Sunday, November 15, 2015

Oblivious

In 2001, when the World Trade Center in New York was hit by 2 planes hijacked by terrorists, my rose colored glasses fell off abruptly and I realized something I never realized before....there was true hatred and evil in this world.  At 21 years of age I had a sudden realization, that despite my desire to only see the good in this world, there was in fact a lot of bad.  A LOT. 

Oblivious.

Fast forward 14 years, and now I am a wife and a mother to 2 rambunctious little guys here on this earth.  Our days are mostly filled with Thomas the Train, ABC's, Daniel Tiger, books, puzzles, mischief, and detesting most foods that aren't cheese crackers or muffins.  My little guys spend their days learning new skills, playing/annoying one another, and protesting most forms of sleep.  This is their world.  They know unconditional love from their mom and dad and for the most part wear smiles on their faces. 

Joy. Content. Wonder and Awe.

Oblivious.

So when the terrorist attacks occurred this past Friday in Paris, I turned on the news while making the boys dinner (something I don't usually do....the news...not the dinner) and I watched in horror as once again the terrorists had seemed to win.  Terrorists had once again killed innocent people in the name of Allah.  And do you know what my boys did? They threw their food on the floor and protested their hot dogs.

Oblivious.

You see my boys don't care about hatred.  They've never heard the term ISIS or terrorist or bomb.  All they know is that mom has once again disappointed them with dinner and they would much rather be out of their chairs and making mischief and memories.  Their rose colored glasses remain. 

Oblivious.

...and you know what? I'm ok with that.  In fact, I am more than ok with that.  I have a very real desire to protect that oblivion for as long as I possibly can.

Becoming a parent does strange things to you.  Suddenly, you aren't worried about yourself anymore, but man oh man, you have a fierce desire in you to protect those little ones.  You'd do anything to make sure they were safe.  And so when I see images of people at a rock concert, a restaurant, and a sporting event being attacked, it makes me want to take my two little boys in my arms and never let them go.  It makes me want to build a bunker and protect them from all the bad stuff in this world.  It makes me want to keep them oblivious for as long as I possibly can. 

But the truth is...I can't.  And that scares the hell out of me.  One day, all too soon, their rose colored glasses will fall off, too.  Yes, we will do all that we can to protect them from that for as long as we can.  Yes, they will be older and more able to handle the information.  My husband and I will still be there to help explain (if there is an explanation for terrorists) and help calm their fears.  But one day, they will no longer be oblivious and for today, I don't know what to do about that.

Friday, November 6, 2015

7 Quick Takes: Musings of a Mom

Hard to believe it's November 6th already with the weather we've been having around here, but Halloween is over and it seems like we are gearing up for the Holiday at a rapid rate. So with that being said let's get on with my Quick Takes!

***1***

So speaking of holidays, I am super excited for the upcoming Advent/Christmas season.  Noah is starting to be old enough to start to get a little bit more about the season and I am trying to add some very age appropriate activities to our days counting down to Christmas.  So just what are these activities you ask????

I have purchased the items to make our very own Jesse tree to use for the years to come.  If you aren't familiar with the Jesse Tree it's a way of going through the story of Christ all the way back to the creation of the world.  Each day you read a little scripture and put the coordinating ornament on the little Jesse Tree.  We will be doing this each night while we light our Advent wreath and sing "O Come Emmanuel" together.  The whole thing will take less than 5 minutes, but I'm hoping it gets the kids a little bit of the story of Christ. I should give a shout out to my friend Mary for this idea. I totally stole it from her. (Feel free to steal it from me!)

After our little candle/tree service we will pick a book from the tree to unwrap and read together! I am happy to report we have all 25 books thanks to friends and our own collection.

I also plan to "hide" our elf every day for Noah to find.  I'm pretty opposed to Elf on the Shelf, but Noah loves seek and find books and to point things out, so I think this will be fun for him and maybe a way to introduce "Elf on the Shelf" **cringe**

I'm sure there will be other special moments in our holiday prep, but I'm really excited to make some special memories with my boys!


