About Me

I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

On Leaving a Legacy

Image from Flickr.com
This past week, a Christian blogger passed away. I did not really follow her story too closely, nor did I know her, but my social media feeds have exploded with posts during her final weeks, including a post posted after her death to her readers.

This woman had an intense impact on many people. Her words were beautiful. Her love for her family was deeply obvious.

Two years ago today, a young woman I grew up connected to also died of cancer. She left behind five children and a loving husband. Not a blogger and less a public figure, although married to one, her life and death no less touched many, especially the joy with which she traveled through her final days. Her funeral was livestreamed and attended by hundreds.

Sometimes when I hear of the impact and legacies left behind by women like that, I find myself comparing my life to theirs. Would I have rooms full of friends at my death bed? I doubt it. Would I have an audience full of people reading my last words? No, because I have chosen not to develop this little blog as a major platform, and while I write all day long, my words are not inspirational unless your name happens to be Google.

Yet, as I reflect back on what made these women great, was it really something any different than what Christ commands of everyone? It's the day to day faithfulness, loving of people and loving of Christ that makes women like these shine.

And all so often I fall so short, with eyes turned inward instead of outward and upward. I hear myself snapping at my children because the stresses of the day get to me, and find myself thinking a good mom would not do that. I think of ways to help a friend after the help is needed, and realize that a true friend would have met the need quickly. I realize a need presented itself after it has already been fulfilled.

Should I try to be like these women, so I have a legacy when Christ calls me home?

Actually, I think the answer is no.

Instead, I think the answer is that I should strive to know my God, reflect Him in my life and learn to see others the way He does.

The legacy? Does it matter? Not really. What matters is entering eternity knowing I have done what I can to serve the One who died for me.

Perhaps, when you focus on that, the legacy stops mattering, right at the time you are creating it.

And perhaps, this, in truth, is where I fall so deeply short.

Yet, don't we all?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

On Mommyhood and Teasing

"Mom, I'm not going to tell you who I played with today."

My mommy radar goes up.

"Oh really? Was it someone younger than you?"

"Nope, it wasn't a girl at all."

"Oh, was it a boy then?"


Then comes a story of innocent teasing as is common with most children. It's nothing major. But it hurts.

As she sits there, shoulders heaving with the effort of unloading, my mind races back.

I'm in sixth grade. We're in line for the restroom. He stands a few people behind me in the boys' line. The cool guy. The cute one.

"Nicole has a little horse, little horse, little horse. Nicole has a little horse, and oh she loves it so." He sings.

Innocent? Maybe, but it was done in jest and it stung. I shrunk a little inside myself to keep from crying. I wanted to hide. The teacher didn't notice. I felt ashamed by my love for horses.

"I just don't get it. I mean, I can play with boys and it doesn't mean I love them."

I'm sitting in fourth grade, a knot in my stomach. She's going to beat me up she said. Tomorrow. Before school. The principal said he can do nothing if it happens outside of the school building. What can I do?

She pushes me. She steps on my foot and pushes hard. "Fight, fight, fight" they all holler. I stand there, not sure what to do. Turn the other cheek. Don't hit back.

 My dad. My wonderful dad, comes across the parking lot. My hero. He rescues me.

"What happens if you ask her to stop?"

"She stops, for that day, I guess"

"If you have fun playing with boys, then play! Don't let what someone else says change who you are."

The conversation is over, but not my flashbacks.

I'm in the classroom where we changed after gym class. All the girls are looking at a notebook. She had written "most likely to succeed, most likely to get married, etc.," I look for my name. There it was.

"Most nerdy."

This was before the term "nerd" was cool. Hot, wet tears sting my eyes. I won't let them see me cry. It's too late. The tears are falling.

She sees me.

"Oh, um, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for you to see that."

We head to class, tears streaming. Can't stop. The teacher notices. Quietly, she sets a box of tissues on my desk and continues with her lesson. No one knows how deeply I am hurt. No one realizes those words will live with me for years.

