Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Lately

Lately things have found a peaceful rhythm. The days have opened their arms to new routines and we are all settling into the pace of life with a 4th grader and Kindergardener. I like the changes that come from season to season and the schedule shift it brings to our lives. We don't all jump for joy over it immediately but once we do find our way, I love the nuggets of time that assure me we are going to be just fine in this new chapter of our lives. I can be an acutely aware person who overly plans her days {I have 3 written calendars and one on my phone... plan much?!} Yet honestly, I can admit the constant laying out and listing of my day to day and week to week does take it's toll on me!!! Most of the time it brings calm awareness but it also adds more pressure to myself at times. So in setting the lists aside I am focusing on what I can see around me, not what's listed on my calendar. Here lately I have seen more moments of stillness than moments of movement. Lately I have found gaps of quiet nothing and times of unexpected freeness in our days. It pays to set aside my list of things I need to get done, it allows my eyes to focus on what's real and what's important...
Lately I have been soaking in the boy's crazy infectious spirits. We have taken bike rides, sat on porches with neighbors and kicked our feet up on the couch with the windows open and no where to be more times than I can count! My lately has been peaceful. I know that it will all get done, and if it doesn't it wasn't meant to be. The shift from day to day has been easy and calming. The days are still full and the boy's are still wild and crazy... But lately my mind hasn't followed suit. We are learning and loving through the stressful times, and allowing ourselves the opportunity to say... 'Oh, I'm sorry that was my bad. Let me make it up to you.' Lately the boys are keeping the peace but also testing their brotherly boundaries. They are dipping their toes into being 'big boys' rather than little kids. They push our buttons and try our patience but also remind us that ultimately we are all still imperfectly making progress. Parenting is a full time job but lately the pay off is way more fulfilling than any career I could imagine!
As the days roll on and hours continue to tick away, I know it won't always be as easy to cuddle up at home and have no plans to run after. But for now, my lately is just what I need it to be, full of the people I love and time given at a pace I can handle.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I struggle. I doubt and worry and fret and stress... I struggle. I struggle to feel good enough and yet shy away from accolades or compliments when they are given. I struggle to quiet the stream of senseless chatter in my head throughout my day.... Will I have time for this? What do you think they meant by that? Am I going to be late? Why did I add that to my day? Should I have said that? How am I going to get all of this done? I Struggle. Being alone with myself can be 9 times out of 10 gloriously peaceful, but that 10th time can overshadow all of the other 9 with the amount of over thinking and over planning that takes place. I struggle with wanting things perfect but don't know what perfect is or looks like. I struggle with wanting to do it all (perfectly) and come down harder on myself than anyone could guess when I fall short. Falling short to standards no one put on me but me. I Struggle. I worry about what others think even if they have assured me that my acceptance is a given. I struggle with being enough for myself. Even though I may shy away from praise, I yearn for it but fail to ever give it to myself. I Struggle. Fear seeps in and tells me that I am the only person that thinks this way. Yet I know that I am not alone, but being told time and time again we all have feelings of doubt does nothing to help my struggle lessen. I don't embrace the company that comes with knowing everyone feels this way. I Struggle.
I saw this sign the other day at our son's school. It was in the copy room hanging on the inside of the door. It gave me pause. It brought forth the laundry list of all my worries, stresses, short comings, failures.... It made me think of my struggles. Not in a bad way, but in a way that turned a light on inside my heart as a reminder. We all struggle. We all need something. We all fall short and forget to pick ourselves back up. For most of my life I thought your sum total was made up of all your errors and the successes in your life were only there as a way to pay penance for all the wrong you caused or did or took part in. A pretty backward way of thinking, don't you think? Walking around only doing good to pay for the bad. Feeling like the struggle always overshadowed the peace and happiness in life. Call it Grace or sheer Will to do better, I don't think that way anymore. Yes, I still struggle. I still fail and doubt my goodness, but I feel submerged in a place of peace. Every day I 'take what I need' by feeding my soul with goodness. When I doubt I read scripture or find quotes to reaffirm my faith. When I fear the worst in life I journal the goodness that surrounds me. When I second guess myself or those around me I listen to music to set a different beat in my mind. When I struggle I can hear Him say to me... 'Take what you need, I am here to give it to you'. I didn't always hear God's words in this way. It took a long time to reteach myself that His Grace is there first and always, not because you did enough good deeds to earn it but because he promised it would be. I struggle but He struggles with me. I doubt and He reassures me. I fail and He gives me another chance. I fear and He calms me. All I had to learn to do was 'take what I needed'.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Right now rest is not something that comes easy around our casa. It is elusive and fleeting. Rest is often fought over and whined about but much needed and begged for by some. How we rest is different for each one of us, even our big girl/beast/dog Dehaya rests in her own special way. Our Little Man rests with a fit, sitting still for him is a wish worst than strep throat. Yet our Big Boy seeks out quiet time at every turn, time to be alone and play has always been his 'thing'... yes even at 10 years old he still has the best and most creative play sessions with his 'guys' that I have ever witnessed!! My hubs and I are the beggars of rest. We grab little slivers of peace when we can at 5 am in the darkness of the living room, watching a quick 'Modern Family' episode at 10pm when the boys have finally drifted off to sleep, in the car, in the bathroom (yes... I said the bathroom), and the most yummiest of times on the weekend when we trade off quick naps with a high five and a 'Tag Out... It's Your Turn' shout out!!!
I have learned in the 10 years of being a Momma, the 13 years of being a Wife and the 37 years of being Me that everyone rests differently and it's OK! I can't force my little one to fall asleep quickly and getting angry only makes the fight to sleep longer. I can't will my big one to take a nap (even though naps are awesome and he will search them out when he is my age), so I have to embrace the hour long quiet play session in his room instead. The push and pull I feel inside when I want to sit and read knowing the bathroom stinks like a boy and there is dog hair all over the entry way is just engrained in me.  It's how I'm made, often times I do find rest and peace while milling about the house. But I still have to find and seek out true rest... Actual down time, stillness, even if it's forced stillness. We all have to give and get rest. It may look different to each of us... Some having the same quiet moment each morning drinking coffee and reading, or others rushing around while silently whispering prayers within their thoughts, and others catching a moment of peace in the stillness of a quiet house at night time folding laundry or watching TV. Each and every one equates to rest....
{Yes... that is me, in the hotel bathroom during a family holiday vaca... I'll admit it!}