***2***

Keeping with the theme of the Holidays, would you believe I am done shopping for Noah already and cannot think of anything to get Jonah. (Poor second child...) It's hard to hold back and not keep buying "things" especially when each day I seem to get rid of or put up another toy that isn't being played with, but yet I am so excited to see our little guy's face on Christmas morning.  There is such a joy for me in buying and giving gifts, especially for my kids.  I'm trying very hard though to keep things in perspective.  For example, I know Jonah won't understand that he has less gifts than Noah under the tree.  It's silly to buy just to buy...especially for a 1 year old...who has a birthday 4 days later!

This year I'm also doing a lot of homemade gifts and I'm excited to use my time making some gifts for my loved ones with thought and love.  I sure hope they appreciate them too.


***3***

So another shout for my friend, Mary.  She's  pretty much a rockstar who just gave birth in September to her 4th child and her oldest child is 4.  Anyways, she posted this awesome blog today about how she's learning to keep her house in order with 4 kids 4 and under.  The thing is, we've been having lots of conversations lately about her little changes and she's really been inspiring me to change the way I do things around my house too.  I won't repeat all that she has to say...go read her blog...but I will summarize by saying I'm learning to never leave a room without taking what I can to any other room it needs to go to.  I'm learning the need to declutter with a vengeance...less toys, less piles, less, less, less.  (Less really is more.)  And finally, I'm making the choice to pick up the Living Room toys every day at nap time instead of leaving it until bed time.  Yes, a lot of the toys come back out, but not all of them usually do and having the Living Room picked up for a bit really makes me feel much better in the evenings and when I first wake up in the morning.

***4***

So, I must tell you, I'm not a huge fan of Thanksgiving normally.  Yes, I enjoy the meal and family time, but it's just not high on my list for some reason.  But this year, I'm trying to embrace the whole Thankfulness of the season and recognize my blessings in a special way.  So tell me...what do you do to make Thanksgiving special? What traditions? What makes Thanksgiving special for you?

Help a girl out....

***5***

So, the weather we have this week it's been awesome to spend outside.  The boys have enjoyed a few trips to the park, crunching leaves outside, and a little fresh air.  And don't get me wrong it was lovely.  What was not lovely is that it has gotten all of us sick.  I ended up with a sinus infection and bronchitis.  Noah's allergies are through the roof.  Just today Jonah's nose started running...again.  So we kind of are ready for the weather to break, the moldy leaves to be gone, and for the ridiculous amount of kleenex being used to decrease in a major way.  I need to get back on a daily vitamin and get on a healthy regiment of water and exercise too! It's time for some extra health in these parts.  We've got holidays to celebrate!

***6***

In saying that, I'm also gearing up for winter and what that means for a mom and her 2 boys.  More days stuck at home than we'd like.  So, I'm trying to make some plans.  Have my list of places to visit things to do.  So tell me all you moms of little kids.  How do you survive winter?  Where are your favorite places to visit to let your kids burn off some energy and get a chance of scenery?  Also, what activities do you keep on hand to keep your little ones busy when you are stuck at home.  I've been doing my due diligence on Pinterest, but it's always nice to hear from the real moms in the trenches.  So hit me up!

***7***

Ok last little thought for you.  Burlap...it's my favorite.  Burlap pumpkins, doilies, wreaths....it's my current fav.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  Happy memory making with those you love best!!




Sunday, October 18, 2015

"Failure to Thrive"

Tonight at our dinner table was like dinner at most dinner tables of families with toddlers.  Lots of "no's" and "one more bites" and "no you can't have candy corn for dinner." (Doesn't everyone say that?) On tonight's menu...chili.  It's one food I can usually get Noah to eat.  But like any two year old, just because he liked it last time it was served, it holds no guarantee for tonight's meal.  And so, like any good mom, I loaded it up with cheese, tried to hide the tomatoes, and held my breath.  It was touch and go there for a few minutes, I may have had to do a head lock for the first bite to convince him, that yes indeed he actually did like chili and should at least try a bit, but finally we convinced him it was good!  There were cheers...no literally, cheers with each bite, and there was candy corn rewards at the end, and Tom and I breathed a sigh of relief for one more meal down.

