Saturday, April 28, 2007

Exhausted after a Saturday that started before 6:00 a.m. and included a community yard sale, trip to Walmart for birthday gifts, field hockey game, soccer game, and birthday party (plus another trip to target for groceries!), I was crashed out face first on the bed beside Cassidy while she watched educationl programming the Disney channel.

She was bouncing her little feet on my bottom - yes, I exist to entertain my children at any cost to my personal comfort- when all of a sudden she stopped and said, "Shaky tushie!".

Alrighty then. Sorry the "rearend foot trampoline" isn't what it used to be sweetie!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Vive' la difference!

On the way to school the girls were poring over the Guinness Book of World Records. (Remember that- who knew it was still around!) Cailin found the youngest cliff diver, who was 12 years old. Always one for danger adventure, she exclaimed, "I could do that and be the new youngest!"

Cassidy, ever practical, said, "Cailin! Are you crazy!? You could crash your head on the rocks!!".

Gotta love those girls! Wonder who takes after who? HA!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Today , as I drove the girls to school, I realized again what a gift my life is. A life filled with the everyday tasks of taking my children to school or soccer or field hockey, planning end of year school parties and gifts for teacher appreciation days, hours spent on laundry or cooking or shopping. Truly mundane tasks. Yet they are each a gift, because they are ways I can serve my family. The family that God has so graciously given me.

Mine is not a life of great sophistication or wealth. I certainly am not the jetsetter I dreamed of as a little girl.... flying off to clients in Paris or London. My clients don't invite me to extravagent parties or to accompany them to Europe to buy antiques. I'm not using my high school french to order in fine restaurants as I once hoped. Instead I am a regular at Sonic, where my daughters love the slushes that are a step up from normal soda at McDonald's. My clients are young families who want a beautiful home on a budget. Jet setting now consists of a weeekend at the beach somewhere with a lazy river for the kids.

My life is not what I planned as a young, idealistic girl. Most of the dreams I had have not been realized. Instead God recognized that my dreams were too small, and He replaced them with His own wonderful, grandiose visions of a family dwelling in His care, loving one another and loving Him. Thank God for His infinite wisdom and grace.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I drafted this a few weeks ago when I just needed to vent. After reading BigMama today, I felt I needed to go ahead and post. So here's my heart...

I want to stay home.

I can't imagine how much Rusty hates hearing those words.It is almost always on my mind, and far too often, also on my lips.

I don't say these words because I am a homebody, although I often am. These words haunt me because they are the overly simplified way of speaking the greatest desire of my heart. What these words really are saying is, I wish I didn't have to contribute to our family's finances... I wish I had no fiscal responsibilty in this household... I wish I didn't have to worry about what to do with sick kids, or kids home for a snow day when I have to go out of town... I wish someone else was taking care of those worries about tuition and car payments... I wish I could prepare meals while the kids were at school and organize and clean their rooms before they arrive home... I wish the only thing on my mind was my family and not clients and bosses.

I sound so petty and selfish and ungrateful. After all, I am married to the most amazing man you could ever know. He does everything possible to spoil the girls and I, to make us feel cherished and adored. We are his entire world, his focus, his passion. Yet the fact remains, that he is unable to give me the one true desire of my heart- being a stay at home mom. I hate that I can't seem to get beyond this fact, that I hold it against him in the inermost part of my heart. The knowledge that despite all the sacrifices he makes for us, I still have to work. It is so selfish of me; after all, we both decided to send our girls to Christian school, knowing that as an assistant principal his salary would not cover this expense. We agree that he is where God wants him to be, ministering to hurting kids. Yet still, if I am honest, I wish he would fix it for me.I want to stay home. I say it over and over like a spoiled child, and I feel entitled and justified.

So many others, everyone I know in fact, is able to do this. I feel cheated and overlooked. Why isn't God blessing us somehow to make this happen? Just as I am almost convinced that the world is against me, I am reminded of how God has made the way for me to work from home. To have the perfect sitter when the girls were little. To allow me to cut back my hours and not my salary. To have my Dad pick the girls up and spend fun times with them after school.So many people struggle to make it and wish they could find a job, and I do nothing but complain about the one I have been given. I am ashamed... I am so blessed. God, please teach me to praise You on the path You have put me, knowing I am blessed just by being Your child, and that You are my provider.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sometimes, out of nowhere, I just get that bubbly "blessed" feeling inside. It is Easter Break and the girls have been off since Good Friday, and Rusty took the week off, too. It has been so relaxed and pleasant that I am overwhelmed with gratitude at the blessing it has been. What a rare treat to have our whole family home together, just doing lots of "nothing".

Nothing as in...
Cleaning out the garage (and taking everything to goodwill or to the dump! You're the man honey!)
Cassidy having a sleepover at a friends and going to Funland, too!
Having a blessed Easter service at church.
Sharing a fun egg hunt with our friends from next door.
A delicious ham dinner prepared by Mommy (who needs heavenly hams!?)
A wonderful surprise from Nana and Papa who made it back from the mountains in time for dinner.
Yummy ice cream treats from Sonic with Nana and Papa
Fun shopping at Justice - who can resist!?
A sleepover at Nana's and making yummy brownies to share.
LOTS of playing outside with neighborhood friends.
Mommy getting caught up on laundry and housework. Woohoo!
Sleepover with 2 special friends and fun in the hot tub!
A day at the lake with our preschool playgroup friends (we must have would really enjoy a boat!)
A wonderful weekend at the beach.
Putt putt golf... feeding the giant carp at Broadway on the Beach... touring a battleship... walking on the beach and enjoying the sheer joy of the girls as they did cartwheels instead of walking:-)

Yes, it was a wonderful break together filled with lots of my favorite type of "nothing"!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

While at the library a few weeks ago, I allowed the girls to go to the potty alone.
Realizing they had been in there for some time, I opened the door to the ladies restroom to hurry them along. There the two of them were by the sinks, with Cassidy waving her hands around while Cailin giggled.

