When I was a little girl, the night time brought about a lot of anxiety for me. Still does, for that matter. But my biggest fear was always, growing up. I wanted to stay little forever. I didn't want my parents to get old. I didn't want to get old. The fear of aging, dying and death gripped me in the dark of night for a long time. What a futile thing to worry about, I know. Growing up is a Fact of Life. And since that fact has come to fruition, and continues to do so everyday, I realize just how silly it is to worry. The Lord has blessed me with so much, that never in a million years would I want to go back to that time in my life. That time in my life that I was so afraid of letting go, even if it was the best childhood ever. I could have never imagined up how my future life would unfold.. The grown up one I have now. Growing old doesn't keep me up any more.
So what does keep me up at night now? Worry, of course. Worry about my kids drowning, about them choking, about the accident they didn't have, but easily could have that day, but by the grace of God, didn't....and them growing up. When I think of how quickly time is flying by, my heart begins to race, my eyes begin to well up, and I begin to physically ache. I get told daily by sweet mommas in different seasons of life "don't blink, it goes by so fast." Well, you know what? I believe them. I so believe them and it freaks me out. I spend so much time hoping and praying that I am making the most of my kids being little and searching for a pause button, that I need to learn from my past. I spent so much time worrying about an unknown future and worrying that nothing (on earth) could be better than the life I'm currently living, that I have been missing out on looking forward to the future. This is a sweet life and while there are hard times, sad times, scary times, by and large this world, this life, is full of wonder, amazing grace and hope! But as a Christian, my hope is and should be beyond the realm of this earth. The "good things" that the Lord dreamed up for me are just the beginning, just a taste. As I couldn't fathom my life today, my future will follow suit. And when I lay in the dark of the night, this hope is what gets me back to sleep until morning.
So if my biggest fear is of my kids growing up, to the point of making me ill, another problem I have is being overly nostalgic. I am on old soul that enjoys retrospectives, looking back, remembering. so, here we are, my baby is turning 5 tomorrow. He goes to school in a little over a week. And these 2 things have made me cry, daily, for the last few weeks. I see him sleeping? I start crying. I see him eating? I cry. I see him dancing and singing? I cry. If I even think about any of those things, I get a lump in my throat, it's hard to swallow and if I'm caught, I pretend I'm crying because I stubbed my toe, or a commercial was sad. I think about how the life-clock gets bumped to "super speed" once your kid starts school, and that thought alone makes it to where I may need counseling. What's my cure for that problem? 2 words: Hybrid Homeschooling. Having my kid home 5 days a week and going to school 2 days a week should help slow time down, right? I kid. That's not WHY we chose this route for schooling...but maybe it will help?? Please, oh please, tell me, THIS GETS EASIER....it has to.
But enough about me, eh? Let me talk about my kid and the awesomeness he has brought to our lives for the last 5 years. Cooper is a light. He has greeted me every morning with a smile so bright, it could light up the darkest day. He is precocious. Smart. And very funny. He has an imagination I'm actually pretty jealous of. He has a big personality and I never know what will come out of his mouth. He loves sweets, so much that it has gotten him in to big trouble on more than one occasion. And he loves music, dancing, beat-boxing, and playing harmonica. He loves learning about dinosaurs, insects, sharks and currently, car makes and models. He wants to be a scientist that works at church when he grows up. He doesn't like cake, but loves cheeseburgers. If candy is sweet, my boy is sweeter. He has some areas that need lots of work, which requires patience and grace on my part, but who doesn't? He is one of my favorite people and I pray big things for him. He tells me all the time: "I will always be your little boy, until I'm big. And then I'll always be your big boy. But don't worry, I will call and visit." Oh my heart. I'm so thankful to the Lord for blessing me with this kid. What a joy and honor. To the boy who made me a momma, happy birthday. I love him to infinity and beyond.
Believe it or not, we're not having a big birthday blowout this year, but we have a few things up our sleeve in celebration of this kid. I think not having a party is harder on me than him! But we'll do it up right anyway! As for today, one last day with my almost 5 year old. One more day...
After every holiday or birthday party I swear I'm never doing it to that scale again and yet, every holiday or birthday I do. It's like childbirth, after days of pain, hard work and wallet drainage, I'm only left with sweet pictures and all is well and forgotten. But after Cooper's Pirate blow-out last summer and around 75 people (no exaggeration) left my home, I knew I needed a lesson in moderation and sometimes less is more. Mr. Clean has always been a good sport and hasn't pulled the reigns...until "PirateGate '14" and I had him building a life size pirate ship and not telling him until the day before that we were expecting upwards of 70 people. My gig was up.
