soccer practice and Kate had joined in playing with some other kids at a kid’s camp trial.  She was playing freeze tag.  Joey was playing soccer.  Will was sitting on my lap eating Goldfish crackers.  All was good.  Or so I thought. I heard someone yell, “Who is her mother?” and then someone else ask “Do we have ice?” and “Is there a nurse or doctor here?”  I saw a blur of pink on the field and recognized Kate’s shirt as several adults ran towards the place where she lay.  I stood up to run towards her only to remember a moment later that Will– the Sour Patch Kid– was still sitting in the bleachers.  I turned back to grab him just as he grabbed my purse (also in the bleachers), unzipped it, dumped it on the field and started to run. Tampons.  Cash.  Store Receipts.  Gum wrappers.  A tiny syrup container that I had gotten from Cracker Barrel.  All rolling around on the grass on the soccer field where people were playing.  Awesome. I glanced at Kate on the field and saw she was sitting up and surrounded by adults so I started to scoop my stuff into my purse, assuming the Sour Patch Kid...
The Day I Lost It

The Day I Lost It

Kindness and grace. Hope and encouragement. Support and love. But not a single word of condemnation. For those of you who missed it, I had a complete meltdown last week.  Complete with a whiny temper tantrum and lots of moaning and groaning to boot.  I felt overwhelmed and tired and completely inadequate.  I felt isolated and alone…and so desperate. And so I reached out, hoping for a lifeline, but almost expecting the opposite.  Expecting someone to say something like “you have so much so quit whining” and “we all struggle” and “you think you have it bad, you should see…”  And if I’m being honest, if someone would’ve said those things, they would’ve been right.  I am lucky.  I have a wonderful blessed life and I have been given much.  We do all struggle.  I do need to look for the joy in my blessings.  And I do need to realize that there are many who struggle with much more difficult things than me. But no one said them. And when I was at my most raw, when the aforementioned truths felt distant to me, I shared my heart– flawed as it is.  And you all rallied around me in a way that was so uplifting, so beautiful, so kind that I get teary just thinking about it. I’ve seen so much talk lately about the so-called Mommy Wars… about playground politics and moms who are constantly trying to one-up each other.  I’ve seen posts ranting about our judgmental culture, about the fact that moms can’t even go to the grocery store without someone stopping them to tell them...
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