Saturday, June 21, 2014

10 Years

 Jerad and I celebrated 10 years of marriage, June 19.  Here's a quick glance of the past 10 years together...

2003-Canton Lake


2005-Lake of the Ozarks




2009-Saratoga Springs, NY

2010-Disney World




Sunday, June 8, 2014

Cleaning House

This past weekend was a "staycation" for me.  That means my in-laws took the kids and Jerad and I stayed home.  (heavenly bells ringing, here)**

My goal was to do some deep cleaning, get caught up on workouts for people, clean up the yard, and just organize some things I haven't touched since we moved....

Well, God had other plans.  He instead chose to 'clean house' within me.  You see, I bought this book..."The Approval Fix," by Joyce Meyers, on a whim.  Well, it knocked my socks off.  The byline "how to break free from people pleasing" rang a bell within me and is what drew me to the book in the first place...I just wasn't planning to be spoken to so clearly and so sternly.  It's amazing what some quiet time, to truly focus, listen and be still, can do to a person's soul.  I feel like God had been working on my heart up until this weekend, slowly preparing me for what I was about to read.  Because things the book said, spoke so clearly to things already flowing through my mind and heart.  So here are a few excerpts to my "house cleaning"...definitely a lot of things I'm still processing...

I am a people-pleaser. Check. 
--Not so much that I need people's approval of me.  But that I need people to be happy and good.  I carry a huge burden around, unknowingly, to ensure that I make people feel good.  Or look good.  Or to be better.  And that same burden becomes an impossible yoke to carry when people are not happy.  Like it's my fault.  Like I did something or I did not do something to make them that way.  On one hand, this makes me very good at my job.  I will work my behind off to make sure someone gets the results they want in their fitness or health.  Guaranteed.  But at the same time, this sets me up for unnecessary, self-inflicted frustration and pain.

I have become an angry mommy.
--Especially toward Leah.  Her and I's relationship is what you would call "strained."  It is so hard for us to get along.  I've written about this before.  Being first-born, both of us stubborn.  She can get to me like no one else.  And I yell and lose control with her.  And I hate it.  I hate being mad.  I hate having to apologize over and over. I hate not being able to control my anger, especially lately.  What I hadn't connected is that a lot of my anger is related to not being able to 'please' her.  God spoke to me this weekend, helping me realize that a lot of times, I'm not mad at her...I'm mad that I can't help her.  I can't make her stop her behaviors, that even SHE can't control. (see HERE.)  I hate that.  It makes me mad.  I cannot make her happy, during those times.  Not at all.  It is what I'm good at, a gift I'd consider God has blessed me with.  And during our heated moments, what I'm good at, doesn't cut it.  And I carry that burden around.  And it is HEAVY....and it is NOT ONE I SHOULD BE TRYING TO CARRY MYSELF.  Why have I not released this before?  Why am I trying to control this part of my life too? 
-->There is more to this, I know God is still working on me with this one...but I can not wait to sit down and talk with Leah about this...and discuss how we are going to be praying together to ask God to help us grow closer...His way.  Already I feel lighter.

 I feel guilty about my gifts.
--I have been made aware of this downfall already, and know it is something I need to change.  But have not tied it in with my need for people to be happy.  Seriously..  I feel like God has given me a gift of fitness.  Yes, when there are people starving.  When there is plenty of room for advocacy in the special needs world.  When homeless need shelter.  When so many people need Jesus...I am being called to compete in fitness, to train really hard, to sacrifice a lot, to get better, to get to the next level. (this is my thought process, exactly) And I feel guilty about it!  God has nearly plopped so many opportunities in my lap in relation to my pursuit of this goal, after I got my priorities in HERE.  I hate celebrating excessively after a personal best performance, or after winning a competition, or getting a skill for the first time...I down play when people compliment me, I deflect recognition.  I hate being center of attention.  And I think I'm realizing it is because I don't want people to feel feel down or intimidated.  I want people to be 'happy.'  And if that means reducing my efforts and success, so be it.  WHOA!  God is revealing to me that this is sinful.  It isn't how He views me.  It isn't my responsibility to make people happy.  In fact, sometimes He makes people not like me for a purpose.  I need to have an everything-nothing attitude.  Everything in Christ. Nothing without Him.  That is my new thought process.  I will make it my platform as I pursue this calling in full force.  With confidence that God has called me to it.  Freely!

