Sunday, September 29, 2013

Yes, Aiden and Teagan have had grandparents for their short little lives. Yes, there has always been such a thing as "Grandparent's Day." Yes, we love our grandparents up in this house. And yes, our grandparents live super close so we get to see them quite frequently. But sadly, no, we have not ever had the chance to truly celebrate Grandparents Day with our beloved grandparents. This year we changed that habit.

GCA has a creative program including all the grades from Pre-K to 10th (as high as it goes right now) doing various performances, songs, drama scenes, etc. and we were able to attend with our very own Mimi. We greatly missed her other half, Paaa, but Mimi being there meant the world to all of us...and I think to her too.

After the program and a short time in Aiden's class, we were able to have a fun-filled rest of the day with all the things we love when Mimi is here - Panera (of course), playing outside, riding bikes, going to the park, drawing with chalk, naps! Besides baking, we did pretty much all of what we love to do with our Mimi. It was so fitting. It was so special. It was so fun to honor her. It was so memorable to simply "be" with her. It was also heart-heavy because in just a few short days, we know Mimi is moving to Florida and being this close to do all this fun won't be happening nearly as frequently.

So this Grandparents Day was a first and also a last. The first time we were able to celebrate, and the last weekend we were able to spend with our Mimi being close enough for us to see her at a moment's notice. It's the end of a chapter, but a beginning of a new one and we were able to kick it off with a fantabulous celebration and memory-filled few days of GQT (good quality time) - I have pictures all over my brain and heart, embedded for life, of this past weekend. I will choose to remember the happiness, the smiles, the fun, the silliness, the beauty, the joy, the love. The love. The LOVE. Love conquers all. Even a flight to Florida.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First Day Fun

Today was my little man's first day of Kindergarten. It left me wondering many did I get here? when did my baby boy become a 5 year old? what am I going to do with this new set of rules? 

It also made me take time to reflect on my own first day of school and realize how similar Aiden and I are, as well as how much of his dad he has in him. 

Excited for school - Me
Excited to meet new friends - Me
Wants to be the cutest one there - Me and Daddy
Can't wait to learn - ME!
Read the second most books in all of the elementary (yes, at 4 years old!) - ALL ME!
Fear of being made fun of - Daddy
Wanting to know all of the details - Me and Daddy
Desire to know what is coming next - Daddy

There is a laundry list of other things that come along with this and a first of any kind. But it was such a joy to see that he was excited about this next step and was ready to embrace it full force. I've prayed and worried about this step for a while - mostly because he was going to be the youngest in his class...he's nearly a full year younger than some kids...but mostly because I want to make sure I equip him for success in every way I can.

I guess what I learned after sending him off to his first day was that a) I can't control everything, and b) he will never truly be ready (in my own eyes...). How truly this equates to our own lives we try and live (and control)...a) we are not in control and b) we cannot handle it. But we have a great Father who takes the reigns from us and ensures we CAN handle it.

The fear I have every day I drop him off is mighty, but I have to give that over and realize I can't control him, nor can I keep him from experiencing the hard situations, the potential hurt, the potential friend drama, and all the things that come with life and make us who we are - make us aware of who God is and that He has our back. A solid reminder that Aiden is just lent to me for a short time we spend here on earth. Ultimately, all of him belongs to all of Him. And no matter what, his path is determined. 

So here we go on the wild ride of education. Not sure I'm ready for this, but over the moon my little dude is! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

There are times in life you never want to forget and times in life you wish you'd never remember. I've had my fair share of both in my short 33 years on this earth and today witnessed one of my kids having a moment they might not want to forget but likely will as at four years old I'm not sure how many truly lasting memories you take with you along the journey of life. The awesome part for him is that in today's world we have every type of video and picture memory available in case your brain chooses to forget. Pretty remarkable. But regardless, it was a day for the books.

