2019

 

Did I ever share my word for 2019?  It doesn’t seem as though I did.  2018 was hard.  My word back then was Wonder.  I found myself full of wonder but in none of the ways I imagined.  Mostly just WONDERing what to do.  WONDERing how I got to a place I didn’t intend to get to.  To be frank, WONDERing that the hell I was doing.

I was glad when 2018 was over.  Its a story for another post.  A story that will take courage to tell and one that must be told when littles (can I still call Clever, Dapper and Spicy littles when they are 10, 9 and breathing down 8’s neck??) are not underfoot with excitement for Christmas…  Its hard because as every writer knows, our stories are not our own.  They are intertwined and weaved with other’s lives and truths.  Our version is but one facet… Still, as writers also know, stories within us must come forth or they overcrowd and corrupt our minds leaving no room for new stories and beginnings.  So I will write my story and you will hear my story in due time.

As it is, 2019 came.  I anticipated it and welcomed a fresh new year.  Not to lose weight (tho I need to), not to quit smoking (did that almost 11 years ago- thank you very much)- no real resolutions were happening here.  I was just grateful to see a new year, pick a new word and begin again.

My word for 2019 was (and for the next 20 days still is) STRONG.

It was deceptive at first, I admit.  Its a bold word and claiming it as my word of the year was daring.  Especially given the fact I didn’t feel it.  I wasn’t sure I believed it.  Okay, I know I didn’t believe it.  But I made it my word and I thought about it every single day thus far in 2019.  I make decisions that will make me a strong person. I work to make my marriage strong.  I strive to be a strong role model for my littles .  I have strong friendships and learned to appreciate them and nurture them.  I was strong in the realization that other friendships weren’t.  This is okay, it makes the strong outshine.  I see them clearly.  I feel that this year – and last- let me see everyone clearly.  I still STRONGly wish everyone well.

I am spending the next several weeks thinking and praying for my next word.  Praying that Jesus just lets it come to me and gives me the purpose to slay all things with my word!

2020, I’m coming for you and I am so happy to keep on keeping on!

XOXO

Reminder

blogpic1

I am still here.  I write this as a reminder to myself even more than a notification to my readers.

I have been writing so much these last few months, just not blogging.  I have missed this.

I find myself thinking of this blog often.  I think,

“What do I want to write?”

“What is there to say?”

“Do people really want to hear a housewife’s take on kids and married life?”

“Do I really want to talk about kids and married life?”

“Should I just post works here?  Try to get feedback?”

Lots of questions.  And with full disclosure, I didn’t come to any definitive conclusions.

With the exception of this:  I want to write and I want to write here.

I want to write about whatever I want.  This blog doesn’t need to fit under an umbrella that only touches on certain topics.  It can be all encompassing.   I have no control over who reads, who shares, who cares.  But that isn’t why writing has ever mattered to me.  Writing has been my lifeline since I was a child.  When I was 7 and used writing to help me grapple through my father’s death and throughout my life going through every other hardship and joy.  Writing is home.

So here it goes.  Continuing the act of saving myself.  Using my God-given talent to spend time with myself…and hopefully you all as well.

XOXO

I figured something out…

119022-parentingquotesoneofthemo

Maybe it isn’t anything earth shattering but it is important to our family and I am willing to bet, it may help yours as well.

Our eldest daughter Studious has always loved to read.  I mean ALWAYS.  No surprise there with me as a mom.  We spent hours each day getting lost in books.  It was what I was most proud to have passed on to her.  I still am.  There is nothing like the gift of being able to read and travel to the endless possibilities of the mind. I gave that to her.  Parental win for sure.

Lately I was looking at our final three and while they do love being read to, they did not have the deep desire to read that our eldest did.  I thought maybe times were just changing.  Maybe society was creeping in more than I realized.  I mean, they did just decide to shut down the circus – WHAT?!  Maybe reading was next on the chopping block.

Then I realized, the problem may quite possibly lie with me.  You see, the reason our daughter wanted so desperately to read all the time was because I was.  I was reading all the time and she was doing that thing our children do that we forget most of the time.  She was watching.  Like a hawk.  She wanted to emulate me and the desire grew until she took it and made it her own.  Separate from me.

Now you may ask, “Did you stop reading when Clever, Dapper and Spicy came along?”  The answer, of course, is no.  Not at all.  But HOW I read changed.  I got a Kindle and then I have a Kindle app.  I was reading just as much (okay- maybe a little less since I had 3 instead of just 1 kiddo) but I was reading.  The difference was, I was reading the books on my Kindle App on my phone.  Picture that in your mind.  What do you think my children saw?  Do you think they realized I was reading books or did it just look like I was playing on my phone?  How could they emulate my love of reading when they didn’t see me doing it?