Unfortunately, not every meal is this successful.  Not every headlock reminds my son that he likes a food and not every meal gets eaten.  What you don't know is that a few weeks ago his doctor was forced to give him the label "Failure to Thrive" after not gaining any weight over 3 months and once again falling off the growth curve.  And that's what has started this crazy meal time excitement in our home.

It was a well visit like any other, wrestling two kids, praying they didn't catch the leftover germs in the waiting room, and pulling out all the bells and whistles to keep a 2 year old and 9 month old entertained.  You know, totally normal stuff.  Then after the pleasantries were shared we stripped the kids and headed to the scale.  Jonah went first and weighed in at a whopping 18 pounds! Then Noah followed in at 21 lbs and 14 ounces....exactly what he had weighed 3 months prior.  I was concerned and waited for his doctor.  When she finally came in, we had the talk, and she said the words that no mother wants to hear...his diagnosis "Failure to Thrive."

And do you know what I heard??? Failure. Failure.. Failure...Failure...

Somehow despite my headlocks, Pediasures, beggings, pleadings, olive oil hiding attempts, my child had gained no weight and was deemed a failure, and therefore, as his mother, so was I.

And do you know what I did?? I cried.  For two days.  Every time I looked at that happy, smiling, crazy two year old who loved life, I cried.  Because somehow, despite my best efforts and intentions, somehow by these medical standards, the little boy I am totally crazy about wasn't "thriving."  That one stung.

And after a few days and multiple vials of blood drawn to rule every disease out there out, I pulled on my big girl pants and we began to seriously focus on fattening this little guy up.  Do you know I can make scrambled eggs with roughly 30 grams of fat in them?  I cook everything in butter or olive oil that I can.  If it doesn't have fat in it, Noah doesn't get to eat it.  (Well, that's mostly true.  He does get apple sauce since it's the only fruit he will eat.) I've searched the internets for high fat recipes and have unsuccessfully attempted to hide avocado in some foods too.  (Little stinker found me out...)

I did all of this, because that's what we mothers do.  We rise in the face of adversity. No one is going to call my kid a failure and get away with it.

Luckily, all of his blood work has come back normal and we have one final test coming up to rule out a highly improbable diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis, and so we thank God for that.  But I've gotta tell you....it's exhausting.  All day long,  I'm adding fat grams in my head.  No more glasses of water, only milk. Racking up number of mini muffins he's had (with 2 grams of fat in each) Not caring if we've already had McDonald french fries this week.  He eats them and they are fatty.  Feeling beyond frustrated when he doesn't eat because not only is that normal toddler behavior annoying, it means I'm gonna have to try even harder at the next meal.

But today I needed to remind myself that even though our little miracle child isn't "thriving" in terms of his weight, he is thriving in so many other things.  There are just 4 letters left before Noah is able to identify each by name (H, Q, W, and Y in case you're wondering.) After not walking for so long, our little guy is not only running circles around us, he's mastering slides, stairs, and his Little Tikes car! He's a wiz at the "Find It" books and each day he's adding to his vocabulary.  He is loving, caring, funny, and an overall happy child.

And those things mean he is thriving! He's thriving at life. And you know what that makes me?? A pretty good mama.  Because I've got to be doing at least a few things right in raising such an awesome kid.  I needed to remind myself of that.

And maybe that's why I needed to write this.  Your child might not have the label of "Failure to Thrive," but maybe it's another label.  ADD, ADHD, LD....or maybe there is no label, but there certainly are struggles despite your best efforts.  To you moms out there (and to myself, too) Let's be a little kinder, a little gentler with ourselves today.  Let's remember that we are all doing our very best with these complicated creatures that have be entrusted to our care.  We will continue to fight and advocate for our children.  I will continue to fatten up every meal I can.  We will seek advice and read all that we can, but at the end of the day what matters most is that we loved.  That's what they will remember amidst their struggles, a mama that was there with them every step of the way.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Crumbs and fingerprints

Some days when I am in the middle of my day, I take a moment and think back to those delusional days of my first 30 years of what I thought life as a mom would be like.  The romanticized visions of playing with my kids, snuggling with a newborn at 3 am, and memory making makes me giggle.  Now don't get me wrong, there are still lots of memories made and snuggles too (even at 3 am when I'd much rather be sleeping than rocking a 9 month old), but there isn't a whole lot of romance or euphoric moments going on in those trenches. Yes, motherhood is glorious, but it is equal parts messy....very, very messy. 