As I watched my little dude run (yes, literally run) across the stage to get his diploma I couldn't help but wonder how quickly the years will pass until he is doing that for high school and then college...and I realized how special each moment is, whether we think it's worth documenting with a video or not and how I never want to take any of them for granted.  The innocence and sheer joy that exudes in Aiden is contagious and reels you in.  His heart is big and his laugh is bigger. He is smart, so smart, and is reading, writing, doing math, and teaching me things all at the same time. It enamors me that he still loves to cuddle and I think every time I do it he might not ever ask me again, so I always do it, always. And when I do I dream of one day when I am small and he his big and he is cuddling me and not the other way around. And I melt.  My little dude graduated today. 

In a few short months I will send him off to kindergarten and I will be a mess that day for sure. I held it together today. Mostly because I had a lot going on in my head and heart but also because I wanted to enjoy it and find the joy in it and not the sadness. And I did. I was dealing with a hurtful situation of my own parents not understanding me, and hurting me out of their own pain and sadness. There is a difference in being sad and going through some tough things on your own and dealing with them, seeing the for what they are and talking through them and hurting others out of your own pain and suffering. Misplaced anger, fear, sadness, and hurt was put on me to deal with and feel responsible for...but I am not responsible for their choices and though I can't change them or their choices I can change mine. 

As a result of this situation I was reminded that I never want Aiden to feel like I feel now about me. If I can't talk to him abut how I feel or how he's made me feel I have failed as a parent. It's the one thing I have learned in my marriage that is a requirement for life working according to how God sees us fitting into his plan. His plan is bigger, brighter, and more brilliant than ours could ever be for ourselves. I pray Aiden (and Teagan) shine "bright like a diamond" in all they do...they are only loaned to me for a short time and I want to do my due diligence to make sure they are living up to the potential God saw in them before they were even a thought on my mind. 

What a short time he's been on this earth and what more he has to see and learn and experience. I can't wait to walk the road with him - on the good days and bad. Best of times and worst. He's going to do amazing things. Of this I am sure. So best of luck to my little buddy...onward and upward to Kindergarten we go! (A whole other kind of emotions to be had I'm sure!)

Friday, April 19, 2013

It's funny that in my nearly five years of living in Westhaven (wow, five years already!?!) I barely knew people that live within houses of me. While I longed for new friendships, I just felt out of place for some reason. Not sure if it was the fact that I was a stay at home, working mom surrounded by a lot of non-working moms, or that I didn't have a golf cart, or that I didn't have millions of dollars, but I just felt out of the loop. This past fall, I had the chance to meet some girls on my street, and become a little more open with them...not only about my surface level Kara stuff that everyone gets to see, but the stuff that women really need to talk about when they are together - struggles, hurts, frustrations, joys, prayers, pain points, thrills, know, the good stuff. I grew up being hurt by girls so often in friendships and learned to keep myself guarded in relationships, only letting a little piece of myself out. But when I changed my attitude and opened myself up to not only possibly get hurt, but also possibly to make some amazing friends in the process, I learned it was possible to move beyond the "out of place-ness" I was putting on myself.

We began having "Bachelor Mondays" where we said we'd watch "The Bachelor" and drink wine, but really just drank wine and talked all night. All of a sudden, we had a weekly forum to vent, get support, get encouragement, while we painted nails, taught each other how to do eye make up, and shared our "sale day" shopping successes. And though some of us really did try and watch the show, most of us just did all the other stuff. But regardless, I learned a lot about these girls, and I loved Bachelor Monday. It was good crazy girly fun, which was good to realize can happen even after you turn 30.

While "The Bachelor" is over for the season, and we don't meet every week, we do get together fairly often, and I think we all look forward to it just as much as we did when it was weekly. We've realized a lot of things about ourselves, about each other, and about relationships. We are able to bear with each other when things are bad, and have a big blow out in celebration when things are good. And it makes a world of difference to feel like there's these awesome women who all have your back when the going gets tough and when the lights start to dim on the parade. From life experiences to love lost, it's on the table and stays at the table.

Feeling so lucky to have gone beyond the restrictions I had on myself and the self-doubt that I was not likable and found these girls. One in a million.