Bursting, Part 2

>> Sunday, January 31, 2010

I have mentioned before that there is a certain song by Pink that is especially near and dear to me (for reasons that I cannot disclose). Well, I just found out that this certain song was performed AT THE GRAMMIES tonight and I can hardly believe it! I was at work tonight and didn't watch them live. But a dear friend (thanks Alli!) sent me the link to the YouTube video and I am bursting all over again. If you didn't see the performance either, here is the video for you.
This song makes me cry, for so many reasons not the least of which is that it is just a really, really beautiful song. It seems especially poignant for me tonight just thinking about the songwriter (whomever that may be... *wink, wink*) and some current challenges in my own life. This song, to me, celebrates the beauty that is found in living fully in the moment and not waiting for something better to come tomorrow. It is about living with abandon and not holding back or robbing yourself of joy just to protect yourself from hurt. This has been a theme I feel God is trying to teach me about lately.
Don't go through the motions, don't put up walls of protection all the time, love and be loved with abandon....

So even though there are some conflicting thoughts and feelings in my head and heart and soul tonight, I leave you with this beautiful song that reminds me to live my life fully and find joy in all the blessings both big and small. I might just throw some glitter in the air, just 'cuz I never have and it seems like it might be really fun.

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He Can Write His Name!

>> Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It may be hard to see in this picture, but I am too proud not to share. We were playing with our window markers today to pass the time on this frigid winter day. It was fun to create pictures on the backdrop of the apartment buildings behind us. Lucas drew a window and a truck crashing into the building and even a dragon trying to climb in the window. Love that kid's creative mind!! But as we were playing, Lucas starting writing his name. I didn't even know he knew how to write his name. We had been working on it but I had never seen him do it independently. But he did today! And I am a pretty proud mama! The "s" is my favorite part. He stood there for a second, thinking about how to do it. He finally just swirled the marker around and said "S!" I think he did a good job writing his name. But I am a bit biased! Oh, and he also drew an little person next to it complete with body and round head and legs and arms and a face. I haven't seen him draw a person with that much detail before. This is a developmental milestone, right? Either way, I am so proud of my little man!

It has been a bit of a rough week so far. My new job has been going pretty well but I hit a bit of a rough patch this week (week 3). The kids are mostly doing well but I am noticing an increased clinginess from both boys, especially Caden. Lucas had an emotional crying fit at his grandma's yesterday when he saw my picture on her refrigerator. He has never done that before. Plus, my relationship with my new boss is a bit on edge. I feel like the rules are already changing from what I was initially promised when I joined this team and it is bringing me serious stress and second thoughts. I plan to have a talk with my boss soon and hash some things out. These are probably all just some wrinkles that need to be ironed out and just a natural part of the adjustment process for us all. I am not giving up yet since I think I made the initial decision for the right reasons. But, it has just made for a rough week so far.
Seeing Lucas write his name this afternoon made my heart glad. Much needed. And he was pretty thrilled that I was thrilled.

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So Far, So Good...

>> Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thank you to all of you who have been such an amazing source of encouragement to me this past week. I was so nervous about leaving the boys, especially Caden. The first two days went well, just a bit of crying from me and Caden. Lucas has adjusted like a champ so far. Caden and I will get there. :)
I enjoy the job so far. I am finding, like so many other areas of my life, I have set the bar so high for myself that I make it almost impossible to reach. When in truth, no one expects me to be the best nurse on the team after only being there for 2days. I am trying to give myself room to learn the new skills and procedures without having to be perfect right away. Trying.

