A Christmas Challenge

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Merry Christmas Eve! If you’re like many Americans today, you’re probably out buying last minute gifts, hurriedly wrapping the last of the gifts or planning your Christmas Day.
Tomorrow marks the middle holiday event that leads us closer to a new year.

Thanksgiving has come and gone and saw us stuffing ourselves with food and emptying our pockets on all the great sales. Christmas is a time to be with family, show our love by giving gifts and feel others’ love by receiving gifts. New Year’s is a day of celebration as we say out with the old and in with the new and better.

Some of us probably took some time to give to those less fortunate than us. Maybe you served at a soup kitchen thanksgiving morning before gorging in your own kitchen. Christmas is a wonderful time to give toys to kids who don’t have any. I mean, what better way to clear out the toy bins for all those Christmas presents we’re about to give and receive (kid and adult toys)? With the new year comes taxes so end of the year giving to charities provides a meaningful way to get rid of some money to receive a tax break.

I interrupt my slightly sarcastic words to point out a few things:
1. I know many people who really do have good hearts as they do all the above mentioned things
2. I realize there are other holidays during this time of year. Forgive me for not including them. I don’t celebrate them and thus have no background to include them in my holiday examples.
3. Personally, my family celebrates Christmas because it’s Jesus’ birthday. Take away the family, the gifts, the merriment and we still have reason to celebrate-our Lord and Savior came to earth so we would not have to spend eternity without him and we rejoice in that on Christmas Day.

So in a month and a half time (end of November through January 1) there is a ton of giving going on in our country. I won’t ask anyone to validate why they are giving or who they give to.

My challenge this Christmas season is to think about the remaining 10 1/2 months of the year. What would happen if once a quarter (that’s once every 3 months for those of you who, like me, go brain dead at times like this. It’s like my brain just stops ticking and all I can do is stare into space as I try to come with something, anything to say) each one of us gave to someone in need simply because….well, just to do a nice thing?

The homeless woman on the corner? Give her a couple of those blueberry muffins you just bought for breakfast. Maybe she’s homeless and hungry, maybe she’s just trying to pull one over on you, but I bet you’ll make her smile. Have a heart for kids? Find a local foster care family or organization and donate some of your kids’ books or toys-not because you’re getting new ones, but just because you can. Miss your grandparents? Make some Valentine cards and head on down to a nursing home to pass them out. Got those taxes back? Maybe you could take a small percentage, buy some groceries and drop it off at a food pantry. Find some coupons and weekly deals in diapers and donate a pack to the pregnancy center. Maybe even take one Saturday morning, load up the family and donate your time to a homeless shelter.

I don’t know how many people live in America and honestly, my kids are napping right now so I’m racing against time to actually start and finish this thing in one sitting, but suffice to say, it’s a lot. Imagine if even one quarter of us took this Christmas challenge and carried it out. Just one time of giving every 3 months. Imagine how many people we could take care of? How many people we could help? How many smiles we could deliver?

Side note-I did it. I’m done typing and the kids are still sleeping. It’s a Christmas miracle.

Saying goodbye to home

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I was blessed to grow up just 15 minutes away from my grandparents (on my mom’s side), who lived on a small farm in the country. Granted by the time my brother and I were born and old enough to remember any animals, the only critters there were rabbits and that didn’t last long. If you ask my mom, she doesn’t remember there being any animals, though she did have rabbits when she was growing up (along with a cow or two, possibly some other animals), but I’m going to stick by my memories of rabbits. There were also 2 huge gardens on either side of the 2 acre property and a small strawberry patch. The rest of the property was dotted with an old, small, pieced together barn (that held the aforementioned cow(s)), an old dog house, a small shed connected to a larger pole barn, an outhouse looking shed that held old coal, a large lean to where tractors were parked, a brick 2 car garage, another metal shed that held mostly fire wood, and of course, the two story farmhouse.

