Kids Ruin Everything.

Before having kids, I enjoyed being a night owl. After having kids, I had to be a night owl because those kids weren’t going to nurse and snuggle themselves all night long.

20155595_10156607233127575_5240560906599355840_n

Before having kids, my evenings were my own. After having kids there were messy bath time water fights, with loud giggles and laughter and chasing naked littles down the hall to grab and wrap up in towels and carry off to bed.

10399215_23029457574_8903_n

Before having kids, I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted. After having kids I was forced to share all of my food with sticky-fingered love bugs who left “fishies” floating in my drinks.

Before having kids, I could sit on the sofa watching anything I wanted. After having kids, it was endless rounds of Barney, Ariel, Beauty and the Beast and the constant noise of singing and “why did they do that, momma?” with a wriggly little tucked under each arm.

Before having kids, I could go out at night and wear fun clothes. After having kids, there were children to be read to, prayers to be prayed and stories to be listened to.

Before having kids, I was carefree and dare devilish and could stay out all night. After having kids, there were sleepless nights of worry and prayer for three little people in my life I would lay mine down for.

20526223_10156679063892575_3750896822328951224_n

Before having kids, I was annoyed by squeals and getting kicked in the seat back and little faces popping up over the backs of booths to say, “Hi”. After having kids, I was apologizing for all of that from my own booth with a laugh and a shrug.

Before having kids, there was quiet and peace and calm throughout the house. After having kids, there was laughter, giggling, and tiny padded feet running across the floors.

1396797_10152787188407575_9081512736233803534_o

Before having kids, I was selfish and self-absorbed, focused on me and what I want. After having kids, I had to let me go and focus on littles screeching “MINE”, “I WANT”, and “I DO IT”.
10694355_10153325296847575_3271676160533532409_o

Before having kids, I had energy and could hold intelligent conversations. After having kids, I collapsed in a heap on the sofa at 8pm and recited to my man every word, step, and poop from the day.

Before having kids, I could sleep soundly through the night. After having kids, I paced the floor and checked my phone certain I had missed a call from the State Police or Hospital because my kids were out with their friends.

Before having kids, vacations were easy, relaxed, and spent lying on the beach with a book. After having kids, I was on high alert, scouring the water line with my binocs, and responding to “look at me, momma!” “Watch THIS, momma!” “Help me swim, momma!” “I need a snack, momma!”

18209031_10156294664677575_1999534344189665311_o

Before having kids, my weekends were lazy and a break from the rat race of the week. After having kids, my weekends were tied up driving kids to games, cheering them on during soccer matches, volleyball matches, baseball games, and football games.

Before having kids, I was so excited to raise them and get them out the door on their own. After the kids moved on to college and marriage and their own lives, and my job was done, I had the clean, quiet, calm, empty, and lonely house I thought I had always wanted.

13412102_10154997031257575_7982808255932259771_o

Before having kids, it was all about me. After having kids, it wasn’t. And it never will be again.

Thank God, kids ruin everything.

Blessings.

Advertisements

Counting Down.

I’ve been counting down to our annual beach week. I do that often. Lately, because we have had so much cold and snow and I am looking forward to being at the warm and sunny beach. But mostly because I do that…always looking forward.

And not doing the now.

So I started thinking about…what if I knew the moment I would take my last breath? What if I had in my home, on my desktop, a watch…whatever…what if I had a countdown clock telling me exactly how much time I had left?

Would I…

…spend more time cleaning my home so I would enjoy it more? or
would I spend less time cleaning my home and more time reading a book because I enjoy that?

…put make-up on and something nicer than sweats and a tee-shirt for my husband every single day, because I want to look and feel my best for him (and for myself?)? or
not waste that time on make-up, trusting he loves me just as I am, no matter what?

…let go of the toxic people in my life as soon as I realized it, no matter who they are? or
spend more time and more energy to make that relationship work and embrace that person for himself/herself knowing that I also will be changed, for better or worse?

…spend more time making my world a better place? or
put all of my energy and focus on making my children better people?

…spend less money on cars and homes that are admittedly comfy and safe? or
spend more money on helping others?

…worry more about what is proper and considerate? or
more about the person?

…read and study the Bible more? or
just sit and pray and listen for Him more?

Do not think for a moment that I am judging or suggesting that any one this or that is better than the other. These are all things that I have been mulling over this week. For me.

I have spent way too much of the last few years worrying. Period. And regretting. I don’t want to regret anymore. I just want to do.

During my quiet time today, I realized the reason I haven’t been hearing from God lately. I haven’t been able to because of all of the clutter in my life. Not just the actual stuff. The noise. The regret. The worry. It has covered my eyes. Deafened my ears. Hindered my mouth from saying the things I should say.

