Updated on October 23, 2017
I escaped this weekend for 17 hours.
I spent the morning reading with this view. I came home okay with me. Okay with this season I find myself in.
Then I was exposed to people and all the insecurities jumped to the front of the line and I was left with the same defeat I have felt too often.
I’m certain there’s something broken in my way of thinking and analyzing right now. I’m certain it’s not as awful as it feels and you would find my hurts laughable.
I’m also certain I’m not alone. I know that our social media saturated world keeps us from being real and identifying real hurt and loneliness.
The seasons of life we gets caught up in are too often difficult and isolating. But we are all experiencing similar seasons. If we stopped and looked, we could throw out a “me too” more often than not.
We aren’t looking for help or advice on how to move through it, we just want a “me too”.
So I’m starting a series of posts about all the funk I’m fighting because I’m not shaking it as easily as I usually do.
My personality is bent toward the ho-Hums and narrow minded loneliness. I know that’s how I work and that it’s cyclical and that the loss of Summer should take some blame.
This series isn’t about you helping me. Or calling me out in a message about “all I have to be thankful for”… if that’s your response, these words aren’t for your heart.
These words are for you, friend. As you stare at your hand or at your screen and scroll through the beautiful pictures of everyone else having fun and friends….thinking you never get invited or never have good things to post…. these are your words.
This is my “me too” to you.
We are gonna work through this together. Coming out of the other side of this season ready and equipped for the next one. I don’t know what it’s gonna look like, but you should join me if only so I get a “me too”.
Posted on August 24, 2017
These sweet babies are heading back to school on Monday. They will be in the same school again. I am so excited about this next step and our official entrance into “Middle” years. As much fun as they can be, this part of the journey is fraught with emotions that are new and weird.
We are blaming hormones!
I decided to start this new season with an honest love letter to hormones…
Click here to read the post on East Texas Moms Blog.
Happy School year to you and your babies.
Posted on August 4, 2017
I love baseball.
I love playing (softball) and watching and hearing and cheering. My love for the game started early in life. Growing up we lived about an hour from Rangers stadium and went to several games. My family was at the game when Nolan Ryan threw his 5000th strikeout. That kind of game and excitement will help you fall in love with any game.
I love the peanuts and the crackerjacks! (Honestly all concession stand food!)
In high school, I was a baseball groupie. Knowing the players, watching and cheering for my friends… all of it solidified my love for the game!
I'm lovethat my boy loves to play.
I love the high and tight haircuts.
I love the pop-flys.
And the concessions.
For most of my life I have spent time at a ball field-playing slow pitch and watch the boys! You learn lessons on the field that you won't get anywhere else.
Throwing the ball will relieve stress and help you bond with your kid.
All you need is a ball and a glove.
Take me out to the ball game any day! I'm ready.
Bull Moose is one of the mascots for the Frisco Rough Riders. If you want to watch a ball game, enjoy a hot dog, and pay about $25 for a ticket that's 15 rows from the dugout and includes all you can eat hot dogs and drinks…. check them out!
Click here for the schedule.
Updated on August 2, 2017
Today my dear friend turns 39. She is brilliant and creative and has experienced life very differently than I have. Twenty-eight months ago, 40 months from her 40th birthday, she began planning for something amazing. She set aside $40 every month to save for her 40th birthday trip. Who thinks of something so cool?
True friends will save your life when you feel like your losing it….mentally, spiritually, figuratively, and for-real-sy.
I am honored to have a few people call me friend. You know it’s a real friend when they remember your birthday (not because Facebook reminded them), when they have a great story about the thing that happened that one time, and when they can show up unannounced at just the right time.
Here are a few of my “keepers”. I hope to be the type of friend that is documented and beloved so I wanted to tell you about mine.
August 2 marks one friend’s birthday. This friend has traveled the world. She has spent time on different continents. She has experienced heartache that is unmatched by any of my life experiences. Her faith has been challenged and changed. My life is better because of her lasting friendship. She called me from another continent after my wedding to talk to me (delayed) and check in. This chick showed up at my house when my first kid was six weeks old and held him like she truly loved him. She is strong and fierce. Her value system is set in stone because of the trials she’s trudged through. I am honored to be her friend.
June 7th is celebrated by another friend. This woman held my hand as I tripped through my early 20’s and entered my prodigal season. She saw me for who I was and wanted to be even when I couldn’t quite figure it out. Our paths have crossed and separated. She continues to be someone I touch base with (Words with Friends counts, right?). If I ever get to hear her voice or see her face, it feels that no time has passed. She is and will forever and always be the one that held my hand so tightly when I wanted to let go.
