27 November 2013


This post is TMI, but I needed to read it about 3 weeks ago and maybe you need to read it, too.

It's been a rough few months around here as James and I have both been working...a LOT.  For the past few weeks, even though my work schedule has let up some, it hasn't been any easier around here.  We're off, our kids are off...as wonderful as things are, something's just not right.

A couple of weeks ago, things came to a head and James and I got into an argument about spending time together.  Wives, we KNOW that makes him want to hang out with us right?  Not so much, but dang if I didn't go there, anyway.

You won't be shocked to know that the week after that conversation was pretty tense.  Sigh.  That was on me, and I knew it.

Then this past weekend, I pointed out something that James did that made me feel unloved:  he didn't ask me how I was feeling the day after I came home sick from work AND had a pretty bad fall on a wet floor and hurt myself.  In his defense, I acted like I was fine.  I'm a Mommy--that's what we do.  Let me know when I've got time to lay around and fall apart, guys, and I'm. So. In.

Long story short, the next day, my old Boy was back.  Kind and loving, touching me for no reason, doing and saying all of the things that normally make me feel so loved.  He's been very sweet since then, and has really made a point to spend time with me these past few days.  We've made some pretty amazing family plans.

Awesome, right?

Buuuuuut...I didn't realize until this morning how hurt I was from the past few months of being "off."  This morning we were making some fun plans for this weekend (our family time hasn't suffered, thank goodness), and somehow we got from there to talking about us.  And man alive, did we need that talk.  We started off on different pages, and I thought we'd have to just agree to disagree.  But my sweet Boy kept pushing, and he let me know (in a nice way) that I've let HIM know over the past few days just how unhappy I am.  Apparently I've been ignoring him when he's touched me or been sweet--ouch.  He said, and this was the kicker, that I've been very "frowny."

What??  Me??


The truth hurts, right?  Him saying that in a non-threatening way caused the scales to fall off my eyes, y'all, and I saw this situation for what it was:  as much as I would have told you differently 3 hours ago, for WEEKS I've been focused on what James has or has not been doing.  I thought I was...can I use a really small font here so you don't see how stupid I am...right.

I thought I'd been wronged.

And I thought I was suffering silently.

Yeah, apparently I suck at that.

Dang, it's hard to see my own sin.  But so necessary.  I feel so much better, and I've admitted both to God and to James how wrong I've been.  It's hard to ask forgiveness, and to humble myself.

Which is an ongoing issue with our oldest child, btw, and I know exactly where she gets it from.

Sigh.  Her daddy.

Just kidding--it's an issue for both of us.  

The funny thing is, and I guess it's not so funny when you know how God works, is that after we kissed and made up and went our separate ways, I got back to my quiet time.  And in trying to get to Acts 9:18--yep, about Paul and the scales, huh, my Bible app somehow landed on Colossians 3:18.  Imagine my surprise:

If you'd ask me, I'd tell you I've been working on submission for years but have just recently really made strides.  But obviously, for every stride forward some days I take two back.  It's a process, right?

I don't normally post about such private things on here, but I think every once in a while we all need to hear that it's not always all about what the other person is doing.  We're always, always doing something, too.  Even if what they're doing is worse...this is how my inner dialogue goes when I'm having an issue with my Boy:  "But HE..."  Yeah, God doesn't much care what James is doing--He cares that I'M doing the right thing.

Even when the right things is hard.

Even when the right thing is humbling.

Even when the right thing is opposite of what the world says women should do.

This life thing is tough, y'all.

Even when it's wonderful.

On a separate note, I've also been very grumpy about my family's housekeeping for the past few months.  Like, griping pretty constantly at my sweet girl.  This morning, before my attitude-changing encounter with my Boy,  I read something by Lysa Terkeurst that I've read before, but I needed to see again:  

I had already decided to view today through a lens of thankfulness, and to QUIT GRIPING.  

After hearing from my Boy, I think that it's better late than never.  So if you see me today, remind me: be thankful!

