Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rock or Ripple?

Oh how I miss the days I could lazily wonder through the house or catch up on tv shows. I miss the naps. I miss the kids at the school. Today, most of all, I missed the rain. It has just felt like a day that I would have loved to stare out the window at drops of water cascading down to meet the dormant grass below. I missed the puddles that echo the sky above like a gentle reminder from God quietly whispering "Look up". I miss the rolling thunder that talks to the earth as if to say "come play with me". I really just missed it all today

People think I am strange because I love rainy days. Don't misunderstand me though. I love to stand outside with my face in the sun and just soak every second in like a tulip in the first morning light. I stretch and I smile and I enjoy it all. Just, more days than not...I love a big gray cloud in there somewhere.

So with all those sweet little dandelion thoughts that just bloomed out of no where, I will tell you that I have been super stressing work. I feel myself getting caught up in piddly things. I don't like this decision, and I don't like being left out of that situation, and I definitely don't like the ripple effect I am feeling all around me. Then, my soul quiets down and I hear God's sweet hum of a whisper...."Look up" but there are no puddles to remind me...just a sweet moment. He tells me that the ripple may be all around me but it isn't me. It isn't my ripple. Be patient. Be strong. Be still! Let the world ripple.

I think so often we maybe the rock next to the rock that started the ripple. No matter what that rock is at the bottom of the lake. The ripple never touches it, never sways it, it never moves. The rock does not care. It's foundation is firm. It will lay here until it is time to move on and no little series of waves can even disturb the rock. It is solid. I have decided to be the rock.

Pretty soon my dynamic at work will change. I have been very nervous over that (I personally detest change and dealing with new just never know when that bad piece of chocolate is going to pop out of the box and ruin your know the one I am talking about...its why you eat 32 halves before you decide to risk that one piece may not be in there. Tonight, I attended a school board meeting. R-I-P-P-L-E ... NO, TSUNAMI effect!! These parents were HOT. I heard the same lame excuses come out of their mouths that I breathed a year and a half ago. Suddenly, I realized....I am THAT person...THAT parent that everyone hates to have around in moments like these. I won't go into detail...I will only alleviate you mind to know that I did not speak. I did not tell these people that kids are resilient, or that they are going to deal with it fine, or that the biggest obstacle was the stayed quiet and ate my crow. Tomorrow, I will be writing a letter of apology to the superintendent for acting like these people. For losing my ever-loving mind over absolute non-sense, and for using my children to justify my unspeakable fear of change and inconvenience. 

Then, like a tornado on the Nebraska hit me...I was still that person, just now I have a different focus. I decided to follow Exod 14:14 (Scripture is almost magical when the numbers repeat to a little smiley face in the bible perfectly placed by God) and know that I have no battle to fight. I just stand still among the ripples, steadfast, letting God do his stress....just me, my spreadsheets, my headphones and the Frozen like Olaf in the summer!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Too Blessed to be Stressed Until Someone Runs Out of Underwear

So it's is Froze-in Tuesday here in the south. Yes the entire rest of the country is laughing at us but that's ok. I was able to stay home and work today with my babies and a warm fire and....well....those people laughing at me??? yeah, not so much.

My wonderful hubby and I watched This is 40 yesterday. WOW! What an eye opener! It was hilariously a lot like our life...that moment where they are at the breakfast table and she is making lunches (and probably starving because, well, she obviously hasn't had time to eat as the wolf pack is inhaling deliciousness in front of her working fingers....can you tell this is a norm for us too??) and she asks him to help....I just DIED laughing. So my life. She was balancing life all la-tee-da and they both had different ideas and dreams...its just so Americana, isn't it? To be able to both have all these dreams and to take a chance to make them happen...just WOW!

