Friday, May 31, 2013

10 Blissful Years




Ten years ago I married a cowboy, aka Mr. N.  I adore the above picture, because it reminds me so much of us.  Mr. N and I are opposites in every way...but the longer we are married, the more we seem to meld to one.  We both started off in very different places. Think, manly, hunter, republican, cowboy, deliberate, calculated marrying a democratic, tree-hugging, vegetarian, artsy-fartsy, flighty young lady.  But, as a couple, we created a new space for the two of us.  And boy-o-boy is it a nice place to be.  Precarious, precious, and hard sometimes, but worth it. 

Thank you for picking me to be your bride my love.  I adore you with all that I am and will ever hope to be.  Thank you for being my safe place, my rock, my best friend, and sweet lovely man.  Thank you for putting up with all my illogical, emotional, nutty-ness.  Thank you for not getting mad when I change something else or paint another item.  Thank you for loving me for my heart alone.  Thank you for the last ten amazing years.  It hasn't always been easy...thanks for never giving up on me or on us.  Thank you for picking our family above all else.  Thank you for leading me and our family in such a Godly way.  Thank you for being you and never giving into something you aren't. 

I look forward to the next fifty or so with you.  I love you honey.  a




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's up Buttercup?

How are you my lovely?  I pray you are well.  Summer is almost here!  Yahoooo!  I'm ready to be a free agent!  Lots of swimming, sunscreen, running amuck.  You know, just drinking life in.  Me and bathing suits are not really friends just yet.  Maybe one day.  What have you been up to?  This is what we've been doing....

Listening to:

Pandora channel Harry Belafonte.  You know those semi-old romantic comedies usually starring Meg Ryan.  When they play that old-timey classic music that just makes you heart smile.  You never know the artist or name of the song, but you recognize it and it makes you feel full of joy.  That's this channel for me!  I rarely have to skip anything.  You will find Buddy Holly, IZ, the Beatles, Paul Simon, Bob Marley and of course Mr. Belafonte.  I hope you love it!

Reading:

1. Jessica Alba's the Honest Life.  It's pretty great.  I like a lot of her suggestions and they aren't insanely outlandish.  Our household is trying a bunch of her "Honest" company products for Ben's eczema and general health.  So far so good!  They are resonable and delivered to your door.
2. Calmer Easier, Happier Parenting by Noel Janis-Norton. I know I've talked about it a little here, about working with my youngest, Sam.  I needed more "tools" in my parenting toolbox.  This book has really helped me.  It worked immediately.  I would highly recommend it for any parent. 

Creating:
1. Painted bukoos of pots and Ben's Craigslist school desk

2. Created Ms. Minnie Pearl Art:

3. Ben decided he wanted his whole name on the wall.  So-voila!  We are going to add some white floating shelves so he has more spots to create his little vignettes and his mother will leave them be.

4. I painted an actual painting again for the first time in AGES.  Mr. N was used to my old style, so he has to ease into it.  Benno kept saying, "What is it supposed to be?" 
Don't you love the wine glass and makeup bag sitting there?
5. Distressed my own pants, I'm cheap and was bored.


6. Painting of fabric thanks to "A Beautiful Mess" for our bedroom.  I painted "His" and "hers" on Mr. N and I's pillow.  It just makes life easier.

That's pretty much it.  I'm working on our "Summer List" that I'm sure I'll share here.  I have a couple of other projects in the mix, that I will share later.  Hope your day is full of inspiration and hugs.  A

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The abundant life

Do you ever meet those women with the perfect bikini body, with their home professionally decorated with all the new trendy things, with their hair oh-so-lovely and just impeccably done at the salon, with their nails immaculately painted?  The get massages and facials often to keep themselves fresh.  Their children are usually clean, well behaved, wearing the latest trendy clothes. Their cars are tidy, new, and expensive. They go to their trainer while their nanny keeps their superior children.  They cook elaborate meals and go on fancy date nights with their handsome husband.  These women know how to vacation and do it often.

