Thursday, May 31, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

This year we decided to take a little road trip for the holiday weekend. We packed up everything but the kitchen sink and headed north, up the east coast to Charleston, SC! Let me just say, I love this town. This is our second visit there. Our dear friends Matt and Mary live there and now little Miss Alice does, too. She was born in January and we couldn't wait to meet her cute little self. How could you resist this sweet face?
This trip was quite different from our first visit. In 2009 neither of us had children and we were on our own schedules. This time we had a newborn and a toddler to work around. I now consider Matt and Mary angels for tolerating Isaiah. He was in to EVERYTHING! He wakes up and hits the ground running every day. There is no in between or down time until he crashes for his afternoon nap. After that the bell rings for round two and he is gone again. We tried to keep him out exploring so he could run out some energy. We took a trip to Angel Oak to see the coolest tree ever. Isaiah loved climbing around and exploring everything.
We spent another morning at Folly Beach. Isaiah was a little scared at first. I think the waves and wind from the tropical storm were a little intense for him. Once we got settled he was fine though. We ran up and down and up and down and up and down the beach. We finally handed him some crackers and told him to feed the birds so we could get a little break.
On the way home from the beach, this little guy was trying so hard to stay awake. The heavy eyelids won in the end!
In between outings Isaiah tried to make friends with Alice by giving her kisses. She has learned early to stay away from boys until she is 20! Good girl, Alice.
Our first night out to dinner was a complete disaster. However we decided to try again the next night. Mike said we were like a kid sticking his finger in an electrical outlet over and over, and expecting a different outcome. This made me laugh, hard! It is so true. But off we went to South End Brewery to see Mary at work. It was actually really open on the third floor and went better than I thought. Isaiah did take a few trips to the bathroom with Daddy for a little lesson on how to behave, but after that it was clear sailing.
After dinner baby Alice headed home to wind down for the night so we took Isaiah to the boardwalk to run off some more energy. We saw oysters, birds, boats, a pirate and even took a swim in a fountain.
I love this city. So beautiful.
I also love this little boy!
Thank you so much Hopkins Family. We had a fun, wild, crazy, sometimes stressful, adventurous time with you. Can't wait for Alice to visit Florida! Love ya'll!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ramblings of a SAHM