I'm a mom now. I have three (three!) little girls in my care. Sensitive souls who take every word to heart.

I want to raise them to be tough. I want to raise girls who can ignore the teasing.

I don't know how.

I want them to realize their worth comes from within, from a family who loves them and a Savior who died for them. They are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I don't know how. I never learned, and I had the best, most supportive parents on earth.

When I hear these stories. I want to protect them. I want to make the teasing stop. It's part of life, I know, but it's something I wish in my deepest heart I could protect them from.

Yet, kids are cruel. And kids sometimes don't mean to be cruel but things are taken the wrong way.

This mommy gig? It's a hard one.

I pray I can teach them not to perpetuate the teasing and to love being different.

I pray I can show them their true worth, which comes from more than what others think of them.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Miss M (Has Been for a While) Is Five!

Five and a half years ago, God blessed us with this 10 lb. 4 oz bundle of energy.
Miss M, one day old
Miss M, one year old

Miss M, two years old

Miss M, three years old.

Miss M, four years old

Miss M, Age 5

In the midst of moving, first birthday parties and rental house prep, I just realized that I never did Miss M's fifth-birthday post. So here's to you Miss M, my big 5 (and a half) year old.

At age 5, Miss M has conquered quite a few fears. She's getting more and more comfortable swimming, has conquered the fear of "real school" and even dealt with her first bully. That was an experience, let me tell you!

This year, my sweet M has changed into one of the sweetest, most thoughtful children I know. While she has her moments, as any child does, I can count on her to be thinking in a sensitive way. She tears up when Pluto gets yelled at by Mickey Mouse on the TV, and worries about her family all the time because she loves them. This sweet child will constantly buy soething at the school store with her behavior dollars for her big sister, not herself. Hse is my snuggler, and is constantly saying "can we snuggle?"

This year M learned:

  • How to read
  • How to wash her hair
  • How to make bracelets
  • How to stand up for herself
  • How to do gymnastics, jumping into level 2 with just one session
  • How to fin and glide in the pool

One of my favorite stories from this year happened when Miss M came home from school one day. She had a picture of a girl wit hstraight hair and a girl with curly hair. I asked her if this was her friend A who has curly hair, and she said "No. Because of the hearts. It's me and you, mommy, because I love you. I don't love with hugs and kisses my friends, just my mom."

I love you too sweet girl!

Dear Miss M

Wow, you are five years old! I can't believe that my bouncing 10 pound baby is now a smart, silly and sassy five-year old.

Miss M, you are one of the sweetest little girls I know. Your sensitive heart makes you fearful of many things, yet it also gives you the ability to look out for others. You want your friends and sisters to be happy just as much as you want yourself to be happy.

Rarely does a day go by that I don't get a sweet picture you drew. Now that you are learning how to read, you often include a note as well. Don't worry, M, Mommy loves you too, and I always will, even when you get too big to draw sweet pictures for me.

Rarely does a day go by that you don't make me laugh out loud. You are a true joy to my heart. I am so thankful for you baby girl! I am so thankful for your snuggles, your laugh and your silliness. Being five is pretty fun, isn't it?

As you push towards six years old, I pray that you will retain your sweet spirit. Don't let anyone take that away from you, precious girl.

So happy birthday, my sweet M, even if it is a bit late. I love you more than words can say, and I'm so happy to be your momma!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It Gets Better!

I know there's probably no one left who reads this blog, but I want to say one thing to encourage those parenting a difficult child.

It gets better. Shower them with love and be as consistent as you can, and it gets better.

If you have been my Facebook friend for a few years, you may know that there was a very difficult period with one of my children when she was in the toddler and early preschool years. There were days I questioned my sanity. There were days I questioned (my mom can attest to this) whether or not I was fit to parent this child. I recall vividly sitting on the floor in the hallway on that nasty blue carpet in our old house crying because I didn't know what to do, while she sat on the other side of the wall screaming and throwing a tantrum I was sure would cause the neighbors to call the cops. I recall far too many times I lost my temper because I just didn't know what else to do. I was even told once that it didn't appear I loved this child (I did, fiercely, but it was HARD)!