February 28th is at the end of the month, so this friend celebrates all month long…and has for the 20 years I have been honored to know her. We met because she liked that I wore hats. She stayed because I was heartbroken and had absolutely no one in my corner. Every story from fall of 1995 to spring 1997 includes this woman. Even if she wasn’t present for the actual event, my mind inserts her into the story. I slept on her couch after a week of friendship and know that I could sleep there again if I ever needed to. Her life has dealt her some tricky cards including a few jokers but she is facing new challenges like a champ. Her dedication to life and her boys is unmatched and heroic.
October 9. Since I was 11 years old, I have celebrated this birthday. I remember the first time I saw her and thought she was really cool. So for 30 years this incredible woman has been my friend. Even during the prodigal season when I was running and tripping into life, she stayed with me, kept up with me, prayed and loved me well. She pops up at just the right times and continues to bless me with her friendship. For years I have wondered why on earth she would be my friend. I’m very thankful she is more confident in who I am than I am.
December 15th. Just when you’re getting the last of your Christmas shopping done, this friend celebrates her day. This friendship is sporadic and mostly via text. She’s snarky and fun. She sees life black and white. She is brilliant. Keeping up with her intellect is exhausting. She’s an entrepreneur, a teacher, a mother, and a fantastic friend. When she lived close to me, our seasons were mismatched and we weren’t able to find friendship easily. Now that she lives far away from me, I can send a random text and be confident she will be there with a sarcastic response or wise words.
July 15 passes by without me noticing. I found this friend’s birthday on Facebook for this post. Here’s why she makes the list. When my dad first got sick and my life first started falling apart, I found her. She was the person that reached down to me and hauled me out of my prodigal season. She showed me how to mother and wife and church-go without being hypocritical or superior. She loves well and forgets dates. She thrives in chaos when I list-make to survive. She has SO MANY CHILDREN and loves each maniac like a boss. Her life and mine no longer interact but her grip on my hand has never faltered. She believes in me more than I believe in myself and is an ever present reminder that my strife for perfection isn’t necessary beacuse who I am is really okay.
November 15. I have only celebrated with her a few times. But once “July” pulled me from the pits and gave me steady ground, this friend showed me what it looks like to have a dear friend (and group of friends…Holla!). She has similar interests to me. She loves the same music from the past to the present. Her daughter’s friendship with Katelynn has sustained us this summer. She is my adult friend. The one that liked me for who I am now, not because she’s been my friend forever. I treasure her more than she knows.
The beauty of stopping to write all this down is that I have so many more friends that have come to mind. So many more that I want to tell you about. When I starting working on this post, I had two to tell you about. Now there are SEVEN with so many more on the list.
The “secret agent”….the sister….the college roommate….the sisters-in-law….the teacher….the activist….the christian…the atheist….the author….the seller….the boss.
If you’ve met me in real life, it’s quite possible I have told you that I don’t have any friends. It‘s how I feel most days. For years this loneliness plagued me but as I spent the last year analyzing all of who I am, I realized that maybe my friends aren’t right here because there in all kinds of places.
Who is on your list?
Posted on August 2, 2017
Each month I'm supposed to write a letter to my kids and share for a blog circle… Let's not talk about all the recent months I have skipped and focus on this one. When you get finished ready (and enjoying) my post, click the link to hop over to Angela's blog. Follow the circle until you get back here.
Michael and Katelynn,
First of all, I love you fiercely. This summer has felt full (even if you swear we haven't done "anything fun" and were expecting an "extravagant" summer.) Whatev's! We have been around Texas and in a couple of states. We swam and played and made so much slime. We partied for the birthdays and spent extra time with our cousins. We have had fun. I think we have had fun. You seem to be smiling in a lot of pictures even if you claim that there has been no fun this summer… I'm sorry if you hate that I work…. me too. Except that I don't. I like working and feeling like a grown up. I like the independence that I feel when I go to work and produce. Don't get me wrong, I would love to stay home, but we all know that I would be grouchy and you would be ready for school to start. (Here's proof from the last time we were home together too much…)
Beautiful Katelynn, pre-teen sure does look good on you.
Gone are the days of Elementary school. I can not wait to watch you bloom when you start middle school. And even though you want to be so grown, I have to remind myself that you are only 11 and not quite a teenager. It's not fair for me to hold you to the same standards that I have set for Michael. Thank you for handling this summer gracefully and emotionally. Getting you a phone at the beginning of the summer was such a good idea. You are creative with your phone and communicate so much with it! (Some would say too much…) Thank you for being my girl and for always having my back. Thank you for knowing just when I need a hug and a reminder that boys can be dumb sometimes. We have one more month of school…I'll work on making it extravagant! - Love you too the moon and back!
(She sings and dance in the rain. He practices driving my car in the driveway.)
My dearest Michael…. 13? What in the world?
How did this happen? I can not believe that you are 13 and going into the 8th grade. It floors me. This has been quite a summer for you. Besides fully embracing teenage-hood by staying up late, being a little hyper, and sleeping until noon, we have traveled! I will always be thankful to you for going to New York with me. I will forever remember what we experienced on the trip. These are memories for me that I will cling to!
Being a teenager is going to be a snap for you. You're smart, kind, funny, appropriately inappropriate, and handsome (even with the Jew Fro). Since we have the first year of school sports behind us and I know what to expect, I'm really excited to watch you and your friends play this year. I'm really excited to see how much cooler you get between now and next summer.
Here's just a couple of things I want to tell you… Answer your phone when I call. I need an appropriate text response to a question…"K" doesn't cut it when I gave you an either/or question.
Thank you for loving me so well. Thank you for picking and laughing. Thank you for being pretty cool and for the minimal eye-rolling. -I love you more…
Click here to follow the blog circle. Be inspired by these incredible women that document their children's lives… Maybe you could write a letter too!
Posted on August 1, 2017
I’m lazy and entitled.
I’m not a goal setter.
I’m a trend follower.
I’m a kindle reader that collects self-help and Christian authored books.
So, to celebrate the last remaining days of my 30s, I decided to really write. I love writing. If I could be paid by letter (and backspace), I’d be rich. Instead, I’ll stay middle class and share with you each day a little about what I’ve figured out/identified/enjoyed. I’ve failed at “Write 30 Days” already, so I’m halving it and taking away 2….
First off, I had to start with my letter to my children. It’s a post I should write every month but I rarely make the time to do. It is posted here. I don’t think I give my kids enough credit for having to live with me. My letters to them make me stop and appreciate where we are and what we have worked through. I need something to make me stop and see life as it flies by. These letters serve that purpose for me.
My dream is that Michael and Katelynn will go back and read these during those years they are no longer living with me. Maybe it will help Katelynn survive having her own mini-me when she reads my struggles. Or maybe she can read it and be reminded just how much I really love her. My kids are by far my greatest accomplishment and I’m only about half-way through.
However they use the letters, it will make me happy. Because at least someone will be reading my words.
Updated on May 29, 2017
During the school year: They are making memories that doesn’t include me. Experiencing joys and hurts that don’t involve me. They don’t want my help but sometimes need it desperately.
First day of summer: They are bored. And can’t play with others (sibling counts as an other, right?). They have grand ideas from YouTube but need my help to implement.
I’m already tired.
We are taking away electronics this summer. Not all the time, but mostly. I want them to be inventive and creative and find fun. Right now they are needy, YouTube watching zombies. It’s annoying but I created these monsters. It seems appropriate that I break them.
I’ll be here telling you what a terrible idea it is each day they fight and argue and are bored. My hope is that June’s boredom will turn to a strong creative summer finish.
The solution was easy:
“Figure it out… its water and a slip-n-slide. I can’t help you with your first world problem.”
Updated on April 1, 2017
Happy April! Each month I get to write a letter to my kids and link up with some other moms. This month I get to link to my beautiful and talented friend Michelle. Click Here after you ready my letter to see what her crazy kids have been up to.
Michael, I just realized we have 6 more summers together. That’s not very many. That’s not enough time. Just thinking about it gets my “feels” all jumbled. It also reminds me you have so much learning to do. I have just days to teach you how to be an adult. And not one of those kinds that I complain about!
Your dad has decided that I need to make you do more around the house. While I agree with him, it makes me sad to think that very soon you will not need (or want) me to do things for you. Let’s stop talking about it…
You ran track this spring for the first time. You also pole vaulted. I could never attempt these events. You rocked it! You didn’t bring home any ribbons BUT you finished all your races and worked so hard. You even shaved time off both your races. Never feeling defeated!
Love you more and most!
Katelynn, this past month has been full of changes for you. You joined Girl Scouts and have been on a couple of field trips. You have your first camp out soon and are looking forward to tent camping. You have spent time with new people at school and have enjoyed making new friends.
You stepped out of your comfort zone and tried out for the emcee part of the school talent show. You stepped out of your comfort zone to join Girl Scouts and try something we know nothing about. And you keep stepping out confidently even when you are walking by yourself. I admire your confidence and self-assurance. The path to finding self-assurance has been hard to watch. I never want you to be sad. But you are teaching me so much and knowing who you are and being content.