This blog began to form in my brain earlier this week when in a moment of frustration as I was sweeping the kitchen floor for the 3rd time that MORNING (we hadn't even made it to lunch yet), I looked around to see ridiculous amounts of fingerprints mixed in with our monster window clings on the front door.  There were enough puffs on the floor to feed an army....well at least my army.  Noah's milk cup was dripping on the floor in the living room and Jonah was once again throwing all the magnetic letters back to the floor even though they had just been picked up.  I may have let out a frustrated little scream! The kids, well, they laughed and continued to make mayhem, and I swept up the floor and we continued on.  But later that night, after both boys were in bed, I looked at my living room that was full of toys and was really feeling frustrated.  No one told me that motherhood would be this messy.  So, so messy.

But honestly, the physical messes are just one thing.  Motherhood's messiness goes beyond poopy diapers and dumped plates on the floor.  Motherhood is messy at 3am and you can't stop the tears or get your child to sleep.  Motherhood is messy when despite your best efforts, your child still can't get back on the growth curve and is given the title of "failure to thrive."  Motherhood is messy when your child is hurting and there is nothing you can do to make it better.  There are messes like neglected husbands and careers that despite the fact you know they need some attention, you have found yourself completely drained and unable to squeeze out anything. 

So this week Tuesday, after a difficult Monday at the doctor's office with both of my boys, a sink full of dishes, floors to be swept for the hundredth time (or so it felt), and finger prints once again adorning my front door...I cried.  Ugly, messy tears.  I cried on and off all day.  "Motherhood is hard." I told a friend.  And we've all heard mothers before us claim, "It's the hardest thing they've ever done," but we don't believe them until we are in the trenches on those Tuesdays, stuck between the mundane and monotonous and the big, loud, and messy that we understand.

And do you know why Motherhood's messy job description is so hard???

Because of faces like these....



Because even though they are champion mess makers, they are worth every mess, too.  We get so frustrated with them, and then they smile at us, or finally say that word we've been working on for months, or take their first steps across the kitchen.  Suddenly, it doesn't matter that there are crumbs on the ground or fingerprints on windows because we are cheering with them and celebrating their successes! Or when we finally plop down on the couch to take a moment and they curl up in our laps and snuggle with us, as if to let us know they appreciate us and love us.

It's in those moments of snuggles, celebrations, and smiles that we get our strength to clean up one more mess.  To figure out one more recipe that maybe our child will finally eat.  We find the resolve to crawl out of bed at 3 am, because despite every expert's advice "cry it out" doesn't work for this little guy and sometimes you just need to see your mom, messy hair and bags under her eyes.

Then this morning the Beatitudes popped into my head....You know the "Blessed are the...., For they shall..." (See Matthew 5 for the text) But I noticed those who were called blessed were those who mourn, who are merciful, who make peace (can you believe a 2 year old and 9 month old already fight?), and who are persecuted.  Now I'm sure Christ wasn't specifically talking about moms in this passage, but it made me think about the old adage that "Anything hard is worth working for."  The easy road usually doesn't give the fulfillment and reward that the road with the difficult terrain brings to those of us who choose to travel it's hills and valleys. 

If motherhood wasn't so messy, so hard we wouldn't cry at preschool graduation or when our babies leave for college. If motherhood was easy, we wouldn't have awesome kids who stand up for what is right and know how to share.  If motherhood was easy, we wouldn't know that true sacrificial type love of Christ. 

SoBlessed are the moms, for they shall inherit the kingdom of God...one mess at a time.

Friday, September 25, 2015

7 Quick Takes of Joy

The last week, and especially these last few days, one word has really stuck with me.  JOY.  Like deep down, unaltered, pure JOY.  I've been reflecting a lot about that and where that joy has been creeping up in my life and in my mind.  So here we go!

