Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In the Spirit

A new week has begun and where I live the snow starting falling today!  My boys were elated until they learned the horrifying truth that school wasn't closed early.  You can imagine the disappointment of being in school watching out the window & wishing you were outside making snowmen.

The snow is gorgeous & it's beginning to actually feel like Christmas.  I've known the holidays were right on us and coming at the same time they do every year, but I'd be lying to say that I've been "in the spirit."  Things are changing, and I'm delighted to tell you that I'm ready for Christmas, baking red & greeen cupcakes, listening to Christmas music with the boys, and actually FEELING the Christmas spirit.  It's been awhile since I've actually felt so many emotions.  After the end of last year, I became somewhat numb.  No excitement, no sadness, no tears of joy, nothing period.  I had no idea that I had turned into someone who shut off most all emotions.  I'm a "feelings" person.  If you've ever taken the personality test written by Myers-Briggs, then you will know if you are have a "feelings" personality or not.

Things are coming along very nicely in most every aspect of mine and the boys lives!  I can't express what a blessing this is!  Prayers have been answered regarding work, family health, etc.  God is so good and we are blessed!  I don't deserve it, but I'm so grateful!

Monday I layered up (only three layers of clothes, a jacket, snow hat, mittens, and a hood--not much, but my blood is still somewhat unadapted to non-Florida weather), put on my "let's get down to business & get this done as quickly as possible" face, met up with co-workers, and moved the remnants of our belongings of the building we were asked to leave. 

It was cold and rainy.  It should have been an easy, smooth, non-drama filled move, but unfortunately it wasn't.  I've learned that in most situations someone is going to have to act like an adult, so it might as well be me and I stive to do that in all situations putting all feelings aside. 

"Being the bigger person means making a conscious decision to behave at the height of ones character." I know that not all are capable of doing this, but I think taking the high road and acting like an adult is always best!  A police officer was called for intimidation purposes if I had to guess, smart and nasty remarks were made, looks that would kill the the sweetest person on Earth were given, and some behaved downright nasty.  It was made so that my co-workers and I couldn't use the entrance with an awning, so we purposely had to load an SUV, a U-haul sized trailer, and my car in the cold rain. 

Later that day, I received word from a co-worker that I was banned from my former part-time employer's office.  Read that again!  I was BANNED!  I guess I can cross that one off my bucket list (sarcasm intended).  I've never been banned from anywhere in my life, but I guess there's a first time for everything.  There was no reasoning for this.  That's okay.  I have no reason to go back. I don't understand it, don't need to, and don't have to.  The future is bright and better and I can't wait!! 

The AMAZING news is, my company is now away from all the unnecessary drama and nastiness that is only meant to purposely hurt others for no reason.  I work for THE BEST people possible!  They are always supportive, willing, and they all go above and beyond.  They know my work and the kind of person I am.  I never have to explain myself and my work speaks for itself.  If my boss doesn't have faith in my work, he can ask those I do business with and they tell him first-hand (do NOT mistake this for boasting). 

So, God has been answering prayers left and right!  After the exhausting moving day, our power went out as I was on the phone with a company doing business for an hour and a half and NOTHING, I mean nothing was going to make me hang up that phone!  A friend knocked on the door and brought me an angel.  Coincidence?  Perhaps, but I think God speaks through people.  I needed an angel that day.  The power came back on before we went numb or froze.

I've been praying for specifics, and today a family member who doctors thought may very well have cancer was deemed cancer free!  Thank you, Jesus!  Prayer works, my friends.  God doesn't always give us what we ask for, but he gives us what we need.  He's sent the most special people in my life in the last week!  Did you guess I've been praying for that as well?  I've always known that after every storm (or hurricane in my case), there is a rainbow. 

"I love you, God- you make me strong. God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight."  Psalm 18:1
I believe in crying tears of happiness (which has happened lots lately and I'm ecstatic to have those feelings back), laughing, loving, giving, hoping, sharing, helping, being nice, doing the right thing because you want to, and that God is the reason for everything in my life! 

I hope you all are adjusting to the week after Thanksgiving work week.  I know it's tough having time off & then going back.  My boys weren't too thrilled about going back to school either.  If you haven't thanked God today, I recommend it.  I'm thankful for all of you amazing readers.  Thank you for taking an interest, relating, and sharing.  I love hearing your stories and feedback so keep it coming! I hope you are all getting in the spirit!  If you can't or are having trouble, do it for your sweet babies!  They deserve it!  If I can do it, anyone can do it.  I know it's a hard time of year for some.  I get it.  BUT, we all have so many blessings.  If you think you have none, open your pretty eyes and take a long, hard look arou Have a blessed day!  Smile, because it's worth it!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Walk On

I hope you all had the best, happiest, most amazing Thanksgiving ever!  It was great to see most of my family members and enjoy it to the best of my ability.  I cooked a small dish and made my first EVER chimichurri sauce.  Brace yourself…. It was good AND it’s an Argentinean sauce that I successfully made on my first attempt!  I put on my bravest “game face,” pretended things were as normal as ever and tried to not recognize that this year’s Thanksgiving was very different.  Things went well until the child swap.  My youngest had a meltdown.  Not just any meltdown, I mean the clinging, wailing, “Mommy, mommy” kind!  My heart was shattered to say the least. I tried to assure him that he would have such a wonderful time with dad, got in my car and cried as I drove away.  I knew it would be the longest I had been without seeing him. 
After that, I lost the ability to pretend I was better than ever.  I explained to the host of Thanksgiving dinner, who happened to be my mom, got in my car and did THE DUMBEST thing ever!  I drove and shopped on Thanksgiving Day!  Keep in mind, I am NOT a black Friday shopper, but this wasn’t black Friday, so I figured only one store I was interested in would be open.  It was!  I bought things I didn’t need, but I swear it was worth every dime to attempt to remove my focus from the reality and place it somewhere else so I could be at peace.   I couldn’t even sleep in my own home Thanksgiving night.  I’d had enough and I’ll be really honest with you, I just wanted it to stop and to be over.   Sweet readers, when life is hard, hold your head high, smile that pretty smile, and walk on. 

