Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Let's agree to disagree

It seems like every day someone has re-posted a blog or article telling us that we are doing everything all wrong.

Not long ago, there was a article bashing the "pinterest mom".  I'll be honest, I didn't read the entire thing but it was basically saying that Pinterest has turned every mom into a competition to be better than the next and the normal snacks turn into works of art which makes the not-so-crafty moms feel inadequate.

Then there's the one about the mom on the Iphone.
How she is ruining her child's life.
And never paying attention.

There's 57 thousand articles on breastfeeding, foods, organic vs non-organic, BPA, saying yes more than no, playing more, creating a smarter child, milestones and bedtime business....
Non secular music, the perks of homeschooling, yes vs no to vaccines, sweets/ dyes/ gluten/ processed foods.
Having too many kids...  having only one.
Putting too much responsibility on our kids... and not putting enough.
Daycare, "me-time" and letting kids play with fake guns are all topics I have seen lately.

Daily, almost, I have a conversation with a friend where we confess how we are failing-- in one way or another at this parenting gig.
And if you look around, there is an article from the way we wipe our kids' butts to the way we brush their teeth that nails our theories down.

Every one has an opinion... and if you aren't doing it their way...
you're wrong.

well, here's my rebuttal:
I know some mom's that eat, sleep, and breathe craft.  And they did long before Pinterest was even around.  I also know mom's who couldn't be crafty if their last breath depended on it.
I find myself somewhere in the middle.
I spend a lot of night-time hours cruising through pinterest... and yet I took {already made} rice crispy treats and Cheez- its as Maddox's snack last week.  --both still in the box.
My friend Ashley will probably bring an entire icecream truck, that shoots glitter from the exhaust pipe and sings Carly Ray Jepson as it pulls away.
And I am cool with that.
I'm not mad that she's craftier than me.  I love that about her!
We need all kids of people to make this place we live in.

As far as the iphone one.
There's no way I would have 17,000 pictures on this blog without it-- and I will go toe to toe with the author of that thing proving I am just the mom she is.
I liked this blog's response, and since it was better than what I wrote, read it here!

I tell my kids no.  A lot.
It is something I would like to be better at, but life is full of nos.
And I am okay if that they learn that lesson from me.
I, personally, think I would be setting my kids up for failure if they went through life thinking it was full of yeses.
Because it is not.
If you, however, have read the pin with alternate ways to say no and have put it into practice in your home-- kudos to you.
I think you're doing a great job.
But so am I.

My kids sword fight...  all day long.
They have play guns.
My best friend tried to keep them out of her house and her little boy would just make the sounds with a pencil.
Boys are bred to play rough and fight and make that "pceelw" sound, because Beckham said it before he said momma!
I am not breeding robbers here... just boys.

We also own guns.  A lot of them.
But they are locked up.
And we talk gun safety...
And in our house we feel like we are doing okay.
And are safe.
You may not... and we both can be good moms.

I wish I fed my kids better.
And I honestly do, feed them better than most...
When I can.
But I was raised on ground beef, canned vegetables, and tuna casserole and I am still "underweight" for my height.
I don't eat ground meat as an adult and I buy my veggies frozen (mainly because its cheaper), but I find it too expensive to get much quirkier than that.
Occasionally I buy organic, when it is on sale... and I do feel better about our meat when it came from our Town & Country Food order... but I am just one girl, trying to stay home and live on a budget.
I can't win them all.
Those who can... or find it to be their passion...
Those like me, who are more intrigued by the knock off chickfila nugget recipes than boiled chicken and kale, you're okay too!
We are all doing the best we can.

My friend Kimberly calmly tells her kids that they are acting naughty.
I yell.
I hate that about myself, but if you know me in real life I am not quiet.
Kimberly is.
I think she is a great mom...
but so am I.

I am all for homeschooling-- if it fits you.  Private, public, and everything in between is great too.
I don't do daycare for my kids, but I think those who do are doing a great job too!

I split my kids vaccines up... and honestly understand where both sides of the immunization mommas lie.
But sometimes I think we just have to agree to disagree and move forward.

