Thursday, July 25, 2013

30 Days of Blogging: Day Six

Day 6: What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

Hard is relative, right? There are few things in my life that I would characterize as truly hard. Lots of people give birth, and it's expected to be "hard" so that doesn't count. I don't know how to say this except that as I get older, things seem to have been "not so hard" when I look back on them. Does that make sense?

Example 1:
My parents got divorced when I was 8 years old. That was hard.
But really, when I look back on it, I had a relatively simple time with my divorced parents. There was no abuse. There was no visible (at least to me) arguing and fighting. My parents didn't talk bad about each other (in front of me, anyway). {They still don't. Thanks Mom and Dad.} There weren't crazy custody battles or me having to go to court. It was fairly civil as far as divorces go (at least from my perspective). Plus, I gained some great people in my life through my step-families.

Example 2:
We moved to Texas when I was in high school. I moved away from all my friends, family friends, people I'd grown up with since I was a toddler, my church, my dad. I had to start my sophomore year in a new high school, make all new friends, be "the new girl," visit new churches, and find my own way. That was hard. But you know what? It turned out to be fantastic. I got to hang out with family that I always loved as a girl, but only saw once a year or so - aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and step-siblings who loved me and whom I loved dearly. I made a friend in Isabel who was, and continues to be even 18 years later, my best friend. I got involved in a church there and made friends who helped cultivate my relationship with Jesus. Living in TX influenced my choice in college where I met lots of other awesome people who are still my friends today. If I hadn't moved to TX, I would be a much different person. So, though it was hard, it was worth it.

Example 3:
David lost his job in 2009. He got a 20% pay cut the day Xander was born and then lost his job 6 weeks later. We were scared...and that was hard. But, in losing his job, he had other opportunities to do things he wouldn't have done had he been working. He spent a lot of time with Xander during his first year, which was great for both of them. He spent a lot of time with me that year, which was really good for us and our marriage. He was able to study and take 7 exams to become a registered architect. Often it takes years and years to complete all 7 exams and become a registered architect, and if he'd been working during that time he would have had to study and test in his free time, which is limited at best. But for David, it took less than a year. We had family and friends who helped us out during that time and we grew closer to them. Though it seemed hard while we were in the midst of it, a lot of good came out of that situation.

With that being said, I will say the hardest thing I am experiencing in my life (at present) is parenting. I love my kids and I wouldn't trade parenting for any job in the world. And I mean that. Like, really mean that. But it's hard. It's hard because I care. I want to be the best parent I can be. I want what's best for my kids. And there's a lot of pressure there. Pressure to do what's right, not necessarily what's the most popular or most accepted in our society. Pressure to teach them values and ethics and love and respect and honor and compassion and independence and so much more. I have to remind myself that being the best parent doesn't necessarily mean my kids have the best clothes. It doesn't mean they do everything that every other child is doing. It doesn't mean they never watch TV, only eat organic foods and meals prepared at home with no added preservatives, or that they never throw tantrums in public. They're little humans...sinful humans. And I'm a sinful Mama. And that's hard. But the great thing is, I just know that when I look back on it, it will have been worth it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We've moved!

I apologize for my lack of posts lately. We've been kind of busy. :)

Last Wednesday we closed on our house! We spent the rest of the week packing and cleaning. The movers came on Friday and moved all our furniture. (Can I tell you how thankful I am that I didn't have to move all that heavy furniture??? Moving all the boxes was hard enough...) We left the house on Friday to go to the lake for the weekend and celebrate Becky's 30th birthday. Sunday night was our first night in the new house. Now we're busy organizing and unpacking and getting ready to leave for the beach on Saturday. What a whirlwind!

We now live in Huntersville - about 25 minutes northeast of the city. We're officially suburban. But that's a post for another day. :)

Another post and piece of trivia? - my grandparents lived most of their lives in Huntersville and that's where my dad and Karen the Great were raised. Cool, huh?