A small, murky swampy pond sat just on the other side of the back property line and it held many adventures for my brother and I, our cousins, along with friends and the neighbor boy down the road. On a side note, this is the boy who once said I could never shoot him and not miss. Luckily for him, it was just a BB gun, because I did shoot him….and I didn’t miss. My grandpa kept everything. Some may have called him a hoarder, but he was simply a man who survived the depression and was ready for another one. If the apocalypse came, I knew where I was going to go. That being said, out of his “junk” we made rafts out of inner tubes, wooden pallets and hockey sticks with the ends sawed off. Oh the fun we had pushing ourselves through that murky wonder.

The plethora of buildings provided us with places to climb, hide, explore, and play in. Hours on end were spent climbing tractors; walking through the barn with the very old hay, imagining a cow kept there; sorting through the old hardware, farm and garden tools, and odds and ends and climbing over the furniture and riding mower in the garage. In later years, my mom and I would dream of how we would refinish all the old stuff and open our own business.

Then of course there was the house. I recall playing Lincoln logs on the stair landing; having sleep overs in my grandmas room upstairs (and her portable potty chair that she kept upstairs since the only real bathroom was downstairs); trying to get the color to come in on my great grandmas old boob tube (it was a black and white tv….it took us awhile to learn what that meant); practicing my piano skills in the den (one of my aunts painted it an avocado green when she was younger); traipsing down to the basement and being awed by all the canned goods in the root cellar room, the unlighted corner that held who knows what and was covered in cob webs, helping with laundry in their ancient washer and then hanging the clothes out to dry, shuffling food around in the two deep freezers, and sneaking pop.

The gardens held a variety of vegetables and in later years, flowers too. My brother and I loved running through the corn field, though looking back, it was really just a few rows of corn. But when you’re small, the full grown corn stalks were taller than us and seemed to provide yards of mazes for us. Green beans needed picking, but that also meant munching away on fresh beans as we picked off the ends, dirt and all. There’s nothing better than a homegrown carrot and I loved eating the tomatoes like an apple with a little sugar sprinkled on. I would catch moths and other small bugs to feed the ants. I’d watch them tear apart their meals and carry them down into their holes, then I’d dig around and try to find the moth part. I never did. To this day it’s still a mystery as to how the ants ate, broke down or hid/stored each insect that quickly. There was an electric wire that ran around the perimeter of the main garden (the other garden grew pumpkins and other squash in the fall, and gave us our own pumpkin patch) and my brother and I would laugh hysterically as we dared each other to touch the fence and jolt ourselves. I would catch moths and other small bugs to feed the ants. I’d watch them tear apart their meals and carry them down into their holes, then I’d dig around and try to find the moth part. I never did. To this day it’s still a mystery as to how the ants ate, broke down or hid/stored each insect that quickly. Two of my old dogs are buried there.

You could watch birds and squirrels at the bird feeders from the kitchen window. We would tunnel into and build forts in the piles of snow after my grandpa plowed in the winter. There was a small hill in the front yard that gave us sledding fun and we’d often head across the street to a larger hill that, if you weren’t careful, would dump you into the creek after careening down. The row of pine trees along the driveway were full grown when I was old enough to notice them, but I marveled at how my mom and her sisters could jump over them when they were kids growing up. Ground hogs and chipmunks were always making holes or digging into the garden and considered nuisances. We enjoyed walking behind my grandparents through the open field that led to a forest with a fox hole that always had animal bones scattered around. I remember walking back there just me and a friend one time and seeing a wolf. We freaked and ran all the way back to the house. Granted it was probably just the fox, but the imagination of a young girl can run wild at times. Deer were plentiful and my Grandpa blessed us with a nice buck every year. Venison, mmm-mmm good!

Oh the memories. I could go on and on. That was home to me. It was home even though we lived in town. It was home when I moved away to college, and then grad school, and then got a job. Whenever I traveled home, that is the house I thought of. After my Grandpa passed away and then my Grandma, my mom moved into that farmhouse and has lived there the past few years.

Until now. The house has been sold; it no longer belongs to our family. I feel like a part of me died when it was sold. That was home. Our family home. My home. Our memories. It drew me back and called to me when I had been gone too long. It was a breath of fresh air, peace and tranquility regardless of what my life held. The memories flood back often and I smile at them, only now there are tears behind the smiles. It’s like an ending of an era that I miss so much.

