It's back to school time, which inevitably means...school picture day.  I loathe this day.  I'd rather take all four kids to the dentist than to deal with school picture day. 
    Every single year...it never fails.  I vow to get everything ready the night before to avoid the chaos.  I instead, wake up with the gut wrenching realization that I forgot to get their outfits. 
    At six in the morning, my eyes pop open as I shoot out of bed to scurry around the house in search of clean dress shirts and pants. 
    With the boys in check, I try to find an outfit for our five year old little girl, which is a task in and of itself.  This was only the second year of picture day for her and I've learned that for girls...it's nothing short of an act of God to get it done.
    By 6:20 I'm ironing, starching, looking for ties, belts...forget the belts, headbands, dress shoes...hopefully it will be from the waist up because there are NO MATCHING DRESS SHOES ANYWHERE. 
    I hate the morning, I hate the running around, the crazy, messy bed-head that's most definitely the worst on picture day than any. other. day. of. the. year.
    The kids need to have breakfast but they can't eat or brush their teeth until after they're dressed because they'll spill.  Their pajamas will stay clean, but oooooooh you put a nice outfit on and they'll have pancake syrup dripping from one shoulder to the other. 
    Finally getting them in the car only makes me sigh as the seat belts and backpacks flying, make their perfectly ironed outfits wrinkly and scrunchy.  They don't care though...and neither should I, I guess. 
    It's a maddening, hectic, crazy-wild day of hustle and bustle that will represent a moment in time, which will last forever.  It's that one day a year that does nothing less than act as a reminder of how quickly they're growing - and that pulls at my stomach as they run off to school...crazy haired and untucked. 
    Yes, I hate school picture day.  Next year, I'll be ready for it though.  I just know it.  :)   
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     Growing up in Ohio, I used to wait all year for it to get cold enough for our neighbor's pond to freeze over.  It was so much fun to grab my skates and spend the day with my family.  
     Never in a million years would I believe that one day I'd live in North Carolina and be able to ice skate in the middle of summer. 
     Dressing everyone for winter and heading out in 90 plus degree weather, seemed a little bizarre to say the least.  Especially when we ran through the grocery store and people looked at us like we were nuts.
    We introduced our two younger ones to their first lesson nonetheless...and the hardest part was taking that first step onto the ice.
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     They worried about falling - so the best thing the instructor did, was just that.  She began by teaching them how to fall and get back up. 
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    Before we knew it, they were off and running...well...skating.  They ridiculously loved it and can't wait to go again.  It made me remember how much fun it was to skate the day away...and who knows?  Maybe I'll even dust the old skates off and give it a whirl again. 
     Next post: my trip to the ER. 
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     So...you worry all day that your five year old little girl will do alright on her first day of Kindergarten. 
     When the end of the day finally comes, you wait in car line with butterflies and mixed emotions.  Did she like it?  Was she scared? 
     As you stretch and try to find her somewhere in the mass of students lined and waiting to be picked up, you notice that the Assistant Principal is calmly approaching your car window.  He's walking directly towards you and it's hard to determine his expression.  Suddenly, there's a crack in his smile when he simply says, "Could you please have your daughter refrain from doing cartwheels in car line?"
     I think she'll be okay. 
     Here's to a good year of school.  Cartwheels and all.  XO

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     I've spent the last two hours with busy work, getting ready for the first day of school.  There's so much to do.  Backpacks, forms, lunches, ironed clothes...my mind keeps racing with the wonder of anything we've forgotten. 
     Then, my five year old Lauren Elizabeth, approached.
     "Mommy?  What will kindergarten be like?"
     "What baby?"
     "What will it be like?  What will I do?"
    
"Well, you'll get to meet lots of new friends...and play...and learn so many fun things."
     Feeling my throat tighten a little, it was hard not to think back just five short years ago when our first born son Christian, was getting ready for this day too.
    Lauren Elizabeth was just a few months old when Christian marched in with his backpack, and the very same Kindergarten teacher that will greet us tomorrow, welcomed Christian and held Lauren as a baby, way back when. 

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     But tomorrow...tomorrow it will be Lauren who'll be skipping in with her pink polka-dot backpack instead.  My heart will go with her, while the disbelief that the day has arrived will do nothing less than overwhelm me. 
     Her three big brothers will be right with her which gives me comfort...and the same wonderful and amazing kindergarten teacher that held her not so long ago, will now welcome her as a student. 
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      Yes, my mind keeps racing with questions of anything we may have forgotten - but more than that - it spins with the hope of wanting nothing more than to remember this time...so that I'll keep it in my heart forever. 
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    Our youngest son had his seventh birthday back in July.  It was right after I had neck/back surgery so we told him that he'd have to wait to have a party with his friends.
     Holy moly was it worth the wait.  The kids got to jump, play, run, scream and eat to their heart's content.  Our four were falling asleep in the car on the way home.  In the car people. 
     Thank you to the Awesome friends who made his party so much fun.  It was so Great to see you!  XO
    
