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Hey friends!

I just wanted to give a quick update on what’s happening in our lives right now and explain why I haven’t been blogging much anymore.

It’s August, so we’re gearing up for school for Bluebelle and a mother’s day out for Dean Bean. This is the first time I’ve ever tried a MDO (Mother’s Day Out) for either of the kids, but Todd and I prayerfully considered it and thought it would be really nice to give me a few hours every week by myself. This will help me with appointments, shopping, and also spending some more time writing. I think this is going to be a good thing for Dean Bean too. He’s two now and he is really enjoying going to church and playing with the kids there. I think this will help him to socialize and learn some fun things.

Bluebelle starts kindergarten (and that’s a whole other post) this fall. I’m so thankful that we have about 3 more weeks here in Texas until it begins. I’m in a little bit of denial over the whole thing. It’s going to be so good for her, and I think she’s going to love it, but it’s the end of an era and I’m having a hard time letting her go.

Now the big thing: blogging.

I’m really wondering if I’m supposed to be doing this anymore. This summer, I’ve started building a community with ladies and I’ve had a wonderful time! They have helped me grow spiritually, and more to the point, I have been going through a deep refining process with the Lord. I’m making some changes, and I realized how stilted and stifled I’ve been at times writing this blog. I’ve been so afraid of hurting anyone’s feelings that I have hesitated to speak about God with the freedom I feel I should have. I’ve also made some mistakes along the way. I’ve written things with my own conviction and boldness (not spiritually, just opinion) and I offended family. Some of the words were genuine misunderstandings, but the way I was approached about it and the fact that I hate to hurt anyone, stopped me from writing so many things because I thought I was going to offend someone else yet again. I feel like I’m too liberal for my conservative friends and family, and too Jesus-oriented for my more liberal friends. It’s a very isolating feeling.

I also feel like I should be writing more, and so I have… just not for an audience yet. It’s time for me to flesh out some things and I’m working on them, bit-by-bit. It’s very freeing — writing without editing. This is one of those things that I’m really looking forward to doing when Dean Bean is at MDO. I want to be able to write without interruption, and that’s nearly impossible for me to do anymore! My brain is like those five minute short stories on the Disney channel. That’s about as long as I can hold a thought right now!

Also, my kids are getting older and while I love taking pictures of them, I’m not as comfortable sharing them online anymore. Not just because of the negative stuff (stalkers, predators, or anything heinous), but because I don’t have permission to share their stories right now. I’m enjoying treasuring these moments. Sure, I’ll share photos from time to time, and tell you a little bit about them, and I need to do updates on them (and I will), but this space is largely my own and I want to take ownership of that.

This has been an amazing summer. We have traveled and spent time together, and Bluebelle has been able to spend some special time with family. I don’t regret it, and I love the new area in which we live. I’ve been enjoying seeing Todd more, and I love that he’s not traveling as much right now. Life is good, and going far too fast to suit me.

I still plan to keep this blog, at least for the foreseeable future, but I can’t guarantee you what the future holds. Thank you for reading my words and being in this space. This has helped me in so many ways, and I am so thankful for you.

And because a blog isn’t a blog without some pictures, here’s some from the summer: McVacation 2015 (1 of 9) McVacation 2015 (5 of 9) McVacation 2015 (8 of 9) McVacation 2015 (2 of 9)

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You’re Gonna Miss This

Youre going to miss thisMy husband and I have a running joke in our household. Whenever the kids are driving us crazy or they do something that makes us so mad we can’t stand it, one of us will say to the other,

“You’re gonna miss this.”

More often, we sing it in our best Trace Adkins impersonation. The other one of us will roll our eyes or give a loving hand gesture to the singer. We both end up laughing or at the very least, less angry.

It’s not that we don’t believe that we’re going to miss our children being this young. In truth, we truly do try to soak up these young years as much as we can. Bluebelle is starting school in the fall and I have genuinely cried over her starting several times over. These years have been the best years. This was my dream. It is my dream. I live my dream every day.

It’s just that sometimes we just get so stinking tired of hearing well-meaning women throw that phrase around. I’m sure it’s a very helpful reminder at times when you lose sight of what’s important, and there are times when that song pops in my head as a poignant and tender moment.

