It’s wedding week!

I’ve been casually MIA- for good reason.

6 days until “I do.”

I have planned our entire wedding in less than one year and under $10k dollars (which is nearly unthinkable today).

And did I mention… vacation?

Thursday morning at about 4am we will head to Pigeon Forge, TN where we will be married in the Smoky Mountains on Saturday. Send good thoughts, as the long travel (10-12 hour drive) we are asking of our families is what brings me the most worry.

I’ll be sure to update with plenty of pictures after the big day, but here is some of what we have been up to lately!! (Other than full time jobs, college, and wedding planning!

Pumpkin patch
Leon is almost 11 months old!
Our sweet Della Rae
Jeep rides!
And even time for a date night here & there!

Now for final preparations and packing!!! 🤍💍

A Good Mom

A Good Mom never believes that she is a good Mom.

Perhaps, I suggest to myself, it’s just how I stroke my broken ego after a long day of chasing children around the house.

Who knew a three year old could push my buttons so quickly? No one warned me of this!

Or, maybe they did. I just didn’t listen.

Sometimes I wonder how I’m supposed to be the adult and parent two children. I mean, I don’t even want to call to schedule my own appointments, let alone be responsible for a tiny person?!

Seems bizarre, but I seem to be doing okay at it.

When I was pregnant the first time, I remember several women telling me, ‘It’s instinct. You’ll know exactly what to do.’

Oh? That’s your idea of good advice? I have no idea what I am getting myself into and I’m supposed to just trust that I will instinctively know???

But I think I am beginning to understand that they just might have been right all along.

It is easy to love wholeheartedly and be tender loving. It’s easy to want to be everything for your child. We worry because we care so immensely that we just beat the hell out of ourselves when we forget, or worry too much, or be too bold, etc etc. The list of things we beat ourselves up over really could go on and on and on. It’s so easy to be the person your children need. You may not be perfect, but I believe the love and care comes instinctively.

But, I digress.

We were made to do this. Motherhood often feels lonely and the unknown journey can be paralyzing, but we really are just all flying by the seats of our pants. No one reaaaally knows what’s going on, and if they claim to, run… Because those are the people that are waaaayyy too comfortable relying on the comfort of a world we longer live in.

The times are changing, but you are a good Mom. You possess the tools you need to make it through anything. Mothers of the world, we got this.

EOD Thoughts: 01.19.2022

I’ve had to take 6 of the last 8 work days off because of lack of daycare 😩

Needless to say, this much time with my littles has me losing my head…

I love them so (mainly my 3 year old has me losing my temper), but sometimes I just want to escape motherhood. I could really use a break. But babysitter and her family has covid and my backup sitter has covid, so I had no choice but to burn all my sick time and some PTO time up. It sucks, but I guess that’s reality when your workplace offers to relief to parents regarding the society we live in.

I’m so sick of covid. I’m so sick of feeling so alone in parenthood. I’m just so tired of feeling stuck.

This too, shall pass. But ughhhh, I’m hoping sooner rather than later !

Tonight’s Reflection Quote:

The Day Following the Harvest Moon

Last night was the bright harvest moon. Today I’m looking out at this soybean field that stretches across the street from my front porch, and I’m thinking, ‘Look at the beautiful and gradual change of color within this field. How lucky I feel to have had my hard work pay off and to purchase my own home. And one with a view like this, at that!’

‘A lot of pain, sweat, and tears was shed before I got here. I remember the days dreaming of what I’ve got now.’

Today I’m especially stricken with pride as I enjoy the beautiful day’s views from a front porch swing.

EOD Thoughts: 07.31.2021

This has been the longest and most boring July of my life. Of course our luck would result in us moving during the hottest week of the entire summer.

I’m so tired I swear I could sleep for a week straight.

I’ve lost the drive to even be on my phone. As in- I will not respond to mostly everything for days. Situations vary, but I’ve just been feeling so antisocial. I feel like I get like this in spurts, and often times randomly. Maintaining good mental health is hard and sometimes life is so overwhelming I feel like I just need to stick in my own little bubble sometimes.

So I’ve been deep in my head and in thought.

My body hurts. Everywhere. Specifically my back and hips, and my FEET. Swollen ankles galore. And I swear I’ve been a sweaty working mess for a week straight.

But we’re finally moved. We still have tons to do, but none of it requires me to be in 90° heat – YAY!

We’ve put some pieces of the home together, and I’m already in love with what we have done.

Someday I’ll enjoy this home while I’m not so exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Still feels like home, though 💓

EOD Thoughts: 01.06.2021

I live in a really small town, like the population is under 50. I pay $110 for crappy wifi currently because there was no other option, but a new company with fiber optics has come to town to install better wifi. I got a flyer on my porch and instantly hopped ON IT

I emailed the guy whose name was on the flyer and he replied saying he would make a trip out to our town to get me signed up and ready to go once the installation in town was finished.

Usually I’m nervous in these situations because I feel like I’m totally socially awkward, but this guy (his name was Brad) was SO NICE – like above and beyond nice.