Enter 2015, and a new, more moderate me! On the tails of Christmas hosting, I had lost the will to do anything for our sweet Lucy's birthday. But then guilt set in and I decided that this would be my first act in doing something "low key" and that's just what I did. And I gotta say, it was the best party I've ever thrown. Everyone else might have been bored to pieces, but I had a great time. I invited just the grandparents, our siblings and she had one friend. I ordered good pizza and cupcakes and wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am.
While I simplified the guest list and menu, I did have some fun with the decorating, because at the end of the day, that's my jam. The creative aspect of anything is where I like to be. It's like my love language, born with it. I didn't construct a castle out of paper mache or anything, but I really did try to keep is cute and simple. I had dreamed up a Cinderella theme a while back, so I tried to bring it to fruition!
I used primarily tissue paper and plastic table cloths! I also Loooove butcher paper. I love making banners to hang. It's a cheap and easy way to make a party special and unique. I borrowed the little tissue paper tassle banner and glitter pumpkin from a friend and it fit perfectly into my theme!
I made the pink cake stands for a baby shower a while back out of plates and candlesticks from the dollar store. They really dress a table up on the cheap.
Lucy loved this party, but I think I loved it even more. I stayed on budget, kept it low key, and simple and I was so relaxed! I even forgot to take pictures with my camera, so please excuse the poor quality! Drives me nuts actually, but I guess I'll be thankful I have them at all someday!
I think the little girl wished for a trip to see Cindy's Castle.
As another birthday approaches, I get all sentimental and nostalgic...especially thinking about our Lucy Girl. Lucy Ann. Lucy Ann Marie. Boosy. Boots. Bitsy Roo. Minnie. Minnie Tonka. Minnie Tonkey. Itsn'Bitsn'. Judy Moody. Rudith Judith. CrabbyPatty. Saucy Susan. Messy Bessy. Little Girl.
So, we might have too many nicknames, but I guess it's fitting, because she is too much!!
2 much trouble
2 much fun
2 much sweetness
And makes 2 many messes
The Lord put her in my life to challenge and refine me. Just when I thought I had this whole "mom" thing down, enter Lucy. She is strong willed, incredibly smart, determined, and fearless.
She is in love with her daddy,
crazy about her Bubby,
and can nail an awesome "selfie" with her momma,
and she's a lover of all animals.
She is maternal and caring, but highly opinionated. She loves to watch movies and she would do it all day if I let her. Beauty and The Beast is her current favorite. She loves to wear dresses and "heels,"
take her babies on walks, and never misses afternoon tea and cupcakes,
but can get down and dirty with her Bubby when needed.
And much like her older brother, she loves to sing and dance. T-swift and Bruno Mars are all the rage right now, along with anything Disney!
She doesn't talk a whole lot, but she says more and more everyday. She is a joy and a delight, as well as a spitfire. She teaches me patience and keeps us on our toes. We can't take our eyes off her for 2 seconds, but who would want to with a face like she's got?
As we get closer to her birthday, I will hug my one year old a little tighter, because at the stroke of 12 on Saturday night, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, Lucy turns 2! Can't wait to celebrate this sweet and spunky little princess this weekend.
This week we are celebrating 4. 4 years of motherhood and 4 years of life with this kid.
4 years ago the Lord gave me my greatest mission on this earth, the most important and serious one, but also the most rewarding. Oh, what a joy it has been. Being a mom is a challenge and it is a tireless job. Some weeks are long and are filled with setbacks in discipline, reminders about attitudes (theirs and mine) and unending piles of junk to clean up. But praise the Lord this is my task, the good and the bad. Being a mom has been awesome. Being the mom to this kid? Man, oh man, life can't get any better.
This kid's magnetic personality has one of the greatest force fields of any person I have ever known. Bar none. He doesn't know a stranger and his smile and quick wit are simply enchanting. If his imagination was measurable, it would reach to infinity and beyond. If his love for life could be counted, it would outnumber the stars. His sweetness is sweeter than all the pies, candy and honey pots this earth can hold.
He has his downfalls and his weird quirks, and there are days that he
tests my patience and the Lord uses him to teach me that love is
patient, it's kind, it bears all things. But for the most part, he is a
bright light, he is the epitome of happiness and a ray of silly
sunshine. He is an old soul like his momma and is smart like his daddy. There has not been a single morning in 4 years
that he has woken up without a smile, the day may go south by 10am, but
it's always starts on a happy note. He is under my foot all day and
hates to be alone. We are working on selflessness, generosity and obeying the first time. He is a great little salesman who thinks of any way around bedtime.