 

Me vs. the President

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You know what has been really frustrating about this election? The power that people have put on our future president. It probably happens with each election, but this is the first one I am really aware of it being such an issue.

Let me ask a question: How will the new president affect your life? I mean, really affect your personal life, your family, what you stand for and believe in? I’m not saying our president does not affect us in any way, shape or form, but who has more power over your day to day life, you or the President? Who has more power over what your kids are raised to believe, you or the President? Who has more power over the people you claim deserve more rights and more help, you or the President?

I am a woman and I have a daughter. We deserve to be looked at not as a physical body that is either pleasurable or not, fat or skinny, hot or ugly, but as human beings who have been created in God’s image, fearfully and wonderfully knit together in our mothers’ wombs and are beautiful JUST the way we are. And yet, what am I promoting when I watch TV shows that show just the opposite? What am I supporting when I sit through a movie that depicts men lusting over a woman’s body and women trying to seduce a man to lust over her body? Am I not being hypocritical in what I claim to believe and want to teach my kids vs. what I am allowing into my brain and supporting with my money (books, movie tickets, cable bills, high speed internet, products promoted by sexual means)?

When it comes to teaching my daughter that her identity is in Christ alone, that who she is is so much more than what she looks like, who is she going to learn it from, the President….or me? I have a whole heck of a lot more influence over my daughter than any person in the oval office.

Abortion is always a hot topic when it comes to elections. Pro-life vs. pro-choice. A woman’s rights vs. a baby’s rights. is it a person or a fetus? When does it become a person? Which candidate is going to support what I believe and do what I think should be done? My question to you (and myself) is: what are YOU doing to support what you claim to believe?  Because again, it goes back to who has more power, you and me, or the President?

As a pro-lifer, what am I doing to support my claim that a baby is a person at the moment of conception, that he/she is formed by God himself at that exact moment, that to abort a baby is murder? Do I simply post articles on facebook touting my truths? Do I yell them from the street corner? Or do I do a little homework, realize that many abortions are done because the mother sees no other way out of a very real, very scary situation in her life, and find a way to provide other resources for these women? Many cities have pregnancy centers that provide physical resources and teachings for these women. I’m talking diapers, wipes, baby clothes, car seats, cribs, how to care for yourself and the life inside you while pregnant and as well as how to care for a baby and be a mom (many times a single mom). These clinics provide resources by way of women coming along side of them, supporting them, help with health care for mom and baby, etc. Maybe instead of spending our time and energies on hating the “other side”, we rally together to support these pregnancy centers by way of money, donations of items, volunteer hours. Let’s take the power into our own hands and really make a difference, regardless of what the law books say, regardless of what any president says.

So I say, whatever your beliefs (even if they are different that mine), realize that YOU and I have more power to be the change that we so desperately want. YOU and I have more power to help our neighbor, the homeless vet, the abused woman. YOU and I have more power to teach our children the truth. No matter who is in the white house or even in the role as our city mayor, no one has more power to influence our life and our world than we do. NO ONE.

 

 

Friends and Family

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img_6003-2I grew up surrounded by family. When I was young and my parents still married, I remember visiting my Dad’s side of the family a few hours away. From what I remember, I had a plethora of cousins. Now that I’m older and can actually count how many I have, it’s not as many as I remember, but still a lot. My mom’s side of the family was smaller, but closer in distance with my grandparents in the same town. We got together often and I have memories and pictures galore of the fun we had.

Now that we’re grown with families and kids of our own, the closest member of my family lives 5 states away. Thankfully I married into a family who lives only one state away with an aunt and uncle in the same town as us!

But I’m used to so much more, and I miss it. I miss them. I miss family that I see on a monthly basis. I miss the playing, the laughing, the holiday meals, the kids playing while the adults talked.

And yet I am blessed with an extended family, a family I call friends. People who have brought meals after my kids were born, people who have prayed for us and with us. People who we have shared meals with. People who my kids love to play with.