21 November 2013

Photographer's Assistant--ModCloth Polyvore Challenge

Photographer's Assistant

Photographer's Assistant by kristi-viii featuring a black dress

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a sweet stylist from ModCloth inviting me to participate in a Polyvore challenge.  Basically, all I had to do was create a fun outfit based on a piece of their choosing and publish it here on my blog.  I've been wanting to try Polyvore because I've seen the cool stuff you guys are pinning, but I think I just needed an excuse.  It was fun, and I'll definitely keep doing it!  

I e-mailed the stylist before I published this today and told her she'd probably be disappointed--I didn't use bold colors or pieces, because honestly, I'd wear this dress to help James out at weddings.  My goal there is to look good but blend in, so I put this outfit together with that in mind.  Right now I'm loving gray, so I added some charcoal here.  And look at that fun ring and earrings...those are going on my Christmas list.  :)  

Oh, and I'm not getting anything from Modcloth, but check them out if you enjoy vintage-inspired clothing!  

20 November 2013

days 12-19

Last week flew by!

day: 12
I'm thankful that Patty came to visit...Noble considers my aunt his "other Grandma."  They bonded when we went to Phoenix for Uncle Gary's funeral almost 3 years ago, and he's been a big fan ever since.  We went to Austin last Tuesday to pick Patty up for the airport--and all Noble remembers about the trip is that I circled the airport 4 times due to some confusion and a closed cell phone lot.  And he's told EVERYONE who will listen.  Stinkin' kid.

day 13:
I'm thankful for kids who love school, and love to learn.  I love, love hearing about their days and seeing what they've learned.  And I appreciate the fact that they come right in and do their homework without complaint!

day 14:

I'm thankful for my Dad, and for what he taught me.  He used to say this all the time and I thought it was goofy when I was younger--but when I was older, I realized Dad was right along.  Thursday was Dad's birthday, and I still have a hard time, after all these years.

day 15:

I'm thankful for a flexible work schedule.  Noble got sick after school on Thursday, so we missed Grandpa's birthday dinner.  I'm thankful I was able to just BE with him...he bounced back quickly!

day 16:

I'm thankful for kids who get along (mostly) and who can entertain themselves (mostly).  Even though they were writing (gasp!) letters to Santa.

day 17:

James shot a wedding in Cleveland on the 16th, so he and I stayed in a hotel rather than driving back so late.  Good thing, as it was raining--which made for some fun reception pictures!

I'm thankful for time with my Boy, whether it's quality time or just TIME.

And I'm also thankful that humor is one of our family's main languages.  I giggled aloud to myself as I was sending this one.  Oy, that flea market was somethin', y'all!

day 18:

I'm thankful that I can laugh at myself, since I'm now THAT Mom.

James and I went shopping on Sunday and found the last few things on Kayci's fall/winter clothing wish list.  I wanted to take Noble a happy, too, but he doesn't NEED anything since I've stocked up for him the past few weeks.  Well, he's been talking about how he's going to dress the cats up for Christmas since we went to Target the day we adopted them, so we grabbed a tiny pet Santa hat and beard for him.  Then they had this shirt in the boys' section, and we thought it would be a funny joke.

The joke was on me--Bubby wore this to school on Monday.  Sigh.  But it's okay, he told me, because he'd wear the Thanksgiving shirt on Tuesday.  Oh, okay then.  Sigh.

Also day 18:  don't you just want to know what he's thinking in this picture?  I'm thankful for this kid, and the fact that he's so opinionated about his hair and clothes, even when we don't agree.  

day 19:  

I'm thankful I got in from work in time to pick Noble up from school and Kayci up from Children's Chorus.  We had breakfast for dinner last night specifically so we could have Mickey Mouse pancakes in honor of booking our Disneyland trip yesterday.  I think I am officially more excited than the kids!  We also started season 2 of the Cosby Show...I love laughing out loud with the knuckleheads!  

