I confess: Emily wasn’t the only one whose head was hurting last Saturday morning. Mommy had a little too much wine Friday night.
I confess: We ate two home-cooked meals this week—thanks to my mother-in-law coming to visit. That was two more than the week before.
I confess: I am eating all the words I said about not putting a baby in the bed with us. Drew has been waking up every morning at 6, and every morning, I go get him and put him in our bed until the real alarm clock goes off. Look at his face...how can I resist?
I confess: A couple of days this week, I left the babies at daycare a little longer than necessary. One day I went to Starbucks; another day I cleaned the house so they could tear it up later.
I confess: I am including this picture just because it makes me smile. We all were enjoying an age-appropriate Starbucks’ treat I picked up during my aforementioned solo trip.
I confess: As much as I don't want to be that parent, in public places like The Cheesecake Factory, Emily often gets what she wants when she screams. Seriously, she is the kind of screamer that gets kids banned from restaurants.
I confess: I was a militant consumer today when I called the hospital and then the insurance company to voice my displeasure over a $519 bill for a single x-ray. Correction, it wasn't for the x-ray. That was $29. It was for the 10 minutes they used the room to take ONE x-ray! Robbery. That's what it is. I am still trying to figure out how to be civilly disobedient without ruining our credit or breaking up with Drew's orthopedist.
I confess: I finally renewed my tags this week after a cop who rode behind me for three miles scared me straight.
I confess: I am teaching my children to assume culturally-constructed gender-specific roles. This week Emily got a baby doll and Drew got a four wheeler. We encourage Emily to ride the 4-wheeler, but we've never asked Drew if he wants to play with the doll.
I confess: I let the babies eat salsa. They wanted to dip their chips. Surprisingly, they loved it (despite the painful expression in this picture). I confess: I am looking forward to a long-overdue date night tomorrow even though it means leaving the babies with my mom who has an injured leg. I am packing the baby leashes and taking her some extra strength Tylenol.
I confess: I’m just kidding about the baby leashes.
Calm down, Ray and Janice. I am not taking the babies and moving three hours away.
My post wasn’t about definitive plans.
It was about being okay with different plans, with changing plans, with uncertain plans.
It was about growing up and evolving.
It was about realizing that part of growing up is facing what you have sought to avoid and working through it.
For me, I have long struggled with the idea of change. Not just change, but change I can’t anticipate or plan for.
For a long time, I operated under the mistaken assumption that life should operate according to my plans.
I remember when I suffered my first real disappointment in life. I found myself grieving not just for what I pysically lost but also the loss of a dream, for my beautiful plan that was suddenly gone.
I wish I could say I learned everything I needed to know about change from that disappointment, but I didn’t. I still kept trying to keep it all within the confines of my plan. So much of my stress and anxiety came from the worry about deviations from the plan.
And, this is the challenge that life keeps presenting me. I like to think it’s God asking me to let go and trust Him, to let Him take care of the plans. It is a lesson in faith.
So my certain uncertainty wasn’t about the possibility of a move or job change as much as it was about being open to seeing a different plan than the one I envisioned.
I felt moved that day to look at moving away, changing jobs, and taking a leap of faith as real possibilities.
That day I opened up to the possibility that there is another plan for me—if only I let go of the fear and control.
Certain uncertainty is about being open and being willing to see the world with new eyes.
I read somewhere once that people resist change—positive or negative—because every change represents a loss.
I don’t want to be so scared of loss that I miss the adventure.
I want to see the opportunity and not the obstacles.
Maybe that means a move, a new job, or a renewed appreciation for my husband’s stubbornness.
Maybe it means a plan that I can’t even envision.
I am ready to unwrap the surprises.
So, Mama and Daddy, if you are reading, instead of being mad, be proud.
At almost 36, I am finally learning a lesson I hope Emily and Drew learn more quickly than I did.
Last week I sold our house, quit my job, moved our family three hours away, and went back to teaching—all in one hour.
It started simply enough.
It started with one of those long conversations with a close friend. You know the kind of conversation where you talk about all sorts of random, seemingly unrelated topics.
Don’t you think life continues to bring you the same challenges in different situations until you decide to work through the challenge and grow from it?
Have you thought anymore about going back to teaching so you can be at the same school as Emily and Drew?
Maybe if I had gone to college far away from home, I’d feel more confident in moving away from the only place I’ve ever known.
I left the conversation that day feeling reflective, invigorated, motivated, restless…
Innocently enough, I texted another friend and asked if she had any connections for a possible teaching job at a school I would love for Emily and Drew to attend.
