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.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Teagan Turned Two!

My baby turned two. My sweet baby girl who should still need me like a baby needs her mama turned two. She is not a baby. She's two. Where the past two years went, I'll never know, I only know the years seem to go by faster and faster. Before I know it, I'm sure I'll just be blinking as the years fly past. Teagan Elyse is my precious little girl, full of spunk, laughter, light, crazy curls, funny stories, and so many other things. She is polar opposite of her brother in a few regards - her LOVE for sleep, her curly hair, her non-picky-ness about food, her girly sense of style, and her cute little freckles on her cheeks and nose. Most of these things are just like me.  Some others, remind me so much of Aiden - her independence, her zest for life, her wit, her drama, and her sass. Regardless, she is 100% unique and I am so blessed by her sweet, crazy nature every day.

We celebrated on a rainy Saturday with an Elmo party covered up in pink, red, and orange. We had food, we had friends, and we had fun! Cupcakes, hummus and veggies, cookies, and an assortment of snacks to celebrate my little Elmo girl. We even got she and Aiden matching Elmo outfits to celebrate...the girl was thrilled with her polka dot Elmo. She was showered with toys, covered in cake, and enamored with all of her fans.

Such a fun day full of memories and a few tears of joy. I'm so proud of all she can do at just TWO! I can't describe how much fun she is and how sweet the relationship is between she and her brother. I couldn't have asked for more when God gave me sweet Teagan. A few pics from the show...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

When you live with a three year old and an almost two year old, everyday life starts to seem like this odd blur of what reality truly is.  It gets old holding a "baby" (who's two!) in your arms every day for two to three hours. It gets old dealing with three year old temper tantrums and crying spells over the smallest most insignificant thing ever. It gets old going through a sixty hour work week and trying to figure out what to make for dinner at the end of a day that's lasted too long. It gets old trying to figure out why your three year old wakes up at 4:00 in the morning just to tell you he's awake. It gets old not being able to sleep, ever! And so on.

And as old as things get, the thing I keep trying to tell myself is that before I know it, I really will miss these things. At this very moment, I have a really hard time trying to get my mind around that. While I know it's true (I hear it too much to know it's not), it's so difficult to actually embrace these moments rather than wish they were over. It's a work in progress. But isn't everything?!?

I realize there will come a day in not too many years, when these two balls of fire and sweetness will want nothing to do with me and I'll miss the boogers, the poop, the potty training, the picky eating, and the days they cried over things like spilled juice. And so I grin and bear it. Not begrudgingly, but in joy as much as I possibly can. I try and find the amazing pieces of these little people God gave me to raise while we are living in these temporary bodies in our temporary home on earth. I will say it's not easy, and it's a daily struggle to remember to value the hard times along with the good, but I try my best. It's all we can ever do.

I value these little people. I love these little ones. I am amazed at their smartness, their wit, their humor, their curiosity, their zest for life, their desire for more, their utter open arms about just about everything, their childlike faith that all  people are good...they teach me something every day and I treasure the opportunities to learn from them. I have so much to learn. How I wish they could stay this age forever. I mean, grow up and be self-sufficient, but stay this age forever at the same time. Guess God has bigger and better plans for them than that. How different it will be to have relationships with them when they are grown and over me and dear old dad. I feel so blessed to have the chance to be a mommy...and discover life and love all over again through new eyes. What a gift God has given.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

As  I was running yesterday, I was struck with the fact that it was January 30, and I was running in sunny, warm 60+ degree weather, and felt so in awe of this incredible "winter" we've had I just ran for sheer enjoyment and forgot about time...well, kind of. I mean, I was running a 5 mile tempo run, so you kind of have to pay attention to time. And plus, if you're me you can really not ever stop thinking about time, but I tried. It lasted a few minutes, or seconds, either way, it was blissful. This time last year I was running in 19 to 30 degree weather. Nearly every training run I did was in snow, ice, rain, or clouds. And my winter weather wardrobe got it's fair share of wear. But this year, I've had to go and get the tank tops I put in storage back out so I can wear them. It's amazing. My kind of winter!

The other thing I was thinking about on my run was the fact that Teagan is soon going to be TWO! My sweet baby girl, who a year ago was just learning to talk and walk is now a fully functioning toddler who can do just about anything she puts her mind to. While we were going to have a full out party for her, the more I think about it, the more I just want to celebrate with my nearest and dearest, the ones who know Teagan the best and appreciate all she's accomplished in her second year of life. I'd really like to do another Elmo party because she does love her some Elmo and Abby. We did one for Aiden and it was super cute, and I think she'd really enjoy the theatrics.

When I got back from running I began digging for ideas about how to make the party more girly. As I was digging, on Pinterest of course, I found Hostess with the Mostess had done it again. She posted THIS incredible party. I mean, look at this party. A-mazing.

So of course I began re-thinking my decision to do a small family party when I saw this incredible party. But alas, I think I will stick with the plan and do my amazing family affair, but just blow them out of the water with this amazing party! :)

But still, the fact that she is two is just astonishing. I can't believe my ears and eyes. She becomes more of a lady every day. She loves on people. She is polite. She has this incredibly gifted sense of humor for being nearly two. She laughs all the time. She is smart. She talks so well. She knows all her colors and most of her numbers...and even in the right order! She loves to be held. She loves to read. She remembers everything, even when you think she might not being paying attention. She is obedient. And she is mine for this short time on earth that our amazing Father let us borrow her. She is a precious and valuable gift. I pray for her every day...every minute of every day. She is another ray of sunshine on my life. Like this winter, she is my warmth in the cold. I am forever changed by her. I can't wait to see the woman she becomes. I'm already proud of her, can't imagine how much more proud I could get, but I think God will continue to surprise me with this little miracle.