"My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength off my heart; he is mine forever."  Psalm 73:26
 The WONDERFUL news is that on Sunday I mustered up the courage to call and see if we could do the child swapping a day sooner.   I wasn’t amazed that he agreed, but I was THRILLED to pick up my sweetie and share the last night of Thanksgiving break with my little family!  I’m blessed. 
                The day after Thanksgiving I was wondering what I did before I had children.  I’m sure I must’ve been the most bored woman in the world!  I may have even had time to watch TV, talk on the phone, see friends, and I’m thinking my house was immaculate in those days!  I wouldn’t change the way things are now for the world!  Didn’t take me long to get busy!  I used my two little helpers, my oldest son and nephew and let them decorate the Christmas tree as tacky as they wanted it!  The old Robin, would’ve had to have the PERFECT tree & I’m so thrilled to tell you that it didn’t bother me one bit to have a Christmas tree that my son and nephew think is the coolest thing they’ve ever seen and they made it!  Maybe I’m at least a halfway cool mom!
After the my seven year old and my nephew spent the day at grandmothers, I was alone.  I cleaned, but that wasn’t enough to keep me EXTREMELY busy!  I rearranged the living room, my youngest son's  room, had my seven year old go through ALL of his toys so we can donate them to charities & churches to ensure that the needy children get a visit from Santa.  I hope this will continue to make his gigantic, compassionate, giving heart continue to grow!  I rearranged the home office, and tried to organize (only to move again this week) the work office which still remains at home.   All this moving led to some icy hot on my back, a bloody finger, and a mommy who had worked hard physically to get through the day of being home alone without my sweeties!
During Thanksgiving break, I was also able to relax and enjoy some much needed friend and adult time (this equates to “me time”).  Sounds so selfish doesn’t it?  Call me selfish.  I’m okay with that.  However, I rarely take time for myself and two days of doing not much of anything (this is a new foreign concept to me that ACTUALLY EXISTS!) did this mommy a world of good!!  Again, I’m SO blessed and my batteries are re-charged, ready to take on the new school and work week.  Bring it on!
Our little family was blessed in a so many way s these past few days.  I can’t wait to share those blessings with you one day!  I’m certain they are from God, because I’ve prayed for both of them.  God is so good to us and I’m so thankful!  I think that four and a half day Thanksgiving break has spoiled this mommy somewhat.  I believe we all deserve a little bit of spoiling, since most of us spoil our children or have family/friends that do it for us!

I hope you all have an amazing week! I’m hoping you all had a normal or Norman Rockwell painting of a Thanksgiving.   If you didn’t have the “picture perfect” Thanksgiving, you aren’t alone.  I know it must have been hard. When things are tough, just walk on.  Keep going, praying, thanking God, and doing your best.  That’s all I know to do and I do it often.  Please know that I’m extremely proud of you all for giving & doing your best to enjoy the holiday.

"It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going" 2 Corinthians 5:7

  I am so excited to say that the days following Thanksgiving were astounding and I’m so thankful that God knew this mommy was tired and gave me rest and sent me the best people to be beside me every minute of the much needed break.   Many thanks to those amazing people!  You all are the best!  Tonight I’m giving thanks after Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Guilty Mommy

Today has been another amazing one!  I'm so thankful to work for such an amazing company that allows me to take two and a half days off to observe Thanksgiving. 

I know that Thanksgiving day is going to be a slight adjustment to say the least, but I'm trying to get my game face on, be brave, swap children, and pretend it doesn't phase me at all (even though I usually boo hoo all the way home).  I understand that dad time is necessary.  Call me selfish, but I want my boys with me all the time.  I don't want to miss a minute! I'm quite certain this is confusing for a sixteen month old baby.  Bless his heart, he has no idea what's going on.  The best I can do is usually put on my happiest mom voice amidst the crying and mutter something like "Have fun with daddy," or "I know you are going to have so much fun & I love you!" I'm not sure if they sense the fake & happy mom voice, but I'm trying. The swapping and the whole ugly mess leaves me with feelings of guilt. 

I feel guilty because I think to myself sometimes that I should have been able to save a marriage.  I should have been able to prevent my children from growing up in a broken home.  I wasn't raised that way, so I'm not sure I'll be able to relate to the boys and what they experience, but I'll do whatever it takes to make sure I am someone they can talk to.  How can I expect those sweeties to understand when I don't completely understand?

The guilty feelings have lead to overspending on Santa presents.  Somewhere in my mind, I think that if Santa brings the ultimate toys, they will forgive their mommy who has to work and run the house.  It seems silly, but I promise you I try to compensate for the damage that has been done.  It's not realistic, but I can't help but going above and beyond what's necessary (even though I blew my budget for Christmas, but not by much), secretly hoping they will forgive me for not being able to keep it all together.  I hope they will understand one day and I do hope they won't hold it against me.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord my rock and my redeemer.  Psalm 19: 14

So, after a blessed HALF of work day, the guilt and mom instinct kicked in full force.  I'm thinking so many thoughts like:  "I've got to get this tree up," & "I've got to make this year's holidays better than any before so they won't hate me."  Out to the building I went to fetch a Christmas tree and and decorations that would put the Griswold's to shame!  Keep in mind, I just do the inside (outside is what I call a "man job") and our house isn't that big so a little Christmas goes A LONG way!

Determined not to cry, I put the tree together!  Sounds simple, I know.  Maybe pathetic too.  However, I was so proud that I didn't have to phone a friend, borrow a neighbor, or call my mom for moral support.  I have not went through the ornaments yet.  That's going to be the hard part.  I have a box that "stuff" goes into.  I'm not sure what to do with the sentimental things, so I put them in the box, and viola no more "stuff!"

Please know all of my efforts paid off!  I'm so blessed and grateful!  Today, when I mentioned that I had put up the Christmas tree and I needed two helpers, my seven year old son, and my five year old nephew both piped up, faces glowing with excitement, and begged me to let them be the helpers.  OF COURSE they will be the ones to decorate the tree.  It's all about the children to me.  My sixteen month son's face lit with anticipation to touch, feel, and experience his first Christmas tree (he doesn't remember last Christmas because he was only five months old).  He quickly started saying "tree," and "lights!"  My heart immediately melted and was filled with satisfaction knowing I had done the right thing no matter how hard things may get.  It's COMPLETELY worth it!  God love his heart, he thought my tree was the best thing he'd ever seen and it doesn't have anything on it!  It's a pre-lit tree, but to him it's a new adventure and I'm willing to bet he will bulldoze it down before Christmas gets here!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and weekend.  To all of you "Black Friday" shoppers, I think you are either nuts, or extremely determined to save money! I'm a fan of saving money too.   Either way, shop on!  I'm going to start the cooking and enjoy Thanksgiving with all those who I love so dearly.  Maybe God will even give me the courage I need to be extremely brave tomorrow! I'm sure it will be lovely.  Sweet friends, please keep giving your all!  I promise it doesn't go unnoticed to our creator.  He knows are hearts and loves us all.  I think you all are amazing, so turn on the Christmas music, heat the oven and have the best Thanksgiving ever!  I'm going to.  Let's hope my cooking doesn't send anyone to the ER!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Give thanks because the truth is we all have so much to be thankful for

Today I'm extremely Thankful for many things.  Thanksgiving is approaching soon, and my boys are filled with excitement of the holidays and mainly being able to stay home from school.  Who would have guessed?