So after the movie hubby and I, of course, got into this long conversation about what we want and what it is costing us. Everything comes at a price and sacrifice. We both feel like we have been living like 18 year olds and the usual conversation is simple: "Don't just step on it, pick it up" "why is it there in the first place?" "Who knows? just pick it up" "If I didn't do it, why should I have to clean it up?" "It was probably the kids, you  are right there, you get it" "Ok, in a minute" ...4 days later when the house is trashed beyond explanation....someone finally picks up the origin of the issues. He has been saying to me "We are not a good team". In my head I hear "Why cant you hold down a job and clean the house and get things done and not inconvenience the rest of us?" In his head, "We need to step up our team work and stop being lazy." Either way....failure....neither leads to constructive resolutions.

Today, I had to work from home because with hubby's field he can't take off on days like this at last minute. (NO need to express how blessed I feel that I can do this). But, I about LOST MY MIND!!! My house is way behind....a really good word is TRASHED!!!! I had to make breakfast, lunch, snacks, drinks, start a special birthday dinner, I need to go pick up a cake, I need to do SO MUCH!! I feel extremely overwhelmed. I start thinking (DANGER DANGER) about all the mundane questions people have been asking me. So I thought I would answer them

1. Don't you feel more productive?
     Answer: Absolutely not...I feel like my dog when she chases her tail for 30 minutes...repeat every hour on the hour

2. Don't you feel validate?
       Answer: for the first 2 weeks yes. Now, I just wonder if I will ever catch up

3. Don't you cherish spending time with your kids now?
      Answer : Surprisingly enough, they seem to get on my nerves even more. I run all day in a hectic atmosphere because of a current company transition, just to come home to 2 kids who have no desire to do anything else in life but fight. My office is for the most part quiet and always house...not so much

4. How good does it feel knowing that you are bringing home a paycheck?
     Answer: I pay Zaxby's on Monday, the gas stations on Friday and come summer time...I have to pay day care...really...I could do without the extra few hundred bucks and have my life back to normal.

5. Did you take a picture of your first paycheck in 8 years?
     Answer: Yes....because no one would shut up about it! I, personally, didn't care!

6. Don't you enjoy your time off even more now?
    Answer: ITS MISERABLY FULL OF EVERYTHING I WOULD HAVE DONE WHILE THE KIDS ARE AT WORK! I have no time for friends, family, or fun....the 3 F's I lived for after 3 pm every day of the week!

Now, in saying all this...I don't hate my job, I don't hate having a job, and I do feel like supermom some days. I just needed to put it out there that my heart is torn, quality time SUCKS if it can only be spent in 30 minute increments and I hate having to dictate constantly...which is all I do right now. I am sure once a routine settles in over the next year, I will feel better. I am sure as the kids get older, it will get easier.

I scoured the internet before I went back to work...Looking for someone, somewhere, that was pouring their heart out for people like me going back to work after a long stent of being a SAHM and there wasn't one out there that I could find. I wanted to put it out there in case some other heartbroken mommy was toying with the idea or trying to find solace in a hand recently dealt by life. Sometimes being a working mom rocks...and some times it rocks me right off my foundation. Either way, I am too blessed to be stressed until someone runs out of underwear....usually first thing Monday morning HAHA

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Me!!!

What a strange year 2013 was. So many twists and turns. So many highs and lows. So many stagnations and fast forwards. In the end....we slept in the new year. 2013 was busy. I honestly don't remember most of it. I want this year to be different.

I am going to make a list....not of resolutions but of personal goals. More like a to-do list. I want to put a check by each one as I accomplish Dave Ramsey's baby steps!! Always moving forward with Gazelle like Intensity. I may not make all my goals this year. But if I only focus on moving on up I life then I have never failed at my attempt to succeed.

To often I feel that we set standards and realize that we aren't meeting our standards so we just quit. If you take a day off great there are 364 left. If you take a month off ...ok there are 11 more just like it.

I feel like we give everyone but ourselves a second-tenth chance to change, to do better, to just try again. Why don't we deserve that much from ourselves? This year I will resolve to love myself more. To treat myself with more respect. To say only nice things about myself to myself especially in the mirror.

In the end find time for you, be kind to you, love you more, do what's best for you and for your family, read a good book (try a free Beth Moore book or two or three or four) and just love the life you have been so richly blessed with.

