Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Big Girl Panties

I come from strong stock. Both the women on my mother's side and my father's side are tough, strong, and mouthy. Being that my mother is from a family of 7- 6 of which are women- when they all get in the same room you better bring a hat and hold the f@$k onto it! Because it's gonna get loud and it's gonna get intense! Yes, the women in my family don't do shy and bashful. And we certainly aren't dainty.

When you are raised to wear your big girl panties every day, you have to be mindful to use your powers for good instead of evil. Some people just don't know how to deal with strong women. And as far as we are into the new millennium the fact is that most people still view strong women as "bitches". I will admit that it can be a fine line to travel for some. But my mama raised me to assert my strength in a graceful manner. It's a balance y'all.

And I will say that it takes a special kind of man to marry one of us. A saintly man. A man who is strong himself but wouldn't dream of stifling our strength. And if the men we meet can't hang? PEACE OUT! Because we can and will down it ourselves. It can be hard for men to understand a strong woman. Most men want to be providers and be the ones to "fix" things in their lady's life. But I'm gonna tell you this; my husband is my partner- not my care taker. I feel that our relationship is better for that. He knows that I am here out of choice- not necessity.

My mother did such an amazing job of raising us after she and my father divorced that I never felt as though I "needed" a man in my life. She stressed that I should WANT a man, not NEED one. My mother raised all 3 of us girls by herself, worked full time, put herself through school, and none of us ended up in jail (despite my efforts!). I'm not putting my father down as he's a great dad. He just lived in another state so my mom was our main parent. And she wore her big girl panties daily! I'm sure there were days, weeks, and the teen years where she wished she could retire those bad boys! But on they stayed. It's how we roll.

I wear my big girl panties daily as well. When I am at home alone with all 3 boys and I am wondering how I'm gonna get laundry done, food made, things cleaned, blogs written, and take a shower I give myself the talk. "There are thousands of women out there doing this every day. Some with more children than you. Some with husbands who have passed, are military overseas, or have just taken off altogether. Suck it up sister and get 'er done!"

Our brains are literally the only things that keep us from our capabilities. This is true not just at home but at work, school, in relationships, etc. We are the ONLY ones that control if we believe in ourselves enough to tackle the task at our feet. I often say that confidence is the difference between being good and being great. This thought has carried me for years in many situations. I've shared this belief of mine with friends and employees- whoever will listen. It's as true as true gets ladies.

I am proud of my big girl panties. I wear them with pride. When it boils down to it, I have to be proud of who I am at the end of the day. I have to reconcile the decisions I have made. I have to be the parent I want my children to become. No one else can do these things for me. So strap on your big girl panties ladies and show them off with pride!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Baby's World

Today my baby did the sweetest thing. My amazing 4 year old drew his world for me. My heart could just explode and I'm holding back tears. This is one of the dearest things he's ever done. And he doesn't even understand how profound a thing he did.

The center of the picture is the Earth. There are several lines leading from the earth to smaller circles. These are the places he loves the most. They are our house, my mom & sister's house, my other sister's house, my dad's house, my mother in law's house, my father in law & his wife's house, his school and his church. HIS CHURCH!

Think about this. He is only 4 years old but he already has a better understanding of what the important things are. More so than most adults. I think we lose sight of our lines and circles over the years. We start tying our lines to things. Our house, our cars, our jobs, etc. but in the end the only things that really matters are God and our family. At 4 years old he gets this.

The Bible says we should believe with a child like heart. I find truth in this today. Maybe it's a little something we all need to do. Take the time to draw the lines and the circles back to what our world really should be.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lost in a Sea of Bloggers

I love my blog. I am proud of my blog. And I thought I had a little something special here. Some little piece of the world that was mine. I kind of floated along like that for almost a year. I didn't promote my blog. It was just there. Occasionally I would post a link for my family & friends on Facebook so they knew what was going on with my pregnancy. But I didn't spend too much time turning my blog into anything other than an oline journal that a few people could read. I form of catharsis during a really crazy time in my life.

Then I dove in.

I started networking and meeting other bloggers. I added blogs to my reading list (yes it took almost a year!) and even listed my blog on sites like Top Mommy Blogs, Picket Fence Blogs, and Bloggy Moms. It's through sites like these that I found a vast array of bloggers. Amazing writers who had been at this for a long time and really knew what they were doing. These writers chronicle all of the things that they are passionate about. Be that crafting, cooking, motherhood, child loss, illness, etc.

I changed my blog design to be more user friendly and added things like buttons, advertising, and a list of my top blogs. I created an identity for my blog and mirrored it on my Twitter site (where I meet so many amazing bloggers!). Slowly my readership increased. I like knowing that there are people out there- complete strangers- who identify with what I have to say. I like reading other blogs and knowing I'm not alone in my feelings about this that or the other. The blog world has been an amazing place for me and I'm proud of my contribution.

