Hello, Ten.

Hello, Ten.

On September 20th, 2008,  a couple of 20 somethings walked down the aisle and vowed promises of forever and always to one another.  That was us.

Ryan and I have always been honest about what our marriage is.  We are very clear that marriage is difficult.  We are no strangers to vocal public fights.  Our close friends and families are always pulled in to hear our testimonies but we never asked them to take sides.  But we try to always ask, “What could I do to make this better?”  Our friends and family know us well individually and as a couple and we have been extremely blessed to have people in our lives that believe in our love and union and support the success of it.

When Ryan and I had the conversation of marriage as an unmarried couple, we both happened to be on the same page.  When we spoke of marriage we talked about the hard work we had to put in.  Marriage is not always easy like Sunday morning.  My main focus was not about my wedding dress.  It was not about my guest list.  It was about making sure that we can make this work for as long as we vowed to make it work for.  Forever.  Forever is a long damn time.  As the times and seasons change, people change.  What we can hope for and what we can fight through is to try to not necessarily change but to grow and hopefully in our journey to grow as individuals we can grow together as husband and wife.  Always.

Last anniversary was the first one in a while where we felt good in our marriage.  Like I say about our marriage when asked, we have good years and we have our unbearable ones.  Years 7 & 8 were rough ones.  We went through a lot as a couple and those two rough ass years had divorce on the tongue.  Our kind side vs. our stubborn side were at a constant battle.  As much as we told ourselves to be kind to our partner the opposite would win and Petty Betty was the name of the game.  We just couldn’t find it in ourselves to come up with solutions and for some reason ONLY knew how to point fingers.  Then last year, around our 9th anniversary, Ryan was out of town for training.  We were getting a little bit better with communicating prior to him leaving and got so much better at it while he was away.  Our outlook on situations and on each other somehow became more positive.  Our kind side wanted a rematch and was on its way to the top.  We wanted this marriage to work, not just for our kids, but for us.

We are doing it.  Every day we are grateful we make it together to the next because not many couples do for one reason or another.  Our story is still open for new chapters.  We made it to ten!  We are still loving and supporting each other and constantly encouraging each other to be and do better.  We still can make each other laugh until we are about to pee our pants.  But most importantly after 10 years of marriage, he still knows exactly how I like my coffee and that is pure love.

Happy, Ten.

My Favorite Moments – June ’18

My last Favorite Moments post was all the way back in September 2017.  The holidays crept up on us, as usual, and I was getting a little more involved in Kole’s school and class that the blogging took a little backseat.  It’s now summer time for the kids so I’ll try to take advantage of any free time to get back to typing away.

Kole | Kole finished off second grade this month and I am extremely proud of his school year.  His teachers and his classmates had nothing but good things to say about him.  He learned so much academically this year.  I loved his explanation of common core and friendly tens he learned in math, I loved the little bits of knowledge he’d tell me about ants and spiders (ew!!), and I loved all the little projects he brought home that took planning, testing, and follow through.  He’s always been into books and getting lost in the stories he’d read but this year he really fell in love with writing.  He took every advantage of the times he had in school to write and illustrate stories/books with his classmates during Writers Workshop and he also took time at home to create little books.  His imagination and creativity is boundless.

School was so great for him this year that he has shed some tears because school is over.  Not only because he’d miss his friends and recess but also because he genuinely enjoyed every part of the school day as well.  He even went as far as to say “Two months of summer is soooo looonnnggg!”  What kid says that? LOL.  Even though I have never felt that way in my whole life, I am really happy that he feels this way.  This feeling may not last forever but I will do my best to keep him just as interested in school as I can.  And I also am hella grateful for the educators that keep that school spirit alive!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Monroe | My little baby boy turned three this month!!  He. Is. A. Terror.  But the most lovable kind.  He most definitely is a sour patch kid.  Sweet one minute and sour the next.  But lately, his sweet has leveled up!  He is giving me more hugs and kisses and I get a lot more random “Mimi, I love you”s.  And if you know us well, you know his sacrifice of the green M&Ms for me is quite the gesture coming from that little M&M monster.  Conversations with him are getting easier and we are understanding each other more.  As much as I love all the growing, it is making me a little sad.  It’s already hard enough for me to accept that Kole isn’t teeny tiny anymore and now my littlest baby is growing up at the same super speed as his brother.   Time goes impossibly fast when you measure it by your growing minis.

Young, Wild, and THREE!img_8482-e1530204561486.jpg

What started off your sweet summertime?