Same with breastfeeding.

I know what is best for my child (which happened to include nursing them to they were almost 18 months) and I assume you know what's best for yours.
So why do women feel the need to knock each other down every day.

Why do I never read a blog that simply says, "you're enough."
Because we are.

At least the moms I know are!

Unless you leave your kids at home to go bar hop on meth...
I think you're alright.

You know, when I think about it... the qualities about myself that I would be proud for my kids to mirror don't come from 'yes' situations or my mom sitting around thinking of the best way to parent us... and they certainly have nothing to do with our tupperware!
I know for a fact that she didn't read blogs or seek the advice; she just did what she knew how to do and hoped for the best!

We didn't have a lot of money...
And we didn't need for anything either.
My mom had 3 warm meals on the table for us every day.  Our clothes were not only clean, but ironed every day and our house was clean and inviting.
But we didn't just "ask for 20 bucks", because they didn't have it to give!
My brother and I both worked long before we were even old enough to drive.  We both had savings accounts before we had cars.
We both worked at the same jobs for years.
We were spanked.  We were in daycare.  We ate half of our meals fried.  We drank more sweet tea than water.
And I am sure there are plenty of things my mom would do differently, if she could.
Wouldn't we all?
But at the end of the day, we turned out all right-- and that speaks volumes.

No one is perfect.
We all judge.
(guarantee that I have judged some of you for the same things I am griping about above)
But for the love of all great things...
enough with the 'I am better than you' re-posts.
We should try harder to build our co-mommas up...
because we all tear ourselves down enough!

At the end of the day, there are 100 ways to bake a cake.
And I like cake.

So while I am pissing people off
(I just had a "un-follow" by a friend this week for something I said a few weeks ago)
I wanted to tie in an unrelated, but kind of similar post...
because its my blog-- and my thoughts. (and it gets blog 2 and 3 out of my posts folder...the 4th final one is the birthday blog-- which I have already gotten 9 back to!!  whoop! whoop!)

It boggles me that gay marriage isn't legal already.
I truly think that one day my kids are going to be sitting in Amy Lou's history class and will read about this segregation just as we did for racial segregation and their minds will be blown that it was even this big of a deal.

I am all for the rights of everyone.  (including unborn babies-- another post, another day)
But I have a way of putting myself in other people shoes and I get emotional to think about my child being denied equal rights.  Every gay person is someone's child.
And that's where I find my reasoning.
I feel that I can believe in the Bible's definition of marriage and still think it should be legal.
Just as divorce is legal, but unbiblical.

I can also eat chickfila and support that guy who spoke up about his beliefs.
Because he was asked.
And he stayed true to himself.

Which is where I am tying it in...
We don't all have to agree on everything.
Or do everything the same.

And we can still get along.

Sometimes we just agree to disagree.

Rick Warren said:
"Our culture has accepted two huge lies.  The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them.  The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything the believe or do.  Both are nonsense."

Isn't that the truth?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I have 4 blogs started right now, and none finished.

I am swirling in panic, and sometimes it helps to catalog our life, right here-- exhale and move forward!

So here goes--(one of four out of the way!)

Last Thursday didn't go exactly as I planned.
Lance slept.
Which I had hoped for-- as he had just worked almost 100 hours,

but I guess I am now accustomed to him being gone, so I found that I was annoyed with him "being in the way" all that day.
I kept getting onto myself, because I knew I was terrible-- so instead of saying anything mean, I just stayed mad in my head all day.
I like routine and productivity.
not mis-matched blankets and pillows everywhere.

Thank God he doesn't live by the same motto when the tables are turned!

That evening we had Maddox's pep-rally for football!
We love Upward.
I was on call so I only caught bits and pieces, but the parts that I got to participate in were amazing!

And we ate Babe's afterward,
which is double-amazing!

Friday we had a play date with a few friends from Maddox's school.
Between us 3 mommas, there were 8 babies and we had no concussions, broken bones, gang initiations or tears.
We did have some salty fries and good momma talk though!
I really enjoyed it!