***1***

This past Wednesday we celebrated Noah's 2nd birthday! The Sunday before it we celebrated with family and friends at his birthday party.  Up until recently, our Noah has been a little weary of big crowds and loud noises, so I wasn't exactly sure how he was going to react to being the center of attention.  Well I've gotta tell you, what I saw from our big 2 year old was pure JOY.  The JOY that radiates from that child is contagious to anyone he comes into contact with.  If it's at Target shopping with mom or running around the farm with the kids, there is something different about that little guy.  Our little miracle boy gives off and knows a JOY so lovely, so perfect I pray that as he grows older this sometimes difficult and cruel world doesn't steal that away from him.  His friends and family just want to be around him.  He is a light in all of our eyes and reminds me of all that is still good in this world. 

***2***

The next biggest example of JOY going on these days has to be the JOY seen in the faces of all those following our dear Holy Father's journey around the United States.  Being a Catholic I am overjoyed at his trip here and love to hear him speak and be encouraged by what he has to say.  But I am far more impressed by how those that are not Catholic are responding to his visit.  Pope Francis is by far the greatest example of JOY going on today.  Kissing babies, loving on the poor, encouraging the religious and non-religious alike, and doing it all with a smile on his face and peace in his heart.  Pope Francis is JOY personified and anyone and everyone who finds themselves in his presence can't help but catch the bug!  His JOY, the JOY of Christ, is contagious!

***3***

Speaking of the JOY of being in the presence of the Holy Father, did you see this article about John Boehner? If you saw any coverage of the Pope's speech to congress you couldn't miss the grown man crying in the background.  Today, after being asked by the Pope to pray for him and having an obvious moment of conversion and perspective, he announced his retirement from Congress.  Did you see the JOY and PEACE in his face? Gosh, I just love Holy Spirit moments like that!!!!  I'll be honest, I'm not always great at following politics, and I don't really know much about Mr. Boehner, but I do believe the world watched Christ move in this man's life through the Holy Father and that my friends is a beautiful thing.

***4***

I belong to MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) and twice a month I gather with other to pray and converse and build each other up.  This year the theme for MOPS is "A Fierce Floursing."  There are 3 components to this theme; Celebrate Lavishly, Embracing Rest, and Noticing Goodness. 
A Fierce Flourishing Theme
As a mom who hasn't slept much in 9 months, I'm good at the Embracing Rest component.  I embrace rest every time I can with two little ones.  But yesterday we talked about Celebrating Lavishly.  The speakers spoke about celebrating life in tangible and intangible ways.  About filling others cups and letting your cup be filled.  Celebrating life's little moments and not just the big.  I'm good at big celebrations! I love to do holidays and birthdays to the full capacity, but what really struck a chord in me as I sat there was that word JOY that has been stewing inside of me for a few days now.  I began to think about how I celebrate the little stuff.  What kind of JOY am I bringing to my house and to my family members.  How am I finding joy in the mundane and every day moments? And I'll be honest, especially lately, I'm not sure I have been.  It's easier for me to focus on the fact that I'm tired, the kids are fussy, and the fact that I need just one more cup of coffee before I can function.  Ouch.  I don't feel so good about that.  So I'm trying.  I'm trying to bring JOY into my house again even at 4:30 in the morning and my two year old can't sleep.  I'm trying to bring JOY to the dinner table when no one wants to eat and food inevitably ends up all over the floor to be swept...again.  I'm trying to find JOY in the fatigue of the day to day.  Will you pray for me?

***5***

This kid....pure JOY.  And what makes him so JOYful these days you ask???  Standing up.  Anywhere and on anything. 
 
***6***

A little musical interlude.....


***7***
My prayer for all of you this week is that you find JOY in the little things.  I'm praying for those who will be gathering in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families.  I am certain there will be immense JOY coming home from my friends that are on their way right now!  God Bless you All!! 


Friday, September 11, 2015

7 Quick Takes: God Bless the USA!

It's been a crazy morning here already and it's only 8:30 am!  God help this mom get through the day!  Luckily Jonah just laid down for his nap and Noah is involved with blocks and Curious George.  I'm still waiting for my caffeine to do it's trick and thought I would take a few minutes to write my blog!