I love you to the moon and back again!
Updated on March 22, 2017
A day’s work. Ruined. Because I was distracted and had too many things rushing through my head.
You don’t have to be a chicken princess to appreciate this frustrating (and depressing) sight. I would compare it to the dreaded “pump and dump” when my kids were little. While it may not be my work that’s dumped on the ground, it still feels like one of those little things that adds to the failures of the day.
Do you have those days (weeks…months) when all your efforts seem futile? When all you want to do is make one successful dinner from pinterest but find yourself feeding them frozen dinners as you fan the smoke of yet another burned effort. Why do we do this to ourselves? More importantly, why do we feel such failure when the kids were fed and well loved when you put them to bed?
I’m working on four areas this dreaded year before I turn 40 (which is only 5 months away…). You can go here to see the 4 trouble spots.
Those broken eggs felt like they represented every area that gives me insecurity.
I’m so frazzled and unorganized and constantly going that I can’t stop and make sure the egg basket is securely placed on the ground. I did not give myself SPACE to slow down and be okay with extra time with the chickens. My to-do list was overwhelming my thoughts. This happens so often that Loretta (lo-red-uh…a red chicken) follows me in the coop each day awaiting the almost daily clumsy egg drop.
The broken eggs showed me that I do not have it all together and that my “farming” efforts are dumb. There was no self-love in those broken eggs. But then I remembered that my girls love broken eggs.
It’s crazy BUT my girls will chase each other to grasp the last bit of egg shell that falls to the ground. Since the boys moved away, the girls are much more friendly and almost let me pet them. Those broken eggs were such a treat and since I broke so many each girl was able to get some. My chickens loved the broken eggs.
The eggs that at first felt like defeat were a treat for the girls. So like my broken eggs and the joy my clumsiness gives my chickens, may find comfort in broken pieces today.
Posted on March 12, 2017
I feel like I’m constantly in motion. It would be nice to totally blame this on the children but it would also be false. I’m an over-committer. When you compound that character trait with people-pleasing and comparison, you have a nasty combination.
I’m walking down the path of no return… yep, I’m heading face first into my 40s this year. And since this is the beginning of the end (I kid…sort of), I taking this year to work on things that have been shoved in a small pot on the back burner.
This process is hard. And I’m working hard to not feel shame for these areas where I feel insecure and timid.
1. The blog.
I love this space. I love that I get to have a place to put words. But being here makes me nervous and insecure. What if you judge me with words and situations I openly tell you about? What if you disagree with words and situations and sum-ups that I openly tell you about?
Go ahead. Because this is my space for my words that I want to share. I typically only post when it’s funny or when it hurts. The funny is here because I love to laugh. The hurt is here because I so deeply do not want you to feel alone.
I have signed up for a course this year to make my blog better and my confidence sky high! I want to come here confident and full of something special just for you.
That being said, these first few months will be hard. I have to learn language that feels foreign. But I want this space to be fulfilling not fearful…
2. The self.
This is the most insecure area of my life. I despise myself so often that it’s unhealthy. (And I hide it so often which is also unhealthy). So I’m here. I tall and built like my dad. No longer can I hold hope of being smaller nor do I constantly want to be “on a diet”. But more than that, I want my daughter to have a healthy sense of self. I want her to be confident and love who God made her to be.
So, I had to ask for help from a stranger. (Kill me now). And I have to decide that I was worth a little money and time. Because this “me” may be downhill from here but I’m going to cut down on the friction.
This work is embarrassing. My brain is broken when it comes to body image and thoughts of food. So this space is where I will be honest about how I feel and who I am.
3. The faith.
The past two years have been a treacherous journey for my faith life. I feel like I’m in constant battle with stereotypical norms and deep desires of my heart. And I have hidden my dislike and mistrust and overall angst.
Here is where I’m going to feel confident with my faith journey. Even all the ugly parts. Even the parts that feel shameful. It’s important that I come to this space with honest “crap days” and “hallelujahs”.
4. The farm.
I am the Chicken Princess at the feed store. AKA: C.P.
No one else is going to tell the stories of Hector, Kevin, Stanley, Gretel, Goldilocks, or Barbara…because they’re chickens and its joyfully ridiculous. I’m also clueless and need you to laugh with me.
Your path may be longing for another’s to cross. Here’s my road. Jump on. We can walk together until you’re ready to switch paths.
Happy Sunday. Rest today. Find space to breathe.