A little birdie told me, that day, that the farm house (pic that Maddox is running down the driveway to in my header) is up for rent again.
We have planned on putting our house on the market this time next year, and getting back to Paradise before Maddox starts kindergarten, but instead I called Krisha-- our pal-- and asked if we could list it now.

Mom and Dave came out Saturday and they spent the entire day replacing our back door.
Mom and I cleaned and organized and chased kids.

Sunday I helped host my cousin, Amber's baby shower!
The cake was delicious and we always laugh a lot together.

Afterward, David met us at the house to finish the door and mom and I did a little more cleaning.
Including touch-up painting and cleaning baseboards.

Yesterday Maddox had school and mom and I spruced up the flower beds, shampooed carpets and moved things off my counters ready for today.
My hands are dry from chemicals and I was tired...
and yet mom can still work circles around me in the cleaning department!

The boys and I spent the night at mom's as it would be illegal to rope them to their beds until after pictures, but impossible to expect them not to destroy all of our work!

Slumber party at mom's...
The Voice.
Call.  Which was busy.
Dinner and icebox pie.

This morning I met Krisha and Lisa at my house.
The boys acted like they had crack for breakfast.  (although mom did make them cinnamon toast which is close.)
Lance forgot to do 2 of only 4 things I asked him to do.
He left the bed un-made, a drink on the nightstand and his shorts thrown over the door.
The girls beat me to the house so I didn't get a chance to take my pots out of the dishwasher and hang them, turn on all my lamps or put new vacuum lines in the carpet.

After they left, I felt a little overwhelmed and emotional.

She only asked us to change/ fix 2 easy things... and it will hit her site tonight!
I hope it sells quickly because I hate anticipation!

What I do love is this deep cleaned house.
My beautiful flowers and freshly mulched flower bed...
and the thought that we are a tiny step closer to building on our land.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Maddox called Lance Monday after school in tears.

He couldn't let Lance off the phone, and he couldn't stop crying.
Through sobs, and sniffs, and finally on to 'sup-sups' (that sound they make when they've cried their biggest cry and can't fully bring themselves together, still sucking in air) he finally belted out, 
"I miss you daddy."
"Just come home."
"I want to play cars, and throw the ball, and snuggle."
"I just want to see you."

My kids adore their daddy.
Treasure him.
But more than that, my husband is crazy over them.
To a fault; Smitten.

That same night, Maddox and I hear Beckham yelling, "dada!! dada!!", Maddox takes off running, expecting to see Lance, but instead finds Beckham pointing at this sign. Lance's little symbol, that he always writes on his cup or whatever.

I could hear it in Lance's voice while he was on the phone with Maddox that he was done and had finally hit the wall.
Had he been home, and not in the presence of others, he would have probably shed some tears over that phone call.... and maybe even over little brother too.  
And it didn't help that he is working almost 100 hours a week right now and his body is physically drained as well.

So Lance broke the rules this week.
He scoops the boys up when he gets home, and puts them in bed with us.
Which quickly transforms our king size bed into a twin sized bed of nails.
But he needs that.
Loving on our boys is his fuel in life.
Anyone who knows him, knows that.
And I secretly love waking up all snuggled together.  Even if my neck hurts. 

Tuesday I called the office over a random pain Maddox kept complaining about over the last few weeks.
I hadn't thought much about it, but it happened while I was on the phone with Amanda and she asked me why I hadn't called the office?
It's weird.  I swear that I am not a negligent nurse.  Obviously I would have any new asthmatic follow up with their physician with chest pains... but sometimes my mom brain and my nurse brain do not create a great spark between each other.
Once or twice a week he grabs his heart and yelps out.  It is short lived, and he will typically call it a 'pinch' or a 'stab' or a 'sharp thang'... He had no shortness of breath or signs of illness with it, but I called just to make sure it wasn't something we should be concerned with since it was a new symptom post the asthma junk.
Dr Hayward wanted him to go get a chest xray.
Right then.
My rational mind knew that she has to follow up chest pains and rule out 'worst case scenario' but my irrational brain lost its gourd.