This is not an anti-kindle or other e-book post.  This is merely an observation and a truth I have made and discovered in our home.  Children will model us.  What do we want them to model?  Are we giving them the right things to model?  In my case, I wasn’t.  I was still reading but my children were not seeing it.  Trips to the library were few and far between because I had everything I needed on my app.  BUT THEY DIDN’T SEE THAT!  They saw their mom sitting quietly with her iPhone up to her face.  A lot!  Lets face it, I love to read so you can imagine how often they saw this…

So now, recently?  I have gone to the library over and over and then back again.  I have stacks and stacks of books that I am touching in my hands and actually holding.  You know what else I realized? I had missed the tangible books as well.  The smell, the textures, the actual sight of seeing words on an actual page…It has been a coming home of sorts.  I didn’t even realize I had stepped away.

But the best thing?  I have turned this parental fail into a win.  In the short time since I have altered this behavior, I have noticed a change in the final three.  They are emulating me with stacks of books of their own.  More quiet time is being spent curling up with pages and words and all is right again.

XOXO you fabulous models!

Save

Dear Melissa Graves,

One week ago at around the time I am composing this post, the unimaginable happened to your family.  I have been thinking and praying for your family since the news broke that evening that your son had been taken by an alligator at Disney.  I prayed harder than I have in some time.  And as hard as I was praying, I am sure it could not hold a candle to your pleas with God.

Here we are, one week later.  I am angry at God for your son not being found healthy.  This is one of those times that make me question so much.

Many times this week I found myself tearing up for you, a total and complete stranger.  Words truly cannot convey how so sorry I am for you and for your husband.

I wondered a few times this week why this was affecting me so differently than so many other horrific stories brought to us daily by the media and I realized, it hits close because it could have just as easily been me.   We were in Disney just a few short months ago.  I remember the joy I had in telling our children we were going to the most magical place on earth.  I remember being excited myself as a 39 year old woman because I knew- at my age- that it really is a magical place where dreams come true and good always wins.

I have tried to think of ways to help your family.  Some small token to let you know that my family felt your loss.  Across this great country of ours, we have felt for you.   We still do.

I have decided to donate several children’s books (classics and new releases) to our local libraries in Lane’s name and honor.  Inside each book, I will have a label explaining that the donation was made to honor Lane Graves, a little boy taken from his family and encouraging the adults reading these books at bedtime to snuggle a little closer and love a little harder.

reading

I encourage everyone reading this blog to please do the same and comment to me that you are.  I hope this small gesture brings you a smile during this unimaginable time.  To know that your boy is remembered.  He is being thought of and his life is mattered.  That because of your little boy, libraries across the USA (hopefully) will receive numerous donations and that countless parents will read the donation label and will give their little(s) an extra squeeze.  Hug a little harder.  Appreciate a little more what we all take for granted.

Please know that your little boy will be remembered and thought of in Maryland.  And so will you.  I will continue to pray for you and I will forever be sorry this happened to you and your family.

XOXO

And the Winner is…..

IMG_2578

#13!  This sweet little girl reading NO CHEESE PLEASE! was voted the winner this evening!  It was super close between this photo and #14.

I will be contacting the winner direct for their mailing address so I can shoot off the prize!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE all keep sending your fun photos of this little book of mine in the wild!  I so appreciate it!  The more wild, the better!

XOXO

So, this happened yesterday…

Driving through our lovely town in Maryland, I came across this:

freelib

An adorable Little Free Library.  This made my heart so happy.  Overjoyed, really!  I have heard about them but this was the first I ever saw in person.

It made me wish there was one in every neighborhood.  A ‘Take One, Leave One” free library where we could all benefit from the joy of a new book.  New to us at least.  Anyone who knows me and even those followers on here who do not “personally” know me can attest to the fact that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE books for all ages, on all topics.  I believe so deeply that reading for enjoyment is equally as important as reading for knowledge.  I believe this in my core.

Back to this Little Free Library, I showed the hubs this photo and said, “I want one in our yard”- naturally.  But as he very wisely pointed out, we live on a road which gets basically zero traffic and therefore, our library may be a little lame.

It is cute though, right?  This glorious little box that is the epitome of sharing, knowledge and neighborhood kindness all in once adorable Little Free Library.

Build one.  Share it with me.  I may even have a donation to add to it in a few months (HINT TO THE BIG NEWS REFERENCED THE OTHER DAY).

XOXO