Tonight, Halloween, I was reminded of some of these wonderful extended family I have surrounding me. We ate dinner together, the kids at one table with the babies in high chairs and adults scattered amongst the table and couch. We kept an eye on each others’ kids as they ran from room to room playing with the toys (sometimes sharing, sometimes not), encouraged them to say “please” before getting a cracker to tide them over before dinner, mopped up messes made by whichever kid made it, whether our own or not, laughed and took pictures as the kids got into their costumes (and some adults too), and then went out trick or treating. Another mom held my little girl’s hand while I pushed my youngest in the stroller. When my camera ran out of room for pictures, my friends jumped in with theirs to capture the precious moments. As the kids ran around the front yard, getting lost between the cars and going inside and out, we all managed to keep track of them.

They may not be family by blood, but they are family none the less and I am blessed to have them near!

 

 

 

My heart can’t breathe

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Have you ever read or heard something, maybe saw something, and it made your heart hurt? A deep, raw aching that almost feels like your heart has stopped breathing and there’s this wild desperation for something to change? No? Just me? Okay, well, let me tell you, it sucks. It makes me feel so helpless, hopeless.7

This is what the book, “7” by Jen Hatmaker does to me, every time I read it. Every. Single Time. I’m on my third read through right now and why I continue to put myself through the mess that becomes my heart, I’m not sure why exactly. Probably because it combines my passion for helping those in need and the words of Jesus to help those in need. The breathless heart that comes with it is just a casual side affect. Lucky me.

Basically Jen takes 7 different areas of her life (which also includes her family because as a wife and mom, it’s impossible to separate the two) and reduces them for one month each. Cuts out the crap. Gets rid of the excess. In fact the subtitle of the book is “an experimental mutiny against excess”. We’re talking clothes, spending, waste, food, possessions, media, and stress. The end result? A simpler life. Less stuff. More money. More time as a family. Less stress and more peace. The reason behind it all? Starving children. Homeless people. An earth that is disappearing. Landfills that are taking over. Sick and tired of living a life of consumption while the vast majority of people around the world, even in our own country, have nothing, eat nothing, and die with nothing.

Before talking numbers, let me point out this book was published in 2012 so the following numbers have changed and I’m 100% sure they have not changed in a positive direction. It is only getting worse.

Each month’s area tugs at my heart, but the two that leave it breathless are ‘Waste’ and ‘Spending’.

We are a wasteful nation. I am a wasteful person. I’ve been purging our house slowly but surely the past few months (imagine trying to sort through the closets while trying to keep track of two little people who are also cleaning out everything else. and by cleaning, I mean take everything out of and make a mess, then quickly move on to the next drawer, box, container, cupboard, etc.). I normally feel very victorious doing this. We are simplifying our lives people! We have too much stuff and other people could use it. So I take it to the thrift store that’s closest to me and my burden is lightened.

Except.

Except my newly cleaned out closets don’t really stay cleaned out for long. Life continues and we just replace all that stuff we no longer used with more stuff. Stuff that we wanted. Stuff that we would use, at least for now. And eventually I’ll get to the point of purging the house again. And then we’ll replace it all. Perhaps….perhaps the problem isn’t that our house is too small or that we have too much stuff…perhaps the problem is that we’re continuing to buy more and more stuff in the first place. We are a society that says “if you want it, buy it” and “if it breaks, throw it out and buy a new one”. Heck, just about every week I’m guilty of buying too much produce and throwing some out because it goes bad before I can chop it up and eat it (not to mention those plastic bags in the produce section that we’re supposed to use-waste!). No problem, I’ll just go buy more. Kids didn’t like what I made for dinner? Throw it out and make them a grilled cheese. Meanwhile, 25,000 people EVERY SINGLE DAY (again, these numbers are from 4 years ago) are dying from starvation.

Heck, we buy cereal that comes in two packages-a plastic bag and a box to put around it. Throw the bag away and recycle the box. But do we really need two packages? All in the name of advertising (and don’t tell me advertising doesn’t work. it does, we’re all guilty of being lured to something simply because of advertising)? More waste.