Maybe. Possibly. But why don’t you consider the opening at my school?
It’s a great school for Emily and Drew, and it’s the kind of position that may only come open once in a career. It’s exactly what I am looking for…
Only it’s three hours away.--
In another city…
Away from my parents, my sister, my brother, niece, and nephew…
Away from a house we have yet to sell…
Away from a steady job I’ve had for four years…
Furious texting ensues as I get more details. It feels like I am minutes away from living in a new city, teaching across the hall from my best friend from college, and sending my kids to a dream school.
I get home and run down the series of proposed life changes to Marty. Surely, he won’t agree to move three hours away from his hockey season tickets. I dig in for the fight.
But, surprisingly, he says it’s a plan worth considering.
I am wondering if I have stepped into an alternate universe.
Maybe I am having a mid- thirties crisis, the kind that happens when you are just days away from being on the backside of 30. Maybe I am having a moment of clarity. Maybe my husband and I are on the brink of making our biggest life decision since deciding to have children.
And in the pause, I look at what this hour of certain uncertainty brought me—
I realized, for the first time in my adult life, I am finally okay with moving (a reasonable distance away) from my family. I am not ready to move across the country, but three hours is doable, especially if it is in our family’s best interest.
I realized that soon I will need to address this job situation that I have been ignoring since I received the promotion to mommy.
I realized that I still have decisions to make about Emily and Drew’s school situation, and that this decision is likely tied in some way to what I decide to do with my job.
I realized that getting Marty to be open to my idea felt like the rebellious teenager finally getting what once had been forbidden.
So are we going to move? Am I going to start seriously looking for a new job? Am I going to make a well-reasoned decision about school for Emily and Drew? Will Marty and I learn to make important decisions without each of us feeling like we have been through a boxing match?
What I do know is I am meant to figure some important things out—about stepping into the unknown, reestablishing my professional self, sacrificing for love and compromising without losing myself.
And, if I have learned anything about life, it’s that life is going to continue to present me with challenges wrapped in different packages until I work through what I am supposed to learn.
Back in June, Emily had a run-in with a table that resulted in a trip to the doctor for a glue suture.
This morning, we experienced a case of deja boo-boo when Emily randomly walked into the tv stand and whacked the same eyebrow in almost the exact same location. Another trip to the doctor and another dab of glue later, she is thankfully on the mend. Since the poor girl appears to have inherited her mommy's lack of coordination, Marty wants to put foam bumpers on all of the tables, and I am considering buying her a football helmet.
The fair 2. I caved in and played the “Guess Your Age/Weight/Birthday” game and won! That nice, intelligent man thought I was 29!
I am not a glutton for punishment. There's no way I am going to pay someone to publicly humiliate me by guessing my weight OR my age! I saved the cash and bought more food.
Hair 3. We finally cut the wild sprig of hair behind Drew’s ear—the sprig we like to call his old man hair.
As much as Marty wants to snip the sprig, I would sooner cut all my hair (including that patch of gray) off than cut that cute baby wisp.
Daycare 3. After Drew said “hot dog” in the car on the way to daycare, I had a moment of weakness and decided they could eat hotdogs with the rest of class at lunch for the first time ever.
Drew has learned the word "hot," and everything is "hot." As cute as it is, even if he said "hotdog," he still wouldn't convince me to give him processed meat on a bun. For now, they'll continue to get turkey and cheese sandwiches on hotdog/corn dog day.
A big THANK YOU to Liz at Sweet Simplicity Design for the much-needed blog makeover! I am loving the bright look and colors!
The new images in the header are from our favorite family photographer, Shannon White, of Lifelong Impressions. As always, THANK YOU, Shannon, for so artfully capturing our family’s story.
MaMe Musings also has hit 100 followers! THANK YOU to everyone who reads and follows! You make me smile!
When I started MaMe Musings, I had no expectation that I would enjoy blogging as much as I do; I also had no expectation that anyone would even want to read our musings.
Blogging has exceeded my expectations. I’ve had so much fun re-living the memories as I record them on the blog. I see my life through different lenses now that I am a mommy, and this blog gives me a place to record all of these seemingly random items, stories, confessions, pictures, and experiences that collectively tell our family’s story.
While it’s still my main goal to create a virtual family history book for Emily and Drew, I have also raised my expectations for this next phase of MaMe Musings.
For my readers, I hope they continue to find a connection to their own story through ours.
And, finally, I hope that I continue to grow and learn from the other wise and generous bloggers I’ve met.