12 November 2013

days 8-11

I'm a few days behind...right now I'm having a hard time hanging out online.  I don't think it's really a bad thing, though.  :)

day 8:  I was SO blessed to be able to take the day off and just be Noble's Mommy.  Not only did I get to tag along on the kindergarten field trip to Dewberry Farm, I got to hang out with one of my favorite friends on the way to and from.  It was a great day!  

Noble's teacher is one the best teachers I've ever met, and that's saying a lot.  I'm already sad that I don't have any more children to send her way.  She's such a blessing!

Noble was crying because he wanted to ride the slide again...his friends were right there to comfort him and move him along to the next thing.  

There was a mishap right after we got there with a bell, a mallet, a mud puddle, a strong little boy and a Mommygirl...I never saw it coming!

We booked it to Granbury on Friday so we could see Reagan and Gavin march in the Granbury HS band.  It was a loooooooong, dark drive...I don't think we'll be making it on Friday night anymore.  I won't lie, we were pretty miserable by the time we got there.  And then the band didn't march until well after 10--Noble was asleep in my lap long before then.  BUT, it was worth it to see our niece and nephew doing something they love and having so much fun doing it.  We were extra lucky to be there on the weekend of their glow in the dark show--I've heard about Brenham's but never seen it, this was so much fun to watch!

day 9:  on Saturday we just had time to hang out at Ronny's with family.  We went out for a while to shop for Operation Christmas Child boxes, which was fun!

Saturday night we celebrated Reagan's 16th birthday.  Oh, how time flies!  

day 10:  we got up and booked it back to Brenham for our lunch and Operation Christmas Child box event at church.  And we won't do that again--the trip home was equally long and not so fun with a deadline on the other end.  BUT, again, it was totally worth it.  

After the event at church, it was back in the car to head to Conroe to see GoGo & Angus & Katie & Johnny & Adam...we hadn't seen some of them since April, the last time we got together at Katie's house.  We had a nice visit, and Noble got to read to GoGo.  :)

day 11:  One of the many things I love about Germania is the fact that they observe Veteran's Day every year.  James had a productive day off and we got to spend some quality time together.  He had a fun photo shoot yesterday evening--here he is with his new assistant.  I suspect this 3 year old will charge less than I do, I may be out of a job!

07 November 2013

day 7: blue skies

I've spent 12+ hours in the car this week and have seen lots of gray skies. Today I was grateful for a beautiful blue sky!

06 November 2013

days 5 & 6

I'm commuting 3 days in a row this week, but I'm also trying to be respectful of my Boy's wishes that I work closer to the contracted 20 hours.  So, I did a bit of creative scheduling to make sure I'm in district for meetings each day and classroom visits...I'm still over the 20 hours, but I feel like I've accomplished something since I'll be here for drop off and Bible Study this morning before I go in to work, and I was home for dinner last night.  Hopefully I'll be home for dinner tonight, then tomorrow will be a regular long day so I can fit in several classroom visits before an afternoon meeting.  While I'm struggling at home to balance the hours at work, I'm also struggling at work to balance time in meetings/trainings with time in classrooms with teachers and kids...it feels right now that I'm out of whack everywhere, and I'm thinking that feeling that way is the first step toward figuring out a way to work it all out.  Right??

It's progress, y'all, and I'll take it.  :)

I thought a lot about gratitude on the way home yesterday, and I realize how blessed I am to have the opportunities that I have career-wise.

day 5:  I'm thankful to work in a district that does what's best for kids.  The more I learn about education, the more I see that where I am is exactly where I want to be...and I'm grateful.

I'm also grateful for the beautiful sunrises and sunsets I experience on the road.

day 6:  I just read a thought-provoking blog post about kids not being the center of their Mom's world.  It hit home with me because I share a lot of her views on child-rearing.

