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007It’s been many weeks since my last post.  Since then we’ve had 1 trip to urgent care, 2 to the ER, school starting for Zane, and homeschool starting for Kalliope and Miles.  I’ve managed to get out to 3 concerts this summer.  Coldplay and Crue Fest at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, and last night Jason took me to see Heart at the NC Music Factory Amphitheater.  NC Music Factory is an awesome venue.  There wasn’t a bad seat in the house.  Hmmm…I think that sums it up!

Most importantly, this post is to wish my baby, Miles, the happiest 2nd birthday!  He has such a dynamic personality that he really is such a joy to have and we are so blessed for ALL our children!

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I’ve been going through what some might call an identity crisis over the past several years.  I wanted to share this bit of insight about me because I really feel like God has done such a work in my heart and with my perspective this past week.

I guess it all started back when I had my first child, Kalliope.  Keep in my that I hadn’t found God yet, so bear with me as I fill you in with little back story.  Anyway…as most moms know, everything changes with your first baby.  I felt like I had to completely change who I was, how I dressed, everything!  I went through a phase where I wanted to simplify everything in my life down to the way I dressed and how I wore my hair.  I stopped wearing make-up and really caring about how I looked.  I was always in jeans and a tee-shirt with my hair up in a pony tail.  There isn’t anything wrong with that look, but it wasn’t me.  I used to have fun with my hair and style.  I was feeling like the real me was being lost, which is funny since who I am is not defined by how I dress or how I wear my hair.

Let’s see, about 5 years later I met a group of moms all with autistic kids and we get together for breakfast every Friday.  There I met Jennifer and she helped me see that I have to take time for myself and take care of myself.  I started care about how I looked and started feeling better about myself.

About a year later, I found God.  It was an amazing point in my life where I’ve never felt so loved and fearless and yet confused and unsatisfied with who I was.  I started studying the Bible and hanging around more Christians.  The more I did, the more I felt like I was not what God intended a Christian to be like.  I don’t run around hugging everyone, I’m more of a realist than an optimist, and I’m definitely not meek and submissive.  I felt like something was wrong with me.  I guess I expected some sort of overnight change in who I was and to be fill with joy, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control all the time.

So just a few months after being baptized, I felt a calling to homeschool Kalliope.  We started and I tried to get involved is some groups.  Again, I didn’t feel comfortable there.  I tried to dress the part and even act the part, but wasn’t feeling the part of nice, submissive Christian. 

The church that we were saved and baptized at was wonderful, but I never felt like I completely fit in.  I know it was just my perspective.  I mean outwardly I tried to dress the part of the nice Christian and when I was there on Sundays, I was pleasant and friendly to everyone.  So there we were for 2 years.  Towards the end, the main reason we left was to find some place a little more suitable for Zane since they were planning on restructuring the special needs ministry there.  We also wanted to find a church a little closer to home so we could get plugged in with volunteering.  We visited a couple of different churches and even looked online.  We stumbled across Elevation Church when I googled churches near Indian Trail.  I went to the website and watched a few sermons.  We loved Pastor Furtick right from the start.  So I went one weekend while Jason and Kalliope were out of town and I loved it!  I decided to audition when they were holding worship team auditions and made it. Being around Christians who dressed how they wanted really struck a chord with me, but that is such a small part.

At church this past Sunday, I was singing with 2 other women who are a couple of the nicest people I know and I just felt like there was something wrong with me again.  I jokingly told them that I hope some of their niceness rubs off on me!

Tuesday I had bible study with 2 very close friends.  Somehow the subject of God loving us the way we are came around.  I confessed to them how I felt about myself and was surprised that one of my friends had felt the same way in the beginning of her walk with God.  They assured me that my personality is fine the way it is and I don’t have to be oozing niceness to still be a good Christian woman, and that my gifts were in other areas.  That was such a relief to hear that!

Wednesday I met up with several other homeschooling moms from Elevation.  Again God showed me that you can be fun, loud, a little sarcastic, and still be a good, loving, compassionate Christian woman.

To sum it up, I’m really learning to accept and love myself exactly the way I am.  Does that mean I’m perfect?  Of course!  Absolutely not, but I’m not going to try to be someone I’m not. 

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Since I was singing at church all day Easter Sunday and then (without anyone to watch Zane) Jason and Kalliope went to church Sunday evening, we decided to do our family festivities on Saturday. 

The problem:

The solution:

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The warden hopes that extra time in the yard will make him think twice before pulling another stunt like that.

*Actually I’m still terrified he’ll stick his finger into a socket or break a lamp!