To start, I'm thankful for all of you who take time out of your crazy busy schedules to read my blogs!  I can't believe I have twelve readers in Russia, but I have many goals.   I desperately want you all to be encouraged, given hope, and to know that you may be able to relate to my writings.  I remember the first time I read a book written by a Christian woman.  I could NOT believe there was a person in this world who had felt how I've felt, been down some of the same paths I've traveled, and never lost her focus on God!  I was very inspired and comforted to know I'm not alone in my ways of thinking.  The book was a blessing!

I'm very thankful that I inspired a friend who is hurt from a recent divorce to put up a Christmas tree even though they didn't want to (Hey, I know exactly how that feels!  I don't really WANT to either, but I HAVE to)!  Their children will be thankful and blessed!  Way to go, sweet friend!  You know who you are and I'm very proud of your courage!  I know it's not easy, but you did it!  I'll give you a gold star for your refrigerator!

I'm also thankful that I have both of my boys on Thanksgiving (well most of the day, but hey, I'll take it any day!) & that we will be able to give thanks & be around those we love.  My goal is to teach my boys the reason behind Thanksgiving & Christmas.  I've already been working with my seven year old year after year. Tonight at dinner when we continued our nightly dinner question of "What are you thankful for?" he responded "God & food, mom!"  I can't tell you how happy that makes me!  Immediately after Thanksgiving we will begin our new Christmas traditions and bring out the "Elf on the Shelf," who is new to our home this year and one of our new traditions!  "Buddy" takes some effort, but the boys LOVE him!

I'm extremely blessed to have an amazing family and genuine friends.  I realize that not everyone can say the same.  I've always had a family who has supported me through everything in life.  I know that's hard to come by.  They might not like it, might not agree, but they always give me their unconditional love and support.  I think that's the way it's supposed to be. 

I've learned the hard way whom I can trust, who just wants to know our struggles, and who is genuinely there for me through good & bad.  I never knew until recently that some people LOVE to hear about others struggles and problems to make them feel better about their lives.  I know, I know, I guess I've been living under a rock!  I don't understand it, but I don't have to.  I found out who my genuine friends were when my life wasn't so glamorous.  There was a house fire & a divorce filed all in one week.  I saw who came around then and I was heartbroken to know that these "friends," weren't ever really that great. The same goes for this point and time in my life.  It's not so glamourous.   It's odd to say the least at this point to invite over a few married couples and their children.  I'm sure it would be fine, but I'm not ready for all of that just yet.  It's hard to find genuine people who don't mind spending time with this single mom and her two super energetic children!  We will find our place and have already started.   I strive to be a great friend.  I'm busy, so I don't have much time to call each and every one of them as often as I'd like, but I try. 

The difference is, my friends that are there through thick and then are all busy, mostly married, and most of them have children.  They are also adults who act like adults!  We can go months without having more than a ten minute conversation and it's like nothing has changed in our friendships.  The reason is we understand that life gets busy!  God comes first, and family comes second in my home.  Period. 

"About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won't like you at all."

That one is one of my  absolute favorite quotes.  It's so very true.  I'm blessed that my family & friends love me for me.  I'm not too concerned with the ones who only love how I can help them & the ones who don't like me. 

My boys and I are planning a Thanksgiving to remember!  I have a hyped up seven year old boy who was given too much soda (this makes me cringe) at dinner, but kudos to grandmother for preparing dinner for my little family!  We aren't ever able to sit down and have a calm meal.  It's inevitable that one of the boys will spew milk through their nose from all the laughing, but that's exactly how I like it!  This means we are VERY careful where we go, because for some reason a seven year old and a sixteen month old that are both FILLED with PURE ENERGY to last for months can induce stress to some.  I can't begin to imagine why (please note my intended sarcasm).  We are just us and I think it's mandatory to have fun with my boys.  Their little lives will not be filled with strict rules, saying "No" to most things, and constant nagging or punishment.  In my encounters as a mother of seven years, I've learned that positive reinforcement works so much better than constant punishments and throwing out consequences.  Yes, it's needed SOME, but time out works wonders for my two boys who hate to be still!

I can't wait to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade with the little sweeties in between cooking a dish or two to contribute to a huge Thanksgiving meal!  I'm thankful for their health.  Thus far, we've been blessed with great health with both boys except a  BAV heart condition (that's a whole different blog).  I've been blessed with an amazing home, an incredible job, wonderful co-workers & board members, plenty of food, water, clothes, & all the necessities as well as more than we need.  I could go on and on, but I'll spare you. 

Every year, I make the boys clean out their toys. They have no choice but to give quite a few (almost half) to children who don't have any toys.  I hope I'm teaching them to be compassionate, giving, and about God's love.  Children are supposed to think "me, me, me," but I'm trying my hardest to teach them about others. 

Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.  2 Corinthians 9:7
I've always had a strong burning desire to travel to Africa to do mission work.  I ignored it for years.  It never went away.  I know this is God.  It's no coincidence my seven year old is OBSESSED with Africa.  I promised myself when we moved here without much family that we were going to make it no matter what came our way.  God has proved that to be true.  I've also made a promise to myself and to God that if he will provide the way, I will take my seven year old to Africa and we will do mission work.  I can only imagine the hate mail I may get about my bad parenting, but I think it's a fabulous idea and I'm excited to get him his passport and start saving for if and when the day comes.  I LOVE the way God works in our lives.

Dear friends, if you haven't already, develop a heart of thankfulness.  A heart of compassion & forgiveness.  If you have all of these traits, it's impossible not to show love in our actions.  Anyone can do something nice for the recognition, but make it come from your heart.  It will show in your attitude, work, home, and everywhere else.  When I'm hurt by the world or people, I pray for the situation and use specific names.  I forgive them and try to open my heart with love.  It's so much better that way. 

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Jesus loved me when he shouldn't have.  I'm certain I wasn't making him happy, but he knew my heart and never let go of me.  I'm so blessed and I don't deserve it.  Words can't express. 

