Sunday, September 9, 2012

Keepin' it real and movin' on.

Early in this week someone told me, after seeing me with my children, that she hates me, that I make her feel like a horrible mother, and that she is so jealous of me. There were other words included, that I will refrain from sharing. And to be very honest, I struggled not to cry right there.

I don't know if she has ever seen my blog, but I felt the need to take a week off, and reflect a little. I wanted to really think about why I am doing this blog thing, and how I present myself as a parent in general. I wanted to ask myself some difficult questions, and answer them.

Here is a brief synopsis of my reflections...
I write this blog, because I enjoy it. If no one read it, I would probably still be doing it. It's good for my heart to work out my thoughts and feelings. It's a creative outlet for all the millions of pictures I take. I find myself looking back on pictures I have taken, and noticing things I missed during the speed of real life.  I appreciate that sweet people enjoy keeping up with my family. I love your comments and feedback and encouragement.

I am not a perfect mama, and I do not have perfect children. I don't think either one exists. I have dishes in my sink and laundry to do and my closet looks like something exploded in it. I raise my voice. I get angry and frustrated. There are times that my children throw fits in the grocery store,  jump on couches at the church office, and throw their food to the dogs just so they don't have to eat it.

And I would never want for someone to feel like a bad mother, because of me. I want to encourage people to take some extra time to love your loved ones, to be purposeful in how you live your daily life, to enjoy the little moments, and celebrate as much as possible, because life moves so fast. And life is about people.

I believe the majority of mamas want what is best for their babies. I think most mamas love their children, and try so hard to provide a loving home for them. Life is difficult, and none of us get it right all the time. We move forward, we learn and grow. Just like our children. We try to figure this parenting thing out. And it's hard. But we keep working at it.

And yes, we have chosen to homeschool. We believe it is the best choice for our family. But that doesn't mean that homeschool is the right choice for every family.

I don't want to come across as a "better than". I am not better than any of you. I struggle and work hard, and try my best, and still make mistakes. It's just part of life.

And lastly, life is full of moments like this one for me. We get our feelings hurt, we assess, we make changes if needed, and we move on.

Movin' on...

I have lists coming out of my ears. Most of them are actual lists, either on google documents, or on paper, or sticky notes stuck to my steering wheel, or 3x5 cards, or the backs of envelopes... at least they exist. But this week especially, I have ideas, just swirling around in my head. There are so many things that I want to do, and teach my kids, and plans I want to institute for our family. And I feel like I just need a few minutes to sit down and really think, but I can't think, with all the list writing, and doing, and going, and keeping up, and planning. And as I am writing this, I actually just thought, "I need to make a list" for all of my random ideas, that don't have a category, but need to go somewhere, before I forget... but tonight I feel like just getting some of it out, will somehow be therapeutic.

We soon leave for a 2 week vacation. We are all ridiculously excited. Well, I might be the only one "ridiculously" excited, everyone else is very excited as well. But seriously, I tear up, just thinking about getting to spend two weeks with my family. I can't wait for my grandma to read books to my kids, and for my babies to be able to run through rows of corn with cousins, and have great big family dinners, and eat whoopie pies, and wear long sleeves, and smell the Lancaster County cow poop, and go to the fair to ride the rides and watch the parade, and oh, how I just want to hug the necks of my cousins and aunts and uncle, and grandparents. And part of me just wants to get the heck on the road already, and not even wait until Sunday. But alas, according to my lists, I have a lot to do!

Fortunately, we have trustworthy friends to house-sit for us, and chicken-sit, dog-sit, fish-sit, etc... while we're gone. Excuse me, while I pause to add something to my list. (Because what if  we run out of dog, fish and chicken food?) It will be so nice, not to have to wonder if everything is ok at our zoo, so a big "thank you" to our friends!

In other news, Lilly is potty training. We went to the store today, and Bella and Grady wanted to buy her a present, so they split their money, and bought her a baby doll with a potty. She is in love.

This week, we have been a bunch of celebrating fools. We went to Melbourne to celebrate the birthdays of Lilly and my dad, which included a trip to The Brevard Zoo, a delicious dinner, cupcakes, and presents.



These candles holders used to go on my birthday cakes, when I was growing up. For whatever reason, I didn't get any pictures of Lilly and my dad blowing out their candles.

And today, we celebrated Lilly's birthday and my birthday (a little early) with Bryan's side of the family. Bryan grilled, there was presents and playtime, and then we ate a delicious birthday cake (courtesy of Target). And needless to say, between the two grandmothers, Lilly is all set on "durls".

The cake is coming!

Just as I tried to move to the other side of the table to get a better view, and she blew out those candles, quick like a fox, before I could get a picture. So sadly, there will be no classic candle-blowing-out pictures for this year. And the picture below is Grady's new smile. I have no words.

At the end of the evening, I asked Brittany to take a family picture of us. After that, Bella asked to use my camera, and posed us all for a silly shot. Great work Bella, I'm loving it!
Happy Monday to ya!


  1. I'm so sorry someone said that to you! How hurtful!

    We should all understand that no body is perfect and why waste time writing about the negative on your blog when you have so many beautiful moments to capture and share. At least that's how I feel with my blog. We have so much to be thankful for and we need to focus on the amazing gifts that God has given rather than the ugly parts of life. The bad and the ugly do happen of course but I figure everyone has enough of their own to deal with they don't need to read about mine too! =)

    I hope you have a wonderful vacation. We have family in Lancaster PA as well! It's such a beautiful place.

  2. I am so proud to be YOUR mama! Other than God I have known you longer than anyone and believe me, I know that you are not perfect ;-) However, you keep working on becoming more like you Saviour. You love your husband and your children. You share thoughts to encourage other mamas. You do encourage others! Keep it up. We love your blog. We love you!

  3. It breaks my heart that someone would say such cruel words to you Amy, although based on what you tell us she said, her problems are very much HERS. She freely admits that she is jealous of you and that she feels like a horrible mother around you - you are NOT responsible for how this woman feels. This is HER problem not yours & you should NOT feel bad for her feelings of inadequacy. They are her issues to resolve & you should pay no attention to her hateful words. She should not be comparing herself to others and she clearly doesn't know you very well - you & Bryan work hard to achieve the life you provide for your family & be the best parents that you can be. She most certainly needs to keep her opinions to herself.

    On a lighter note, I remember your lists fondly. I will always remember how you let me look through your book of lists when you were about to have Bella. Written on one of the lists was "teach dogs new tricks" which for some reason really amused me :-)

    You may not be perfect Amy, but you're perfect as you are xxxx

  4. I'm so sorry you endured such an ugly comment. That makes me sad. I totally agree with Melissa about capturing all of the beautiful moments of this life we're blessed with. I don't think it's ever productive for someone to use their blogs or status updates as a negative, complaining gripe-fest no matter how challenging life can be sometimes. Kingsto was running a small fever last night and didn't go to sleep until almost 11. Instead of complainign about losing sleep I chose to rejoice in the fact that my precious miracle boy was dealing with a normal teething issue and not relentless seizures! Oh how thankful I was to "deal" with his minor issue! You are a sweet, precious lady who I enjoy getting to know more and more. You are a treasure! Be blessed. :-)

  5. Amy, I would totally ignore this person's comments. "Hate" is a negative sentiment and if this person cannot say anything positive, she should keep her comments to herself. I, for one, look at your blog every day and love your photos and narrative which keep me in touch with your delightful family.