As I nagged encouraged them to hurry up , Cassidy told me that she was finished, she just had to dry her hands, and "they were out of paper towels so she had to use the air thingy". Pushing the button, nothing came out, so she continued in all sincerity, as she located the metallic dispenser on the other wall, "unless someone has a quarter to buy me a napkin!".

Bless her heart! I love that child.

Monday, April 02, 2007

We have been blessed with two equally wonderful, yet distinctly different daughters. God knew that it would be so much more fun to keep us on our toes with this parenting thing, so he made sure they treat every aspect of life from a unique perspective.

Our 9 year old Cailin wants to do everything. From field hockey to science fairs, from gymnastics to theater, the girl is there! What is her vehicle for choice as an adult? A harley. Skydiving? Sounds fun! Offer it up, and her answer has always been a resounding "YES!". I joke that when dropping her off somewhere new ( It could be a hell's angel rally for pete's sake!) I just need to slow down long enough for her to jump out and race inside to see WHAT.FUN.THING.SHE.CAN.TRY.

I love this fearless attitude of hers, since I have always been a thinker. Ponderer. Control Freak. Whatever you call it, I have not been the sort to jump feet first into things. I want to know what I am getting into, decide if I want to get into it, and then slowly tiptoe into the waters of life. My husband, on the other hand, has always thrilled me with his "can do" attitude. It is part of what attracted me to him and a large reason we have so many fun adventures as a family. Though I must point out that we know how to get where we are going because I have planned the way. And brought snacks. And a rubbermaid container with wet wipes, trash bags, paper towels and an assortment of educational activities for the kids.

But I digress. The point is that I love Cailin's zest for new things, and assumed that both my daughters would be blessed with Daddy's adventurous spirit since they so obviously received my temperament. I was wrong. Cassidy is very much her mother's daughter.

This weekend was the ulitmate eye opener in just how different the girls are in this regard. For the first time ever, Cassidy had asked to play on a sport's team. She chose soccer, since field hockey (her sister's favorite) is "too dangerous! You shouldn't run with sticks!". So we signed her up, thrilled that she had asked to do something.

Of course, as soon as I signed her up, and paid the registration fee, and the late registration fee, and bought the cute new outfit and duffle bag and mouthguard and cleats and sticker for the car (oh yeah- she could have whatever she wanted. We.were.excited!) she panicked and cried hysterically that she hated soccer and didn't want to do it. OK, well now we had a problem, and not even the one related to how much money Daddy just spent at Play It Again Sports. The problem is that we had been praying with her and working hard at helping her overcome fear and the grip it holds on her little heart. If we let her continue to quit everytime she was nervous, there was the very real concern that she might wind up living in our basement with her 23 cats at the age of 45. We firmly believe that once in awhile you just have to face fear and give things a shot.

We gently explained to her that we are not setting our hopes on seeing her in the Olympics, and that she only has to do this one season, but that she asked to do it, we didn't force her, and now she was going to honor that commitment. (I think we showed amazing restraint in not whipping out the receipt and reminding her of our commitment!) We knew that she really wanted to do it and it was only her self consciousness making her hesitant. She came home with all her new stuff and played with her pink soccer ball every day until practice began. When her daddy took her to the first practice she scampered happily off to join the ranks of the Great Suburban American child as a soccer player.

Whew. Bullet dodged. We stuck to our guns and it worked. She was happy and loved soccer. We were super parents! Right.

All the patting ourselves on the back came to a screeching halt this weekend when it was time for her first game. She had spent the night at Nana and Papa's, and Nana was bringing her home to get ready for the game when I got the call. From Nana on her cell phone. Outside the house. Calmly, (she is a counselor, she knows how to talk to hysterical mothers even before they become hysterical) she tells me they have a bit of a dilemma, but that she is totally prepared to handle it. Just wants me to know. The dilemma being Cassidy doesn't want to come to her game, and as such has locked her out of the house and won't let her back in!!! Now I must interject that this is not typical. Noone has ever been locked out by Cassidy to my knowledge. This is obviously BIG. Oh, mercy. So Nana proceeds to tell me she has it "totally under control. Ccassidy doesn't know she has a key under the planter and as we speak she is unlocking the door." Except that she is smarter than Nana gave her credit for (which is super smart since Nana has been convinced since birth that she is gifted, absolutely gifetd. Perhaps a genius.) and has also locked the deadbolt. Nana decides she will call me back. OK then.

Ultimately Cassidy decides to let Nana in, and then defers to her backup plan of hiding in her closet until which time Nana encourages her to come out and come home so she can hand her over to her mother. So we can go to the game where she refuses to leave the hot, cramped van despite bribes of ice cream, littlest pet shop toys, and (wishful thinking from her sister) a nintendo. Thank goodness that one didn't work.

Finally Daddy arrives back from his 10K in Richmond (see- he is fun I tell you!) to join us on the sidelines. One word from daddy and she happily goes to him, lets him put her mouth guard in and trots across the field to join her teammates. Wow. Of course she does, she would do anything for her him. He is her hero.

I guess she is more like me every day!