We would love to have visitors, so let us know if you're in the area!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


One of our favorite babysitters got married a little over a week ago. We were able to attend the wedding - a first for Xander. This has sparked some interesting conversations at our house. For the past few months Xander has been concerned with who he's going to marry. He gets upset when I tell him that he doesn't know his future wife yet and that she's not already in our family. He really wants to marry Aunt B. :)

Anyway, sweet Xander did so well at the wedding. He, Amelia Jayne and I were sitting together. David had to sit across the aisle, due to unforeseen circumstances, so he wasn't with us. About 6 or 7 minutes in, Amelia Jayne started talking really loudly so I knew I had to take her out. But Xander would be alone. I was in a dilemma. But then Amelia Jayne started talking even MORE loudly. So I hopped up and stepped outside with her. And left Xander alone. Can I tell you what a trooper he was? He sat so still and listened and watched through the whole thing. He tells me about it now and I know it didn't bother him one bit to be left alone. My boy's growing up.

The most memorable marriage conversation we've had yet happened last night.

Xander: Ms. Della Anne got married. And guess who else was there? Mr. Spanky!
Me: Yes, he married Ms. Della Anne and Mr. Caleb.
Xander:. Yeah. Will I get married someday?
Me: Yes, baby. One day you'll get married.
Xander: And will I marry a special girl?
Me: (getting teary eyed) Yes, because you're a very special boy.
Xander: Mommy, will you be there when I get married?
Me: (tears streaming down my face while David laughs at me from across the dinner table) Of course I'll be there. I wouldn't miss it, baby.

This is one of those special moments I'll remember forever.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What I learned in June

Today I'm linking up with Emily Freeman - Chatting at the Sky. Check it out!

1. Buying a house is hard work, but it's changed a lot since we did this eight years ago. Almost all of our signatures are online. How cool is that? So nice not to have to meet up every time something needs to be signed. And everything is sent to us via email. How did anything get done before email and internet??
2. I learned that you can send a picture on your iPhone through email much easier than I have been doing it since forever. I used to go into my pictures and send the email from there. That's fine except sometimes I would be in the middle of writing an email and realize I wanted to add a picture. I always left the email to go back to my pictures and choose what I wanted. But no more!
Here's how you do it:
Compose a message in your email. Hold down your finger on the screen in the content box of your email. The "Select - Select All - Paste" button will pop up. Touch the arrow to the right. The box "Insert photo or video" pops up. Voila! Awesome!
3. I learned that babies/toddlers really are more resilient than you might think. After watching my 20 month old daughter dive/fall out of the bathtub onto her neck/head, I realized they really are made of rubber. But let's not test that theory anymore, k?
4. If you've got too many peaches that are starting to ripen quickly, why not make peach cobbler? I had never made it before so I used Paula Deen's recipe. You really can't go wrong with her dessert recipes (there's enough butter in her foods to make anything yummy- ha!). It was mighty tasty!

5. I participated in a Survey through 20/20 and got paid $60. It was the tiniest bit of effort that made me a little cash. I highly recommend it. In fact, I've signed up to do some more!

6. Life of Pi. I wanted to read the book before I watched the movie, but I'm just now getting around to it. And I'm so glad I did. It is fantastic so far. Read it.

7. I found a new coffee deliciousness. From the recommendation of the young Starbucks barista in Statesville, NC, I tried a tall double latte with two pumps of vanilla and one pump hazelnut, consumed with the lid OFF. The no-lid thing is crucial. It was incredibly enjoyable. I think I've found my new hot beverage at Starbucks for awhile.
8. For some reason I always forget about Cato, but it has some cute clothes at great prices! I stepped in there the other day while I was waiting on my mom and found all kinds of cute things!
9. While at Cato, I noticed they group their clothing together according to color, not style or type of clothing. That's brilliant! I don't have a very organized closet, so I decided to try that method. It's working out great so far. Of course it helps that I've weeded out all the old clothes for goodwill and packed up my winter clothes. I now have tons more space in my closet which is incredibly helpful. :)
10. This is the best pre-made Sangria I've ever had. I absolutely adore Sangria. It's one of my favorite drinks. I love to make it for special occasions, but when I don't want to go to the trouble to make it or I just want one glass for myself, this is my go-to. If you like Sangria, you should give it a try.
11. My son is 4 going on 40. Not that I didn't know this already, but it was confirmed for me a few times this month. On Sunday while playing with his 7-year-old cousin, Patrick, he said, "Patrick! Get back here! You're not supposed to run in the road!" And the other night when I was putting him to bed, I told him I couldn't stay in his room long because I needed to get some things done. His response to me was, "Mommy, be sure to get some sleep after you get your stuff done." I love that little old soul.
What did you learn in June? Anything I should know??