 


Snoopy Sweater: Uniqlo | 3rd Birthday Shirt:  Willow Bee Apparel 

Ms. B., You Were A+. Second Grade Was Super.

This school year just flew right on by. When we first met Ms. B. we fell instantly at ease and in love. Having had the same teacher for two years straight, Kole was a bit nervous starting second grade. But since the first day of this school year he had deemed Ms. B. as one of his favorite teachers. I had the pleasure to sit in and volunteer in the class a bit more this year so I got close to her and the students pretty quickly. She is a great teacher with a whole lot of patience and a very kind heart. Kole came out everyday being able to do mental math so quickly. Thank goodness for common core and friendly tens!

Now it’s time to say goodbye to all our company…and that means a little “send off to Summer” gift sets. This year I rounded up some sidewalk chalk and bubbles to remind them to put the iPad down and get outside. Also adding washable paint to remind them to stay creative. Keep your body moving, live life, and enjoy your sunny days, kiddos!

“Have a whole lot of summer fun! Love, Kole”

To the person who handled 17 of our precious, energetic, hard to handle at times, minis…thank you for all the new knowledge, skill, and memories you gave our kids. You get the sweetest of send offs.

Kole loved being in her class. We especially appreciate her opening her classroom doors to me and Monroe. We hope she enjoys every single minute of her summer break. She deserves it!

“Thanks for making Kole, one smart cookie!”

Thank you Second Grade. You were super. Off to Third we go!

Happy summer and enjoy every ray of that sunshine! ‘Til next school year.

Sidewalk chalk (Target) | Kids’ Washable Paint | Treat Cups (Michael’s clearance) | Cellophane Bags | Bubbles | Photo Box | “One Smart Cookie” Pot Holder | Cookie Cutter | Candle (Bath & Body Works)

HMD. 2018.

This year I’m going to give a shout out to my boys. After all, without them I wouldn’t be part of this motherhood club.

They have changed my life in so many ways. Never in my life have I felt so anxious. Anxiety and panic attacks come full force. I’m deathly afraid of anything just in the case they get hurt in any way or in the case I get hurt in any way. Because who the hell would take care for my kids the way I do if something happened to me? No one. Because even if their dad can take care of them just fine, he still can’t do it like mommy does. (Ask him. He’ll co-sign. I promise.) Before I had kids it was that YOLO life. Now, as a mother, it’s YOLO but LET’S BE CAUTIOUS YALL!!!!

But that’s ok with me. I always thought of myself as a selfish person in my young adult life (which I’m sure we all were). Thinking of throwing myself in front of danger for someone else made me think twice and lay out pros and cons before I actually would decide whether or not I would do that for someone no matter how much I loved and cared for them. Then I had kids.

And once I entered motherhood I had already made up my mind. I would run into a burning building for my children and I would lift any heavy machinery in my way to get to my kids. No doubt about it.

To my Kole and Monroe, I want to thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for reminding me about hope and love on dark days. Thank you for the random hugs and kisses you give. Thank you for saying “please” and “thank you”. Thank you for loving me unconditionally despite the irritation, the yelling, and especially despite the limited tech time I offer because of all the irritation you both offer me. 😒

I thank them because they made me a mom. And because no matter how much I think I am the worse mother in the world, little things like opening the door for me and giving me the green M&Ms because green is my favorite color, remind me that I’m not such a bad a great mom.

Cheers to our children for making us mothers.

And cheers to us moms. We hold the home down, we channel our inner superhero for our little ones, and we catch throw up with our bare hands. MVP.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Daily Conversations With My Kid.

With all the scary situations that have gone on in the world since Kole was born, it has brought my stress level to its highest. I have never been brought back to the calm side of the spectrum ever since I became a mother. I have considered homeschooling him and keeping him away from all people. I have considered watching his every step to make sure he never comes in close contact with a bully. But life doesn’t work that way. I can only trust in the way I raise him and have faith on how he follows through.

Ever since he started school, three years ago, I have said the same things to him during drop off and pick up. When I drop him off I always say “Be good, be kind, and learn a lot.” Every day.

I remind him to be good. Teachers work hard everyday with 20-30 of our rowdy children. As parents, reasons we often complain about our children is how they don’t listen and don’t follow through, just to name a few. And we only have to deal with 1-5 kids on average. We know the struggle and to put all these kids with all different personalities together can be stressful and tough for an underpaid teacher with whom we have entrusted with our most precious treasures for 6-8 hours a day.