Even up until this past summer, we had our moments. Knock-down-drag-out fits that rivaled anything you could imagine happened regularly. These were the types of fits I always said never happened to children who were properly loved and disciplined in my pre-child years, and here they were happening in my own home!

Then, quite suddenly, it all stopped. Not to say that we don't have occasional battles of the wills, I think all kids do, but the severity of it all has diminished significantly.

And then something surprising happened. Now, I can say that this child is a true delight to my heart. She makes me smile almost every single day, has the funniest things to say and truly cares about the needs of others. Almost every day I get a picture of me, her and lots of hearts, just because she loves me. She never fails to surprise me with her caring attitude. Today she was in tears watching a Christmas Mickey show because Mickey yelled at Pluto and sent him out and Pluto ran away.

If you had told me three years ago that the screaming, flailing child at my feet would turn into this sensitive, caring creature, I would not have believed you.

It gets better. That difficult child can turn into a real joy to your heart.

Just keep loving her.

I'm so glad I did!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Happy 7th Birthday Miss N (VERY Late)

In the last four months, life has been a whirlwind. We found out in January-ish that moving into a larger home was very much a possibility. Thus began a scramble to find a home, move and find renters for our current home. I'm thrilled to say that God caused it all to line up perfectly, but in the midst of that all I realized I failed to do Miss N's seventh birthday post.

This year in March my oldest daughter turned seven. She's making the transition from little girl to just "girl." I can't really call her little anymore, even though she is short in stature, and probably will be my shortest as they grow.

Turning seven has brought a bit of maturity to my child. It's also caused a spunky, fun-loving side to really come out. She always has something to say, and always thinks her idea is the best. Often, I must admit it is, which is challenging as a parent who wants to teach modesty and the ability to not manipulate but to appreciate others. When you are always right, it's harder to see other people's view. But we're working on it.

This year, Miss N:

  • Learned how to read chapter books
  • Moved for the first time
  • Stopped napping for real
  • Learned how to read music
  • Learned how to swim
  • Learned to write stories

All in all, she is turning into a delightful child. I can't believe I've been a Mommy for seven years!
Day 1

Age 1

 Two Years Old
Three Years Old

 Four Years Old!

Five years old!

 Almost six years old

Seven Years Old

Dear Miss N,

Wow, you're seven. Seven seems so grown up. You've even started to transition away from baby dolls and tea parties and into Legos and constant art projects. You're even starting to outgrow Princesses, at least Disney ones. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that.

This year you've really changed. Some of your sass has turned into sweetness, and you're starting to gain real empathy for other people. You're also starting to realize the motivations behind your actions, and want to control them better. We've had some sweet conversations about how to be a big sister. Don't worry, sweet girl, mommy understands. Your Uncle Joey was pretty exasperating too at times.

You've really started to become your middle sister's best friend. I don't think you realize how much she looks up to you, even when she's being, well, a little sister. You are a huge help with your baby sister too. You're blossoming into a beautiful, conscientious, but fun-loving young lady, and I couldn't be more proud.

One of your biggest accomplishments in recent months has been performing at the school talent show. You had a simple piano piece, but you got up there and played it like a champ. I couldn't have been more proud. I think I was more nervous than you were! Practicing isn't your favorite thing, but when you buckle down and do it, you're seeing real progress.

You've started to get more of a desire to get into God's word too. I'm trying to get consistent to have devotion time with you, time where we read scripture together, just us. It's not easy to carve out the time, but you're quick to ask for it when I forget. I pray that I can cultivate a love for your Savior in you as you grow!

This year you've experienced heartbreak. You learned that one of your best friends will move away. You're taking it better than I expected, and I'm thankful you are able to make new friends quickly. You also embraced the new girl in your class and became great friends with her too. It makes me proud that you are willing and able to open yourself and let new people in, so they don't feel lonely. 