I mostly try to keep this blog as a journal of fun things we do as a family. At the end of the year I print it into a bound book so that one day our kids can look back and see the stories that go along with the pictures. I keep the focus on our adventures but lately I have had a lot on my heart and mind. It's been so much that I thought I would just sit down and start typing. We will see what comes out and if it even makes any sense! hahaha I had struggles early on being a stay at home mom. I missed being in the classroom, I missed adult interactions and between all the feedings, nappings, changings and colic early on we didn't get out much. I felt confined to the house but felt guilty for wanting to be away from my baby. Most moms would love to be able to stay at home and hear me when I say this : I am so greatful, thankful, blessed and happy that God has made this a possibility for our family. At just the perfect time God put Tara into my life. Another SAHM with a little boy around Isaiah's age who was struggling with the same things! It was so nice to know that I wasn't alone and very soon we were meeting for play dates three or four times a week. We even did weekend playdates with our hubbys joining in on the fun. What a treat! I learned so much about being a mom through our time together and Isaiah gained a new friend. But as the saying goes, "all good things must come to an end". And that is just what happened. God had bigger plans for the Garmons and shortly after the birth of baby #2 they packed up and moved away. FAR AWAY! I was heart broken. The last month and a half has left a void in me. I have missed having my friend to confide in and lean on when I think I'm about to lose my mind. There are SO MANY THINGS I love about this age. Isaiah is learning so many words and is truly beginning to understand so much more of what we say. He shows love and affection by offering up the most precious hugs and kisses at just the right time (without being asked). His laugh fills my heart with a joy I cannot even begin to explain. When he asks to pray before meals and at bed time, I MELT! He folds his little hands and says "ssaaayyyyy". I am seeing life through his eyes and have a deeper appreciation for so many things. I am so much more adventurous because I want him to experience everything he can. HOWEVER, there are so many things about this age that make me want to pull my hair out. Coming in to his own and looking me dead in the eyes and yelling "NO!" when he does not want to do what I ask. After a full day of playing together he decides he is the center of the world and when I stop playing to cook dinner the whining begins (and I don't mean I start drinking wine, although the thought often crosses my mind). Riding in the car is a NIGHTMARE. Isaiah hates being confined and strapped in to anything (carseats, highchairs, shopping carts, strollers) he just wants to GO, GO, GO! This makes going anywhere a bit stressful. Although I appreciate all the energy he has, OH MY GOODNESS HE IS A BALL OF NON-STOP ENERGY. He does not slow down, he does not sit down for long, he does not just crash when he is tired. He is all boy, all the time. And to top it all off, he still wakes up at four o'clock in the morning and wants some milk. In 18 months we have gone from waking up 6 times a night to just one so I am greatful for that and his pediatrician assures me that this is perfectly normal and ok. He says to just feed him and go back to bed, so that's what we do. Two weeks of trying to break the cycle with zero progress was too much for me. Then the TIME magazine article was released this week. YOU KNOW THE ONE! The gorgeous mom on the cover with her breast exposed and her 3 or 4 year old son standing on a stool breastfeeding. I mean the image will definitly grab your attention but the title just angered me. "Are you Mom enough?" It's about attachment parenting and all the things that go along with it. I am never one to judge another parents parenting style so hear my heart on this. It just flew all over me because it sends the message that cool moms, or great moms, or the best moms will go out and do this. Moms do what they need to do in the best interest of their family. There is no real right or wrong way. As a mom I just have certain hopes and goals for Isaiah. I hope that he grows up to love God and know that Jesus died for Him, I hope he finds a wife who respects him and loves God more than she loves him, I hope he is kind to other people, I hope he is a good friend, a great father and a wonderful husband, I hope he knows that no matter what choices he makes I will always love him, I hope he knows it is ok to make mistakes and even better to learn from them, I hope he finds true happiness in all things, I hope he feels successful but stays many things. And guess what, I don't think it matters if I read a certain book about parenting, or choose one parenting style over the other, if he sleeps in his bed or our bed or the floor, if we stick to a super strict routine and schedule, home school, private school, public school, if he plays an instrument or a sport...OR WHATEVER! What matters is that we as his parents get to know him and listen to God and let Him direct our parenting. So all of these feelings surface in me and once I feed it the negative begins to take over. It has been cloudy and rainy here all week which only makes it worse. We love to be outside and being cooped up all week has not helped my mood. Over the weekend these feelings were bubbling and brewing. I always try to push them down because I know that I am lucky. I really wouldn't have it any other way but sometimes I just need a break. Then it happened....I began to say all of these things out loud to Mike. I just couldn't stop. Once I started I was preparing myself to hear him say something terrible or call me something terrible. (like ungreatful, rude, impatient, disrespectful, crazy, etc) Instead I got the total opposite. He was appologetic (not that he could really do anything I guess just sorry that I was feeling that way), he was supportive, loving, comforting and CALM! He told me how much he loved me and what a great mom I was. He reassured me that it's ok to feel that way and let me know that I was loved. Then a light came on and I saw something. My husband loves me unconditionally. It didn't matter that I just went on a crazy rant attacking our decisions and struggles. He kept his cool and loved me. Did it make everything go away? NO! But what it did do was open my eyes even more to how lucky I am to not be in this alone. I have an amazing husband. He obeys God and loves his wife as Christ loved, unconditionally! Of course then I realized that I am not great at being respectful all the time (which is what wives are called to do). I am thankful for some great conversations with friends this week. Tara and I have decided to talk on the phone and come up with some fun activities to do with our boys in the fall. Even though she is FAR AWAY we can still support each other and lean on one another, we just have to find a new way to do it. Thank goodness for technology! We did dinner with the Stiversons (without our children) and actually got to have complete conversations. I felt reassured that all of these struggles with Isaiah are normal since they have a little boy around his age as well. I love knowing that I have a support system and prayer warriors on my side! Then we spent some time with the Garcias (our new small groupers) and we laughed so much and actually had lots of insights into the dynamics of our marriages. We are reading "Love and Respect" and having a blast doing it. I love sharing that trust with another couple that we can talk about our marriages, laugh at ourselves and know that we aren't the only ones out there running around seeing the world in different colored sunglasses. hahahaha! I have also been following a new blog of a friend from college. His daughter is 3 weeks old and shortly after she was 1 week old a virus attacked her heart and she has been in the NICU since. As a parent this just rips at my heart strings. I am always amazed at the strength people show when faced with such adversities. When the devil puts those fears in my heart I always say things like "I could never get through that" or "I don't know what I would do" or "I would go insane". They have truly embraced the scriptures and are leaning on God and lots of prayer to get through this. They are on a roller coaster as each day seems to hold something new for them. I do ask that you keep the Hall family in your prayers. Strength and peace for the parents, healing for little Mallory and comfort for her older sister as she adjusts to her families new normal. You can follow their journey at Like I said, lots on my mind and there is probably no real flow to all this. I feel better already from typing it out. Maybe there is a mom out there who needed to hear this. Maybe it was just therapy for me. Maybe one day my daughter or daughter in law will be a SAHM struggling with these feelings and can look back to see that it's perfectly normal and perfectly ok. Just lean on God, talk to Him and ask Him to guide you through each day. It's amazing what He will show you about yourself and about His love for you. I really am thankful for all of my blessings and I love being a SAHM. I love being Isaiah's mom! I love being Mike's wife! I love that I am a daughter to the King, a bride of Christ, a princess warrior! It's just that some days are better than others....AND THAT'S OK!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

April 10th!

I'm a little late on this post, but last month I celebrated my 32nd birthday. Sometimes it is very hard for me to accept that I am cruising right through my 30's. I often still feel like a 25 year old. The last two years have literally flown by. I guess starting a family will do that to a person. I must say this was one of the best birthdays I have had in a long time. My parents came to town, we had a wonderful sushi dinner and darts with friends on my actual birthday and the following weekend Mike surprised me with an overnight trip to my favorite hotel! He arranged for our friends, Mike and Megan, to spend the night with Isaiah and we packed up and headed to the Omni Champions Gate. Firday night we had a fabulous dinner at Zen. The manager sent a complimentary bottle of wine for the b'day gal and we sat in a nice, QUIET corner for THREE HOURS! I cannot tell you the last time we went to a restaurant and actually enjoyed a great conversation and weren't rushing out the door before a certain little boy had a complete meltdown. Going out to dinner with a toddler is one of the most nerve wracking things we do. Anyways, we sampled some appetizers and sushi and just RELAXED! After dinner we stopped at the bar for an after dinner drink which we took down to the fire pit. The weather was great for propping our feet up in oversized rocking chairs as we enjoyed more conversation and more QUIET! aaahhhhh! We spent all day Saturday hanging out by the lazy river and hot tub. I read two whole magazines and enjoyed some yummy adult beverages. Thank you, Michael, for helping me get a full night's sleep and for treating me like a princess! I am one lucky girl and I thank God for you every day. He has certainly blessed me with a thoughtful, loving, gracious, kind and romantic husband! On a sidenote, this was also our FIRST NIGHT AWAY from Isaiah. And we all surrvived! Looking forward to more overnighters in our future. Love you BIG, Michael D!