In all my deep soul searching and introspective thinking the past few weeks, I think I have decided that taking this job actually makes me a better mom. Not better than anyone else. Just a better version of myself....
Growing up, I was always good with kids. I loved babysitting, I was good at it, kids loved me. I started a journal of entries to my children when I was in highschool. It always seemed a fore-gone conclusion that having my own kids would be a natural fit. And while I think that is mostly true (I do love being a mom and making up crafts and taking the boys on adventures...), I think there are parts of motherhood that came as a surprise to me. I tend to lose my temper WAY more than I would like or even like to admit. I am not very good at impulse control sometimes. Fatigue and I are not a good match. I am not a very patient and calm mama when I am running on empty.
I am a complex girl. When I was working full-time before I had kids, all I wanted was to stop working and have my family. And I love being home with them but I also love being a nurse and fell like I worked too hard to get to this point in my career to give it up. I think that is why it was so hard for me to pass up this opportunity when it came my way.
So in some strange way, taking this job and leaving my boys more makes me feel like I am a little more in the driver's seat of my own well-being. I am providing a little more for my family financially, and that feels good. I am using my skills and nursing-aptitude and it feels really good. The leaving part is hard.... very hard. But they are in very capable, loving hands and even this part of it is good for us.
It is good for me to have time away, making me appreciate the time together so much more. It is good for them to realize that if I leave them, I will come back and they will be fine. And we will have fun and snuggle and have nursies and all the things that make time with mommy so great when I get home. I was worried that leaving them an extra day or two would communicate that they are not the center of my world, that going to work puts them in 2nd place. I don't want me leaving them the be the new "norm." But I don't think I need to worry about that. Hopefully not, anyway. My boys love me and I am not hesitant to tell them often how awesome I think they are. We are bonded very deeply to each other. And this feeling of empowerment (for lack of better word) I feel gives me a renewed strength and energy for the task of motherhood. At least so far.
Plus (and you may think this is a bit shallow), bringing in some extra money lowers the overall stress level in our home. I don't have to feel as guilty about getting take out on that really tough, busy day. We have a little more wiggle room in the budget and some available funds to do some of the little home improvements that we have been waiting for years to do. I really feel it helps my Hubby by taking some of the financial pressure off him. And, I might just buy myself a new Kate Spade bag or AnnTaylor outfit like I used to do in the pre-kiddo days. And that would be so fun! (Ok, that is a bit shallow but I'm just keepin' it real with y'all!)
So.. so far, so good. We are adjusting to the new routine and starting to see the benefits this may have for me and our family as a whole. Plus I think it is bonding the boys more to each other too, which warms my heart deeply.
I am so grateful for all of your prayers and encouragements. And I am thankful that God loves me enough to give me this opportunity and good friends to help me make it work (Amanda and Heather- that's you!!!). I am grateful that He knows what I need and what my boys need even when I can't see anything clearly. Thank you Lord for these moments of growth and healing and contentment- like rays of sunshine bursting through the clouds.

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An Anxious Beginning

>> Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I start my new job tomorrow. Yes, I decided to do it. Take the plunge, take a risk, walk in faith. I have prayed and worried so much about this decision. Is it right for me? Is it right for my boys? For our family? Should I wait 'til they are older or not let this opportunity pass me by?
I worked hard to arrange the logistics for the boys and get everything set for tomorrow, my first day. And yet here I sit having MAJOR cold feet. I am excited for the job itself and I know the boys will be fine. They will be with Hubby most of the day. I am just really nervous about leaving Caden and I am nervous about Lucas feeling comfortable with someone else picking him up and being dropped off at a new house. But, I mostly feel all those things will turn out fine. Logistically.

Truthfully, my nerves are one part logistics and nine parts emotions. I was fighting off tears tonight as I explained tomorrow's day to Lucas. It started to hit me that I won't be there to pick him up or hear about his day. I won't be there. My life is shifting. I am delegating the care of my children to other people so that I can go to work and focus on my career and make more money to pay off debt and get us back on a little more solid ground. I know that Caden will cry when I leave him and I will have to just walk away and get in my car. That is going to break my heart. I am sure he will settle down. But will I? As I cooked dinner tonight and Caden just wanted me to hold him, I felt my heart breaking a little just thinking about leaving him.

I know it will all take some time to get used to. Transitions are always like that. I am not giving up before I start just because I am feeling nervous and anxious and a bit guilty. But I am feeling a bit sad, a bit anxious, and maybe a tinge guilty. This new job is not being forced on me. I could have said no and still can at any time. I DO still think this is a good thing for me and for our family right now. We will benefit from the extra money and it is a good move for my career. It even might be a good thing for the boys to get comfortable with other people taking care of them. Just not too comfortable. I am struggling a bit with giving up my role as primary care giver for these boys who are my world. But, it is only a part-time job. I am only working 2-3 days a week but am just feeling the weight of this transition pretty heavy tonight.