I have this constant internal struggle of wanting him to be little forever (futile, I know), but with every new day he learns new things, says new things, and finds new ways to make me laugh. I know watching him grow into this amazing little person is one of the greatest blessings that comes with the job I have.
I ask him to stay little all the time, but his answer is always the same "I'll be little for a minute, but I'm going to grow up so I can climb ladders and chop down trees and have big muscles like daddy." Wise words and apparently he wants to be a lumber jack when he grows up.
Cooper has been one of the greatest blessings and earthly treasures and I can't wait to celebrate him this week. I will be praising the Lord for Cooper and the precious gift he is to our family. 4 is gonna look good on him.
If home is where the heart is, I learned on our Californian Adventure that a piece of mine is in Georgia, BUT I also know that a piece of it is at Walt Disney World. I have had the pleasure and great fortune of being able to go to Disney World more than any person could ever dream of going. If there is anything to know about Disney World, I know it. My family is so fanatical that we can take anything in this world and twist it to be something that reminds us of the place.
"Do you smell that smell?"
"Yeah, that reminds me of Norway, in Epcot, at sunset!"
"Look at that color, what does it remind you of?"
"Oh, it totally reminds me of the 5th building to the right on Mainstreet USA."
Yeah, we are nutty about all things Disney World. So when I found out that Disneyland was a mere 40 minutes from where we were staying in Cali, I told my husband that I didn't care what it cost or how we'd get there, we were going. Period. He obliged, because he's drank the Disney Koolaid, or as I would say, smelled that "Disney Air." I saved my pennies and we made it happen.
I had asked my Cali-friends about their DL tips, read blog after blog, watched the planning videos and studied the park maps. I had prepared myself for the differences and I was READY to go!
When my family travels to WDW we stay on property, at a Walt Disnet World Resort. It's a sin not to, and you might as well not even bother to go if you can't. Well, Disneyland is a tad different. I'd have to sell my right arm and all of my teeth to afford a night at a Disneyland hotel, but I knew I wanted to be there when the gates opened and I wanted to stay as late as our feet would allow, so I saved a few more bucks and found the nicest of the dumps that I could find. It was very much a one star motel, but the things I'll do for Disney. It looked like a snow capped, Alpine Inn (which, ironically, is what it was called) but I told Coop that we were staying at Oaken's Sauna, like in frozen, except the front desk guy did not say "yoohoo." And if you've never seen frozen, you have no clue what I'm talking about, so never mind.
After a very uncomfortable nights sleep, we were ready to get to Disney. I had a lot of anxiety about making the most of our day, but I am so pleased with how it went. At the end of our week in California, I was ready to see if Disneyland felt as much like "home" as WDW does. People laugh at me (i.e. my father-in-law) about how Disney makes me "feel" just by smelling the "Disney Air" and I was dying to see if it was the same.
After a mile walk from our hotel, we entered the Downtown Disney District, and instantly, I felt "it." They played the same music, had the same stores, and it totally gave off the same vibe. After grabbing our Starbucks, Downtown Disney literally dead-ended and dumped us right at the gates of Disneyland and California Adventure. We made it!
I'm not going to bore you with all of my tit-for-tat details between the Florida and California. The list would be about as long as the distance between the 2. I'll save that for my family who wants to know every.last.detail. But I will say that Disneyland is small. Very, very small. It is sweet and quaint and full of happiness and just as busy as it's Eastside counterpart but not nearly as hot. As I walked around the place, I often forgot that I was not in Florida.
While it is vastly different, it was much the same. Coop felt it, I felt it....but Mr. Clean? Well, he prefers the Big Kahuna.
What was the biggest surprise? The castle. Definitely the castle. I knew it would be small, but I wasn't prepared for how small.
What was an even bigger surprise?? These folks showed up!
When they mentioned that they might join us, I think I keeled over and died for a minute. I never thought I'd see the day!! But they made it and while we wore them slap out, don't let them say they didn't have fun. I have pictures to prove it!!
Now I just have to talk them into going to The World with us....wishful thinking, I'm sure.
One day was not nearly enough but maybe we'll be fortunate enough to make it back someday. It was a great end to our trip and gave me a little taste of "home"
Wife of 4 years, mom to 1, oldest sister to 7...I'm striving to be an EXCELLENT wife, and not a perfect wife. Reading about the Prov. 31 woman is truly inspiring and something to strive for and to be encouraged by, not discouraged!