More numbers:

Annual U.S. spending on cosmetics: $8 BILLION (yes, with a B)

Basic education for all global children: $6 BILLION

So we could educate the entire world’s children and still have $2 billion left to spend on cosmetics. Kind of makes that 10th color of eye shadow not seem so important, doesn’t it?

burkina-girls-cirAnnual U.S. and European spending on perfume: $12 billion (my heart…it’s losing breath)

Clean water for all global citizens: $9 billion

I. can’t. breath. We could give clean water to the ENTIRE WORLD and still have $3 billion left to spend on perfume. Jesus, please forgive me. I’m actually not a perfume wearer, but I am guilty. I am guilty of being selfish. I put my need for stuff (seriously, we don’t even NEED perfume) above the very LIFE of someone who needs clean water. Jesus says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31.

How much do I love myself? Well, enough to make sure I have clean water. Heck, we even have enough water that I let my littles play in a sink with water just to make them happy. I love myself enough that I don’t just wear clothes, but I wear clothes that I like, are comfortable, and don’t have stains or holes in them. I love myself enough that I have a bed to sleep in at night (and the occasional nap I sometimes get). I love myself enough that I buy healthy food, lots of produce (again, that I often let go bad because I don’t feel like chopping or peeling) and eat more food than I need. I love myself enough that I drive my own vehicle while my husband has his own. Our children have enough clothes that I don’t have to do their laundry for almost 2 weeks. Our house not only provides a roof over our head, but we have the luxery of running the AC low enough to keep us cool, have TWO living areas, a kitchen that is stocked full, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. We currently have 4 lap tops. That’s right-FOUR! Not only do we have walls around us, but we have decorations on those walls. Not only is the floor covered in toys, but there are more in the other living area, the kids’ bedroom, and up on the shelf out of the way.

I’m losing my breath again.

So what do I do with this book? What do I do after reading it? Do I recycle more, donate more stuff, stop buying so much, make sure we eat all the fruits and veggies I buy (okay, let’s me honest, it’s always the veggies that go bad)? Do I give all our stuff away, sell our house and move into a one room apartment with my entire family? The above verse doesn’t say to stop loving yourself, it simply says “love your neighbor as yourself“. Okay, so what does that mean?

That’s what I’m doing this time around. I’m finding out how to love my neighbor. Maybe instead of just donating some extra stuff to a random thrift store, I find someonespecific or some organization that really needs it. A single mom who works 3 jobs just to afford a small apartment for her and her children, but the apartment is bare; a homeless couple who need a tent that doesn’t leak when it rains. Maybe instead of just giving money to a homeless resource center, I cook a meal and serve the men, women and children who come through there. Maybe instead of trying to entertain my kids with their toys that they are so bored with, we gather some up and bring it to some kids who don’t have any (It’s never too young to teach my little people about Jesus’ command to love our neighbor!). Maybe instead of letting the extra produce go bad, I put together healthy meals and donate them to an organization that provides food for low income families on the weekends, when their kids don’t get fed at school.

As far as spending and waste, do we really need a brand spankin’ new shirt? Could we shop second hand? Do we really need to buy that wall art or nick knack? Couldn’t we find a more noble cause for that money? Do we really have to use plastic bags for all our produce? What about ziplock bags for our kids’ school lunch food? Perhaps we invest in some reusable plastic containers, even if we have to hand wash them each day to fill for the next day?

I can feel my breath coming back. Slowly. I can do something. I can make a change, not just in my life, but in someone else’s. I can be the change that people need.

Because I said so!!

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This morning’s sermon at church was about Authority. Specifically the difference between Power and Authority and Jesus’ Authority (I’ll leave the explanation of Jesus’ Authority to Pastor Don, who taught this morning. You can view it here http://www.fcog.com/sermons/sermons1/)

What he taught on the differences between Power and Authority was astounding to me, specifically as a mom because, well, because I am a mom and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and am doing in my life. So I pretty much relate everything to being a mom and hold tightly to the concepts that help me.

Power. It’s intoxicating. Everyone wants Power. To be in charge. To not just be listened to, but obeyed. To have people even a little bit afraid of us. Power often equals money, fame, success, the ability to do what we want when we want, to have people do what we want when we want, not necessarily because THEY want to, but because WE want them to. Power says “obey me or else” and makes people afraid of not obeying.

And yet.