Happy New Year

Monday, December 30, 2013

Keeping it OUT of the family and coping with missing out on life

Lesson 567 in going back to work: Don't rely on family or friends

I don't mean this in a nasty way. Not by any means. But I do emphasize that if you don't pay you better have a backup plan. This was our first major holiday break from school and a good practice run for life here on out. We had it all arranged. I checked my calendar and verified my schedules with 3 sitters in the family. They would all rotate and everyone was good for their days until their days arrives. Last night at 8 pm I am scrambling for a sitter and stressing. Finally a sweet neighbor girl stepped up at the cheap price of $20 per day and saved my rear. Tonight I get a text begging for babies tomorrow. Well, where were you yesterday or today when I tried to confirm? I make other arrangements and suddenly "your schedule cleared up" but on the days you are needed you are busy again? What is WRONG WITH SOCIETY AND THE CHILDREN THEY ARE RAISING!?!?!?!

Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins....they all have a life.  I get that. I also understand that we, as a general society, are not training our kids to be responsible and to uphold their word like a badge of honor. I am trying to teach my kids that if you commit to something then nothing else is to come in between unless it is just unavoidable. Making dates with friends, shopping, and "I don't feel like it" do NOT fall into that category.  Really it is more like death and dismemberment that actually qualify. People need to be able to trust that if you say something , you mean it, you will stand by it, or at least that you will be respectful if you have to back out on an obligation for the sake of the other person's wine supply. 

As much as I was really wanting to stockpile paychecks and play Dave Ramsey over here this summer I think I have to put the kibosh on that for now. I am realizing that daycare/summer camp sounds like a GREAT and RELIABLE idea. 

So heavy ranting aside...I am seriously missing out this holiday season. I feel like Christmas was shoved into a 2 day time period. We had a mini cookie bake day and rushed around like mad people to finish up "emergency shopping" on Christmas eve then shoved a dinner with part of the family in there somewhere. Christmas day we woke up to open presents, cook while family was arriving, open more presents, send people out with to go plates, get dressed and head out to another dinner. It wasn't until we got where we were going and most of the other people left that we actually settled down to enjoy the kids as they enjoyed their presents. 

Taking all of this in...learning from my mistakes, I have decided that a babysitter list is IMPORTANT. Back up plans are essential and check lists are a MUST!!! 

Happy report for the holidays....I mailed out 87 Christmas cards and they all got there by the 24th!! GO ME

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Making it work with a Cough and Sneeze

This past month has HONESTLY flown by. I have been so busy I can't even breathe. Well, I guess that means I am loving every minute. Even the hard ones. 

The kids have gotten over the guilt trip stage. My sweet little princess even made me cry one night, telling me that I am giving all my time to my job and she never sees me. Mind you I work 30 hours a week and only during school hours. I quickly shut that down. I don't mind ackowledging that her feelings are legit and she has a right to them but I also assured her that she was in no way suffering for me having a job. I am home when she leaves and when she gets home. (Haven't quite explained the whole summer thing yet...eek) 

So, now we are in a dead heat race against the holidays. I do a lot of month end stuff and in this industry people disappear to take the "use it or lose it" vacation because apparently NO ONE takes time off any other time of the year ... WOW!!! I say with all sincerity, I work with some determined, driven, and dedicated people. 

I am personally still trying to keep that homemade feel to my house. Cooked dinners, baked yumminess, and all that jazz. Now, throw a little job into the kitchenaid (that I dont have yet) and a pinch of workaholic as well as a dash of rearrange the house and YOU HAVE MY LIFE all ready to break and bake. 

Last night we were moving furniture around to make me an office downstairs so my wonderful woodman husband can have a mancave all to himself when I noticed my legs were really achy. OH NO!! I told him I was worried. I only get achy legs when I am about to get really sick. Fast forward to 7 am and BAAAAAMMMM!!! The train o' flu blared its horn and announced its pending arrival at the station of my entire body. I shrugged it off and trudged on to work....take some sinus meds I said. I will feel better in a little while i said....yeah OK! 