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    Our oldest son just had his 11th birthday.  Eleven.  For some reason, last year was exciting because he hit the big 1-0, but this year hit me differently.  It made me realize just how fast time is going by.  I began looking through pictures and reminiscing as the years have past... 
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    Happy 11th Birthday Christian.  Love You to the Moon and Back.  XO
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    I remember watching an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show when she randomly knocked on doors of nearby neighbors to surprise them. 
    Before we had kids, this wouldn't have been such a big deal...besides the fact that Oprah Winfrey knocked on your door. 
    Our house would have been halfway decent with no food on the floor...or walls...or ceiling.  She would've been able to sit down and relax without getting yogurt or spaghetti sauce on her pants.  I would have even been able to offer her a cup of tea or coffee in something other than a Disney mug.
    Our windows would've been clean, our laundry done.  No dishes would have filled the sink and the warm scent of candles would've lofted through our house. 
    She could have gone to the bathroom without needing a hazmat suit after three little boys had swashbuckling "sword fights" or played Star Wars with their light sabers.  (Luke Skywalker always wins.)  
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    Yes, if Oprah would have knocked on our door back then, she would have found a nice and clean house.  But now?  
    Well, now the kids and cat and dog have all signed some secret pact in chocolate pudding, to completely seek and destroy every possible square inch of our house (and car).  So now, Oprah wouldn't find a pristine house...but she would find a wild and happy home...where she could have herself a cup of hot chocolate in a Minnie Mouse mug.
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    My husband Adam had a few minutes to grab lunch.  He went to a drive-thru and ordered, but then got stuck behind a line of cars.  They were moving slowly until the car in front of him came to a complete stop altogether. 
    As his frustration grew, Adam thought about pulling around and leaving.  He became even more angry as the older couple in the car in front of him stuck their heads out of their windows to turn back and look at him.  Two employees of the fast food place stretched their heads out of their window too.
    Adam had no idea what was going on but he continued to stay, because he'd already placed his order.  As his impatience grew however, he finally decided to pull away. 
    Suddenly, the car in front of him drove off, redirecting Adam to keep in line.  
    As Adam pulled forward with his window rolled down, he was beyond ready to grab his food and get going.  
    He held his card out as the young employee handed his food and drink through the window. 
.    The employee was chipper, saying, "Here you go Sir.  Have a great day!" 
    Taking his food, Adam continued to hold his card out.  The employee smiled, "Oh, that won't be necessary Sir.  The car in front of you paid for your food and for the people behind you too.  Have a good day!"   
     Nothing like that had ever happened to him.  Sure he's heard of it happening, but it's always been to someone else.
     He tried to take off, looking everywhere for the people who paid, but they were gone.  Completely disappeared. 
     Later, he called me in disbelief.  "It was the coolest thing."  He said.  "I was furious that everybody was taking so long, and then that happened."  He went on to say how it was a good reminder to never assume.
    When you think that something's in your way, or keeping you from what you want...it just might be for your own good and you don't even know it yet. 
    To the people in front of Adam today, whoever you are, Thank You.  That was such a wonderful thing to do.  We'll be sure to return the favor the next time we're out.
     I can only hope the people behind us will be as surprised and grateful as we were, and that's all because of you. 
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     What IS it with the toilet paper?  Why will nobody change it?  With six people in our house, it runs out quickly.  I'm not even kidding when I say this though...if I didn't change it, there would be a permanent roll sitting on the bathroom floor.
     I try to tell my husband and kids, "If it's out, replace it with a new one."  Nope.  It never happens.  I've literally gone into our bathroom to see an empty roll with a new one sitting on TOP of it.  I swear I heard my husband laugh from the other room.     
     Our five year old daughter will change it every once in a while but she usually puts it on upside down.
     This actually led to a survey question on our facebook page...
Do you face your toilet paper roll up or down and why?  The responses were quite funny:
      Erin L. wrote:  
Over so the dogs can't get it and pull it all over the place.
      Julianna M. wrote:  I grew up with it under, and that's the best way to avoid kitty paws and little kids strewing it everywhere.... However.... In the interest of marital harmony, I have begrudgingly trained myself to place it over. I hate it over. Passionately. But it's not worth fighting about, and I have some MUCH larger battles... 
     
Jamie M. wrote:  Over....no other way. I have even changed it in other places....like at my parents' house.
      Stephanie B. wrote:  In this house, definitely under. Why? If we didn't it would all end up on the floor from curious little hands of things 1 and 2.
      Mary Ann B. wrote:  Do you mean over or under? I place it to roll over. Why? Because that's the right way. ;) My family on the other hand just places the new roll on top of the empty roll if they even bother to get out a new roll.
     ...and my husband's personal favorite...
     Craig W. wrote:  I put it the exact opposite of what it was......this way if my wife had it the way she wanted...she'll be like "WTF happened to the roll" hehe       
      At this point I don't care which way it goes, as long as it's on.  It might be a long time from now until that day comes, but until then, a girl can dream...  

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Thy Word

07/24/2014

7 Comments

 
     A friend of mine at work is going through a hard time right now.  She was telling me about her situation and how she didn't know if she'd get through it.  It reminded me of something a professor in college once told me.
     It was my senior year and her name was Dr. Morrow.  She was beyond wonderful and kind.  I went to her once, totally freaking out about almost being done with school and having absolutely no idea what to do with my life.  All of my friends seemed to have everything figured out with their jobs, getting married, with their whole...everything...and I was clueless.  
     Dr. Morrow sat me down and pulled up the Bible verse,
Psalm 119:105 - Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. 
     I was a little confused, until she explained.  
    "Think about it."  She said.  "If you lived back then and had to walk through narrow paths at night with nothing but an oil lamp, would you be able to see around you for miles?  Would you be able to see far ahead?  No.  If all you had was a small lamp, you would only see your feet and the steps that you took under the light.  The Bible doesn't say, Thy Word is a flashlight to know what's going to happen down the road.  God will guide you each step of the way.  It's not for you to know or worry about the future.  That's taken care of...and you'll be protected, with every step that you take."  
    It's something that's stuck with me and hopefully it helped when I shared it with my friend too.  
   Thank You Dr. Morrow!  I'll keep taking one step at a time.  XOXO
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