You are a great writer. I love to read the stories you write, and I hope that you will always love to write stories. Who knows, maybe you will be a writer like Mommy some day!

All in all you are a beautiful girl who loves to have fun and lives life to its fullest. I love you and am so proud to be your mommy!

Happy (late) birthday Miss N!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Scheduling Dilemma

I've been thinking about our schedule lately. It's really pretty crazy, and frankly, I am missing my big girl.

My typical day is this: get up in the morning, feed the family, make lunches, send them out the door, work for three-ish hours, pick up Miss M, bring her home for an hour and a half, pick up Miss N, go to whatever after school activity we have, come home, homework, dinner, baths (if we are lucky) and bed so we can do it all again the next day. Somewhere in all that I need to find time to go to the grocery store, cook meals and care for a very busy baby, all while juggling my business as well. On days Miss M doesn't have school it's a bit less harried, but that will all change. Next year is kindergarten.

I miss the days of preschool a few days a week, playdates and going to the mall just to play. We haven't been to the children's museum in ages. My mantra of late has been "There isn't time."

We are over scheduled, but the problem is I don't know what to do about it. We have piano lessons and swimming lessons and church, so three evenings out of five are booked. The difficulty is, my kids can't swim. I feel very strongly that they need to swim. So that's non-negotiable in my mind. Church is as well. Piano is something I want my children to learn, as it provides the foundation for music and also a basis for ministry, and besides, Miss N is actually pretty good at it to this point. So, until they offer it at the school during school hours, I have no choice but to do it after school.

Miss N never gets the chance to just play. She gets home from school and activities, then it's homework, piano practice, dinner, possibly baths and bed. No wonder she'd rather be at school than at home –we never have any fun around here. She's tired, cranky and the only time I see her is during the "witching hour" when we are all at our worst. I miss her.

So what can I realistically cut? Nothing. So, we will plow through this year with me never seeing my big girl, and hating every minute of it.

Because I don't know what else to do.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Catching my Breath

Last night, I held baby girl a little tighter, snuggled her a little longer.

 Miss C, Nine Months
 It was only a brief second. I looked away from her to see her big sisters in the pool. She was carefully confined between me, the well-railed edge of the parent viewing balcony, and a bench behind us. After watching her sister perform a new feat in the water at swim lessons, I looked back down and she was gone.

In the two minutes or less I had my eyes off her, she had crawled over the ledge of the bench and to the top of the full flight of cement stairs. By the time I screamed her name, leaped over the bench and got to her, her hand was out to start the tumble down the stairs.

I scooped her up in my arms, heart racing at the thought of what almost happened, took her back to our spot and kept not only my eyes, but also my hands, on her the rest of the time. When it was time to leave, I shuddered when I saw the rail next to the stairs. The perfect height for her to try to pull up on, yet wide enough for her to slip through when she fell, that rail caused me to realize just how close I had come to losing my sweet baby girl to a headlong tumble down concrete steps. Had she gone for that rail bar instead of the top of the stairs, I would not have gotten to her in time.

Last night I spent much time thanking my Lord for his protection of my daughter. I realized, once again, that no matter how careful are as a parent, there are simply dangers you cannot anticipate, mistakes you will, inadvertently, make.

I remembered the time that Miss M was just a few feet ahead of me in the parking lot of our local grocery store, happily walking to the car. Before I could see what was happening, a car started backing up, almost instantly after turning on their lights. As I screamed her name, I saw the fender bump into her thigh. Thankfully, the driver heard me and stopped, and Miss M was none the wiser. Still, her little life flashed before my eyes.

Each of these times, I am reminded that life is but a vapor. We really don't know how long we have these precious children in our lives. We must make the most of every moment, because before we know it, it will be gone. They will be gone or grown, and all we will have are our memories.

And as for me, I know I will take a break from the computer screen to cuddle my sweet and final baby a little more today.