I know, I know.   It's nuts.  But I've met these ladies before.  Guess what?  They never, ever seem happy to me.  It blows my stinking mind.  I have absolutely none of the things that I listed above.  None.  Except the handsome hubs. 

When I ask my students what some of their goals are, they reply to have a fancy house with lots of money.  I quickly tell them, that money doesn't equate happiness.  Not at all.  The hole in your heart can not be filled with things. 

This is what I know to be true.  Those things are not joy.  They cannot fill the void in you.  Yes, they can make you happy, but only if you are happy on your own first.  If you are looking to this world to make you happy, you will be severely disappointed.  Don't get me wrong, this girl loves to shop.  But that "happiness" is fleeting and not joy.  Don't mistake the two. 

It saddens me to see people day after day, rushing through their lives, searching...searching for the quick fix to finally make them happy.  Let me tell you this.  You can not find it here.  What you can see in this world, it's fleeting.  It's only what's in the heart.  So, my lovelies, today, while I'm perusing pinterest and blogs, thinking of new and better things, I will be grateful.  Grateful for my health, my children's health, my sweet husband, our home, my family.  I will be grateful for the food in my fridge and clean drinking water.  I will not wish for any more of anything.   For I truly live the abundant life.





Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Grace

I'm a believer.  Obviously, if you read my blog often you would know this. If you are new to these parts...let me make it clear.  I luvs me some Jesus.  God is teaching me something new lately.  I have some non-believer friends whom I adore.  But, it is hard.  It's hard to hang out with them sometimes because I know that there is a humongous part of me that they don't get.  That I can't really share with them.  I hold back.

They humor me when I talk about God.   I believe they think I'm uneducated because I choose to love God and accept Jesus. 

I'm reminded that my own children go through tremendous growing pains before a big growth spurt.  Growing is painful in every way even as an adult.  I cried.  I prayed.  I kneeled.  I prayed.  Then, God gave me peace and answers.

To give grace to someone who doesn't believe, is very different from you, to accept them exactly where they are at is difficult. It is easier to hang out with other Christians of similar backgrounds because you have that basic foundation.  You don't have to hide your love for God.  You don't have to water it down.   You don't have to be uncomfortable.  You can let all your light and love flow on out freely.  But, that's not what Jesus calls us to do.  As the song says, jesus loves the least of us. 

God taught me this weekend what it looks like to love even more.  To give grace to my students has always been easy for me, but for some reason this was harder.  These ladies are my peers.  I'm learning to be loving, sympathetic and compassionate, and also when NOT to speak.  Which is mad hard for me.  I need to wait on the Lord for the perfect opportunity.  I will be patient.

Prayerfully and hopefully through just living my life as an example for them, they can get a glimpse of God's love.  Kids around our neighborhood love to be at our home, this is why.  I've had people wonder how Mr. N and I work, being that we are pretty opposite...God is why.  His love is miraculous.   I will be preparing for the day they ask me, I will be laying down the foundation in prayer. 

1 Peter 3:15 says "but in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect."

Tight, long, akward, and awesome hugs, a




Monday, May 20, 2013

My Flaw

Intense.  I was called intense this weekend.  At first, I thought of this as a serious insult.  A huge negative connotation came to mind.  Many of my students are intense, very emotional, a little off kilter, and just a lot to take in and handle.  They have so much raw unfiltered uninhibited emotions.  Thus, when I was called this, I thought, well crap.  I need to do some work on me.

When I ponder on "intense" people I also think of those ladies you meet that are such perfectionist.  Their children are in all the right things, look right, do right, etc etc.  These moms workout a crap load and have it all in order all the time.  They look a little strained.  This is absolutely not me.