And yet Jesus was none of those things. First of all, he came from nothing and according to the world, he became nothing. He was not rich, nor was he famous. He constantly had people plotting to kill him so I would argue that he wasn’t successful either, nor did he have everybody doing what he wanted. And when he did have people doing what he wanted (laying down their life to follow and glorify God), it was by their own choice, because THEY wanted to, and it didn’t result in fame, money or success. Many of them were killed for following Jesus.

And yet.

And yet they did. Why? Because he was One who had Authority (Matthew 7:28-29). Authority is who a person is. Not what they have. Not the position they are in. Not how loud they talk. Not what they can do to you if you don’t obey them. It is simply who they are. Authority simply says “obey me because I said so” and here’s the kicker, makes people WANT to obey.

Now, on to the parenting aspect.

As a mom, I hold a position of power, at least up to a limit depending on the age of my child. I can “force” them into obedience by making their life miserable (that may simply mean time out for a young child or taking a teenager’s car away) and starting out with young kids, that’s how we often teach them, with physical means of discipline (by physical I don’t just mean spanking, I mean the time outs, taking objects or privileges away, etc.). But the physical act of discipline isn’t always going to work simply because I can’t always be there with the eyes in the back of my head, seeing everything they do.

This is where I pray my position of power (as ‘Mom’) has turned into one of authority. Perhaps my disciplining my children when they disobey now, while they are young, will grow into them choosing to obey my rules not because they don’t want to be grounded or have their car keys taken away, but because they want to. Not because they’re afraid I’ll see them or find out and discipline them. Not because they’re afraid of my power, but because they, dare I say it, respect me as one in authority? They choose to obey my rules simply because…..I said so. Gasp! The reason all of us hated to hear from our parents when we were kids. And yet it’s so true.

Submitting to authority is something we all deal with in all phases of our lives. As kids, as college students, as grown ups in the real world. We submit to our parents, to our teachers, to the government, to our bosses, to our spouses. My job as a parent is to teach them how to function in life, not just at the ages of 2 and 11 months, but as adults. It’s my job to teach them how to respect authority, to submit to it, to obey it. On the flip side, it’s also my job to teach them how to function when THEY are the ones who are in authority. When they are the bosses, the teachers, the parents.

The best way to do this is leading by example. Making sure I’m the type of authority figure that deserves respect, deserves obedience, deserves to have them want to follow in my footsteps. It takes love, it takes humbleness, it takes servanthood. It takes Jesus, the perfect example.

They deserve my best

 

 

Mom failure

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Moms love to brag on themselves. I’m not saying it’s wrong (heck, I sometimes feel like I do so many things wrong that when I finally get it right, I want the world to know), but when that’s ALL a mom does, it makes those of us hearing about it feel like crap, because, let’s face it, this whole “mom” thing is tough. We all mess up, some more than others. Some laugh about it and some cry about it (I’ve done both). Some share their mistakes and failures with others and some hide it like they’re running for office and burying all their dirty little secrets.

(these are the good moments. you know, the ones you share with others)

So, to make all you other moms feel good about yourself, let me share with you my mistakes. My failures. My “oh my gosh, you did what??” dirty, little secrets.