It’s just that I would venture to say that most of us mamas think about soaking up the moment as much as we can. We live in the world of perpetual guilt. Most of the time we feel the pressure to be morebut now we need to also treasure every mess and mistake?

I’m sorry, but that’s just crap.

Please stop trying to add to our guilt. We’re already aware of how fast time is flying, and we’re already tired and frustrated and needing a good night’s sleep. Plus now we have to feel like bad mothers because we’re not treasuring the completely unrolled and dampened toilet paper decorating our bathroom. I’m sorry, but sometimes a person just wants a clean house. Or to finish a project.

There’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t give up every ounce of your personal preference when you become a parent. If you forget to be you, then you really WILL want all of it back — because that will be your entire identity.

We’re aware that one day we will look back with fondness over these years. I already miss the sweet times I’ve had so far.

I just also want to be frustrated from time to time without being shamed over it.

Plus, if you really miss all those moments, I invite you to come over and clean my house. You’re always welcome. :)

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Rollin’ Down the Bayou

I’m enjoying a quiet morning to myself while my family sleeps in. We’re on day 3 of our vacation, and so far we have eaten gumbo, po’ boys, fried crawfish, crawfish au gratin, broiled crawfish, étouffée, crawfish and meat pies, oysters, alligator, and pretty much the entire state of Louisiana. We may swing by Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans on our drive out of here because obviously we haven’t eaten enough. 

There’s a charm to southern Louisiana that I never expected to love. Sure, the mosquitoes are Jurassic Park-sized, and um, alligators, but the people are friendly and obliging. The accents are charming. Everything is so… swampy, but in a gorgeous way.

Louisiana Bayou (8 of 9) Louisiana Bayou (4 of 9)

We’re visiting my cousin and his beautiful wife for the weekend as we travel east for some fun in the sun. Clayton and Angel have been the epitome of hospitality and their beds have pretty much ruined me for life. (Y’all, Tempur-pedic is where it’s AT.) They’ve spoiled the kids outrageously and didn’t even blink an eye as they terrorized their house.

Okay, the kids have been pretty stinking good.

On Saturday, they took us on a swamp tour in the bayou. I think. The guide told us the difference but I was so focused on my kids not falling out the boat or getting their fingers chopped off that I was a little unfocused.

Louisiana Bayou (3 of 9)

See those fingers? It’s a miracle they’re still on there.

We saw turtles, wood ducks, great blue herons, red headed woodpeckers, water chickens, alligators, and other animals I can’t remember. It was gorgeous.

Louisiana Bayou (9 of 9) Louisiana Bayou (6 of 9) Louisiana Bayou (7 of 9)

Gorgeous.

The kids also were treated to a “let’s go to Toys R Us and you can pick out whatever you want” trip. I told you, outrageously and lovingly spoiled. We also learned that when Bluebelle tells us that she wants us to buy fireworks, she doesn’t mean sparklers and kid-appropriate little things. She means, “Hey, let’s buy a show that will rival the professional ones at the Texas Rangers’ Ballpark.” (Being close to the fireworks are apparently quite traumatic.)

I’m just saying, she should be glad I didn’t buy any firecrackers.

Clayton also let them love all over his piano and guitar.  It has further convinced me that it’s time to get one for our house.

Louisiana Bayou (2 of 9) Louisiana Bayou (1 of 9)

 

 

Well, a smaller upright. We don’t have the space for one this size.

If I could adequately convey the feelings of happiness and love I have inside me right now, I would compose a novel. This has been an exhausting weekend for my body and a refreshing weekend for my spirit. It’s so easy to get lonely and lost when you’re alone a lot, and being an introvert, it’s too easy for me to hole up and forget that there’s a life passing me by outside.

There’s a balance to be found, between living life and soaking it up. It’s so good to be with people who push you and draw you out. I forget that I used to be a pretty vibrant and confident person. It’s still in there, somewhere, it’s just taking a little while to make itself known.

Thank you, my dear family, for the weekend I so desperately needed.

Now, on to the beignets!

 

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