Today, I'm thankful for independent kids.  These knuckleheads waited until SUNDAY to carve their pumpkin because they wanted to do it all by themselves...it's a long story that involves thrill points and photo shoots and commuting and a crazy life.  But the end result is the same:  they did it all by themselves.  It's this independence and responsibility that allowed us to get the kittens, because we knew the kids could handle taking care of them.  I realize that it's pretty rare to have kids that do what they're supposed to do because they're supposed to do it, and I appreciate it.

Man, I love these knuckleheads!  That's been the hardest part about all of the commuting, not seeing them in the mornings and not being here for my favorite after school time.  I love talking to them about their day when they get in the car, and those after school hours are some of our very best times.  Well, I think it's fair to say they used to be--they're pretty rare these days.  

I've only gone in late a couple of times, and I cherish mornings like this when I can have a "normal" morning at home and THEN go in to work.  I also love the days I don't have to go in to work at all, I won't lie.  :)  

I hope y'all have a great, grateful day.  If you're not already, I encourage you to practice gratitude with your kids this month (and always!).  It's a little thing that can make a huge difference in attitude!

04 November 2013

day 4: grateful for babies

Welcome to our family, Calvin & Hobbes!

03 November 2013

30 days of gratitude--let's hear it!

I love, love November for about a bajillion reasons, but the first one is that my friends and loved ones fill my facebook feed with things they're thankful for.  It makes my heart smile!  I might just log in to facebook every day this month, which would be pretty unusual.

Friday when I got in from work, we had dinner at Mom's house.  She picked up the kids since I was at work, and then was sweet enough to make dinner for all of us.  DaddyBoy had a special delivery--a brown box straight from China.  The kids couldn't wait to open it, but they were nice enough to wait for me since it was, technically, my happy.

Here's my thankful #1:  our new MacBook.  Also tacked on to that #1 is how fun it was to see the knuckleheads so excited...turns out, they just wanted to play with the photobooth app.  So that was the first official thing our new laptop did.  :)

...James and I planned a date Friday night since Mom was kind enough to keep the kids overnight.  We talked endlessly about going to the theater and which movie we should see, but we couldn't decide and I was just tired.  So, the second thing our new computer did was allow us to watch Downton Abbey on the TV screen.  It was pretty awesome, much better than any movie we could have paid for.  (And it worked out well, as the speakers on our TV are going out and we used the money we saved on the movie to buy something magical called a sound bar yesterday.  Yeah, I don't know, either, but I know the TV sounds great now!).

day #2:  Yesterday was a great day!  James and I started out with our favorite Saturday morning date (Grey's Anatomy & coffee in bed), then went and had breakfast and ran to the store before we picked up the kids.  Then it was a flurry of ironing and getting ready for the rest of our day, which meant helping out at a fabulous wedding for Daddy and Elizabeth's wedding shower for us.  There are going to be lots of great pictures from yesterday, but the only ones that ended up on my phone are the ones Noble took.  So here's Noble's favorite part of day 2:  Jackson.  

day 2:  I'm grateful for the way James uses his talents to bless others, and the fact that no matter how good he gets, he realizes there's always more to learn from people who are even better.  What a great lesson for our kids, right?  

I'm also grateful for friends who are more like family, which is what Lynn and her Turpins are to us.  We are blessed!

day 3:  We have been anxiously awaiting this day--this morning we are going to tell Kayci and Noble what we're doing after church today...going to pick up these two guys!

The kids really, really want a pet, and the only thing standing in their way has been me.  A dog is out of the question with our traveling, but a cat fits the bill of furry and lovable and playful AND fits into our lifestyle.  But it seems mean to just get one, so we're bringing his brother home, too.  Right now these guys are Wylie (gray) and Rylie (orange).  We're going to let Kayci and Noble each name one, can't wait to see what that sounds like!  These babies were literally being used as coyote bait when they were rescued...I'm so grateful that we can give them a home!  

Oh, the kids are going to FREAK!  The reason these pictures are cut out is because we're doing grateful hearts in November, and saying what we're thankful for each day.  We haven't gotten our tree branch, yet, but when we have the kids write their hearts this morning Daddy and I are going to put these in the mix.  What fun!