Sunday, August 11, 2013

Conversations To Remember

This was written back in March of 2012.  So funny!

My sweet boy is one of the sweetest, most serious, and thoughtful four year olds I know.  Yes, he can have his meltdowns and boy does he have a temper, but 90% of the time, he is sweet beyond his years. 

Lately, I have noticed that he has been taking the topic of Jesus very seriously.  When we tell him about Jesus, the sacraments, or the real meaning to a holiday, the boy pays attention...and remembers EVERYTHING!

This morning this is the conversation that ensued:

Paul: Sis, we DO want to die!
Catherine: No we don't!
Paul: Yes, sis, because when we die, we get to see Jesus!
Me: Yes, that's right.  But, while we are alive, we want to love and serve Jesus here! 
Paul: Oh.  I don't want to die on a cross.  It takes a long time.
Me: Well, that's how Jesus died, right?  Do you remember why he did?
Paul: He died because he loves us and then he was wrapped in a sheet and put in a rock and then came back to show his friends that he was alive. 
Me: Do you know what happened after that?
Paul: He went to heaven to wait for us!
Me: That's right, buddy.  That's very good!
Paul: Mom, but there were 3 crosses.  I don't want to go on a cross.
Me: Yes, the other two men were not nice men.
Paul: Why were they bad?
Me: Well, you know how every day you get to choose whether you listen to mommy or have a good attitude?
Paul: Yes.
Me: Well, those men chose to take things from other people.
Paul: Oh.  But Jesus was on the cross because he loves us and wants us to go to heaven with him.
Me: Right.
Catherine: Mommy, so is Jesus like Spiderman???  He wants to protect me.
Me: Kind of, Catherine.  He does want to protect you.


I'm back? Maybe.

A few months after Paul got home from his last deployment, I realized that as much as I wanted to be a 'real blogger', I wasn't.  I was a mom, who's husband was deployed, who needed an outlet.  And I can honestly say that I don't think I would have made it through the last deployment without it! 
Well, here I am again.  I am a mom (now with 4, 5 and under), who's husband is deployed AGAIN, and I still need an outlet! 
Life has changed dramatically since the last time I blogged.  You know that log house that we had gone under contract on and then walked away from?  Well, we bought it.
Our newest addition, Mary-Grace, was born at the end of December (5 days after moving into the house and 2 days after Christmas...awesome planning, I know!)
My oldest, little Paul, is now 5 and starting Kindergarten at home with me this year.  Did you hear that?  Despite my years of 'never ever!', I am officially a homeschooling mom.  Breathe.
Catherine just turned 4.  She is pretty focused on her goal of riding a horse while bowing her arrow.  Seriously. 
Claire.  Oh Claire.  That is the other thing that changed when I quit blogging.  Claire had just turned 1.  On her first birthday, she morphed into this crazy, bull headed, hell on wheels child that keeps us (ALL OF US) on our toes every moment of every day.  She is now 2.5 and the epitome of a hell raiser.
So after a year of absence, we are caught up.  I cannot guarantee any regularity but I look forward to the times when I can get my thoughts down and share them with you. 
Have a great Sunday!  See you soon!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The New and Improved Laundry Room

Last weekend, while I was out of town, my hubby was secretly building me a whole new laundry room organizing system. 

With the kiddos growing, their clothes also grow.  I was running out of space in my old organizing system and my laundry room was being over-run by clothes.

Old Laundry Room
We had talked about building something but, I have to be honest, what I had envisioned in my head was not a pretty picture.  Because of this, I was so happy that I was not around when he built it (and I'm sure he was equally relieved). 

When the kids excitedly brought me in and opened the doors, I was SHOCKED!  It was perfect, awesome, amazing, huge, and every other great word!

It has taken me about a week to go through everybody's clothes and re-organize everything but I'm officially done and I. LOVE. IT!!!

So, I am so excited to share my NEW LAUNDRY ROOM!

There are 20 HUGE cubbies that can fit clothes for my growing children plus more!

Each cubby is labeled with things such as:
Little P/Little C/Mini C Play Clothes
Little P/Little C/Mini C Outfits
Special Occasions

I am so grateful to be married to a man who is always trying to make my life easier!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Egg Traditions

Our weekend was FULL of festivities.  After Little Man's birthday on Saturday, we were excited about Jesus' Rising on Sunday.  I was truly amazed at Little P's understanding of the day.  If you asked him about Easter he would tell you,

"The mean people didn't like Jesus because He was the team leader and they wanted to be the team leader.  So they hurt Him and put him on the cross and he died.  On Easter, He came back and we have to have our hearts ready!"