Without rest we grow weary. We forget what is important and overlook the 'special' in our moments. Without rest I become frazzled and lose focus. When I hurry through my days and pass up myself and neglect 'me' time I turn to negativity and worries more than happiness and feelings of content. And it's ok to ask for 'me' time. I've found (through lots of trial and error) it doesn't make you selfish at all, actually neglecting time to yourself is what leads to selfish thoughts of frustration, anger and resentfulness!!! Time to reflect, to refuel, to reboot, and recharge... it's what we need to draw closer to ourselves and more importantly to God. He begs us to rest. He commands us to honor the Sabbath. More than not He allows us time to just be with him throughout our day, but if we don't take advantage of that moment even if it's 5 minutes behind a closed bathroom door, we are all left wanting. So today... take moment, pause longer than you think you should, allow extra play time, and soak in the peace of rest. We might not all rest the same, but we all need it and don't allow it enough in our day to day interactions. We worry it away for fear of being lazy. We talk ourselves out of it for the need to get that one last thing accomplished. And yes, admit it... We deny it to ourselves and others out of selfish and envious reasoning at times... 'We have too much to do... I've been working all day... Why should he or she get to watch TV while I do laundry or leave for work early?!?!' We have all been there!!! 
So here is my proof positive, promise to myself today and tomorrow and always... Even if I have to close my eyes for 2.5 seconds of rest while our boys begin a staring contest at 8:45 pm when they are supposed to be relaxing and saying prayers, I am still chalking it up to time well spent and rest given and taken as needed!! 
How are you going to rest today?? 

Let us then do our best to receive that rest, so that no one of us will fail as they did because of their lack of faith...
Hebrews 4:11 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest... Matthew 11

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Comings and Goings

The last 3 weeks to a month are a blur. A fuzzy montage of all too much going on and way too much coming at us. So to wrap it all into one post, I decided to give you a glimpse into our last 3 weeks in the same quick way it seemed to come and go at us...

New Kitchen Face Lift!
Hello Yellow!!
Back to School... 
Who's more excited?? Me or the boys?!!?
Soccer, Soccer and More Soccer... 
2 Academy teams and 2 Rec teams between these 2 boys!
Missing the beach and our time with Friends and each other (sans kids)!!
This boy turning 10... 
 Welcome to the world of your kid having an iTouch...
Who said I was ready for pre-teenagey stuff!?!?
Training for my first Half Marathon... 
Didn't go as planned but going to give it my best this Saturday!!!
New Bathroom for the boys!
Little touches make a big difference!!