So let's do this!

***1***

Today is September 11th and I would feel irresponsible if I didn't take a minute to reflect on what this day means to me.  I was 22 years old when terrorists decided to change history and cause such grief and havoc on American soil.  I was student teaching and just beginning my adult life really.  September 11th taught me many adult lessons.  I learned about true fear, real hatred, and that none of it mattered because I had to be brave for the students I was teaching.

Fast forward 14 years and I have 2 little boys who have no idea what today means (they will one day as we teach them the pride of being Americans) and their only concern is being fed and playing with toys.  I'm almost envious of their naivety and wish I could keep it that way forever.  It saddens me that one day they too will have to grow up and deal with these scary realities. 

I pray one day we will all know true peace on earth.

***2***

Jonah, he's a crazy rambunctious boy!!  I'm pretty sure he will be standing in no time and crawling out of his crib too!  He had zero fear and loves pulling himself up! We have some more baby proofing to do in this house.  He also has allergies to both milk and peanuts and yet is constantly trying to steal his brother's food and cups.  I love his spirit and smile, however.  This little guy is going to keep us on our toes!

***3***

Do you know what I hate more than anything this time of year?  Political ads! I'm so glad we don't have cable and rarely watch live TV because the little I do see of political propaganda is annoying....already...and it's only September.

***4***

In just 12 days our little Noah will be 2 years old! I can't believe it! He's come so far in his 2 years here on earth.  It's funny, ok and frustrating to watch him become a real life 2 year old.  He's great at throwing himself on the ground already and acting as if getting your diaper changed is pretty much the same as torture.  Luckily, he also is so smart and I love watching him learn something new every day! He seriously amazes Tom and I.  We are enjoying watching him learn new words and conquer new challenges too! It makes those screaming fits worth it....kind of.

***5***

This Tuesday I picked up my minivan!!!!  I seriously am in love with my minivan. (Other than the hands free prompts...that lady in my radio clearly needs hearing aids!) I love that it is making my life just a little bit easier.  I swore I'd never drive a minivan, but man oh man....that was silly of me! I feel pretty cool tooling around town in my minivan each day! Noah loves the big windows to look out and we can't wait to turn him around so he can watch a DVD on long trips! I'm pretty sure this minivan is the greatest thing that has happened to us outside of well you know all the major blessings in life!

***6***

This week most of the kids went back to school....I gotta be honest, as much as I love being a SAHM, this time of year makes me miss teaching! I loved getting my room ready and planning and dreaming of a great school year to come.  I loved buying new school supplies, the smell of new crayons and freshly sharpened pencils.  I really enjoyed this part of my job.  Nostalgia....and then I remember a lot of the things I don't miss.  But I'm glad one day soon my boys will have their first days at school and we can enjoy new backpacks, crayons, and lunch boxes once again!

***7***

I'm ending today with a shameless plug.  I'm looking to make some extra money to help with our family budget while still staying at home with my boys.  If you know anyone looking for someone for at home day care I am looking to take on a few kids at my house.  Part time or full time.  Send them my way.  I also will be tutoring on Saturday mornings and one or two evenings at our local library.  If your child or someone you know needs some homework help or extra tutoring please let me know!

Have a great weekend y'all! It's gonna be a beautiful fall weekend! Get out there and pick some apples, eat some donuts, or buy some mums! Whatever you do enjoy your time with those you love best!

Friday, August 28, 2015

7 Quick Takes: Roller Coaster Ramblings

It's that time again....Noah is playing with his blocks, Jonah is taking his morning nap, and I've managed to shower somehow and am taking a few minutes to blog my thoughts. This week has been a little bit of a roller coaster (thus the title) of good and challenging things. I'm always excited though that it's Friday and soon my hubby will be home for the weekend! My favorite!