We’re almost 2 months into ’09 and I thought I’d give a quick update to my yearly resolutions.

1. Stop spanking my kids. 

I think I’ve only had to spank Kalliope once or twice.  HOWEVER, since she knows we’re trying not to spank her, she’s been pushing my buttons a lot more.  Testing me to see what she can get away with!  ARGH!!!

2. Have more patience with my kids, especially Kalliope. 

I’m getting better, but it’s a work in progress.

3. Lose 30 lbs.

So far I’ve lost 10 lbs. doing the Special K diet!

4. Keep my house clean 75% of the time (a big number here considering it’s usually around 10%) and fold laundry straight out of the dryer.

I have yet to let any clean laundry pile up unfolded.  My house has been a little cleaner, probably about 50%.  I don’t want to go too high too fast, I’m might give my husband a heart attack.

5. Be a better friend.  I don’t call my friends and don’t tell them how great they are nearly enough.

This one has been tough for me since I’m not a mushy person.  Don’t worry, I haven’t given up!

6. Get and STAY on a budget!

Don’t ask.

7. Read through my entire Bible! 

I’m getting to it.

8. Learn to let things go. 

Another work in progress.

9. Get my kids out of the house more. 

I’ve been good about getting Kalliope and Miles out while Zane is at school, but it still gives me a headache just thinking about running to Wal*Mart with all 3.

*A quick side note.  My girl, Jen, recently had a 70’s party.  Pictures will be coming soon!

I know it’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything substantial, I’ve been very busy so cut me a little slack. 

Yesterday I sang at Elevation Church like I do almost every Sunday now, but I got to sing at the 6 pm service that just started a few weeks ago.  The energy there was amazing and I was so pumped up for the rest of the night!

My mom just sent me a webcam, so I set that up today and set up a free video calling account.  We’re pretty excited about that.  I connected my laptop up to my flat screen in the living room so the kids could see better and hopefully Zane would be interested in it.  No such luck.  Anyway, the boys we’re getting hungry and my mom, who I was talking to at the time, suggested just leaving the call open since it’s a free service.  I agreed, but was very unsettled.  I kept looking up and seeing my mom sitting there on the TV and felt like I was on display.  I don’t think I’ll be hooking it up to the TV anymore.  Kalliope loves it and even asked if I could set my laptop up on her nightstand so she could wake up and call her Grandma.  My husband and I are amazed.  When we were kids and watched futuristic shows like the Jetsons, everyone had video phones.  Now it’s common for people to have webcams.  What’s next?  Jetpacks?  I can’t wait for that to come!

011209-004Yesterday Kalliope turned 9 years old!  I can’t believe how fast it’s gone by!  She had a Camp Rock themed party and about 20 guests from our neighborhood and her karate class.  Since she got Disney Sing It for her birthday, that’s what the kids did a majority of the time and it seemed to be a big hit!  I made a stage from my excercise step wrapped in a section from a Camp Rock table cloth.   I hung a shimmery curtain on the wall behind as a backdrop and capped it all off with another section of table cloth.  It turned out pretty cute and inexpensive!  She had a great time.  We took her to Chili’s for dinner and they came and sang to her.  It was a great day for a great little girl!

Here’s a little clip from us singing.  Sorry I’m so loud; I’m holding the camera!  I spelled out “Happy Birthday Kalliope” on the cupcakes, but Zane swiped the “B” off one so they only read “Happy Irthday Kalliope”.  You get a glimpse of Zane getting very excited at the end.  He loves singing happy birthday!

foot-massage

So this evening my feet are really sore from doing yoga this morning.  Go ahead and laugh, but I have extremely flat feet and weak ankles and doing stuff like that bothers my feet.  Anyway, I asked my 8 year old daughter to rub my feet a little and I had to bribe her with a treat after dinner.  Some of you stricter folk are probably thinking that I shouldn’t have to give my child anything.  She should rub my feet since I brought her into this world, give her food, shelter, etc.  Other, more liberal, parents are probably appalled that I would have my child do such a horrible and demeaning task for me.  I think it’s just smart.  She’s doing a little manual labor and earns a small fee, so she’s learning a great lesson.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself.  (Besides, she’ll be 9 in just a week and a half!)

Here are a few pictures from Christmas Eve through yesterday.  I’m not as dedicated as those who got pics of their kids opening presents up on their blogs on Christmas.  I did want to add that I plan to blog more as another resolution for the year.  Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.

Miles with Elmo Live, his big gift this year.  Do you think he likes it?  I’ve also got a video of Kalliope singing at church but I’m having trouble uploading it.  I’ll post it if I can get it to work!