These boys are my world. And I want them to grow up knowing that they are my world, not that I left them to the care of others. And if I am being totally vulnerable here, I will admit that part of these nerves are that I feel like I am stepping deeper in that hole of not being 100% anything. Not stay at home mom, not a career girl, not a sold-out blogger, not a persistent business woman....... just a poser trying to be in all those worlds. You know?

I could use your prayers as I take this leap of faith tomorrow and start this new job with a bit of an anxious heart. I trust that God will make it work for all of us or make it clear that it is not going to. I am at least gonna give it a shot and see if my heart will follow my feet. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Go Mama, It's Your Birthday

>> Thursday, January 7, 2010

Nothing like a little impromptu song and dance to brighten up any day but especially my birthday. This video of Caden on my birthday today makes my heart smile. I just love hearing his little voice trying to say "birthday." And you gotta love the kid's moves- the "flip over the couch" and the "spin 'til you drop" are instant classics. I hope it makes you smile too.

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Gator Lovin'

I know they aren't playing for the championship today like I had hoped, but I still LOVE my GATORS!! And am raising two Gator-loving boys too. :) SO, here's to my Gators- 2009 Sugar Bowl champs and the finest team in college football.

Chomp, Chomp!!!

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>> Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I am a perfectionist. This is no secret. And this little personality flaw trait sometimes hinders my ability to keep up on this blog. I want each post to be perfect and initiating the inertia to post something becomes harder and harder the longer I go without posting. I don't know where to start. Should I just jump in (do you care about all the little things?) or should I not post unless I have something truly profound or meaningful to say? Can I put up a review of our new favorite children's book if I haven't filled y'all in on the happenings of my life lately? All these silly bloggy questions.... Truthfully, none of it feels relevant tonight.

Today, I got a surprise visit from my good friend reality. The reality of the fragility of life seemed to smack me in the face today. A friend from work lost her husband to cancer. They have two small girls who are really missing their daddy tonight. I also got the news that a close family friend has advanced large cell lymphoma. Her doctors are treating her aggressively, trying to increase her chances of surviving it. She is older than me, younger than my parents, has three kids and grandbabies on the way. A bloggy friend lost her baby today. She went in for her 18wk. ultrasound and there was no heartbeat. Not cool. None of it.

On top of all this, I turn 33 tomorrow. Not that I am upset about that. I am really not that phased by it at all. I used to make a big deal out of my birthday. And I do still like to receive a little extra TLC on my one day and feel appreciated and celebrated. But that looks different now than it used to. But there is just something about birthdays that makes me step back and assess my life and priorities and all the such. One of my sweetest friends came over with her two kiddos this morning and we talked and watched the little ones play trains while the older ones played out in the snow. It was refreshing and fun and just what we both needed. And as usually happens with this dear friend, our conversation got me thinking even more about the things in my life that are meaningful and important.

I was accused recently of being selfish and only caring about what happens to me and my sons. And while I certainly have selfish moments or days or months, it is days like today where I realize that is mostly untrue. My heart hurts for these people in my life who are experiencing the harsh side of life's fragility. I have been there. I am there at times. I know that life is fragile. I have felt it slip away. I watch Caden play trains with his little friend and Lucas sled down our tiny hill, laughing and being a little boy. Certainly my heart is completely caught up in these boys. But the reality is that no matter how hard I try, I do not hold their lives. Only the angels surrounding them and God's love and perfect plan for them keep them safe and on the right path. And it is because of God's love for me that I have these boys at all. And a husband who loves me despite my selfishness. And friends who come over to let me vent and talk about my fears and failures and fragile places (that is a whole other blog post!!).

Even though my life is fairly stable at the moment, I know that my next moment could bring my familiar friend reality knocking again at my door. Life is fragile like that. I have known my own tragedy but I stand here today with my hubby and my boys and friends and family who love me. And I know that I am extravagantly blessed even during life's most fragile moments.

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