I remind him to be kind. Children are sensitive and remember everything. We all know mistreatment from their peers can stick with them for a lifetime and cause uneccessary violent action. As adults in this world today we are surprised by kindness. Videos about kindness go viral like it’s a foreign action. That says a lot about the world today and it’s not a good thing. I want him to grow up knowing kindness should be normal, given and received. To everyone. From everyone.

And lastly, I remind him to learn a lot. I want him to be open to learning everything and anything. I want him to be engaged so he is always interested on learning both sides of a coin. Ask questions. Be open to the answers even if he doesn’t like them. Not only listen but to understand.

And on to our conversations when I pick him up.

I always ask..

“How was your day?”

“What did you learn today?”

“What did you do and who did you play with during recess?”

“What was your favorite thing about the day?”

“What was your least favorite?”

I know that seems like a lot but it gives me all the information I need and I get him used to knowing that, as a parent, asking him a bunch of questions are not for interrogation. It’s for conversation. To always remind him I want to know about and keep up with his life, not because I don’t trust him but because I’m truly interested. Wanting to know how his day went and what he learned are a given. But it’s important for me to know what happens during recess when the kids are left to socialize with each other on a more independent level. I want to know if the list of people he plays with change, if the list has downsized, or if it has increased. What kind of games they play and if who is in charge of these games are the same person/people or if that role changes from time to time. Hearing about his least favorite parts of the day help me figure out what makes him sad, uncomfortable, or upset so I am able to catch anything he may not express to me directly. Knowing his favorite parts help me remember the things that bring him joy.

If I can’t protect him from all the bad in the world I can only hope I am helping raise good to at least be able to spread a little bit of light in all this darkness. Let’s face it, our world is shit. I want his tomorrows to be brighter than our todays. We just have to make sure we show the love and keep the conversation up and running.

On A Wednesday In February. 2018.

Valentine’s Day is coming up and it’s time to get crafty for Kole’s class. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know candy is not my go to. Last year I knitted puffed hearts for the entire class and teacher and this year I wanted to make something for the boys and something for the girls.

For the boys:

Minecraft is a huge thing in our home so I decided to knit up Minecraft creeper baggies and got some bouncy balls to fill.

For the girls:

I knitted up some cute strawberry pouches and got heart bracelets to fill.

For the teacher:

Since Kole has a different teacher than he had last year, I decided to knit up a mini version of the Puffed Hearts and place them in a repurposed candle jar in hopes she will cherish the crafts and find use for the jar in her home.

These were thought up and made with a huge amount of love and care. I wanted Kole’s classmates to know their friendship is appreciated and his teacher to know that her kindness and patience means the world.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2018! Let this day be a reminder to give and show love, not just for that one day in February, but for everyday of the year.

“Do small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa

Mind Your Own.

My kids are not perfect. There are times they don’t listen. There are times they fight. There are times they throw tantrums.

It. Is. Normal.

The other day, my kids and I were at a store and Monroe, who is 2 years old, had a tantrum. The woman behind me felt the need to make all sorts of comments and show all sorts of disgust on the fact that Monroe was upset, irritated, and crying. I don’t much care about what others think but it still isn’t easy to hear other people make you feel you are a complete failure as a parent and absolutely more upsetting to see your oldest child hear someone say something unkind about his little brother.

But make no mistake, if you feel free to make your side comments behind my back, do not be surprised to hear my harsh comments to your face. I am a mother protecting her cubs. I bite.

If you have a toddler, you know it’s that time in their lives they just don’t understand why they can’t have everything they want in the world. That’s where us parents step in. We try our best to teach them right and wrong, good and bad, and patience. We all know trying to teach a child that takes time and a whole lot of patience on our part as well. It’s frustrating as hell but that’s our job, to make sure we do our very best to raise them to be good people.

When we say no to our kids, do you think we enjoy watching them cry and get upset? Absolutely not! I choose to say no to them for certain things they don’t need. I choose to have my heart break everytime they cry or get upset because I took something away from them they didn’t deserve. So they will understand they will get it back when they have earned it from hardwork, kindness, etc. and not because they yelled for it. I choose this way so they don’t become grown men who throw tantrums and so they understand the word NO when they hear it.

Look, I’m doing my best here. So if you aren’t here to help, then keep on walking. I don’t need anybody making me feel less than. Parents do that to themselves enough.

Moral of the story, if you see a toddler out there throwing a tantrum, you can either help the poor parents or just STFU.