I felt horrible because I hadn't even mentioned these pains to Lance...
But I hadn't seen Lance.  And I tell you, they weren't show stoppers.  (hence it took me 3 weeks to mention them to anyone.)
I called mom, and she came to the rescue.

I'll give you a tiny taste of what living with un-medicated anxiety feels like:
Everything is all normal, and then a tiny flare of doubt hits and ignites and soon I am spiraling.  First slowly and then psychotically: "What if this is a mass?  What if it wasn't even asthma at all causing him to wheeze in the first place?  He does look pale.  Is this why it all worked out for mom to retire; right now?  Did God let her leave her job so she could help me?  Oh my gosh!  Is this why I was blessed with the opportunity to work from home... so I could get this time...  or still be able to work from Houston.  Houston.  Good Lord!  Did I meet Casey so that I'd have somewhere to stay while Maddox is in the hospital?"
See there, we went from a simple outpatient xray, to a bed in St. Judes in the simple drive it takes me to get down 820.
Luckily my kids go to the doctor only about once or twice a year.
Unfortunately for us, we don't get ear infections and strep... we get 106 fevers, 22 thousand white counts, over-dosing on anxiety pills, satting in the 80s, and chest pains.
And me.
Who's convinced they are going to die.
So it only takes a few minutes for me to take the rational yacht to the crazy port.
And 2 hours to get a STAT film read.
And a whole-lot of effort to keep my crazy-brain hidden from my worried husband who couldn't be there. 
Which is growth for me!

Maddox did wonderful in his xray and it was completely normal just like we knew it would be (when we were letting our rational brain do the talking).  The pains are most likely pleurisy, and as long as he isn't in distress from them then we do not need to worry.
So we won't.

Lance was able to be at Maddox's football practice this week, so after the xray, a toy, and a visit with Meme... we met Lance at football practice and then came home to get things ready for today.

The biggest part of me wants the house to stop when he walks in the door, prop his feet up and have some adult interaction.
He tells me every day how much he misses us.  How much he misses me.
And I miss him too.
But we run a well-oiled ship here.
I'm gathering clothes for school and making lunches and he's putting on pajamas and giving kisses.
It is row, row, row your boat, and do it all again.

I keep hoping for a date night... but know Lance well enough-- if he gets some time away... he isn't letting the boys get far!

So tomorrow...
he is taking the day off tomorrow!

and we are so excited!!

I might just hide his phone and turn off all the clocks.

Maddox keeps asking me if it is a joke?
And he is giddy like it is Christmas!

I skipped Bible study today to get the house completely clean and laundry done so that I wasn't tempted to move tomorrow...
I ran a few errands, and rented 5 movies, so we can sit.
And refuel.
And rest!

Which my husband desperately needs!

I am so excited for tomorrow!
We are doing nothing....
in our pjs...
all day.
And enjoying every minute of it! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

For my birthday

exactly one month from today I turn 29.

Which isn't really a big deal.

Because it's not 30...
But it is the last year of my 20s and I would love to celebrate.

Now, if you know me, you know that I am not a great gift reciever.
It is not that I do not enjoy gifts, because I do... I am always appreciative.
But for some reason, I feel guilt and a little in debt when I am gifted something.

Also, April happens to be the month that holds 3 of the 4 people living in my house's birthday.
And it is difficult and expensive these days, to make Lance or I have have lavish events (as if we ever did anyway)--
as the tiniest one trumps us and always will.

And though I am really hoping to get a girl's day together for a wine tasting, I have a bigger idea that I hope you will join me in, to celebrate.

Remember when the boys and I participated in 26 acts of kindness?

Well, that idea came from my friend Nicolle, who is always serving others in creative ways.  It was so fun-- and felt so good-- and the best part, even beyond sharing that experience with my boys, was watching the domino effect it had on a lot of my friends, and hearing their stories of kindness beyond ours.

I was hoping to do another, but this time with your help.

I realize that this is a stretch.

Each blog I write averages a little over 100 views,  some less-- some more.
Only 3 or 4 of you guys actually comment.
And about the same usually email me, text me or FB with each post, as well.
So its a far stretch to assume that 1/3 of you reading will play along when 95% of you are ghost readers anyhow, but that's my hope.
And this is one of the few times that I am asking for your participation!