Dylan and I once went to a concert and when we got back to the hotel room afterwards, we decided to order pizza (doesn’t everyone?). I was online and the pizza place was offering a deal IF you ordered online. Of course with my luck, the online ordering wasn’t working so I called the store to see if they’d still honor the online price (I still very much wanted the pizza). They did honor the price and the guy I spoke to on the phone was really polite. I asked his name and went on their website again to tell their corporate office that they had a very respectful employee.

I think it’s SO important to acknowledge and show appreciation for people who excel in customer service. It’s just one of those jobs that isn’t always easy. I have a lot of respect for anyone who has to deal with other humans all day long 🤨

That’s the same reason I always try to make eye contact and smile at whoever is working the fast food drive up window.

We all know how exhausting work is and how we often feel like we don’t get any appreciation. It’s nice to be complimented and I think it means even more when a STRANGER goes out of their way to recognize your efforts.

So Brad… if you’re reading this, I sent your corporate office a message about how amazing your customer service was. I hope they relay the message back to you and it makes you smile 😊

…………………..

Tonight’s Reflection Quote:

30 Miles

Tonight I want to get vulnerable with myself. I want to examine reality and determine what parts of it aren’t real. 

And since it’s part of my story, I think it’s important to share it all with you. I consider myself a writer. It’s something that I feel proud of myself as. But I’m not just a writer. I am a sharer. I am a personal, stretch-the-limits kind of writer. I share the deepest, scariest, and most exposing feelings of my life and I think it’s why I always receive messages from people saying that my story helped them, or inspired them, or intrigued them. 

So I won’t stop. 

I can’t stop.

I have a story to tell and it’s important for me to share so that people like me know they aren’t alone. 

Growing up, I lived about 30 miles from my mom. Just a short 25 minute cruise away. It wasn’t necessarily hard for me to search for her if I wanted to, and I think that made our separation feel deceiving. We weren’t really that far away from one another, yet we were living in completely different worlds.

In high school and even a short time in college, success was hard for me to feel appreciation for. I’d hit one milestone, feel the warmth of victory, but then put my nose right back down and focus on what was coming next. What was the next life trophy I can knock off the list? 

The thing that made success the hardest for me was that every time I hit a moment of pride, I knew my name would be in the paper, or on the news, or on the radio. 

And my mom was only 30 miles away.

Surely, she saw what I did? 

Surely, she is proud of me?

With these wonderings, I quietly held onto the hope that only being 30 miles away gives you… 

She probably knows where I’m playing basketball this week because she watched the news last night.

She might be at the next game. 

Maybe.

OR

She probably read my name in the newspaper for my good grades last week.

I bet she was proud when she saw my name.

30 miles. I mean, how is that all that separates my mom and me?

30 measly miles?

It was enraging and sanity-deteriorating because I drove myself crazy looking for her every time I left my house. I’d walk into Wal-Mart and stare at the backs of any blonde-haired woman, daring it to be her when she turned around. I’d run across the river for gas and look at every pump. 

I scanned the bleachers of every game of every sport I ever played. 

Because she was only 30 miles away.

It was damaging in so many ways because I didn’t know how to release the pressure that built up in me and I didn’t know how to live a life where I felt like I always had to search for her. But then I got old enough to roam the world when and how I wanted to, and suddenly the clouds parted, and I was no longer searching. 

I was suddenly only 30 miles away if I wanted to be.

And that had nothing to do with where I lived.

I accepted what was and quit being infatuated with any short, blonde woman that had her back to me. I knew that if I ever did find myself in a room with her, I was finally in a place to remain in control of my emotions. And that was something I never felt throughout all my high school years.

30 miles apart and I had no idea if she was following my growth or completely oblivious to the person I had become. Earlier, I stated that success was hard to appreciate, but it was still something that I was dedicated to and worked very hard at. 

I wanted her to feel bad about missing out on supporting me while I followed my dreams.

I didn’t want to give her the easy way back in because I was doing just fine without her. 

I became educated.

I got stronger.

I chose to serve my country. 

I grew independent and caring and gentle.

I rose above every situation that was designed to set me back.

I made it to the other side.

All while missing my mom

From 30 miles away

I’m not always the best mom

I’m not always the best mom

Sometimes I raise my voice

Sometimes I just want to be left alone

Sometimes at 3am I mutter that I’m tired of being a mom

Sometimes I don’t pay enough attention

Sometimes I would rather go to a restaurant and not have to deal with a child that can’t still quiet and still for an hour

Sometimes I just want to sleep in

Sometimes I feel like there are others doing far better than me

But I’m trying

I’m human

I thank God every night that I’ve got a healthy, beautiful child that lights up my life

But it’s not always easy

Sometimes I’m easy to get hot headed

And sometimes I say things I don’t mean

But I hope she knows that she is absolutely the best thing about my life

I’m learning and I’m growing

I’m not always the best, but I do try my hardest to help you learn how to navigate this world that is full of emotion, heartbreak, lessons to be learned, and constant change

Summer popsicles ☀️