I wish you all blessings, happiness, encouragement, hope, laughter, and memories that will rock your little families this Thanksgiving holiday!  Let's all hope I don't have to pull out a bigger size in jeans!  I hope it's the best Thanksgiving in the history of Thanksgivings and I'm determined to make it just that for my little family!  Remember to let God know what you are thankful for instead of what you want from him (you can all do that for one day)!  Give thanks, because the truth is we ALL have SO MUCH to be THANKFUL for!  Keep smiling and shining & hopefully you all can enjoy some time off from your careers and spend it with those you love the most!  God bless you all!

This photo was taken by me in Honduras while sharing God's love with this family and sweet children.  Circa July 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Our First Distinguished Holidays

The holidays are approaching rapidly and although all Christmas shopping is done and all food is purchased that I will be cooking on Thanksgiving, I'm not ready.  Santa has finished his list, wrapping paper is bought, decorations are ready to be hung, and I have two little boys that can NOT wait until Christmas.  They are pretty darn excited about Thanksgiving break (I'd like to think it's because they are thankful & it has nothing to do with no school for three days)!  We even have a new elf who sits on a shelf and reports all behavior to the north pole.  The elf we have named "Buddy," travels to the North Pole nightly and the next morning my boys have to find where his new spot his in the house after his long journey.  They LOVE this!

I am blessed to have such an amazing family and a few true friends!  I'd be lost without their support.  I have to be honest with you, this holiday season will be the hardest thus far.  I finally understand how widows &those who've lost loved ones, children, & parents feel.  I don't expect anyone to "get it" who has never been down the road leading to a broken home. 

I also understand that this year is so hard for so many because of the money involved.  We live in a society that tells us we need "things" to be accepted.  Gosh, my oldest is seven and he tells me which clothes are "cool" and which ones aren't.  He is SEVEN!  The holidays aren't cheap, lots of people are forced to go into debt because they have no other way to provide Christmas, and some rely solely on the community and churches.  I get it.  It's beyond hard.  Just know you aren't alone and lots of people understand. 

You see, there's all this "stuff" that I've already cleared out.  There's even more "stuff" in the Christmas decorations.  This "stuff" is pictures, clothes, movie ticket stubs, letters, & ornaments.  The list goes on and on.  Most people don't understand why I just can't whiz them all out the door, set them on fire, or just give them away.  They are part of my life.  I don't have to look at the stuff, but I'm not going to throw it out like a dirty diaper.  I invested too much time, made beautiful children, and have too many happy memories to do that.

Today, I spoke with a friend who is newly divorced and thinking of not putting up a Christmas tree. This friend doesn't want to acknowledge the holidays this year as it will be their first without a spouse.  I get it!  I understand!  I promise you, I get it.  However, if you have children it's not about you.  It's about those sweet babies!!

First, you should know that I'm the FIRST to put up decorations!  I LOVE to decorate for all the holidays!!  People used to question why I always did it so early and my answer was always the same and still is.  It's not about ME, it's about the sweetest babies I know that I call my children.  That's right, those two little boys who have pieces of me installed in their hearts, genetics, appearance, & manners.  You won't ever believe that my oldest LOVES to decorate as much as his mommy! 

I believe that after you have children everything stops being about you and is about those precious babies!  Most everything I do is done to benefit my boys in some way or done with their best interests at heart.  My job is to raise them right and I'll have to answer to God one day.

Sometimes you have to put on your game face and do the hardest things.  I'm going to attach a smile to my game face, drag in more Christmas decorations than you can imagine, and decorate like never before.  This won't be easy, but it will be worth it.  It won't be the same this year, but it will be my first Christmas with my new little family!  I don't ever have to do these things alone.  I've asked God a long time ago to be with me and he is. He won't ever leave and I'm sure he will get me through the holidays and I'll be happier than ever to have experienced them for the first time in years as a single, broken, scarred, mother. 

Please don't get me wrong.  I'm grateful for everything that life has brought us!  You see, the mom with the normal family that included a dad was an overachiever and a perfectionist.  I'm still both of those things, just not as much.  In order to do all that has to be done, I've had to lay down the perfectionism and overachieving and let our family just be us. 

Last Christmas at this time, I had the perfect family photos taken where we all wore matching pajamas.  Not just ANY pajamas!  They boys had matching snowmen pajamas and mom & dad wore EXACT matching shirts and the same colored jeans.  This photo went on our custom printed Christmas cards.  For Basketball season, we all had our favorite team shirts on for a photo taken with big perfect smiles.

Since I've laid down the perfectionism & overachieving, it has given me the chance to actually let my children live.  I can see their personalities, dreams, passions and everything else.  My oldest wants to be a professional baseball player.  The old "striving to be perfect" mommy would have given him a speech about how that career is unrealistic and probably would never happen to him. It would have driven me crazy and I would have tried to convince him he was much too smart and would make a wonderful veterinarian or attorney one day.  These days, I'm thrilled to tell you that I listen to their hopes, goals, and dreams and let them be the sweet little people that God created them to be.

Bags will be packed for visitation through the holidays and I'll hold back the tears and let the best thing happen.  The best thing is having time with dad sometimes.   That doesn't mean it's easy on me.  However, I know it's best.

I know God is with us.  I compare him to the wind sometimes.  No, I can't see the wind, but I can feel it daily & I know it's there.  That's how my God is.  I can't see him, but I can feel him and know he is working in me, changing me, and I am at peace.  I have hope & faith!  To me that's everything!

 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
I'm excited to overcome this hurdle and make this holiday season Our First Distinguished Family Thanksgiving and Christmas!  I thank God for the strength to carry on, see how richly blessed we are, and to know that he's always with me.  If God wouldn't have given me a broken home, I probably would have never transformed into a laid back mom who is LOVING watching her children be themselves and not being the mom who is the strict enforcer. 

If the holidays are going to be hard for you this year, you are not alone.  So many people feel the way you do, and God is there for us all.  He mends our hearts, gives us a giving & cheerful spirit, and picks us up into his arms when we can't seem to go on.  I'm so excited that he's working hard on me and that this Holiday season I'll be volunteering to do a prison ministry and a coat drive for the needy people in the community.  Tis' the season of giving.  I can't wait to tell you all about Our First Distinguished Family Thanksgiving and Christmas! 

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.  Colossians 3:17

Hey, all of you reading this!  It's going to be okay.  It's going to be better than okay.  It's going to be THE BEST holidays of our lives!  Make them great with priceless memories that can't be bought and can't be taken from you!  I think you all are so unique in your own way and God loves you all and will see you through the darkest days.  I promise.  Now, let's go get those turkeys cooked and Christmas trees up! Happy Thanksgiving, precious friends!


