Thursday, July 25, 2013

you are loved.

My little girl celebrated eight years of life on Sunday. Our celebration was a weekend long event starting with her getting her ears pierced, going to work with Daddy, swimming at the pool and ending with a family picnic with the Buckwalter cousins. 
The night before her birthday tears came to my eyes when I thought of her turning eight. Sometimes when I look at Eden I am taken back to when Sarah was that old. They look a lot a like and she is busy like Sarah was. In some ways it feel like just yesterday I was rocking Sarah in my arms in her nursery on Chestnut Street . But in other ways it is a foggy distant memory and it is hard to picture her as anything but a little girl chattering and drawing (always drawing) and mothering her younger sibilings. She is growing up before my very eyes it seems. 

Happy Birthday Sarah. 
You are indeed loved.

Friday, July 19, 2013

it's the dog days of summer

I got a break this week. Sunday night to Tuesday morning I only had two little girls. The house was pretty quiet. It dawned on me that this was what it was going to be like when the school year started with three in school all day and I cried. Mark shook his head. "You were just saying how much you need a break and now you are crying?"
Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon and everyone just got home from 36 hours of fun with Grandma and Aunt Carla and Uncle Dan and it is chaos. Whining. Crying. Fighting. 
And now its Wednesday morning and I am crying again. But for other reasons. How can I love and miss them so much but after 24 hours want to send them  back? What's wrong with me? What's wrong with them? Yes it's 100 in the shade and maybe 90 in the upstairs of our house but really! (And a warm 80 in our air conditioned down stairs)
Ahh... the dog days of summer. Every year about this time we seem to hit a wall. 
(This will pass. It will get better. And I really do love them!)
Today we canceled our plans to just stay home. I felt like we have been running around a lot this week. Sometimes even when it is not urgent it can feel crazy just trying to get all five kids out the door and make sure everyone has shoes on and proper attire. My Mom said something to me the other day, "They just like to take their time and not be rushed.". That stuck out to me because I feel like I am all the time rushing them. There is an internal clock ticking and sometimes I don't even know what I am rushing for. 
So we took our time eating breakfast and cleaning up and had no agenda and they have actually been playing really well. It seems like a day to just be is what we needed. To be kids catching toads in the marshy area in our yard and spraying each other with the hose (which is what they are doing while i write) on a hot summer day. Oh yeah and fighting about getting sprayed and arguing and waking up their little sister and other things that happen when Mom starts blogging...
Like I said. It's the dog days of summer and I'm going to go pour myself another glass of iced coffee!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


 Image 2
poem by Liz Billups

Saturday, July 13, 2013

date night perspective.

a picture from our last date night in april.
 It's amazing what a little distance can do for a mother. Even just an evening with my man away from the children and the responsibility of running a household does wonders for me. I realized this week it had been too long since I had gone anywhere without a baby on my hip or a child in tow and I needed a BREAK. 
After a delicious dinner Mark took me to the photography studio where he works and we looked at pictures together. Pictures of us and our family. The five kids that we produced by our love. The five kids that drive me crazy at times but bring tears of thankfulness as I look at the images of them on the screen while apart from them.
 And these last three especially made me cry. My baby and I.

a quote from one of my favorite articles... i wrote about it before here but i will quote it again.

"As the picture show of my life unfolded before me, I found myself wishing I could tell the young woman I had been a few things for I remember what was going on behind her smiling face. First of all I'd tell her you're more beautiful than you realized....How much money and time I spent trying to make myself into something I was not, instead of simply appreciating the beauty I had....
This moment of young motherhood is incredibly precious and all too short.
Right now, your life is better than you know. Don't wait until you are looking at picture show to find out."

-Wynne Gillis

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

she's just jealous...

It was Monday morning and we needed to go to the grocery store. Some days just getting five kids thorugh the store, remembering the items I needed on the list I left at home, getting the groceries from the car to our house and then unloaded feels like a daunting task. I have five little helpers and five distractions. Trying to remember your coupons and make sure someone doesn't fall out of the cart and herd three or four children together can feel like brain overload some days.
Yesterday was such a day. It was getting way too close to lunch and it felt like we were hanging on by a thread to any resemblance of being "put together". I went into a line with a familiar cashier who I like but always get the feeling she is annoyed with me. Maybe its the chaos... I don't know.
Anyways by the time we got to the car and got everyone and the groceries in I was feeling a bit flustered to say the least. 
"I'm sorry for snapping" I said to the kids as we backed out of the parking space. "I know you are hungry and it took a long time. I was feeling frazzled because the cashier seemed annoyed with us."
"Why?" Sarah called out from the back seat.
"I don't know" I said letting out a big sigh.
"It's probably because she is jealous we have five kids."
I laughed out loud. Yep. That's probably it.

Monday, July 1, 2013

the thief of joy.

Comparison is the thief of JOY.
-theodore roosevelt

I have heard this saying many times before. But I feel like this past couple weeks I have been confronted with the reality of how comparing myself to others really does steal my JOY. Several times recently I have gone to other women's homes and came away feeling heavier than I arrived. And most of the times we had good conversations but I subtly started looking around their homes and lives and pulling out the measuring stick.
  Her house is so organized. Her children never seem to fight what's wrong with mine. She always is so patient and laid back. She is teaching her kids about finances. She does devotions with her kids every day. Her yard looks like something out of a magazine.
You get the point. Blah. Blah. Blah.
And every time I come home and compare myself to the house I just left I feel like crap. And often times I am comparing their best to my worst. I am comparing my shortcomings or my house's shortcomings with another's best qualities. And I am always going to come up short when I am not choosing JOY in who I am and where I am. When I do,  I find I have it pretty good. I want to come away from a time with a friend blessed and encouraged by what God is doing in them and maybe even learn something from them. I want to bless others in where they excel and know what my strong points are and walk in confidence. 
I don't want to give away my JOY by comparing. 

 yep. i am pretty blessed.

"Abide in my love and your JOY will be complete"
-Jesus (John 15)

"The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday."