Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Puzzled

A couple of weeks ago, back when we had a four day weekend to enjoy and big plans for fun and games, guess what happened? We got sick. There went all our exciting planage! So after we had watched as much t.v. as we could possibly stand, I got out a puzzle and broke my own rule about putting things on the glass coffee table, and we started putting together a super cool, western puzzle, right there in the living room on the aforementioned coffee table.

I get a bit obsessed with puzzles, I have to admit. It drives me crazy to see them scattered around. And it feels so good when I find a piece that fits! It has been good for me to just sit with the kids and talk about things while we work on the puzzle. Working on a puzzle makes me stay put in one spot, and I still feel like I am doing something productive, which is important for me to feel. For the little B's, I think it is nice for them to be able to play right next to me while I try to fit in pieces or for them to look for pieces themselves while we chit-chat. I love their chit-chat, and I'm glad we have a puzzle to sit around, right now, to talk about all the things on their minds. Like what does Britt want for his birthday and how did Brailey's OBOB team do?

I was thinking about the fitting of a puzzle piece, though, and why it feels so good... And then I started thinking about my predisposition for puzzles to be mod-podged once they are complete, permanently sealing the parts together. I wonder what that means? I think it means I like to figure things out, fix them, and then keep them that way while I move on to the next big thing. Yep! That's pretty much me, in a nutshell. Nothing like a puzzle to explain one's personality! But whatever the case, it has been an enjoyable experience, and one I might just have to continue.

Friday, January 21, 2011

GUARANTEES

Boy, ain't this the truth!

Guarantees. There are none. Period. You can feed your child the highest-quality organic fruits and vegetables, yet there's still no guarantee she won't catch the flu bug that goes around every winter. You can install every child safety device ever made, and accidents will still happen. Guaranteed. A child can be raised on an endless flow of unconditional love and encouragement---and no one can guarantee that he won't still hit some bumpy spots in the highway. A child who grows up in a house filled with books may decide she'd rather watch videos and surf the internet than read the greatest classics ever written. You can live your entire life for your child, sacrificing your own needs and dreams and pouring every ounce of energy you have directly into your child's well-being. Believing yourself to be the perfect mother, you can end up angry, frustrated and resentful at your child. And THAT one's guaranteed.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

LIMITS

This is one I am actually good at, for the most part - yay me!

If you don't set limits for your child, who will? Limit the amount of time in front of the television, limit the noise, limit the sugar and the soda and anything that limits the possibility of peace and quiet. Don't go hog wild; just set limits. Before you add one more art class or one more soccer season, think about whether a too-full schedule limits your child's opportunity to dream, to wonder, to do nothing at all. Set limits for yourself, too. Cut back on he number of times you say, "Oh, I'd be happy to," and feel the freedom that comes from saying, "No, I don't think that's going to work for me." When you start to ask whether you're paying too much attention to your own well-being, remember that the sky's the limit when it comes to self-care.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

RECLAIM

The most recent installment from my mom, who just so happens to be the best and wisest mother in the world...!

Unearth parts of yourself that are buried away, and reclaim the totality of who you are. Reclaim your music, your writing, your handwork. Recover your spontaneity, the free-spiritedness that once all but defined you. Reclaim that overgrown plot of ground and create a meditation garden. Reclaim that old sandstone building on Main Street, and uncover the businesswoman inside you. If you feel you've lost some essential ingredient along the way, go back and pick it up again. Reclaim two quiet hours each day. Reclaim your self-respect. Reclaim your faith in your God, no matter who has tried to wrest it away. Back-track until you rediscover the jewels you once stepped over and the tangled stories that have tripped you up. Recover your health and emotional wellness. Name it, reclaim it, and know that it is yours.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Fashion Show

Last weekend, after we dropped Brady off, I was very sad and I have to admit I was crying... My sweet babies kept saying, "It'll be okay, Mom." "Are you crying AGAIN?" (I bet you can guess who said which one...) And so we went to Michael's, where we happened upon a HUGE yarn sale, which we of course spent an inordinate amount of time choosing from, and came home. So I decided to just sit and knit. I don't generally do this except in the car or in the evenings. So my little B's decided to entertain me with a fabulous "FASHION SHOW!" Brailey said they were doing it to "take my tension away." So if you ever doubted the sweetness of my babies, here is more proof positive they are amazing. Anyway, they each came up with their own designs, and the material on the floor is their "runway." And you know what? It really DID take my "tension" away, even if for only a few minutes. I am one blessed mother, and I thank God for that every single day of my life. So enjoy the show (see the pictures below) - it's a good one!


This is Britt in his "DJ" outfit. He came up with the entire thing by himself, which I thought was impressive. Except where is he seeing these dj's at?

Brailey in one of her own designs - she loves to draw outfits and take material she has and turn it into a dress with safety pins. A designer in the making, perhaps!
 
Britt said, "Oh, the buttons are taking too long! Just pretend my shirt is buttoned, okay?" Note the "six shooters" at his side...
 
My beautiful flapper girl! I love this picture of Brailey...
 
And this is a Ninja, which was made from a ninja mask and a Davy Jones shirt. Pretty ingenious, if you ask me!

And the grand finale, if you will, is this Taylor Swift inspired outfit. I believe the way she is holding her hands is meant to portray fingers on a piano.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Birthday Fit for a Queen! B, that is...

Oh my goodness-gracious-sakes... Yesterday is one of the most wonderful birthdays I can remember in a long, long time! It was full of love and surprises and not at all what I had expected. On a personal note, Brady has been gone (going to "school") for the past week and won't be home until the end of the month. So my beautiful, thoughtful, gracious, wonderful friends and family gave me a birthday like nothing I've ever experienced! I am so richly blessed with wonderful people in my life, it makes me cry and cry and cry, which is something I don't generally do, but it turns out I'm far more emotional than I realized. (What is the DEAL?!) So my bestie, Kimmy, started things out by giving up her Sunday for me and keeping the B's while I attended something I needed to attend. My babies always have fun with her babies, because they are like cousins, and they had the best day ever, playing Toy Story, building with Legos, sewing, playing the Wii (a true novelty for my B's, because we don't have Wii or DS or any type of computer game) and being with friends that are more like family to them. Whenever my kids are with the Lamberts, I know they are cared for and loved as much as if they were with me, and in fact, even better! They also made me birthday cards, so I had an adorable bag full of cards that are so precious to me - every one is centered around a Queen Bee, and the girls attached dental floss to theirs so they would smell good - and they had an adorable set of blank cards in the bag that say "The Queen Has Arrived," as well. SO COOL! So my birthday really started before my birthday even started, which was yesterday (Monday)... My beloved friend Nikki called and wanted to take me to lunch, but I explained to her how many things I had to catch up on after the busy weekend, and she was totally understanding and let me off the hook. She is one of those special people that you can really tell how you are feeling, and while she didn't want me to be alone on my birthday, she understood how important it is for me to feel "caught up." She and I are a lot alike, that way... So I woke up early, and thank goodness I did, because Brady called me first thing, so that was a nice way to start the day, and THEN, after I took the kids to school, I had the biggest surprise ever - my friends Kristin, Renee and Sandi had put together this HUGE assortment of gifts and balloons and cupcakes (see the photos below). It was AMAZING! I was so shocked and honored and humbled and teary and completely amazed... Later on in the morning, I received not one, but TWO beautiful vases of gorgeous flowers. One was from my parents and the other was from Brady - SO LOVELY! Once I picked up the little B's from school, we headed off to dance class, where we again saw our cherished Lamberts, and they had hugs and cake and Kimmy knitted me the most awesome, beautiful pair of fingerless gloves in the most gorgeous yarn and pattern -I have been dying for a pair of them, and she knew how badly I wanted them and I SO love them! We shared our horsie cupcakes with them after the class, and the B's were excited to get home and see what the "present" was their friends had told them about that they and their mothers had put together... And when they walked in the door and saw it all, they were shocked! Because our friends know they are going through a tough time, right now, there were presents for all of us, with the packages marked for The Queen B, The Little B's, All The B's and so on and so forth. And that was the best gift of all - seeing my B's celebrate my birthday and our family. They were absolutely thrilled beyond anything! It made them so happy all night long, which made me happy. So we opened everything up and I even let them spray the silly strings at each other, and they appreciated every single item. We were SPOILED, to say the least! The thought that went into all of it is a gift in itself. So we had a wonderful day, and it was honestly, quite possibly, the best birthday I can ever remember having. And although I wish Brady could have been with us, it wouldn't have happened this way if he was. So what can we say? It was an amazing day, made that way by amazing people. And on top of all this, the "cherry on top," if you will, were the wonderful cards and phone calls and emails from people I love. So thank you, everyone. I don't know how I ever WILL thank you, but it was truly a birthday for the record books. As Brailey said when we were in the midst of opening everything, "Mom, I think I'm going to cry! I really feel like crying! This is just so NICE!" And she did... Here are some pictures to help the description of the best birthday ever...




Saturday, January 8, 2011

ACCEPT

Well, this is the hardest one of ALL for me! I've always laughingly blamed this part of my personality on my dad, because we're both the same when it comes to this. He "gave" it to me through genetics! I say this jokingly, of course. I actually do accept full responsibility for my own lack of acceptance. Brady has told me for years that I need to learn to "work acceptance." Well, eventually, when there is no other way out, I will get there. But if there is a shadow of a doubt, then I have trouble accepting what I don't want to accept. I honestly don't know if I will ever be able to do concept easily. And in some ways, I think this is a good thing, because I also don't accept certain bad habits, like my children being disrespectful or letting mean people continue to be mean to me. HOWEVER, if you know me, then you know how hard it is for me to "accept..." Help, compliments, life... Many things. What can we say? More to work on. Read on, my friends! See where you fall into this idea.

Accept the way things are. Recognize that there are some things you will never change--no matter how smart and loving you are. Accept that people will always do the best they can in that moment. Accept that if they had the capacity to do better, then surely they would. Accept a compliment graciously; don't apologize. Accept a gift with gratitude; don't push it away. Accept that your child is going through a prickly stage, and acknowledge that you have stages of your own. Know that this, too, shall pass. Your body is changing, so you'd better accept it. Accept that it will never be what it was before, and that eventually, it may be even better. Accept aging without fear. Accept the fact that you can't do it all. Ask for help and accept it. Accept an invitation to get together with other mothers, and meet each one with an air of acceptance.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

LISTEN

Listen to the sounds of happy children playing, then listen to the sound of your smile. When your child is bursting to tell you something, listen. When she refuses to say anything at all, listen more closely than ever. Even when you're so tired, you can hardly keep your eyes open, listen when your teenager wants to talk about his day. Always, always, always listen to your own intuition. Today, listen to a different radio station. When the birds are outside your window greeting the day, take the time to listen. Lie down and listen to the music of your own beating heart. Listen! Did you hear something? Listen! Did he just say, "Mama?" Listen! Was that at last a yawn? Listen and hear yourself speaking the words you need to say---speaking your truth so others will listen.

Awwwwww, man.... This is a tough one, for me. I do try to listen to my children, and I think I do a better job than some parents do. I love to listen to them talk to each other and to me. But sometimes I get so caught up in my stress and worries that I just can't. This is a great reminder for me to be a better listener. My mom and my twin, Kimmy, are the best listeners I know, and I am more grateful than words can say to have them to listen to me. I'm really going to focus on this one. On listening more to my precious B's and to everyone around me...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ANTICIPATE

This one, I think, is perfect for the start of a new year! I think it is about being positive, more than anything, which is sometimes a struggle in today's world. But I like this concept - I'm going to anticipate that God has great things in store for us, today and every day.

Feel it coming. Trust it's almost here. Know that everything you've worked for and dreamed about is right around the corner. Anticipate the best possible outcome for all. Predict that the highest good will be served. See yourself with your newborn in your arms. See the color of his eyes before they're even open. Before the kids get home from school, sense that one of them has a story she won't be pleased to share. When they ask you to guess what they're thinking, get it right. Get it right every time and anticipate they'll tell you you're psychic. Anticipate a good report from the orthodontist; see the braces coming off and the bill paid in full. Take your umbrella because you know it will rain. See the future unfold with joyous anticipation. Look forward to tomorrow and the riches it holds.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Introducing the New Do!

BEFORE
AFTER



Brailey Shaye and Brady took most of these pictures for me, bless their hearts... About three weeks ago, after a two-year-long decision-making process, I CUT MY HAIR SHORT! Well, I didn't actually cut it - my super duper hair lady did it for me. And so far, I absolutely LOVE it! And so here it is on the bloggy-blog, documented for life. My little B's don't really like it (they are used to me with the long hair), but Brady loves it, and I am thrilled with it! I thought it would be harder to take care of, but it has actually been a whole lot easier, and it is so much lighter, I actually felt like I was off-balance for a couple of days. I was doing double-takes in the mirror for a while, too, wondering who that was looking back at me. Anyway, very conceited of me to put it on the blog, but it truly has been a major change in my life, and something fun to share. What can we say? Yay me!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

AWARENESS

Cultivate greater awareness. Wake up enough to know that things are not as simple as they seem. Develop a deeper understanding of your own patterns and issues. Become aware of your standard operating procedures, of the predictable ways you hide your feelings and relive old hurts again and again. Could your frustration with your daughter be related to your dissatisfaction at work? Duh! Is all the angst and crying really about who does the dishes---or are you feeling undervalued and unappreciated? Duh! Are you blaming your teenager for breaking his curfew because your boundaries are the ones that need setting? Double duh! Awareness is the first step to greater self-knowledge. Once you are more conscious of the larger picture, you can focus on making changes. Awareness takes you right up to insight. Then your "duh!" becomes your "aha!"

Bullies Beware

I wrote this a couple of months ago. I wasn't going to post it, because it is very, very personal. Most of the time, writing is my th...