Pretty darn good for a four year old. 

Little C on the other hand, well, she informed us in the middle of Easter Mass that her heart was not ready...sooooooo....Again, I say, THAT GIRL!  She is incredible.

As we moved through the day, it was fun to see the different traditions unfold.  As I have said before, one of my favorite parts of being married is negotiating and combining different traditions from both of our families.  One of the big Easter traditions for me is Easter Egg Hunts with the eggs that we dyed.  I have so many memories of dying our eggs on Holy Saturday (making sure to have a watermelon eggs...duh) and then spending most of the day hiding them on Sunday afternoon while mom cooked.

Well, apparently, in my husbands family, they hid plastic eggs and ate the dyed ones.  And I don't think they had multiple hunts.  Just one, maybe two. 

Thankfully, my husband already knew how much this meant to me so we set out on our afternoon of hunting.  It was so fun to watch the kids as they hunted through the back yard.  But what was even more fun, was watching the competition between my mother-in-law and father-in-law.  I was really thankful that they got into it and really had a good time.  I think its reasonable to say that they might be just as competitive as P and me. 

And that brought me to the biggest competition of the day. 
Mom vs. Dad
Oh yeah!  Let's just say that it got a little heated.  All I have to say is that sometimes offensive tactics need to be utilized in Easter Egg Hunting.  I mean, if you want to win and all.  In the end we ended up tying but we sure did have a good time. 

Notice the chair that is completely vertical behind him...he was throwing chairs...haha.
It has been said many times before but it really is true, holidays are a lot more fun when you are a parent.  I look forward to the memories that we will make throughout the years bringing our different family traditions together to make a new ones.  And even more, what traditions my kids will eventually take into their futures with them. 

What are your favorite Easter Traditions?  Is it the Easter ham?  The egg dying?  Going to sunrise Mass/service?

Christ is Risen!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dr. Denmark - Rest In Peace

I have told you about Dr. Leila Denmark several times on my blog.  Well, unfortunately, at the age of 114, Dr. Denmark passed away on April 1, 2012. 

I am forever grateful to Dr. Denmark because she really gave me a base line when it comes to having newborns.  For those of you who don't know who she is, she is a pediatrician from Cumming, GA, who is renowned for her newborn/infant routine.  Her 'old school' ways really gave my husband and I the ability to enjoy the first months of all of our children instead of exhaustedly getting through them. 

While some of her practices my be looked upon as 'out of date', the woman knew what she was talking about.  She wanted to make sure that parents understood that babies are not born knowing what to do.  Our role as parents, teaching and guiding our children, begins at birth, teaching our children to eat and sleep.  She also made it very clear that our families should be family centered instead of child centered. 

I am so thankful for all of the wisdom Dr. Denmark has imparted on me.  I am a better mother because of her hard work!  I can only hope that more pediatricians will have the courage to stand up for truth and follow in her footsteps.

Happy Birthday!

Saturday was Little P's 4th Birthday!

We have decided not to do birthday parties until the kiddos are older so for now, they get to pick the meals and activities of the day.  Little P puts a lot of thought into his birthday.  He has had it planned since February.  His plans were as follows:

*Waffle House for Breakfast
*Peanut Butter, Banana, and Gold Fish Sandwiches for lunch
*Pizza for dinner
*Yellow Castle Cake

When I say that he had it planned, I do not mean that he told us what he wanted and then waited for his birthday.  What I mean is that we heard about his plans, especially the yellow castle cake, almost EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!!!

When you asked him what presents he wanted for his birthday, he would sweetly but very seriously respond, "I only want a little. Just one thing. I want a Finn McMissile car who shoots missiles at all the bad cars. That's all I want, mom."

So, when this weekend came, I knew I was up against high expectations.  I set out to live up to Little P's birthday wishes and the joy that ensued was worth every single ounce of effort.

He was so happy to have his first chocolate waffle and TWO apple juices at Waffle House.
After waffle house he was so excited to be the 'team leader' on our hike.  Followed by our Peanut Butter, Banana, and Goldfish sandwiches (don't worry, the adults had meatball sandwiches).