At 9:41 (yes I looked at the clock) I made a mad dash across the street to the gas station to get some Dayquil. In my lil' ol' mind Dayquil is the determining factor between OOBER sick and sinus infection. 2 caplets and a little over an hour later I was sprawled out face first on my desk. OH SO SICK. Thankfully, my husband told me to get straight to the dr on lunch. I really didnt hesitate. So here is how the first phone call went. "Thank you for calling the doctors office can you hold" "uh" "thanks" mmmmk not a good sign but its worth the wait right? "thanks for holding how can I help you." "I need to make an appointment for asap I think I may have the flu" "okay it will be later tomorrow or Friday" "dont you have anything today?" "no ma'am, we close at noon today" 

Seriously I wanted to scream every bad word that existed...thank you Jesus for making even my tongue to sick to speak today LOL. What doctor closes that early on a wednesday that is NOT a holiday? So, in tears, i messaged my good ol' hubby with my delima. Of course, his logical male response was "call every doctor until you get one to let you in today" my brain was like 'NO' and 'New patients dont get right in' but I decided to try the dr I had thought about switching to anyway. 

I get to the office and get back into a room pretty quick. Doc doesnt come in for a while. No small talk, no check this and that then come back with results, he actually waits for the results of the flu tests before coming in. Now mind you I do not EVER test positive for the flu until day 5....ya know the day you think you will finally die but wake up the next morning to say "Thank you Lord I made it!" So here comes this guy with my negative results. He looks me over and says "I dont care what the test says, you have the flu." I would have hugged him if my arms didnt weight 100lbs each. YES YES YES!!! Finally a doc that gets that cultures and blood work dont find EVERYTHING!!! Thank you Dr T for actually looking all over your patient and not at your lap top. Oh and did I mention I never saw a pad, tablet, or laptop?  Good ol' pen and paper and old fashion medicine!! I think I found a winner. Then he said the words I dreaded....

I was sick to my stomach and not just from the icky sickness. What would my new job say? How could i take the week off? I dont have any time off built up and Christmas is next week. 

I texted the Admin girl and told her and I was so sorry. She told me to rest and I said I would try to come back friday and she said not to push it....WHAT? WOW!!! Then I talked to one of my bosses as I logged into my home pc thinking that she probably wouldnt go for it but she even helped me find shortcuts and log into the network....COULD THIS BE REAL? Could the corporate world be THIS EASY? Its like the whole idea is "we dont care how you get your job done as long as it gets done" 

So as I sit here, achy, shaking, and hacking my brains out in my home office, sitting on my "throne" chair my momma just handed down to me, covered from head to toe in sweats and blankets....I am super blessed and satisfied with my life. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Transition, Transformation, TRANSFORMERS!!!!

Heaven help I have entered the world of working mothers. I couldn't be more blessed. These people are amazing. My job exercises my brain the way my elliptical would exercise my butt if I would just get on it. The company is awesome. Its a 15 minute commute. Its perfect school hours...I couldn't ask for much more......well I actually could.

I have scoured the internet and mom sites for weeks now. I knew this day was coming. I tried really hard to get ready for it. I actually made lists and more lists .... and MORE lists....none of them ever got done. It's ok though. What's that you say? I should have been prepared. I would have LOVED to have been prepared. As a matter of fact I am sure I could have been if it were not for 4+ nights a week of extra curricular activities for my mini-me's and then there was the stomach virus 9 days before I started working and the LICE struck 7 days before I started. Have you ever dealt with Lice? O-M-G!!! I seriously was NOT prepared for all that laundry (I am really scared to open my water bill this month). Now here we are, day 5 of me having a job, and I am almost caught up with my mom stuff. Not really.

On top of all one told me how exhausted I would be. I can't even think some days when I get off. Oh and to top it....I am sick...OF COURSE because WHAT could be better than my first weekend off in bed right before a holiday week?!?!?!?