In honor of MaMe Musings' new look, I am recommitting myself to this blogging endeavor. Here’s a list of what’s to come (because you know how I love me some lists)…
Car trouble story- (“What’s up with the wuup, wuup??” or yet another blonde moment)
De-cluttering journey- Creating Baby Memory boxes or why I shouldn’t save every single coloring page from daycare
Family treasures- a tribute to MaMe’s extended family and some precious heirlooms
One thing I love about my mama is her creativity and eye for detail. She has this great ability to take any craft idea and run with it. So, when I found this inspiration, I knew just who to call.
On Saturday, Marty and I packed up the Pumpkins and pumpkins and headed over to Granny and Papa's to have a little pumpkin painting party. We stopped at Wal-Mart on our way and picked up some cheap acrylic paint in the craft section and some brushes.
While Marty and Papa entertained the toddling Pumpkins, Mama and I enjoyed a little mother-daughter time painting our pumpkins at the kitchen table.
And, just like always, Mama was able to clean up my messes and make everything look just right. I love you, Mama!
Since the Great Egg Strike of 2011, we have struggled to find something else that is quick and easy for busy mornings.
We've been rotating plain pancakes, french toast, and waffles along with different fruit choices. So far, we have avoided any syrup. Recently, we tried peanut butter on toast, but Emily and Drew weren't fans of the consistency.
In an effort to inject a little more variety, we decided to sweeten up the french toast deal by incorporating two of the babies' favorites--dipping and yogurt.
I confess…I acted like I didn’t realize Drew had spilled milk on his pants. I put him in his car seat, drove us to the grocery store, and acted shocked when Marty noticed.
I confess…I let Drew and Emily sit in the kitchen floor and eat Pringles. I watched as they crushed more than they chewed, and then I swept up the mess. It was easier than listening to Emily scream when I took the can away.
I confess…I bonded with my dental hygienist while discussing politics during my cleaning this week. I thought I had met my twin until she said she could never imagine leaving dirty dishes in the sink after supper. Turns out, we’re not so similar after all…
I confess…I once had a large collection of holiday sweaters and pins. I was 22, a first year teacher, and desperate to look more, um, teacher-ish.
On having an "eye" for detail
I confess…I used the wrinkle remover tool on a photo editing site this week. No, I won’t tell you which of my pictures has been touched up. Let’s see how observant you are.
I confess…I couldn’t find the the mistake. I Googled it.
On being a "model" parent
I confess…I don’t let Emily and Drew watch television, but I DVR every episode of Jersey Shore.
I confess…I am super picky about what Drew and Emily eat, but according to my blood work results I got this week, my cholesterol is still high.
On being "married with children"
I confess…I kissed both babies bye this morning and was going to hop in the car and leave when my husband stopped me and reminded me that I hadn’t kissed him bye.
I confess…I saw his point.
I confess…this weekend I am going to work on being a mommy and a wife.
Young(er), in love, and before babies
Linking up with Kristen of A Little Something for Me for her last "Friday Confession Booth." Oh, Kristen. Say it ain't so! Thank you for the opportunity to share my sins, even if I have only linked up a couple of times.
What will I do next week?? Looks like it's time for more wine!
We experienced an operating error in our morning routine machine this morning.
Normally, the morning routine machine cranks up and produces two babies, dressed and fed, who end up at daycare on time.
Then it spits out two parents who also end up at work on time (so they can continue to feed, dress, and send two babies to daycare).
This ever-evolving machine is powered by pure teamwork and luck.
Today, the system experienced an unexpected glitch when the Daddy Engine was re-purposed and given all major production responsibilities, including picking out outfits, making breakfast, and loading two babies into the car.
This sudden shift, coupled with the usual Monday squeakiness, resulted in an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction in the Emily output.
As we unloaded the precious cargo at daycare, I realized Emily missed the hair combing station. I resisted the urge to pull a Mommy-MacGyver by licking my hand to soothe the bird’s nest on the back of her head. Instead, I finger-combed it while…
I used my other hand to scrap off the crusty waffle and yogurt on her face. Evidently, the face-washing wheel was broken, too.
In case Emily didn’t look thrown away enough, the Daddy Engine also misfired and dressed Emily in a completely seasonally-inappropriate tank top.
Thankfully, another system glitch meant a fleece jacket was buried under a pile of refuse in the car. With the slightly-stained jacket covering the seasonally-inappropriate tank top, a wild-haired, slightly crusty-faced Emily rolled off the assembly line and into school.
After experiencing bursts of the "mommy-guilt" signal all day, the Mommy Engine did a system check and has rebooted the morning routine machine.
Here’s to hoping for a smoother Tuesday production…