I often think that if I had two extra arms (I’d be elated with a third arm), more hours in a day, a second pair of eyes, or an extra boost of energy that I often refer to as my “second wind,”  things would be fantastic!  After working a full day, it’s sometimes hard to find that extra oomph to do all there is to do in a days time. 
I’ve drank (and still drink) the green drink in the morning.  It’s horrible!  BUT, if it does what it’s supposed to do and gives me energy and overall better health, then I’ll down it like champ nastiness and all!   I take vitamins, but sometimes I forget.  Seems like it should be easy to remember when the boys get their vitamins every time the sun comes up.  I exercise when I am blessed and beyond grateful when a friend or family member watches the boys or simply sits at my house while they sleep. 
I’ve told you all about our schedule.  Yet, there is no bedtime for this working mommy.  I “think” I get the sleep I need, but I can’t be certain.  I’m going to put “add myself a bedtime” on the to-do list.  The problem with having a designated bedtime for me is that after the boys are in bed I have the only time to do what I need or want to do.  I could spend hours reading, writing, taking & editing photos, or catching up with friends & family.  The list goes on and on.  After the boys bedtime, I’m granted a time where I’m usually not needed.  I can’t express how I value this time.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, and love doesn’t describe how I feel about my sweet babies, but it’s nice to have a few hours where no one needs me.  No diapers, Sippy cups, homework, cuts, and all those other great things that mommies do.  Most of the things mommies do goes unrecognized and unappreciated.  I’m okay with that.  I know children are children and mine are solely reliant upon me.  We all love and desire to be needed and I’m so glad that I am needed!  Who wants to feel like they aren’t needed?  Not me!
If no one has told you lately that you are a superwoman, I’m telling you now.  Read that again.  You ARE a SUPERWOMAN and don’t let anyone, not even yourself ever make you believe differently.  We don’t get paid or awarded to do the hardest job in the world.  Some people understand, but no one can completely comprehend unless they’ve walked where you’ve walked, seen what you’ve seen, and in my case lived through and become stronger as a result.  I’m so thankful that God gave me the title of “mommy.”  It’s better than being a CEO, CFO, or any other executive title. 
This job doesn’t come with instructions.  These sweet babies are looking to us to shape & mold them into incredible adults.  No pressure!  I pray my boys will be men of God, loving, sweet, and have HUGE hearts for others.  I’m working on it.  Things get busy, and I don’t always have time to teach life lessons.  I rely on our precious school teachers and Sunday school teachers to take over sometimes and teach my sweeties about God and to give them the proper education, while I do it when they are home with me.  I don’t rely on these teachers to raise my children as some do.  I’m involved.  Sometimes my oldest might tell you I’m too involved.  I want to know every detail of their day when I’m working and they are at school & daycare.  Friends names, hobbies, what they ate, how they feel, & what they love.  I could go on and on.  I aspire to be the mommy that my boys feel comfortable talking to.  I think I am so far, but I can never stop trying to be better.  That’s not my personality. 
Aside from my mommy job, I’ve recently decided to do some mission work at a prison.  My desire for missions didn’t go away after I traveled to Honduras & El Salvador.  It actually fueled the fire that burns in my heart to help others.  I’m so glad that God is working in me and doesn’t ever give up on any of us. 
I want you all to know that as long as you are trying your best, I think you are phenomenal!  Keep smiling, picking up toys, making snacks, getting stains out of clothes, and all the other magic you all do daily!  I admire you all!  It IS more than worth it.  At the end of the day those precious prayers, hugs, kisses, and sweet sayings like “You are the best mommy in the world,” make it also the BEST job in the world.  I’m blessed beyond what I deserve and comprehension.  I hope you all are having a great weekend and making memories that last a lifetime!  I promise you will never regret it and your family will be appreciative, even if they don’t tell you.  I appreciate you all!  Keep on superwomen!  I’ll buy you all capes one day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our little Schedule

Today is a new day.  For that I am blessed.  Recently, well yesterday to be exact, I packed up everything the company owns and moved it to my home.  Have I ever mentioned that I can't stand when things are in disarray?  The good news is, it's waiting for me in the next room and I'm going to combine my work office with my home office.  I estimate that I'll have it organized just the way I want it around the time the company finds the office space they want in the perfect location.  Seems pretty pointless to me to move & organize only to move & reorganize again.  BUT, there is a point.  I can't work when things are scattered everywhere.

I'm looking for my motivation today.  I think I may find it in a short run, but I'm hoping it's going to come from my coffee cup in about two minutes!  I also can't function normally when our little schedule is off.  I do what I need to do, get it back on track, lace up the running shoes, & head out in full speed.

My youngest son was up sick most of the night so that means I was up rocking, consoling, and trying every approach I know to get my sick baby better and to sleep!  If the sweet babies don't sleep, I don't either.  I know all you moms can relate to that.  In the midst of the coughing and crying, my oldest decided it would be a perfect evening to be afraid.  I tried every attempt and approach known to man.  "Sweetheart, it's late and mommy has to work tomorrow."  I'm sure seven year olds don't mind or understand that to do a job well, perform, or even think at the speed above a tortoise, you need adequate sleep.  I continued, as I'm pretty determined to enforce the rules.  One of those rules is this is your bed, this is mommy's bed and we don't sleep in the same one.  When dad was here, I didn't ever have to enforce this one.  Obviously, three people can't fit into one bed.  What's the reason now?  Good question!

After failed "happy movie" attempts, peanut butter & jelly, juice, prayers, and my two attempts to lay down with the oldest (amidst my getting up with the youngest while he was sick), I failed miserably!  Hey, I did it with style!  I exhausted all options, reasons, and went to a place I shouldn't have which is the point when you try to rationalize with children. 

Normally, the rules are the rules.  The schedule is the schedule and there is nothing, I mean NOTHING, that's going to change that unless Jesus himself shows up to take us to heaven!  If he were to come last night, we would've been prepared because no one was getting any sleep and I'm next to certain God gives us all rest and peace in heaven.  I can't fathom the verse below.  I mean who has the time to NOT be busy?

Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people's business. 2 Thessalonians 3:11

I'm sure you know what happened, but if you haven't figured it out I'll stop your wandering mind here.  My seven year old slept with me.  I ran out of options and the ability to continue to enforce the rules.  Honestly, I was exhausted and simply caved.  It happens to us all, even me. 

Today, I will start over.  The rules didn't change.  Our little schedule won't rearrange even if my oldest is "missing his mom & hearing scary sounds."  The rules and schedule remain the same and hopefully tonight will be a different evening filled with laughter, homework, splashing too much water out of the bath, and maybe a cleaning lady will have mercy on my home and come fold the laundry before it wrinkles because if you know me, you know I don't have time to iron.  If the dryer doesn't get the wrinkles out, then I hope the people who see us on a daily basis think we do a lot of sitting and that's how are clothes aren't immaculately wrinkle free! 