Today. I am doing. Today I am returning to the Now. And to Him.

What are some of the things you are doing during this reflective season of Lent?

A rambling list of new things.

So I gave up on last week’s New Thing and have moved on to a New, New Thing.

Just kidding. But really, I know you want to know how the New Thing is progressing. Fine and dandy, actually. I’m not here to chat about that this morning, however. Today…a list.

Just for you, Di.

1. Beach week is fast approaching and I still have 50 pounds to lose. That would be 25 pounds each day so…I’m guessing this year is a no-go for the big weight-loss bikini reveal at the beach picture. Maybe For sure next year. *I promise…you will not have to see me in a bikini unless it’s that pic I just ran across from when I was 18 and even then…nope*

2. I’ve really, really had to loosen the old control reins/umbilical cord on The Wild Boy since graduation. As he reminded me a zillion few times, he will be doing what he wants in just a month or so anyway so what’s the difference now? Yep…that comment brought loads of comfort to my controlling momma bear personality.

How I long for those days, these days!

3. In other news, I’ve enrolled as a full time student at Radford University and am awaiting my dorm assignment. Already got my roommate lined up and his initials are BJS.

4. My Man and I are seriously ready to be empty-nesters. He keeps putting the ladder up to My Girl’s bedroom window and Her Guy keeps taking it down and putting it back underneath the deck. Clearly The Big Boy is never leaving either. Why would he? He has the dungeon to himself with all the amenities a twenty-something needs…a bed, a fridge a comfy chair, big-screen tv and X-Box Live.

Always a bridesmaid…but a stunning bridesmaid at that. Trav is okay, too, I guess.
We are so ready for this next stage…we adore our Ella Mac! Thankfully, she lives right next door.
5. I’ve hit that really awkward stage. Semi-menopausal with teenager tendencies. You know what I mean…when I can actually remember how old I am I try to forget by cranking up some Oldies (from the 90’s) and pull out my yarn bag to work on my crocheting.

6. I am loving shopping at Costco these days. How did I never really discover this mecca of good stuff until now? We would purchase the occasional cake now and then, but really it is just now that I shop there regularly. My other fave shopping place is Trader Joe’s. Mercy. Every time I shop there two things happen: 1. I find tons of new items to try and 2. I get into an altercation with someone driving the wrong way in the one-way lane in the parking lot. Seriously, why do people do that? And more importantly, why does it infuriate me so? I guess I’ve always been a rule-follower at heart. Except for rules that were clearly made to be suggestions like the speed limit, curfew and the number of items allowed in the express check out. But going the wrong direction in the Trader Joe’s parking lot? Capital Offense, baby, and I am always one four-letter word short of making a citizen’s arrest.

Okay, Di. I hope this satisfies your love of my lists and will hold you over until the next one. I will check in with y’all Beach-side.

The days are long, but the years…

For those of you playing along, we are down to 7 days of high school classes, 13 days until graduation and 32 days until beach week. I am seriously struggling to believe it is happening.

These are the pics we submitted for Brett’s portion of the Senior Sunday video for church last Sunday:

Six Months old – Myrtle Beach.

I miss that curly head of hair.

First day of Senior Year.

Senior Night with his two adoring fans.
No toothy smile due to still being a brace-face.

Funny thing is, I am loving this season of life. Our children will always be our children. But they are now also adults. Sometimes I forget that. Sometimes I don’t give them enough credit. Until one of them says something like, “mom, I don’t think you are very happy with yourself right now.” *mind blown* and also, *duh.*

I can hold intelligent conversations with them. At least my side of the conversation is intelligent. Their part, depending on which child I am attempting to communicate with often consists of, *blank stare,* *snarky smirky attitude* or “mom, I don’t think you are very happy with yourself right now.” I will leave it to you to figure out which child goes with which response.

I do have to share that, just between you and me, God did not intend for five related adults to reside under the same roof together. At least not of the Wheeler/Smith variety. Our house has never been smaller. Or louder. Or messier. The toddler stage? Oh how I miss it. At least back then I could toss them into their beds and go have a mommy-time-out.

Yes, I realize I stated I am loving this season of life. And truly, I am. Sometimes I forget that, just like when they were little, the days are long and the years are fleeting. So it remains in this season. And just like when they were toddlers, I will hug them tight, when they will allow me to. I will watch them when they don’t know I am watching, soaking in their faces. And I will thank God for them every night before I (hopefully) fall asleep. And just like when they were younger, sometimes my thanks to God includes, “thank You for stopping me from beating some sense into them today.”

I know y’all can relate to that last one.