So the long of it is right there for ya....want to know what is killing more than all my personal drama? Not having a clue what I would need to just have an office. YEAH!!! That's right....SUPPLIES!! I have the wardrobe down. New shoes...UM CHECK!! But who would have thought I needed to consider highlighters and lighting and desk blotters and all that other wonderful stuff that is sold in massive chain stores. I am stressing not having my eyebrows waxed yet (on the list before the lice took out my schedule) but I am for REAL itching to get into an Office Max or Staples like NOW!!

So let me run down my list for any of you wonderful SAHMs that may find yourself in my current situation. Here ya go: mini medicine cabinet (tums, motrin, midol *yeah*, dayquil, sudafed, and B12!!), go to lunch and breakfast options because sometimes you are just running behind or you just dont feel like going anywhere, extra drinks (my pick is Monster :), a phone prop thingy for your desk ( I didnt even think about this until my phone kept going off over and over and had I just been able to see who and what I would have never needed to interupt my day to put phone in hand), blanket and extra jacket, space heater, lotion, sanitizer, pens, highlighters, command hooks, and I am DYING for some canvas prints....thinking I might be asking to hang some prints of my babies after christmas.

It really has been a massive adjustment and I am so lucky that my dh has been on the ball. He talked to the kids and told them how stressed Mommy is and how much she is trying to adjust and they just need to help out more around the house so that we can all spend more time together. He is helping me to learn to say no more often. I didn't realize how hard THAT was going to be. I actually tried to make a commitment to go into the school at 7:50 to help with a project until 8:45 to make it to work by 9....WHAT!!!!!????!!!! Yeah, crazy person right there. He lovingly told me I have put in around 2,000 hours since I started volunteering and now it is time to say I have paid my dues and find other ways to contribute.

So the short of this long blurb on my lunch break is that when I decided to go back to work I never realized that the big stuff in my life would be dwindled down to microscopic and the little stuff like highlighters would take over. I can say though, at the end of the day, I am right where God called me to be and I am beyond blessed to have had this amazing opportunity fall into my lap so that it doesnt interfere with my life as a mommy (the kids dont believe that I even work...they think I am tricking them into chores).

Life Is Awesome

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


What does this year hold? Have you ever just sat back and wondered? I do all the time...even in the middle of the year. It is almost frightening to think that something bad could be lurking around the corner. Especially in this time of financial crisis for our country. Every day a person comes home to break the news that they were laid off. Depression, desperation, deprivation all prevail in the ensuing months that it may take to get a job. Houses, cars, even precious belongings can be lost because of one life changing moment. Then there is the flip side of the coin....what about those life changing blessings? Engagements, babies, new homes, promotions, job transfers, or even new jobs. All of these things, good or bad, bring stress to our lives. They may bring in more money or suck our bank accounts dry. They may afford us more time with each other or make our communication options limited to facetime and tango. Either way....we are supposed to trust in God but is that all? It actually isn't and I had a DUH! moment while talking to a friend the other day. If we could prepare for the good and the bad moments wouldnt it be easier to not freak out in the bad or go over board in the good?

1 Corinthians 16:2 says 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

Now this is kind of out of context but it was a lesson revealed so lets take it at that. I pay my tithes....I pay my bills....I keep my emergency fund up when I can....but do I ever pay ME? Nope, never. I am too busy being concerned with this or that and paying this down or that down. Well??? Don't I deserve to be ready when someone comes knocking (or a situation)? How can I be ready if I am too busy paying everyone else back? Even if its $100 a month you will have $1200 at the end of a year if nothing bad happens. If you keep that in conjunction with the Dave Ramsey emergency fund of $1000 then you have $2200 at the end of a GOOD year with no surprises....if you end up having to spend your emergency fund for some unexpected have paid it back PLUS $200 without even trying.