I hope you all are well rested, being the best you can be, and have a day of rest!  I'm going to make time for a day of rest, but for now there are too many things to do and work calls my name.  May God bless you all, and may you all find peace in knowing you are all beautiful to me.  I admire all of you.  Don't give up.  Keep going, even when coffee doesn't work!  God is hard at work and he knows all of our hearts, intentions, and everything about us that no one else knows.  I sure hope he doesn't throw my schedule in the passing lane today, but if he does I'll swing by for some espresso.  Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A season for everything

Where I live it's "deer season."  The deer population is out of control, so the department of fish and wildlife allows citizens to obtain a hunting license and kill a certain amount of deer each year during the season to control the population. 

Much like deer season there are many seasons in life.  I came from Florida where seasons existed only of temperatures dropping to the 60s during extremely cold months and climbing to the low 100s during the middle of the summer.  Where I currently live we have four seasons.  I haven't lived here long enough to tell you which climate I like better or how I feel about the seasons.  I do know that no matter how I feel about the seasons they are here to stay (as long as we are living here), so I'd better get adjusted! 

The great thing about seasons is they come and they go.  They usually don't last very long, which makes it good for the seasons you might not like, and bad for the seasons that are your favorite.  Life is filled with seasons.  The Bible even speaks of the seasons and says "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven."  Ecclesiastes 3:1.

I think this means that everything and every action has a fitting time.  This includes everything that happens in our lives.  Good or bad, it won't last.  I promise you.  The newest season in my life is that of "solo-parenting."  For some of you, this may be a foreign concept and it might be extremely common to others.  I would like to hope that most of you reading this will never have to attempt this or have never attempted this.

It's all new to me.  I'm still in a bit of shock trying to understand how God trusts me so much to give me 100% of the parenting to my two boys.  You see, I used to only have 50% parenting when my life was "normal."  I'm still convinced life isn't supposed to be this way.  I believe it's much better when mom & dad love each other like crazy and everyone lives under the same roof.  I know it's not supposed to be this hard.  However, these are the cards I've been dealt and I will move forward and make an amazing home with wonderful children, and we will all be happier and more content than ever!

Now it's time to sink or swim!  My seven year old has been promised deer hunting this weekend.  Yeah, the SEVEN YEAR OLD who has never shot a gun, or been in the woods and had to be quiet!  This normally would be a decision that I would discuss with  "dad". 

My son desperately wants to go, but my mom instinct kicks in and tells me all the ways he could be hurt and how it's just not safe or the smartest choice in the world. Don't you all remember the movie "The Christmas Story," where little Ralphie gets a Red Rider bee bee gun?  They all warn little Ralphie (mainly his mom) that he will shoot his eye out.  He does break his glasses and endures an eye injury all because of the new Red Rider!!

 This is the time when I need someone to back me up and say, "Robin, you are right.  He's too young, and it's dangerous, " or to say " Robin, he's a boy.  That's what boys do.  You are being too much of a mother hen and a little over protective.  He will be okay."  Those days are gone.  It's just me.  I have to admit, I really miss the "go ask your dad" days!" 

Unfortunately, the "go ask your dad" days are no more.  I often wonder how am I going to solo-parent?  How am I (just me) going to provide and be the sole financial provider? Keep in mind, my former husband didn't want me to work.  He wanted me at home with our youngest son and he wanted us to rely solely on him and we did.  You can see how this is a huge change.  Drastic and rock your world change is a better description!  How will I be able to provide cars, college, proms, etc?  The truth is that God has always been there for us.  He's never let us sink.  I don't think he's going to now.  I don't have to do it all alone! God WILL help. 

Even though I'm doing all of the parenting, don't think for one second people don't LOVE to give me advice and looks that say "Are you sure you know what you are doing?"  I get real questions! I get serious stare downs in Wal-Mart  if someone is having a meltdown and I refuse to buy a toy! No one ever says, "Way to go," or "You are doing such a great job," or "I know you are trying hard and it shows."  I get zilch!

People really love to tell me what I should be doing with my children, how I should be doing it, what's best for them,  & what they would do if they were me!  I'm sure most of them just want to help.  To all of you all doing this same sort of thing to moms:  Please, take it from me and stop.  I promise you aren't helping.  You are only making that mom feel inadequate while she's doing the best she can.  That's all single moms and single parents can do.  Take it one day at a time, ask God for guidance, and make the best decisions we know how to make.  That's what ALL parents do that I know. 

I can't tell you how much I miss the days when I could say "Sweetie, was I too hard on Brandon?" or "Would you take this one and put him in time out?"  Those were the days when I was tired or I had just flat out had enough, I could ask for assistance and it was there.  I want you to know that if you are solo-parenting, there is hope!  If I can do it, a monkey could with his eyes closed! 

 Everyone has told me that someone better will come along and that we deserve the world.  Sometimes I wish that someone would come along and love us all beyond comprehension.  This would in essence be a "rescue."  They could take care of us, and I could lean on them. I could have a partner in every decision and someone to love us all and tell me things were going to be okay.  They might even tell me I was a spectacular mom and I was doing a killer job!  I know that this too is a season and I'd be lying to you if I said I was better than I've ever been.  Some days aren't so tough. Others are extremely hard, and some days I just want to lay down on my stomach, cry my heart out and stay there.  My instinct and determination says otherwise.  I refuse to give up, quit, or get depressed. 

" The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! "  From the major motion picture Rocky

We might not have immediate answers or available help to support our decisions, but we do have a loving God who gives us guidance.  Sweet friends, don't ever lose your hope and please be encouraged!  WE can do this! I'm going to have an ASTOUNDING life!  My prayer for you is that you will make your life stunning!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Keep Calm & Carry On

"I know God won't give me more than I can handle, I just wish he didn't trust me so much."

That quote by Mother Teresa is one of my all time favorites and it's been extremely relative in my life lately.  I always seem to think "I can't take much more," then "more" comes along and guess what??  I CAN take it after all with the help of God.  I can't handle the weight of the world on my shoulders, so I give it to God.  He is in control, and he can handle it. 

I heard someone say recently "God, don't you know I'm tired," and God replied "Don't you know I'm wide awake?"  That gives me great comfort.  I am a walking talking example of God's strength.  Meetings I've been in this week, situations that were WAY beyond hard, and things I've had to face that I knew I couldn't.  I made it through the meetings, situations, and faced the things that I was certain I couldn't only because I told God pretty bluntly beforehand that I wouldn't be able to do these things.  Honestly, I told him that if he wanted them done, then he was going to have to do them through me, because there was no way I could.  Are you surprised to know that I was given the strength to do the impossible?  I'm not!  I'm blessed that we have a God who doesn't get tired.  He's still in the miracle business, I promise you. 