While the kids napped, I set out to make the infamous yellow castle cake.  I have no clue where he came up with the idea of a castle cake but man was it a big deal.
After about an hour of working, I was reasonably pleased with the finished product.  It didn't come out exactly as I had hoped but it was still pretty good.

The afternoon was definitely my favorite part of the day.  While everybody played outside, I set all of Little P's presents out.  After this little boy talked so much about only wanting a little bit for his birthday, he was genuinely SHOCKED when he came inside to see a MOUNTAIN of presents waiting for him.  (Having lots of Aunts and Uncles really pays off!)

It was really fun to watch him open every present with such sincere excitement and appreciation.  When everything was unwrapped and there was no Finn McMissle to be seen, we asked him if he liked all of his toys and received everything he had asked for.  He politely said, "YES!"  Poor kid, you could tell he was a little disappointed but he didn't want it to show.  Seriously, this little boy has a ridiculous understanding of other people's feelings. 
It's crazy!

So, after a couple of minutes, we couldn't let wait any longer.  We asked little P to get up in the rocking chair as my husband drove his new remote control Finn McMissle into the room.  Seriously, I've never seen the boy move so fast!  He jumped out of his chair so fast that we couldn't even get a good picture of his was AWESOME!  He was so excited!

The rest of the evening was full of bike riding, pizza, egg dying, and more!  After we finished eating, I was so excited to surprise him with his 'Castle Cake'.  We gathered everybody inside and called him in...


As I laid in bed that night, I couldn't help but think about how grateful I am for this little boy.  It has been so much fun to watch him grow from a baby to a little boy.  I am so thankful that he is the oldest with two little sisters.  He has this innate protection and love for his sisters that wow's us beyond belief.  He has such pride for them and even more when they learn new things.  He asks me for a new baby sister multiple times throughout every week.  He wants to name her 'sissy'.  He has a genuine love and appreciation for his siblings.  He wants to be just like his daddy often talking about what he is going to do when HE'S a daddy.  He already has a sincere love of Jesus and takes going to Church very seriously.  He thanks me EVERY NIGHT for making him dinner.

For some reason, God chose me to be his mommy.  I am humbled at the opportunity to raise him to be a fun, loving, responsible man.  But, for the time being, I pray that his dad and I can retain his incredible innocents and pure heart for as long as possible. 

Happy Birthday, Little Man!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Aim for Progression, Not Perfection!

As I told you in my State of Life Address, I have been lending my heart and mind to FAR too many things.  In turn, I have found myself completely stressed, emotionally exhausted, and physically rundown.

As I try to pick and choose where to invest my heart, I have learned a few things about myself.

In a conversation with some friends of ours, my friend Robbie pointed out that I am a perfectionist.  When I quickly corrected him letting him know that my life is RARELY in order his response left me silent.  He said,

"No, not like that.  You are a perfectionist in that if you have 10 things to do and you only complete 6, you scrap the whole day.  It's all or nothing for you."

Wow.  I had never thought of it that way. 

Just that night, they had shown up 15 minutes early for dinner; the house wasn't ready, I had no makeup on, the kids weren't completely dressed, and I hadn't vacuumed under the table.  Those points CONSUMED my brain.  I spent the first hour apologizing for this, that, and everything else instead of seeing the fact we were enjoying each others company and about to sit down to a great dinner.  HELLO!?!?!  I'm missing the big picture here!

He went on to say that we should be going for Progression, NOT Perfection.  By aiming for perfection, I do not acknowledge the progress that I have made, therefore putting me right back to square one.  But, if I would just acknowledge and accept the progression that was made, be it a lot or a little, I can then pick up where I left off and keep moving.  It leaves room for learning rather than complete disappointment and standstill.

Maybe I am not quick to learn these things but MAN, that made so much sense to me!

This really got me thinking.  How often do we as mom's talk about what we need to work on and how we aren't doing enough?  Now, how often do we have conversations about how well we are doing?  It's backwards!  While it is good to be aware of our shortcomings and work to improve them, when it's all that we focus on, we start aiming for perfection and losing sight of our progression.

I, for one, will never be perfect.  I will never do everything right or have everything done.  Quite frankly, if I do, it's probably at the expense of my husband and children...NOT WORTH IT! 

I am a work in progress.  To ignore such progress is to ignore the journey.  If we ignore the journey, we'll never reach true perfection which can only be found in Heaven.

Now THAT is an 'Ah-Ha' moment!

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