***1***

Earlier this week, for a day or so I was brave enough to have the thought that "Hey, I think I'm an OK mom.  I finally got my act together!" Bwahahahhaha...the next day I was feeling anything, but adequate.  Jonah didn't sleep, Noah was having some tantrums and showing his frustration with his limited vocabulary and Tom was running late from work. I wondered what I was doing wrong on every front.  But I've been a mom long enough now to know that that's how motherhood is.  Just when you feel like you've got a control of things, things suddenly get way out of control.  At the end of the day I need to remember that my kids are fed, loved, and for the most part thriving.  That means I've got to be doing 1 or 2 things right....right??

***2***

So this week something has really been bothering me.  REALLY bothering me.  I can't stop thinking about the Ashley Madison Affair scandal.  Josh Duggar and his poor family.  Is our world really
that messed up??  Is there any hope for marriages?? Am I ignorant for trusting my husband and not thinking that something like this could happen to us? (Just to be clear, I totally trust my husband...) I just am so upset that these are the odds we are facing.  This is the message our children are learning that if you aren't happy in your marriage you can just go have an affair.  And it doesn't matter what you think about Josh Duggar, those of us of faith have to realize that just because we go to church with our family and call ourselves Christians that we aren't going to have these temptations in our marriages.  I know plenty of Christian men and women that struggle with lust and pornography...and I imagine adultery too. 

I don't know what to do to resolve these feelings other than pray with and for my husband and our marriage and teach my boys the best I can about the sacrament of marriage.  It is a sad reality regardless.

***3-4-5*** (I've gotta be concise today...nap time is running out)

My thoughts haven't been all sad and depressing this week I assure you.  Inspired by the book  I mentioned last week, "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown, I have been thinking about when am I most happy and content in my life.  It was really an eye opening experience for me.  I realized that some of my happiest moments are the times when my family of 4 are together just living life.  Watching my kids enjoy time with their dad, singing silly songs together, working on little projects together.  Yes, we love hanging with our friends, going places, and having fun at our local hang outs, but some of my best moments are those with my little family.  We love watching our boys learn and grow.

The next thing I noticed is how much I personally enjoy doing little crafts.  My mom is the ultimate crafter and I am no where near her status of craftiness, but I do love doing little things .  I was surprised when my book talked about how having time to be crafty and creative is very stress reducing and fulfilling.  I realized how true that was for me.  I love my craft nights with my friend Cheryl and making gifts with my kids for their grandparents.  It's definitely something I want to make more time for in my life.  DIY here I come!!

The last thing I noticed is the joy I received when I was able to go to Mass alone with my husband a few times this summer alone.  There is such an intimacy in praying with your spouse.  We try to pray together at night, but it doesn't always happen.  We also love bringing our children to mass with us, but it really was lovely and very inspiring to pray the Mass, the greatest of prayers, along side my husband with no distractions.

***6***

I cannot believe in just a few days summer unofficially will be over, September will be here, Labor Day will be celebrated, and the lazy days of summer will be coming to an end.  I have mixed feeling about this.  I love fall.  It is my favorite time of year, I hate the heat after awhile, and I'm ready for some of our fall activities to resume and bring a little more organization to our days.  But the end of summer also means my parents will soon be heading back to Florida for the winter, which is a huge bummer for me and my boys.  I love the memories they are able to make when my parents are here for the summer.  We are going to have to try and figure out a way to get down to Florida this winter. Life also gets a lot busier for a lot of my friends with older kids and I'll miss our time together with them.  It's a mixed bag.  Luckily there is candy corn to help me get through it all.  ;)

***7***

My Noah LOVES Thomas the train and all trains in general.  We didn't intend for it to happen, and we love that he does, I just find it so interesting how little boys just gravitate towards little boys things.  It's in their make up to just love these things.  It's so fun watching him imagine and be creative with his train table.  He lines them up and makes the sounds too.  He can even tell you a few of their names.  I am interested to see if Jonah falls in love with him too. 

We are planning to take them to Thomas's World in Massachusetts next summer! I just know they are going to go crazy over it!!


Have a great weekend friends!! I'm hitting up the Mom2Mom sale of the year (or so I hear...) and making memories with my boys! I hope you all are doing something that makes your heart swell with joy as well!
worrying that something like this could mess up our marriage?