  1. I’ve yelled at my kids, which include a young toddler and baby right now. That’s right, I have yelled (not just raised my voice, but screamed at the top of my lungs) at my baby. I would love to say this is was a one time occurrence, but it isn’t. I would love to blame it on lack of sleep (which I do have), but I can’t. It is a heart problem. It is a “I need to get on my knees and give it to God and pray for His patience and tender heart to love my kids no matter how tired I am or how much they cry” problem.
  2. I’m not a baby person…and I’ve had two. When I pictured myself all grown up and with a family, I always pictured kids. Lots of kids, but toddler age. If I could give birth to toddlers (and have pleasant pregnancies, but that’s a different subject), I’d have a whole gaggle of them. But I can’t, and this baby age lasts for far too long, so after two, I’m done. They are miracles and I delight in watching them grow up, but that’s just it, I want them to grow up. On the other hand, I want to throw myself on the ground and moan and wail when I think about my toddler growing up. In spite of her fun two year old tantrums she likes to throw every, oh, 5 minutes, she is the perfect age. I want her to stay just like this.
  3. I once bribed my toddler to eat her lunch with a cookie. For every bite of lunch she ate (I believe it was some rice concoction) she got a bite of an M&M cookie. Needless to say, she ate all of her lunch. It only took one and a half cookies. Side note-my mother-in-law once tried feeding my daughter lunch and was not have success. She asked me for ways to get her to eat her lunch. I told her bribe her with a  cookie. She looked at me like I had lost it. After an awkward pause she asked if I had any healthier ways to get my daughter to eat her lunch. Ummmm, starve her until she eats??
  4. When Georgia was a baby, she wore an outfit that had poop on it to church. I didn’t have the energy to change her.
  5. I’ve let my son cry in his crib for an hour. He eventually fell back asleep, not sure exactly how long it took because I had put in an ear plug and went back to sleep myself. I won’t tell you that in my defense it was simply cries of protest, not screaming bloody murder. Oh wait, I guess I did just tell you that.
  6. I’ve let my son sit in a dirty diaper for an hour, knowing full well he had pooped. Part of me kept forgetting to change it and part of me just kept putting it off. Finally my husband stepped in and changed it. Thank goodness for husbands.
  7. Some moms patiently try to reason with their toddler in a friendly voice about how it’s time to leave the gym (or store, friend’s house, etc.). I just pick her up and carry her under my arm, horizontal to the ground kicking and screaming. All though, as a mom brag-I did this while also wearing my son in a carrier on me. This is why I go to the gym, so that I’m strong enough to carry 2 kids at once even if one is flailing around like a flag on a windy day.
  8. I throw my toddler’s art projects away (gasp!!!). I’m proud of them for, oh, 2 days, then they’re just in the way. So, I keep them on the fridge for a bit, then in to the recycling bin they go. Goodbye cherishable keepsakes.
  9. I had a really long span of not reading to my kids. At all. I get the whole “read to your kids 20 minutes a day” and I do firmly believe it is super important. But…..I didn’t for a long time. I think it was about the time my second child came into the picture. Now that my toddler is old enough where she will actually sit and listen to me read, engage with me and even start to “read” herself, I enjoy our reading times together (though it rarely gets to 20 minutes a day. some days, we’re lucky to get one book in). Reading to my 9 month old son on the other hand…..well, let’s just say I have room for improvement. As in maybe I should start doing that.
  10. My husband accidently lifted our daughter up into a ceiling fan that was on (when she was a baby no less) and I had the hardest time not laughing out loud, hysterically. I would also like to mention he did too. And she was not hurt.
  11. Some moms shield their young kids from death. I use road kill as an example of why it’s not a good idea to play in the road. It seems to be making an impact on her! Whether or not it is a good impact remains to be determined.
  12. I have let my daughter sleep in her vomit so I didn’t have to get out of bed. The first time it happened, I heard her cough and whimper in the middle of the night. Just enough to be concerned over, but since she quieted down quickly, I didn’t get up. In the morning, I realized she had thrown up. Second time it happened (the next night I think), she did the same thing-cough and whimper-I didn’t get up again. I assumed she had thrown up, but I didn’t go to her. Wow, that sounds really bad just reading that to myself. But, I’m in love with sleep and if she was upset over it, she would have started to cry. She didn’t, so in bed I stayed. She slept the rest of the night….as did I.
  13. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t have to be a mom. Sometimes, I wish I could put my kids in daycare and go to work. Have a life outside of being a mom. Horrible, right? I should be cherishing every moment with these two bundles of joy. Except they’re not always bundles of joy and when my day starts with one kid crying and ends with the other one having her “it’s time for bed” tantrum (along with waking 2-3 times a night to the baby crying), these moments aren’t always joyful. Is it worth it? Deep down, yes I know it is. I am blessed to be able to stay home and be the one to raise our kids. Better me than someone else. But sometimes…..sometimes I’m just over it.

There’s a lot more to this list, but my brain seems to want to block them all out right now. My kids do too, I’m sure. Also, my kids are only 9 months and 2.5 years. They have a lot more years left in my house and I have a lot more failures and mistakes to make. So, chin up, you’re not the only one who messes up. When you’re feeling down about yourself, just come read this post again. Surely you can’t be THIS bad, right?

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