I've always heard that God will pick us up and carry us through the times when we just can't do it anymore.  I now KNOW this is true. 

I never say to myself "What's next? What else could possibly come my way?"  I know better.  I'm developing a strength (with the help of God) that I never knew possible.  For that, I am blessed.  Some days I wish I could just make it go away, disappear, pack up my boys & our belongings and never look back.  That's not my reality or my true self.  I'm always up for a challenge, but some are definitely more difficult than others.  I'm looking at all of life's recent challenges as somewhat of a gift.  God must have bigger plans for me and know that I'll be able to handle anything that comes my way.  Maybe he wants me to be stronger.  Either way, I'm getting stronger, and I'm learning to handle all obstacles that come my way.

It's been a long week to say the least.  My company just got a written letter yesterday stating that my company and I have thirty days to move our office.  Looks like there might be some more changing & rearranging in my future!  How do you respond to that?  Should you be afraid, pack up and leave instantly?  Should you remain calm and carry on?  I think in most every situation, you should keep calm and carry on.  I still have 28 days to move our office and figure out where we are moving to.  For the time being I'll work from home.  I can't tell you how much it saddens me to know I may have to work from home temporarily in my pajamas everyday (please note my intended sarcasm)! 

And say to him, 'Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of these two stubs of smoldering firebrands, on account of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah. 
Isaiah 7:4

It's that valuable weekend stuff I keep referring to, so I'm going to prepare a day filled with family and fun for the boys tomorrow (I already got my seven mile run in today, so I rest tomorrow and pick up another run on Sunday if my schedule allows)!  I hope you all have the best weekend ever and embrace those little moments with your friends and family!  You can't ever buy those or get those back!  I'm going to have a fantastic weekend and I hope you do the same! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Act Now

In my life I've met many people from all walks of life.  Rich, poor, homeless, successful, role models, leaders, & other Christians.  I've lived in many different cities, traveled for work, missions, & for pleasure.  I've yet to meet someone that says "Hello, my name is so and so and I"m a Christian."  Wouldn't it be wonderful if that was THE introduction?  Christ is the only one who defines me, so shouldn't it be something that we are proud of?  Instead, I hear "Hi, I'm whats his/her name, and I work at ____ or, I'm the Vice President of ____, or I've done this and that (wonderful things).  I've always known that my circumstances never defined who I was or what made me Robin.  I was created in the image of God, and I am his child.  The rest of my life is only minor details.  God knows everything about me and he's my boss. 

I've met several different personality types.  I'm a "people person," so I can talk to anyone without hesitation.  I don't have a shy bone in my body.  If I'm quiet or distant, then I am most usually in deep thought about other things or listening intently.  I used to react to everything.  I mean everything!  Overreact is a better word.  If someone was bit by a mosquito, I would have to assess the bite, clean it, and make sure it was properly bandaged before life could go on.  I have learned to not be reactive.  I'm not ashamed of who I once was.  I'm blessed!  As I've grown in my religion and faith, I have learned to make different choices. 

Now, I think before I speak (pretty basic I know, but how many of us are actually planning/thinking what we will say before the other person is even finished with their thought or sentence?).  I think, pray, and wait instead of reacting instantly.  Don't get me wrong, I still fall back into old ways and speak without thinking first.  For the most part, I am proud to say I'm no longer reactive, but proactive.  I've found that if I wait, think, and pray on any given situation then God's will is bound to happen!  God's will and my will are often different.  I want God's will for my life and my children's life.  He runs the show and knows what's best.  I don't know what's best even when that mom voice inside my head thinks I do!

Never in my life have things just fallen into my lap.  I was working at the age of twelve as a babysitter.  I couldn't legally work in the state I was raised in & I was taught the importance of hard work when I was old enough to do chores.  EVERYTHING in my life that is of value to me is a result of hard work.  Family, vehicles, careers, friends, etc.  All of those things take work.  I used to think that some of those things should just flow naturally and I'd have to do nothing to ensure that relationships, car maintenance, and so on stayed in tact.  I was wrong.  Dead wrong!  I've never been the reactive type.  Sure, I've acted on impulse as we all have done, but I've never waited for things to happen to me.  I believe you can wait for amazing things to happen to you or you can MAKE amazing things happen!  I have chosen to make things happen!  "Be the change you wish to see in the world."  We all know that the only person or situation we are able to change is ours. 

And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.  Philemon 1:6

I hear people say things like "I don't know why my family can't ever pay our bills," or "I can't ever seem to lose weight."  The simple facts are usually because the family is overspending, not on a budget, and not making an effort & the other person isn't doing the work entailed to lose weight.  Some people don't grasp that to "get something you've never had, you must do something you've never done." 

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else. Galatians 6:4

Proactive people make things happen.  Reactive people wait for things to happen.  The problem is that things don't always magically happen for those waiting around for the big life-changer.  I try to be proactive in all I do, but what counts for me is my faith.  I want to make things happen for Christ!  I want to make a difference in this big world.  What type of person are you?  Are you waiting for that big promotion?  Are you waiting for your children to grown out of their phase?  Are you giving your all in your relationship with God?  Are you waiting on God to change you without doing anything? 

You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. James 2:22

I believe that God will return one day.  I'm trying to prepare!  Yes, things are busy and hectic, but my God knows my heart, life, and soul better than I do.  Let's all make a difference!  Let's at least get up and do something (anything) other than sit around and complain about why things never go our way or why we never catch a break.  Make the change and be an example!  Choose to lead and follow only God! Let's put our ideas and gifts given by God to use and act NOW!   I hope you all have a blessed weekend!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A new journey

Most every element that was composed to create my life has been rearranged, changed, and is now different to say the least.  I'm starting over in life with my boys.  I've heard it said so many times, read the words, but never fully understood that I am a single mother.  I'm finally understanding that.  I've been through so many blessings and hardships, but I wouldn't change a thing.  Not even a minute.  I'm so thankful for the good, bad, ugly, blessings, set backs, lessons, scars, and everything in between.  I wouldn't change any of it.  If things would have been different, I wouldn't have a tenth of the strength and determination that I have developed. 