That's all I feel lead to share so far...but I'm guessing this is only the first layer.  Stay tuned for more, as I feel lead to share. :)

 "There's no need to be perfect to inspire others. 
 Let people be inspired by how you deal with your imperfections."


Friday, June 6, 2014

Mommy Time-Out

There is this period of time between the minutes school is let out for summer and probably a good month after, that we go through a transition phase at our house.  Other terms for it might be, "hell week"...."survival zone"...."mommy's in a bad mood time"....

And other things I may be caught mumbling under my breath as I am trying to diffuse...
Most kids and parents LOVE summer, and don't get me wrong, I do too...BUT...for 2 kids with special needs, the readjustment period is nightmarish...

Transitions take a lot more time.  To go from scheduled, structure, familiar repetition day in and day out...which equates to comfort, calmness, reduced anxiety...

...NO schedule, NO routine, NO structure, NO familiarity...which equates to chaos, madness, anxiety through the roof, elevated fears, behaviors, and madness...

I am by nature, not an organized, routine person.  I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants, kinda gal.  So you can see where 2 worlds be organized, scheduled, and routine drives me mad...and NOT to be, drives 2/3 of my children mad.

I always start out the summer with calendars, day planners, activities scheduled ahead of time..snacks prepared for the day, meals laid out--in an effort to lessen the transition time madness we always incur...but my best intentions only go so far...and I immediately turn into survival mode...

Which turns into just putting out fires...hour by hour.
And before long, I'm burnt out.  Literally.

I need a mommy time-out.
I am mommy failing big time around  here this week...and feel like all I've been doing is reacting, yelling, and apologizing.  On repeat.

Here are a few things you might have overheard me say so far...

"Get out of this van now.  GO knock on that door right there and see if they will be your new mommy....go! Give it a try!  If you keep saying you want new parents so bad, go find them!!!"

Or how about...

"Blake, Blake....BLAKE...BLAKE....(CLAP CLAP)...*whistle, whistle*....stomp, stomp....AHHHHH!!!"  He finally looks at me from 10' feet away like listen here crazy lady....I am NOT a dog...quit flailing around trying to get my attention...this is a great episode of Thomas the Train I need to watch first...

Yelling out the front door, while the kids were sitting in the van waiting on me..."Leah come get your stupid lunch box you left on the floor!" (sure the neighbors were impressed)

"If you don't stop crying now, I'm going to eat your whole pack of snack cookies...and your sucker!"

"What part of poop in the toilet, not in your pants, the minute you get off the toilet, do you NOT UNDERSTAND??"---child in the background..."apparently none of it."

"If you think you are so cool, then you cook your own dinner, wash your own swimsuit, and get yourself to library time in an hour...ALL BY YOURSELF...!!"

"Can I PLEASE just wipe without someone yelling, crying or fighting within 2' of me???"

"Why can you guys not SLEEP past 6 am?  Do you not see what kind of mood I'm in if I don't get a few minutes to myself each day before you wake up?  Tomorrow if you wake up before 6, you better stay in your room, shove a pillow over your head and PRETEND to sleep for all I care..."

 "If you guys don't stop fighting...I am going to eat this whole tub of ice cream from stress...then I'll  be even grouchier because my clothes won't you want that?  do you?  STOP it!"

So here's to a weekend at Grandma's for the kids and a stay-cation for me! Praise the Lord!!




Monday, June 2, 2014

Pictures speak for themselves

Gymnastics class with a cheering section!
Bedtime stories at our house...and a pesky little brother...

 Wrestling mania...our evening entertainment..

We have to quit letting the kids watch "Karate Kid"

Walked into Autum's room to find her new wall hanging...nice use of an old bachelorette party gift..
Leah was "Queen Bee" for a week as she celebrated her 8th birthday party with friends first, then family.  We went to the YMCA swimming pool first and finished off the night with Pizza with 6 of her close friends. (and brother and sister)
Leah's poem about colors she was to write for library hour...she was so proud, but did NOT understand why I wouldn't let her take it to share.