For now, that's all I've got! 
I am sure I am leaving off a lot and missing more than I know!!
Here's to the next month and hopefully a less stressful pace but just as many blessings...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Momma Jitters

The boys are playing quietly.
The backpacks and lunch boxes are laid out, ready to be filled in the morning.
Clothes have been picked, socks and shoes decided upon.
The house is calm, yet I can't stop moving...
I am not the one going back to school, yet I have a nervous belly just thinking about trying to go to sleep tonight.
Tomorrow, I send our big boy off to 4th grade, the last grade in this building that has been our school home for 5 years. 
And at the same time simultaneously send off our little man to embark upon Kindergarden...
His first full step into this monstrous building that, even now after walking the halls for the past 5 years, seems all new and unchartered territory for me!
I'm not starting a new school year, but yes...
I have the Momma Jitters.
I am thrilled to begin a new chapter in our team's book of life, yet if I was given the option to freeze time I would shout out...
 'Yes... let's press pause please, just so I can catch my breath!!!!'
I want to give our boys wings but also tuck a roadmap that will always lead to home in their pocket.
I want to cheer them on with both hands in the air, but secretly wave them back over and hug them longer.
I want to assure them that when they go out into the world they will be loved and embraced as fiercely as I love and embrace them, but also desperately want them to know that even if they aren't met with open arms and a loving hand they should still walk proud!
I want to allow our boys to make decisions, choose their way, fail miserably, succeed without even trying, and give all they have with all their hearts.
 I want to be there to remind them to have the wherewithal to pull themselves up off the ground if they get knocked down. 
And this is where the jitters set in, because it's hard to want all that for them knowing I won't be right by their sides tomorrow. 
It's hard to cheer and push and encourage from the background as they walk toward a new beginning alone.
As Mommas we are thread so close to them the minute they begin forming in our bellies...
How do we not fear that the thread will break, leaving our precious babies dangling and us to lose our connection, our fiber between us?
Just as I want and I worry and I pace with jitters, I also have a teary smile on my face because I know I have, along with my hubby done all we can to prep and build and emotionally 'beef up' our boys for the world they are entering tomorrow.
With or without us they are going to go into tomorrow and own it in their own way.
It's not that they don't need us or won't want and wish we were there with them as much as we want to be there ourselves. What I try to tell myself is that it's more of divine timing...
 In that they have been loved on and talked through just the right amount of their lives with us beside them faithfully, and it's now time for them to begin their walk of fame.
Whether we all have jitters or just I do... 
Something within me assures me that it's their time to show off all that they have grasped and engrained in themselves during their precious years with us as Mommas and Daddies.
It's their time to shine and show the world who they are without us!!
It's a good thing... I know it is.
Just as much as I have jitters, I also have twice as much faith in the road our boys are traveling through the grace given to them on a daily basis.
I know that even if my eyes aren't on them, His eyes are.
I know that even if my hand isn't there to reach out, His hand is.
I know that even if my arms aren't there to hold them, His arms are.
They had His hold upon them long before I did, so I graciously give them back!

Go out and shine my sweet boys... 
Tomorrow is Yours, go show 'em what you got!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Remember Who You Are

With 'back to school' the buzz word these days and it getting hashtagged like crazy all over the internet {by myself included}, I can't help but get caught up in the prep and frenzy that a new school year brings! 
We have done our school shopping. We have surprisingly made it through more of our summer list than I had hoped we would {only a few more boxes to check off}. We can see the school light headed our way like a fast freight train barreling down the tracks emitting steam as it gets closer and closer! 
I am drawn to obsessing over reading the various blogs about back to school decorating, celebrating and my most favorite... back to school praying!! 
Because believe me I have been praying...
I pray for the teachers who have taught our boys and those that will.
I pray for those kiddos heading back to school without a momma or a daddy this year.
I pray for all the administration staff and support staff that will make an impact on our boy's and so many other student's lives this year.
I pray for all the kiddos who are moving onto a 'bigger' school when all they really want inside is to stay small and comfortable and safe, but on the outside they show a strong front and a confident smile.
I pray for all the new Kinder Mommas and the smiles, cheers, and inevitably the tears that will be shed this year {Mine included}!
I just Pray.... Nonstop {obsessing doesn't begin to describe me}!!
That's all that helps calm my nerves and add hope to my fears.
Praying and giving thanks for what we have and asking for Him to bless all that will head our way this school year.

