No One Notices

No one notices the house stays clean.

No one notices that the laundry is always washed, dried, and put away.

No one notices that their favorite snacks and drinks are always there when they open up the fridge or pantry.

No one notices that somehow Christmas and Birthdays just always seem to workout somehow or some way.

No one notices that even though you are the last to sit down with your dinner plate, you are still the first one finished so you can clean up the kitchen and pack lunches for the following day.

It always feels like everything you do just goes unnoticed. No one seems to care about all the struggles you go through and emotions you go through to make sure everyone is taken care of. No one seems to notice all of the times you feel inadequate or not good enough. No one notices how much you beat yourself up because you feel you could have done more. No one notices how guilty you feel when you see the “perfect” parent on T.V. and start comparing yourself.

But the truth is, someone does notice. It may not be the family you care and work so hard for,  but God notices and he is extremely proud. He is proud of how hard you work to care for the family he gave you. He is proud of how strong you are and how fearless you are. He is proud of how even though you don’t get the credit or recognition, you still show up every day and give it your all to make sure everyone is taken care of. He is proud of how you put everyone else in front of yourself.

Don’t beat yourself up or quit because you feel that no one cares or no one notices. The only one you should be impressing is our heavenly Father and I promise, he notices, he sees you, and he is proud of you.

Oreo’s for Breakfast

I woke up, yawned, and stretched and slowly made my way out of bed. It is a Saturday morning so we laid around, drinking our coffee, trying to wake up. Even though it’s a Saturday, that doesn’t stop our internal clock from waking us up before 7 because that’s what we are used to doing during the week.

After about an hour, once the kids got up, I asked what they would like for breakfast. My son responds, “The Oreo’s in the cabinet.” My response was “Sure”.

I know that’s not  a healthy, well balanced breakfast. But, we do healthy all week long. I cook and make breakfast, fix their lunches for school, and make healthy dinners. So who cares on a Saturday morning if Oreo’s is our power fuel for the day. After all, don’t they make cookie cereal?

Wonderfully and Uniquely Made

Children are not born racist. Racism is taught. Children are not born seeing differences in skin color, it is something that is taught as they grow older.

While at Walmart, I told my children they could pick out a toy to purchase with some money they have been saving up.

My daughter walked carefully up and down the isle, searching for the perfect toy. When her eyes came across this pack of dolls, they lit up. She snatched the package off the shelf excitedly and told me this was what she wanted.

She gazed at each little doll admiring their different types of outfits. Her favorite was the mermaid. Once we got home, we barely made it through the door before she was ready to open and play with them.

It doesn’t matter to her what color their skin is, she doesn’t care. She doesn’t care that they are not “white” dolls. She doesn’t care that they don’t “look” like her. She isn’t taught to care about those type of things. She loves them exactly the way they are.

I could have told asked her “why don’t you pick the little blonde girls”, or said something about getting the ones that look more like her. But I didn’t, I let her get exactly what she wanted.

I am afraid it is too late to end racism in our generation or time. There are alot of us that don’t understand why there is so much hate, but then there are others who are set in their ways and will never change. Like the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

But how do we make a better future for our children? Stop teaching them about race. Stop teaching them to see color and start teaching them to see people. There are multiple shades of color between white and black. God made us all different for a reason and that reason wasn’t to hate each other for those differences. We are called to love one another.

So, let’s stop teaching our children to see color and start teaching them to see people, all people, who are wonderfully and uniquely made.

The Little Things Matter Most

My husband had to leave for work at 5:30 this morning. I normally like to be up at 5:30 or a little after to give myself some time to get woke up and do my bible study before I wake the kids up.

He came into the room to kiss me good bye before he left. I wasn’t quite ready to open my eyes yet, so I rolled back over after he walked out for the “5 more minutes”.

Finally I decided I needed to get up and make myself a cup of coffee. I sat up, stretched, and started to get out of bed when I saw this.

He normally always makes me a cup of coffee in the morning. But I wasn’t expecting it this morning being he had to leave so early.

My heart melted and that moment made my entire day. It’s the little things like this that mean more than anything to me. It’s the fact that even though he had to leave extremely early, he still thought of me.

That right there beats a million dollars in my book, the little things.

We tend to overlook these small things at times because we are too overwhelmed with the big things. Working, cleaning, paying bills, etc consume our minds that we just let the little things fall into the cracks.

But in reality, when we focus on the little things, life is just so much better and happier.

Parenting is Hard

Being a parent is hard.

Today, I had to tuck back my emotions and send my 6 year old to school even though she was nervous and in tears. Literal crocodile tears.

On Friday, her best friend at school decided she wanted to play with the new girl instead. My daughter tried to play with both of them, but her friend was mean to her. When I picked her up from school she was upset and her feelings were hurt.

We talked about it, I told her Monday would be a brand new day. Maybe her friend would have a change of heart. If not, that wasn’t the type of friend she wanted or needed.

Over the weekend, she said herself, maybe Monday she will be nice and let me play with them.

Monday rolls around, and she woke up in tears. Nervous and afraid of what the day had in store for her. I almost let her stay home. But, what was I teaching her?

As I watched her get out of the vehicle with tears rolling down her face I felt so guilty, but also proud of her. She could have pitched a fit and refused to get out of the vehicle. She could have screamed and hollered.

But instead, she took a deep breath, got out of the vehicle and walked inside ready to face the unknown.

I hated sending her to school like that. But if I let her stay home, what was I teaching her? That she could cry and get out of going to school. To never face her fears.