I am very independent and believe I'm supposed to wake up before the sun comes up, make sure my two children have breakfast, get them dressed and ready for school (and daycare), get myself ready, load up the backpack diaper bag (and all the other things that it requires for us to leave the house),  deliver my oldest to school (sometimes stopping to pick up my nephew along the way), take my youngest to daycare, drive to work and work for 8 hours, pick up the boys, do homework, spend quality with them, give baths, ensure dinner happens, and get them to bed.  My day begins anywhere from 5:30-6:15 a.m. depending on the days morning events and the boys are in bed at 8 p.m. (or at least that's what our schedule is, but this doesn't happen every night).  After 8 p.m. my day isn't done.  I still have laundry, lunch to pack, dishes to do, etc.  I get tired.  Not the sleepy tired, but the exhausted kind.  I wouldn't change a minute of our busy life.  I adore my boys and they keep me laughing, learning, loving, and always striving to be THE BEST version of me that I can be.  So much of what I do revolves around my boys and their well-being. 

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

About a week ago, I took something like that of a life evaluation.  I found that I had zero time for myself and because of this I wasn't being the best version of me that I could be.  That means it's time to rearrange and make a change.  It's not that simple for me.  You see, we had a "normal" life.  A dad, mom, children, etc.  I never wanted the white picket fence, but our life was everything I had ever wanted.  It was beautiful.  My world was rocked, shaken, blown, and shred into a million pieces as the divorce process began.  I know I'll never be the same, but I'm becoming a better person and I don't ever want to go back to the way things were.  I'm learning to LOVE my new life, even if we are starting from scratch.  When I say starting from scratch, I mean we lived with family for eight months until we were able to have a home of our own.  Everyday  is a gift filled with new challenges as well as new reasons to laugh, smile, and thank God. 

I've decided to embrace the great things in life and start on a new journey.  God is a big part of my life and I would be lying to you if I told you he always was.  Sure, I've been a Christian for more than seventeen years, but that doesn't mean I was always extremely close to God.  I'm human like everyone else and used to rely on God & become close with him when things were tough.  Today I'm proud to say I don't live like that anymore.  God is part of my daily life when things are fantastic, bad, ugly, wonderful and so on.  God is part of my day everyday period.  I want to thank him for bringing us so far.  Without him there is no way I could have been as strong as I have been.  I'm excited for the things that I am going to pursue that I know God has laid on my heart.  I can't  wait to be able to share with you all of the amazing things that I am confident this new journey will consist of.   I have big plans, but God had bigger plans for me.  I'm so thankful that God put the strong desire (the kind that won't let you rest until you do whatever it is that is tugging at the strings of your heart) to go and hear Angela Thomas speak in a town close to where I live.  I knew nothing of the speaker, just knew that God wanted me there so I went.  That has made all of the difference!  I hope you all had a blessed weekend filled with laughs & love! 

In case you forgot to laugh, didn't feel like it, or had a bad day, I'll share a quick story with you.  Today my youngest son KISSED a stranger at CHURCH!  This wasn't something that expecting.  He had already dropeed his car a few times and her husband kindly picked it up and returned it to us.  During one of the praise songs, he opened his mouth as she was standing facing him (and he was standing in his seat), opened his mouth and planted a nice sloberry kiss right on her stomach!  What can I say? 

On our grocery shopping trip (with the whole family and my mother), I was almost at the end of my rope after my youngest son (sixteen months) ate some cheese, smashed the cereal box, and chewed the aluminum off of the yogurt after trying numerous times to escape.  As we were checking out, the clerk couldn't go fast enough for me to get my sweeties home.  My youngest son strarted singing and dancing.  Not a quick song and dance, but the crowd attracting kind.  I immediately forgot all my previous frustrations and thanked God then and there for my wonderful family.  Make it a great week, my friends!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Looking Forward

Fridays always mark the end of the work week and the beginning of my beloved “family time” for my family and me.  I work as hard as I can during the work week with the focus on my career, improving, and getting things done.  I know without a doubt that all those things will in fact be right there on my desk tomorrow, but as I’ve shared with you previously, I’m the kind of person who wants things done perfectly, smoothly, the right way, and quite honestly, I want them all done yesterday.  I don’t want to work on them day after day.  I don’t mind a lengthy project; I just like to be finished.  I live for the solace that the weekend brings.  The weekends mean pajamas, breakfasts at the table (not on the go and in the car), relaxing, church, family, and just more time in general.  We still have basketball on Saturdays, but soccer season has ended and generally speaking the weekends are for precious time to spend with my boys. 
I love to look forward.  If I don’t have something to be excited about, I find things to be involved in that bring excitement.  It’s November, Halloween just ended, and I’m already excited about Thanksgiving & Christmas!  I can’t wait to see the instant glow that appears on my boys faces when I get out the holiday decorations!
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. Philippians 3:13
This weekend I have signed up to go to a Christian Women’s Conference where Angela Thomas will be speaking.  I’ve never heard of the woman, but that’s the way God works in my life.  I love surprises as much as children love the anticipation and excitement that Christmas morning brings.   Instead of sleeping, relaxing, watching recorded television shows (that the work week schedule doesn’t allow me to partake in), or simply doing nothing, I’m up and overcome with excitement about tomorrow’s unknown topics, guests, and events!  I could take a look on Google and do some research, but I’ve felt God leading me to this particular women’s conference, and I trust that what is in store for me tomorrow will not only be worth giving up my day with the boys, but a day to come home and tell everyone about!
Did I mention the weekend is here?  No schedules, rushing, enforced bedtimes, and fun times that bring laughter that lasts throughout the work week.  Those are the laughs that keep me going and working harder than ever.  At the end of the day, when I pick up one of the boys from daycare or school and I hear the sweetest voice say “mommy,” or a heartfelt belly laugh, I am quick to be reminded that those are the moments that are priceless.  I am blessed and it doesn’t take much for me to be reminded of that. 
If I have had a bad day, it doesn’t ever take much time spent with my seven year old or sixteen month old to realize that my boys are irreplaceable and my family (each and every member) are all precious diamonds to me.  I know diamonds can be purchased, but I’m referring to the diamonds that are flawless.  You know the ones I'm talking about, the huge carats that can’t be bought!  Bigger than any celebrity's wedding ring and shinier than a brand new car with the sun beaming off its freshly waxed hood while sitting in the sun. I’m too blessed to be stressed and just wanted to dedicate tonight’s post to share my gratitude.  I’m not sure why God has blessed me so much, but I’m beyond grateful he did.  I’m not deserving of such blessings, but I’m forever thankful!  God bless you all!  I hope you all see the side of daylight savings time that I see.  Daylight savings time to me is an extra hour of family time instead of shorter and darker days.  Life is good.  Really good!