I would love to do 29 acts of kindness.
For my birthday.
My 29th birthday.

My hope is that you will think of something super creative- or funky- or unique.
Or simple- and easy- and cheap... It really doesn't matter!

Whatever route you take,
I want you to take a picture of your one act and write down a little something about it and send it to me!
I will combine them all for a "birthday blog", and together we can see how we made the days of almost 30 people!!

We have a month to complete it-- so just click comment here below, and tell me that you're in!

Remember, our entire 26 acts this December only cost around $40 total.
Some were as small as a quarter, so don't let the idea overwhelm you.

I am not asking for a million dollar donation to charity (unless you have it to donate, and in that case, I will take it off your hands for the 'Holly is Almost 30 Charity of Champions' and we will work on my ability to accept gifts-without-guilt, together), I am just asking for a little molecule of your time and generosity...
and a picture!

I hope to have all variations and random ideas-- from all different people... and hopefully some that I don't even know!
You in?

(I originally wrote 30 names here, calling you out-- but I didn't want to make anyone feel obligated... nor did I want someone not want to participate if their name wasn't mentioned... you know?!)

So do it!
Or make a friend do it with you!
Its going to be fun.  Guaranteed.

Twenty nine random acts of kindness.
(or maybe more?!)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Break

I think we have had a great break into spring.
Lots of play... with lots of great people!

Beckham has had an amazing week, learning so many words and has morphed back into the laid back, sweet little soul that he once was!
I keep a running list in my phone and it has doubled to well over 25 words in the last week!
I guess that "switch" that everyone claimed he would have, finally clicked!
He has to double this list to stay out of speech therapy next month, but for once, I think it is possible.

I think I left off on Tuesday, in the last blog...
So I will start from there.

Wednesday we went to the movies with my mom and sister.
We saw "Escape from Planet Earth" and ate Arbys for lunch.
We went back to mom's afterwards and my sister and I rode my mom's motorized scooter trying to break our necks and laughed until we cried!

Thursday we went to a small zoo in Gainsville with our friends.
We pulled in and saw a zillion cars but it wasn't bad at all once we got in.
Just outside the zoo, there's an incredible park-- perfect for a picnic and play!
It was cheap to get in and turned into another awesome day with my sister and kiddos!

Friday we surprised Lance for lunch and then headed back to our neighborhood to meet up with Lance's sister, Jenn, and her babies who had come to town.
The weather was perfect and the kids had fun.
Lance's dad stopped by to visit for a minute and the older boys each got a pocket knife as a gift from him that evening.
My niece is getting so big and I had so much fun trying to learn a cup and song game that she taught me from 'Pitch Perfect'.  She's such a sweet girl.  Smart, funny, athletic, sweet and apparently has a great voice too!
Can you tell that I heart her?!  

I ended up taking call at the last minute and my SIL took Maddox home for a sleep-over.

Since Lance was closing, Beckham and I had some great bonding time together.
He has started kissing me on my cheek or forehead, like Lance does and it seriously melts me.
It's soft, and not wet.  And this the tiny little smacking sound is about all that I can handle.
The first time he did it, I honestly thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest-- comparable to that first time you smell their chemically sweet breath and realize you created something so perfect.
I adore him.

And I will admit that it broke my heart a little to hear that Maddox wasn't sad for me at bed time last night-- although I did see panic come all over him when he realized it was for 'over-night', when he grabbed my face and whispered into my ear, "just pick me up before sunset."
But I am proud of him too....
And glad he got that time with his cousins.

I was, however, uber-happy to get him back today.
And uber thankful to my sister for watching Beckham this morning while I worked and taking him back to the park and letting him play.
And uber-duber-suber thankful for them both meeting me at Lance's store to put my eggs back in my basket so that I didn't have to travel all over the universe after work!

Tonight, me and the boys are whipping up breakfast-for-dinner and hoping Lance comes home before dark.
Hopefully an early bed time is in our near future!
Because I am beat.

We have had a wonderful spring break!