So of course, I look up the definition.  Here is what handy Mr. Webster says:
1.a : existing in an extreme degree b : having or showing a characteristic in extreme degree
2: marked by or expressive of great zeal, energy, determination, or concentration
3 a : exhibiting strong feeling or earnestness of purpose b : deeply felt

The friend that called me this went on to tell me how she viewed "intense".  It wasn't an insult.  It was more along the lines of passionate, but in a non-intimate type of way.  I passionately pursued what mattered to me.  I love passionately.  I'm not fearful of this.  I just need to embrace it.  She doesn't believe how I do about Godly things, so she doesn't really get it.

This morning, of course, while driving into work, I thought what am I "intense" about?  I fiercely love God, my husband, my children, my family and close friends.  In that order.  I furiously try to serve the Kingdom of God in every way I know how.  The rest of me is light and fluffy and funny.  I'm silly and easy going about everything else.  But, you know what struck me like a ton of figgin bricks?? 
My deep concentrated love for these things is the very most important thing to me. 

So I decided...call me intense if you want to. I will fight for what I love.  My babies know this.  If this is one of my major flaws, I'll take it. Happy day my lovelies, go out the be brave.  Hugs, a


Monday, May 13, 2013

My Mom


Have you ever met my mom?  If not, you should.  She will hug you tight and try to feed you.  You better just say yes to all of this, because she is stinking persistent.   She will love you from the get go.

My mom is one amazingly awesome woman.  She has taught me to love unconditionally.  To be myself, because I have the light.  She is always, always on my team.  She is my backup.  When we are together....I usually know how she thinks, and she is the same with me.  Which is great because it's like having a clone with extra hands. 

In raising my own children, I know truly realize what all she did for me.  She loved me in a way that she had never experienced, which is truly a miracle.  She had absolutely no teacher of how to be a great parent.   But she is and was.  She gave it all every.single.day.

I'm a hard, stubborn, strong-willed woman.  My sweet mom had to foster this, deal with it, discipline this, love this, and keep me safe in the process.  As I've aged, I've realized what all she sacrificed.  How she lived only to be my mother.  Thanks mom. 

She always has my back.  She is one of my happy thoughts. She lifts me up.  She prays for me non-stop.  She gives the courage and confidence that I have today. 

Happy Mother's Day Mom.  I love you with all that I am and will ever be.  Thank you for choosing me.

Love, your littlest angel.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Scary Mommy

Sorry for my long hiatus.  Sometimes I just need a little break from coming up with witty, smart things to say.  Because let's be honest.  I'm not that smart or witty. 

At our house, there has been lots of little spray painting projects...so much so, that I asked Mr. N about painting his night stand, and he responded, "you just painted this, and this, and this.  Can you just stop for awhile?"  Yes honey.  I will take a break, just for you.  But not too long! 

Have you ever gone to a parent/teacher conference for a two year old.  It's pretty freaking funny.  Well, I was told it's time to potty train.  Let's just say, I don't have a good attitude.  Diapers are easy.  Pull ups are easy.  Sam walks over to me with his diaper in his hand and tells me when it's full.  He goes and gets another.  (Do you think it's time to potty train?  Ha Ha). 

Yes, yes...I know diapers are expensive.  But, do you know how much pee I have cleaned off our floor? How much extra laundry this causes?  We are on day three.  Sticking to something has never been my strong suit, but I will persevere.  God bless Sam's school and Gigi (my mom).  They gave me the push.  Let's call it a shove actually.  Push is too gentle. 

Finally, I came across this website called Scary Mommy today.  I actually laughed out loud.  They have "Mommy confessions".  It will make you friggin roll on the ground.  I think I need to stick to these new brands of blog authors that are just raw and funny.  No one is perfect, especially me, and I need to be reminded that everyone isn't making dinners from scratch, decorating with endless budgets, kids with fabulous manners, etc, etc.  The list goes on.  I hope you enjoy it!  It made me lighten up!

Have a fabulous day, pray I'm not swimming in pee later.  Hugs, a
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