Throwback Thursday

I thought I’d dish up a little post and throw it back to October when I last posted– in the middle of the 30 Days blogging challenge I didn’t finish. Oops.

I attended a homeschool conference (BY. MYSELF. GLORY.) in mid-October and it was exactly the encouragement and push I needed. I had been schooling Ladybug and Stinkbug for a few months at that point and it still felt like a crazy juggling game to jump from Kindergarten reading to Second Grade math and back and forth and leap frog all over the curriculum map. I was exhausted and felt like I had no idea what I was doing. (So much for that $26,000 degree in Elementary Ed, I guess!)

I really needed to hear those speakers tell me to major on the majors and minor in the minors. Get the reading and the math done and it’s OK if that’s all we get to in a day. Relax and enjoy these moments with my little ones. I am thankful for that week, I came back with fresh perspective in my heart and Jenga in my bag for the kids. 🙂

Every year I feel like I’m on a roller coaster in October– click, click, clicking to the top and then WOOOOOOOOSH it’s holidays and busy times and visitors and cold weather and before I know it, I’m packing Christmas ornaments between layers of paper towels to be stacked in our tiny little apartment closet.

Even now, I think I forgot to get off the ride because HOW IN THE WORLD IS IT APRIL 9TH?!

Our attentions have been pretty adoption focused so far in 2015, as we glimpsed a new sweet face on our agency’s waiting child list in December and we were unofficially matched with a sweet little girl in eastern Europe! We’ve updated our homestudy and our USCIS clearance and waiting, waiting, waiting to hear that we are finally able to go and meet her! On February 4 we hit four years since we said yes in our hearts to this journey, so it feels amazing (and also agonizing!) to feel like the end is coming.

Well, that’s about it for life from October until now– home school, holidays, adoption, cooking food for my kids to complain about, and always… mountains of laundry.

Feeling Shy

I think I dreamed about blogging last night. Well, that and drinking a ginormous sweet tea from McAllister’s Deli and eating an order of chips and salsa solo. I know, my dreams are pure glam y’all.

I write, it’s what I do. I scribble prayers and words to help me process, I string sentences to express my heart. I just have been doing that in journals and scrap papers and Word docs and haven’t made the time to do that here lately. And I kinda miss it.

The internet (Internet? Does it need a capital?) has certainly changed our lives. Blogging was such a comfort to me as a new mommy in 2008 when I started Momfessions and reached out into the depths of the Web to find comfort and camaraderie. Nowadays blogs have seemingly been replaced with the faster paced tempo of Facebook and Instagram and who knows what else (apparently not I.)

I don’t want to generate a six figure income here. I don’t really want to do reviews or link you to products or pretend I have it enough together to start a blog feature. I don’t even want to go to blogging conferences and pretend I know what’s going on. I just want to come back to my space, and I don’t know why I feel so shy about that.

I cleaned up some, but I am still working on clearing debris from the archives and tidying up the place, but by all means grab a latte or an entire bag of M&Ms and make yourself at home.

This is my blog. And I like to write here.

 

Watercolors

Sometimes I wish life were a little neater– that the colors would all stay neatly inside the lines on this grand backdrop. But the life-giving water splashes the page almost continuously and the colors swirl before my eyes, achingly beautiful.Painted in Waterlogue

So hard have I fought against the soaked brush swooping down onto the page to spread the rainbow. I long for the order of the lines and the way they contain each color– purples in the flowers, greens of the earth, yellows from the sun… No mixing. No mess. No heartache.Painted in Waterlogue

The wet falls. The colors swirl immediately as the water breathes life into them. They dance across the water, intertwining. I cringe, anticipating the mess. Struggling against the inevitable. The purple seeps into the yellow and I fear that all is ruined.Painted in Waterlogue

The blue and green tug-o-war against each other– a competing horizon. I hold my breath. This can never be corrected.Painted in Waterlogue

The painter knows the beauty that comes from the mixing. He knows the colors are most beautiful when he masterfully moves them around in the dance of the sacred messy. He knows it looks like all is lost– all is beyond repair– for the briefest of moments. But he isn’t concerned. Painted in Waterlogue

He pauses.

In the pause I wonder. Does he really know what he’s doing?

He flourishes the water to the page once more and when the last bristle leaves the canvas my heart stops. The majesty! The perfection! The lines are blurred. The evidence of grappling between the colors remains, now blossoming into brilliant shades of grace in every corner.

And the masterpiece?

Worth everything.