But on the same note, it is a BIG world. And where I once felt unique, I now feel like I sometimes get lost in a sea of other bloggers. There are so many amazing writers out there and I am trying to keep on top of reading all of these amazing stories but most days there are just too many! The funny part is that before I started my blog I had never read a single blog in my life (ironic right?) and now I have too many favorites to keep up with!

The blog world is a special place that mommies need. I wish I had started years ago. But I'm here now. I swim in a sea of endless blog moms who finally have a voice in their own lives. We have the right to bitch when we need to. We have a platform to boast when we want to. And we have a place to reach out to other moms, the likes of whom we may have never met otherwise, and let them know they aren't alone.

So I am still proud of my blog. I am proud of what I write. I guess I just realize that I'm not as special as I thought I was. But it's not a bad thing. It's comforting. These blog moms are my people. Maybe I'm not lost is a sea of bloggers. Maybe I swim with them.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm A Skinny Brain Surgeon

I am a skinny brain surgeon. This must be true because I said it. Don't believe me? Here, let me repeat it until it becomes true.

I'm a skinny brain surgeon.
I'm a skinny brain surgeon.
I'm a skinny brain surgeon.
I'm a skinny brain surgeon.
I'm a skinny brain surgeon.

Still not convinced? Hmmmmm. It seems to work for my 4 year old. See, my 4 year old is entering this glorious stage where he believes that if he repeats something enough, it will make it true. This is especially annoying endearing when we are attempting to assert our athority as parents. It goes a little something like this:

Me: "It's time to go to bed honey"
4: "I'm not going to be. I'm watching Sprout."
Me: "No. I'm sorry but it's bed time."
4: "Nope. I'm watching Sprout."
I now turn TV off.
Me: "This is not a question and I am not offering you an option here."
4: "Okay mom. I understand. But I'm gonna watch Sprout."

What in their little brains makes them think that we're going to just shake our heads and say "I'm sorry sweetie! I didn't realize you were watching Sprout until you repeated it 15 times. We old folks sometimes need to have things repeated for us. Forget that whole bed time thing. It was a silly idea!"

I know this is them learning their independance, blah, blah, blah. I also know that children learn by repitition. And although I have already been through it once before with my oldest, it still gets me. I think it would be awesomesauce if the kidlets had thought bubbles.

Sometimes I just stare at them as they make absolutely no sense but continue to defend their statements and I wonder how it's all working out in their heads. Is it: "Geez lady! I'm saying it over and over! What don't you get?"
Or does it go more like: "This old lady's hearing it SHOT!"
Or maybe something like: "Please be true! Please be true! Please be true!"

One thing's for sure, if I applied this type of thinking in my adult world, things wouldn't go so well.
Officer: "Do you know why I pulled you over?"
Me: "No sir."
Officer: "You were going 45 in a 25"
Me: "No. I was going 25"
Officer: "No ma'am. You were going 45"
Me: "Nope. It was 25"
Officer: "My radar gun was just calibrated and we have video footage ma'am"
Me: "I'm still gonna go with 25"
Officer: "This isn't a debate. You were really going 45"
Me: "AAAAAAAAND again, I was going 25"
Officer: "Step out of the car ma'am"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How Today Feels

This is the face that almost wasn't.

One year ago today I had no idea what was coming.

One year ago today I found out that I needed this baby.

One year ago today I could have lost this baby and my family could have lost me.

One year ago today God was working overtime changing things in our lives.

All week my brain has been trying to figure out what today would be like. Would I be moody? Would I be super happy because being here would mean we made it? Would it end up being just another day to me?

So here I am. I started off the day re-reading the blog I wrote about that day and crying. Why am I crying?! I don't cry! But I guess that's one of the many things that has changed in me this last year. My brain is a mixture of emotions today. They're swirling around trying to find some order.

I'm just so thankful for where we are at. Yeah some bad things happened over the course of the past year. But things could have been so different without God's grace and the support of our friends and family. Therefore I find myself being truly grateful for the happenings of this past year. There is a quote that I love that embodies how I feel about it:

"Sometimes amazing gifts come in surprising packages. Sometimes they are wrapped in heart break."

How true that is.

Through this turbulent year I have found a great community of people online who's support has been invaluable. I have rediscovered how amazing the people around me are. I learned to rely on other people and stop being as stubborn. I saw strength in my children that I didn't know was there. And I fell in love with my husband over and over and over again.

So while I'm sorting through a variety of emotions today, overall gratitude is what I feel. Things could have been very different. Things could have been worse. But in the end, things are exactly as they should be. They are just as God planned and for that I am forever changed and forever grateful.