Thursday, May 21, 2015

Come on and Celebrate

May is winding down to a close, and the count down is on. 5 more school days and we get to bust out of this joint. FREEDOM!!! So naturally, May has been chaotic and full of last minute to dos that come along with the end of another school year. Lucky for us, we also have so much to celebrate, so in between all the not so fun to-do lists, we get to sprinkle in some happy!

Carter's Birthday

Carter turned the big NINE this year! What?! I am one year away from having a teenager and a second child in the double digits. They aren't kiddin when they say that if you blink, they will be all grown up! A little sad, a lot happy for where this kid is going. He's blooming into a fine young man. His athletic ability continues to unfold, and he's finding his niche in the things he loves to do. He's much like his dad in that his friends tend to be more girls. He's such a softie! It was such a special year having him right next door to me. I could check on him more often, Pop in to give him a wink. Hug him on the playground. Eat lunch with him. Next year will be a change, that's for sure. I'm looking forward to what another year has in store for our Carter Man!

Sawyer's Birthday

Subconsciously, I don't think I want my baby to grow up, and I've been calling him five all week. He kindly reminds me that he is in fact six, but assures me that if it was in his power to stay that way, he would. For as strong-willed and independent as this boy is, I sure do appreciate those moments where he wants to be held and cuddled. It's as if he himself knows that time is fleeting, and before long, he won't need his mama as much. He has held his own pretty well in Kindergarten this year. He has LOVED being part of the big kid school and was a little crabby any time the big kids got to stay at grandpa's and he had to go to daycare. I think he's looking forward to being able to stay with Carter next year!

Milestone Anniversaries

Statistically, half of marriages end in divorce, and the odds are stacked against you if you get married young. However, if you can make it to ten years, the odds are a little more in your favor, but really you are constantly being told how quickly it can end. That's pretty much what Dan and I have been told our entire marriage. We got married at 19. I already had a baby. I was finishing college. My parents had just gotten a divorce, and if I'm being honest, I don't know if I saw our marriage lasting very long because I was certain mine was doomed to fail with all that was not in my favor.

Marriage is friggen hard. So hard. It is work to keep a marriage alive and strong. But that's not unlike any other good thing in our lives, right? Nothing good ever comes easy. Isn't that what they say? Now, don't get me wrong. There are many MANY reasons people call it quits. I have a few friends that NEEDED to get out, and put their heart and soul into making it work. It was just too toxic and it needed to be done. And I'm not judging anyone's reasons for staying or leaving. I'm really not. But for us? We didn't let the odds win. And we were rewarded with TEN YEARS this month. Gosh. If I look back at the last ten years, there are so many memories. A lot of ups and downs, three kids, two college degrees, job changes, a different house. Each year, representing another chapter, another jar of sand on the shelf. And we continue to fill them up, day after day, year after year with happiness and love.

I'm just so glad that Dan and I share the philosophy that life is meant to be LIVED. That our legacy is in how we live these years and filling up those memory jars for our kids so that they too can choose to be alive. We've learned that the small things are the things to be celebrated, and that money will never drive a wedge between us. We've learned that as long as we've got each other and our family, nothing else matters. I'm super lucky to call this man my other half.

So to celebrate? We did what we do best. Make memories. We spent a long weekend in Florida celebrating those years. We walked on the beach, watched sunsets, dreamt big dreams about buying a home in Florida so we can get away. We collected sea shells and watched dolphins by the pier. We oogled like tourists at the trees and the scenery and promised ourselves that we would never stop living, and that we would share this with our kids and our family and our friends.

Our ride for the weekend! Mustang convertible.

Our beautiful home for a few days!

Best place. Quiet, calm, beachy music, LOVE.

Walking the sandbar to Marcos Island

Everyone comes out to cheer for the sunset.

Naples Pier


Looking forward to summer and all the memories and celebrations that will be had! Happy Thursday!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

My Village

Mother's Day always gives me mixed feelings. On one hand, I think it's a beautiful way to pay tribute to all the mamas and grandmas in our lives. There's always a reason to love up amazing women in our lives, but then again, I think that it's become another consumer holiday, much like Valentine's Day where TV commercials and magazine ads remind us not to disappoint our moms with crappy gifts.

I don't need chocolates and flowers because my kids feel obligated to get me gifts. I want them to do whatever they authentically want to do. I'd forever be fine with hugs and kisses and Sunday mornings where my littles jump into my bed to show me some extra love just because I'm their mama. If that was all Mother's Day ever was, I would still be the luckiest girl on earth. They are mine.

The truth is, the old adage is so completely accurate. It takes a village. It really does. My kids would not be as well adjusted, healthy, or happy if it weren't for all the people that make it possible: grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, teachers, daycare providers....our village. So I feel a little like I'm being put on a pedestal that isn't big enough to fit all the people who deserve that recognition. Maybe Mother's/Father's Day should be changed to Village Day.

This day can open really deep wounds for so many people. So many people in my life are struggling with things that can make this a day that is filled with pain and frustration for them instead of a time of happiness and celebration. There are many amazing women I know who would give anything to be a mama. In my mind, they are already mamas waiting for God to place a little of their very own into their arms. Some children are remembering a mama that is no longer with them. Some mamas are empty handed or a child short because their precious little lives were cut short. Others, yet, have broken relationships that make this day a hard one to celebrate. And while that doesn't change the fact that there are mamas we want to celebrate, I can't help but feel like we need to remember what this day means to others. It means that while we celebrate, we also are sensitive to others and how this day might trigger some not so happy feelings.

So on Mother's Day, celebrate your mamas (I will be!)- but more importantly, celebrate all the women (we'll save the men for Father's Day) who played a part in raising you or helping you raise your littles. There are dozens of women in my life who deserve to be celebrated. Many of them are mamas, some of them aren't. Some because they don't want to be or aren't ready, but many who long to be. This is their day too. So here's to them and to the littles who made me a mama. I love you.

Happy Mother's Day to anyone who loves a child.