 

 

 

(Paintings from Waterlogue app for iPhone/iPod.)

Today at the Park

The boys fell asleep during rest time today for the first time in weeks, and I rushed them awake at 4:30 knowing we were running out of sunlight and they needed to stretch their legs at the park.

I was slightly annoyed already. Husband is gone for the week, so I’m playing the single parent gig. And PMSing.

Doodlebug got out of bed at the mention of the park, pottied, and got shoes on like it was no big deal. (This is totally a big deal as parenting him lately has been total torture difficult.)

Stinkbug whined, complained, cried, and protested. He didn’t want the shirt I picked. He didn’t want to change out of his shorts. He didn’t want socks. He wanted his new shoes. He didn’t have to go potty right then. FOR. THE. LOVE.

I kept it together (for the most part), and warned him he was going to miss out on playtime. Then I ticked off the minutes he would sit out each time he complained or argued. Six minutes of time-out promised. More crying and complaining.

Finally. Out the door. To the park. I started a timer for Stink’s timeout and at first he watched the seconds tick down. Then he settled back on the bench. By the time the buzzer sounded, he crawled in my lap and announced he didn’t want to play. I tried to convince him to run, slide, chase, swing but he stuck to his guns. No playing today. Whatever, dude.

A few moments later an older lady was walking through the park and staring at Stinkbug. Like a little awkwardly. I worried that I knew her, but I could not for the life of me remember where I would know her from. When she was standing directly in front of me (still staring straight at Stink) she said, “I can’t stop looking at him. He looks just like my son did. My son had blond hair like this. He looked just like this.” She reached out and stroked Stinkbug’s hair and I swear she was somewhere else behind her clear eyes.

“He’s thirty eight now.” She shook her head as if to shake herself from the dream she was re-living. “The time passes so fast.” She said it more to herself than to me and gave Stinkbug one last pat before heading off into the fading daylight.

I felt my eyes filling with tears as I imagined my son as a thirty eight year old man with his own life, his own problems, his own family. I squeezed Stinkbug a little closer and breathed in little boy scent radiating off his sweet blond head.

The days can be hard (especially when my husband is out of town!), but I don’t ever want to wish this away. I don’t want to hold regrets in my heart when I see children playing on the playground near my house thirty years from now. I want to smile at the beautiful memories, laugh with fondness over the messiness of this find-your-shoes, i-need-to-go-potty, we-forgot-the-book-bag, can-i-have-a-snack season of life.

I’m thankful for a little perspective today. These kids? A gift without comparison. These days? Messy, but precious beyond description. These few years? Fleeting. Flying. Never waiting. Never slowing.

Don’t be that Mom…

Don’t be that mom who cuts the crusts off your kids sandwiches. Really. You’re just going to start something you don’t want to finish. You cut the crust off one time for one kid and all of the sudden you have three kids claiming to be allergic to their crust every single day, and needing immediate removal of said crust from their sandwiches. Don’t do it. 365 x 3 is not a pretty number when you start adding up the bread you will have to decimate in a year’s time. Don’t even get me started on boys who eat more than one sandwich.

Insist that the crust has the most nutritional value (I seriously disbelieve this myself, but have seen my husband use it with success on our offspring) and let your children know you care too much about them to take away their nutritional value.

And then eat your lunch in a different room, so they don’t see when you leave your crust on your plate. Ahem.

Would You Rather?

I interrupt this blogging hiatus (also known as: life in the motherhood trenches) to bring you a real life dilemma I’m having:

Every summer I get dandruff. I think it’s because I live in a hot, dry place. So I start using dandruff shampoo and BAM! my hair begins falling out like mad. Think: post-baby hair leaving the scalp en mass. (En masse?) Just whatever, man.

So… Would you rather have dandruff all summer, or your hair falling out in clumps? Be honest.

Google-ing Momfessions

It always amuses me to see what kinds of random Google searches land unsuspecting curious souls here at Momfessions. Let me share a few that made me chuckle (and some that made me shake my head) tonight:

  • “i’m not pregnant i’m just fat”: Yea, me too.
  • “white kid breastfeeding”: Uh yea, I had three of those
  • “sparkly things”: I don’t see much of this around here. Funny story about this, about two years ago we were going to be out of town for our anniversary. While we were leaving town Hubby said, “I thought you could choose a piece of jewelry on our vacation for our anniversary…” I absolutely swooned inside thinking that was so romantic of him to let me choose something sparkly I loved until he added, “because I forgot to get you a gift.” Haha, he should have kept his mouth shut!
  • “can a flabby mom get super fit?”: I sure hope so.
  • “babies are human beings”: Yes they should be. Definitely a cause for concern if yours aren’t.
  • “pooped and sat in it”: I’m sorry?
  • “pictures obedient children”: Ha ha ha
  • “i hate bath, dinner, bed time”: Don’t we all sometimes? Hang in there, mama!
  • “daughter swallowed hair clip”: Ah, yes. Been there, done that. It’ll pass, but if she starts throwing up, you might want to have her seen by a doctor…
  • “pink justin bieber sewing machine”: Uhhh… I’m not really sure what you’re looking for. (Maybe you don’t even really know?) I don’t think Momfessions is the right place though.
  • “sloppy poop in potty”: Do you mean diarrhea? Or as Ladybug calls it– coffee poop?

Well, that was entertaining. Thanks for sending ’em over here Google– although on some of those I suspect you didn’t know where else to direct them.

Random Schmattering

  • Is the “March doldrums” a thing for anyone but me? Yeaaaa….
  • Stinkbug starts T-ball this weekend. It’s his first organized sport activity. I hope all goes well…
  • Ladybug is enjoying her time in public school and I kinda find myself anxious to get back to homeschooling. For a myriad of reasons, I am thankful we will be doing home education for now.
  • Adoption… I need to do a FAQs post soon… stay tuned.
  • Google Reader is dying. Maybe I’m old fashioned but I’ve always used GR to keep up with my blogs, so I feel a little out of my element to figure out something new. So this morning was spent drinking coffee and moving my subscriptions to Bloglovin. If you need some new way to read your blog feed, you can follow me there:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

  • And that’s all I can muster this Friday morning. I’m off to exercise (bah!) and coerce the kids into real clothes before we venture into town… Happy Weekend!

in america

We are two months into six whole months of living in America, land of the free and home of Dr Pepper.

I had such high hopes for my time here in the States– I wanted to write and organize our family photos and plan for home school for next year and spend deep, fruitful time in the Word. I wanted to refresh and revitalize and revamp some things about my life, my thoughts, my systems, my routines.

Really none of that is happening. Sometimes I’m resting. Mostly I’m feeling worn out. Always I’m mothering. Never I’m getting ahead.

The floor stays crumby. Lunches and snacks must be packed for school every day. Homework is explained and accomplished together. Books are read. Children are disciplined. Adoption paperwork is chipped away at. Prayers are said. Soft, damp hair is pushed back from sweet faces and cheeks are kissed. And then I watch Netflix with my husband and go to bed because I don’t have any more energy to give to doing anything else.

I don’t ever want to complain about grace… let’s be honest– it’s lavished upon me in ways I’ll never deserve, much less comprehend. But for here and for now, it’s like I just have grace to get through the days, wipe the bottoms, make the meals, prepare for the adoption and not much else.

This is really turning into a downer of a post, but I have wanted to be in this space more. I imagine a steamy cuppa perching delicately beside the open laptop as my fingers breeze across the keys telling stories, but lately it’s more like draining a cup in two hefty swigs before getting on with the day.

Ah, life.

Ah, life with kids.

::2013::

I realize it’s not a novel idea to choose a word as a theme for the new year, but I never claimed to be novel anyway.

As we move forward in our adoption process (please, Lord, let our daughter come home this year!), as we live between our two homes (January through June in America and June through December in Turkey), and as I continue to seek the Lord in my roles as wife, mother, and cross-cultural worker, I have chosen FAITH to be my word for 2013.

The verse that keeps coming to mind and heart on the topic of faith is Hebrews 11:6, ” And without faith, it is impossible to please God…”

I feel so lost in my own life sometimes:

  • Adoption is slow and each step brings up 1,000 more questions. We don’t know where the money will come from and can’t fund raise like others do.
  • Living between two continents is hard. We know this is what God has called us to, but we’re always saying goodbye to someone and we’re always missing one home while we enjoy the other.
  • I am still so unsure about day-to-day parenting as new issues and conflicts arise every day, and I constantly feel like I could be doing more to keep our home and serve my family.
  • Pssssst… I could go on, but I’ll stop here since these are the “biggies”.

From the beginning of 2013, looking ahead, I need faith because I want to please God in all these areas. So I’m asking God to work in my heart and grow my faith this year. And I don’t want it to be quiet, unmeasurable faith. I want to have the kind of active faith James writes about in his second chapter:

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Do you have a word for 2013? Where do you hope to grow and learn this year?