Remember Who You Are...
It's my Momma Mantra these days!
I can't remember exactly when first stumbled upon the saying, I think it was on this blog from Jones Design Company? It spoke volumes to me and I twisted and molded it into what it is today. My motto, my hope, my whisper of a prayer as a mom of two precious boys. I say it to them when we go places, when they leave my side even if it's for a quick trip around the block. I blurt it out when we are about to tackle a new challenge or when they've {or I} have made a mistake. And it will be my words to them as they head off to school this year. But honestly, it will be my silent prayer to myself as I walk away from them, which when looking on seems hardest for them, but truthfully is oh so hard on me as a Mom too!! I am leaving them to a new year ahead, a new set of experiences and chances to grow on their own....
So I pray...

Remember Who You Are...
You are loved.
You are chosen to be a child of God, always and forever.
You are my heart and my soul.
You are precious no matter what anyone says.
You have gifts, don't ever forget that.
You are kind and gentle, but also grandly strong and powerful.
You are part of something and part of me indefinitely.
You have character and a spirit given only to you.
You are inherently good and giving.
You will always have a place to come to, in good times and more importantly in bad.
You have choices and joy is always one of them!
You represent our family, be proud of that.
You are mine, but you are you first and foremost... 
Remember who YOU are!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My Mantle Shuffle

I like change.
I find comfort in finding new spots for old things.
The month to month movement of my favorite pictures and knick knacks allows me to seek happiness in new places within my house on a daily basis.
{Plus it calms my ADD/OCD jitters and gives me an excuse as to why I have so much STUFF}
Moving on to August...
Back to school is on the horizon and it is the perfect excuse time to redecorate a bit!!! 
And if you have read any past posts... the chickens have found their way inside as well and fit well with my school is cool theme!!!
Do our boys notice the 'subtle' back to school hints in my decor.... ummm... Heck Yes!!! 
Are they as excited as I am to look at the flashcards and oooo and ahhh over the vintage spelling book I found at our local antique store last fall... ummm... Not So Much!!! 
But 1 for 1 isn't bad in my opinion, at least they notice the change and I am sure they will thank me once they are grown and have their own kids!!!
{Can you tell I am stretching here.... Ha!!!!}
It's the little things that make me happy!
And when I move those little things around my house, from spot to spot and corner to corner...
 I find even more happiness!!
Happy August....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Daydreaming... Port A Style

Surprise... Surprise... I never posted about our trip to the Beach! 
I vaca nested and blogged about it, but (true to form) never got to post the 'actual' vacation... story of my life!!! Always prepping and planning and forever documenting with pictures while we are there, but busily moving onto next adventure (aka chores, or work, or soccer practice) as soon as we get home and neglecting the fun of sharing!!!
Hello... My name is Abbey and I am over-scheduling, procrastinating perfectionist!!!
Moving on...
We had a blast!
I loved being there!!!
We needed more time!
I have daydream about memories made there every day since we got home!
We can't wait to go back!!!
We rented a little condo called the Shell House and shared it with friends that feel like family... that always makes a vaca so much sweeter (in my opinion). The Shell House fits our families to a T. The perfect combination of comfort and accessibility...
 All wrapped into a sweet yellow house!
The house, although not on the beach, has a pool (which I highly recommend)!! All our kids love it and so do all the adults!! It gives them something to do while we cook, chill and partake in beverages... Ok... Ok... Beer and Bloody Mary's!
 But seriously... The pool... Fun for hours... For all ages!!!!
Now onto the good stuff... 
The Beach!!!
It's a slice of heaven on earth. 
The kids play for hours without a single whine or argument.
The Dads act like kids trying to boogie board!
The Moms soak up the sunshine and quiet time without having to tie a shoe, carpool from here to there, or hear the words 'Moooommm I boooorrred'!!!!
For our Team of 4 (plus 1 sweet friend this year) it was a great get-away. 
Even though (unknowingly) we shorted ourselves a day this year...
We still made the best of the time we had!! 
Fathers and sons shared stories over bags of chips.
Friends buried each other in the sand so many times we lost count.
Husbands and wives took advantage of sandy salty hugs as much as possible.
Oh my, were memories made...
It's written all over these faces...