I pray when I pick her up today, that she’s going to tell me how great her day was. I pray her friend will be nice to her.

Today’s parenting decision was hard, but sometimes in life you have to do things you don’t want to do. For instance, today I have to go to the eye doctor and I really don’t want to go.

Parenting is hard. Hang in there parents. I wish I could tell you it gets easier, but yea.

Anxiety Sucks

Anxiety causes me to never feel like I’m good enough, or that I’ve not done enough.

I spend a lot of time beating myself up because of over thinking what others might think of me.

Anxiety causes me to stress and have panic attacks.

I sometimes break down and cry for no reason.

“I’m a failure again” always tends to creep into my mind.

I blame myself for everything and constantly apologize.

I feel everything is always my fault.

There are times when I am smiling, but deep down I am over thinking and feeling out of place or awkward.

Anxiety just plain out sucks. Some people understand completely, while others don’t .

But the truth is, it is easy to overcome with the right way of thinking and the training of the mind.

It’s easier to avoid going places to avoid the awkwardness and anxiety.

But, life gets boring and depressing when you hide yourself away.

Take a deep breath and give it to God.

I know that sounds way too easy, but it truly is.

Pray about it, pray for strength, pray to tame your mind, and pray to calm your mind.

Sometimes there is an instant relief, sometimes it may take a while, but that’s ok, just be patient.

Don’t let anxiety take over your life. You are good enough, you do enough, and you are not a failure.

Growing Pains

Kids aren’t the only ones who go have growing pains. Parent’s go through growing pains as well.

Parent’s growing pains are different than our kids growing pains. Our legs don’t ache and our arms don’t ache (Well they do, but not from growing pains, but from aging). We can’t put an icepack on it and take some Tylenol to ease the pain.

Our growing pains are quite different. Unlike our babies, our growing pains reside in our hearts.

We watch our kids grow and we cherish every moment. Even though we love to see them grow, it still hurts. They grow so fast. One day they are clinging to your leg, and the next they are independent. They are walking into school by themselves and they want to play with their friends instead of you.

One minute you’re the young mom with a toddler and a baby trying to get the shopping done and the house clean and you’re about to pull your hair out.

Then, your oldest is in pre-k and you have your youngest pitter pattering beside you everywhere you go.

Before you know it, both of your babes are in school. One is in 4th grade, one year away from going to Middle School. The youngest is in 1st grade, one year away from going to Elementary School.

Then, you’re left wondering “Where did the time go?” It went by so fast. One minute seems like it will last a life time, then before you know it, you’re no longer the young mom. You’ve slowly but quickly became the somewhat  experienced mom that knows all the ups and downs of the school.

You’re no longer the mom worried about her pre-k child, because your child has been in school long enough and is extremely comfortable in school. You no longer have to worry about if your child is scared, nervous, or crying because they miss you. Instead, they are excited to leave your side because they are becoming independent.

I use to be the young mom, not too long ago. Now I’m going through growing pains as I watch the new young moms.

I remember when that was me and believe it or not, I miss it. I miss the crazy outings, the rough school mornings, and the craziness of it all. I MISS IT.

I love the ages my babes are at now because yes, they are more independent. It’s easier for us to do more things together and have family fun. The melt downs aren’t near as frequent and I don’t have to worry about the diaper bags, strollers, change of clothes, etc. Going to stores is much easier because the kids listen and do what they are told. But, I still ache over the younger ages.

I was told by ones more seasoned than I not to take the time for granted. I agreed and honestly thought I didn’t. But as I said, before I knew it, the time was gone and we are on to our next season leaving the last season as a memory.

Growing pains don’t just happen to kids, they happen to mommy’s and daddy’s as well. Though they are bitter sweet, they still hurt like heck.

Different Picture

Times are tough

Life can be hard

And when it seems like everything is going against you

It can be easy to disregard

All the blessing we have in our lives

It’s easy to not think about the little things

When the troubles seem much bigger

But, in reality

When we change our hearts to gratitude

You’ll see a different picture.

Photography by Mandy Vinson

I Don’t Bathe My Kids Anymore

On the evening before the first day of school, we started getting ready for bed early so we could be bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning.

Instead of taking showers one at a time, I decided to let one child shower in my bathroom while the other showered in theirs.

As I was getting the showers ready, it hit me, I don’t have to bathe my children anymore. They shower and bathe themselves now.

I tried to recall when was the last time I bathed my youngest. I couldn’t remember. Sadly, I never realized the last time I bathed my youngest was going to be my last time.

When my oldest first started school, I remember the hassle it was every night. Fighting between getting two small children bathed and ready for bed. Now, just like that, it’s over.

I should be happy and relieved that my children are more independent now, but in reality, it makes me sad. It means my children are growing up fast and we are turning to a new chapter in life, leaving the last chapter behind.

I look at younger mom’s as I’m sitting in the drop off line at the primary school. They are walking their Pre-k child to class while wrestling with a toddler. I recall being that mom. I recall being stressed and overwhelmed when little did I know that time would be over with before I knew it.

Enjoy every moment, even though it can seem tiresome and overwhelming. One day you will wake up and realize you don’t have to bathe them anymore. You don’t have to dress them in the mornings anymore. They will slowly become more independent. Yes, that means you’re doing your job as a mom, but that doesn’t take the sting away.

Enjoy them being little, because it won’t last long. Take advantage of every time they need you because one day they won’t. Don’t wish the time away because when it’s gone, it’s gone.