Last year my husband and I decided after 9 years of paying off debt and living to the penny of paying and saving, 2011 was going to be a year of "If I want it, within reason, I am getting it" and we did. I got a lot of much needed dental work, braces, furniture, ipad, and went wherever I wanted. He hunted....and if you don't think thats a lot....check our bank account. We ate out whenever he didnt like what I cooked, I didnt want to cook, or we were running around buying stuff. We spent and spent and by december...we had NOTHING to show for it. After an elaborate hunting trip he came back empty handed. After eating out all those nights and not cooking, my house isnt cleaner, I dont feel rested, and lets give a great big shout out to those UNNECESSARY 20 POUNDS!!! Also, by december...we were broke. Poor? No! But Definitely broke. We had to whip out the credit card because I needed an alignment, new tires, brakes, to go to florida to see my family, and the kids both had a growth spurt that is beyond comprehension! We were NOT prepared!!

This year its not about paying the student loans....its not about having fun with our money. Its all about preperation!!! We want to save!! We want to prepare!! We both want a bigger house but because of where we live we are going to have to build. We have to prep our house to sell it in this economy and just pray that it picks up enough to break even. But then it hit me....WHAT IF IT DOESNT? We are 10k upside down on our would we deal with that? We prepare!!! We want to build a bigger house but what if the market picks up and the prices increase for building? We prepare!!! What if all things remain the same and I save up all this money that we plan to save and the house is cheaper than we are anticipating? Then I have almost the EXACT amount I need to put the house payment where I need it to be AND pay off our student loans!! Do you know what that means? If there are no hiccups, no major changes to our lives....and we are faithful in this endeavor....we will be DEBT FREE AND HAVE OUR DREAM HOUSE!!! WHAT?!?!?!

Ok dont laugh because yes I know life comes along and bites you sometimes. But you have to admit you have those years that just feel stale because you staginate and nothing changes but your moods for a while. This can't harm us right? We wont eat out, we wont take elaborate trips, we wont spend foolishly, and what will we gain in the end even if we don't realize our dreams in the next 24 months? We will have to be skinnier!! I mean cutting out fast food alone will have to take my pant size down what it increased by right? IF we are not traveling and spending a ton of money doing stupid stuff....then we are at home more...TOGETHER!!! And if there are no hiccups between now and then....we will have a happier life because we will owe no one but the bank for our house and even that will be substantially more paid down than we were planning when we tried to buy last year!! All good things!

That brings me to my final point of my happy soap box today!!! As I lay in bed last night, honestly stressing over everything about to happen and trying  to plan it out, something profound hit me!! God makes awesome road blocks!! We were in the process of trying to buy a house and everyone and everything thing was bending over backwards to make it happen! It all seemed to be falling in our laps. I was super excited and I think dh was too! We both went to pray over it and would you believe that my Dh went from excited to depressed? I was so mortified! I was horrified!! I insisted just one more look at the house thinking he would remember why he was so excited. He agreed but to my shock, awe, and amazement God answered my prayer with a resounding NO! I walked through the doors and I no longer loved the house! My rose colored glasses shattered at the porch and I saw everything in a completely different light. I went home with my tail tucked between my legs and my tears freely flowing....WHY?!?! Now I know. We had never been able to completely agree on anything so we were both settling on what we thought we would want. The house was the exact same thing as the house we have now with 2 extra rooms and 1,000 more sqft .... but we dont like our house now! We hate the layout! Had we not turned to God we would be miserable by now, I am certain of it! After 2 months of searching plans I found our dream home and thanks to pinterest I have made it even more expensive but we found something we both just LOVE!

God doesnt tell us no to be mean. He tells us no because He has this even bigger yes in the works that this no, if changed to a  yes, would halt a yes so could change us from happy and determined to miserable and mournful. God knows better. If that relationship didnt work out...God knew. If that house falls through...God knew. If you don't get that job....God knew. THATS WHAT THEY MEAN BY IN ALL THINGS GIVE HIM PRAISE!!! Because a year later you can look back and say "GOD KNEW!" and your "no" will become a bigger YES!!!!

So my new years resolutions are to wait for my bigger yes while enjoying the fruits of my no and saving up for that moment (or the hiccups that will try to get in the way) because in all things....I give Him thanks! (oh and to lose those eating out pounds)