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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.
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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!”

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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.

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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.

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Remember to Breathe.

And just like that…all three of our children are grown.

Before you read any further, take a moment to close your eyes, exhale, and embrace this very moment of your life. The loves in your life, the good things, the thankfuls, the lights. Let your mind’s eye touch on each and oh yes please do allow that smile to to creep in. Breathe deep and allow each and every thing to settle on your very soul and let it remain there.

The last three weeks have flown by. I tried to stop and take it all in. I tried not to get all worked up and stressed and snippy. I think I succeeded fairly well until it was all over and then my body started shutting down and I had myself one good hissy fit that I still regret. So not only am I suffering the consequences of pushing my body too hard, I had to make amends for letting it all get to me and lashing out. Lesson learned? Probably not. It is a part of me I am still working on. It is a part of My Girl that I warn explain to Her Guy regularly. To love us is to embrace the crazy. But, we are worth it. *if you could only see my huge grin as I typed that last sentence*

The Wild Boy is officially a high school grad/college student and has the diploma, college ID and schedule to prove it. And if those weren’t enough, just check out the smile on his handsome face.

Since graduation he has attended the all night grad party and had two days of orientation at Radford and four days of reCHARGE camp. His dad drove up to Skycroft yesterday to bring him home early  to attend a funeral today. You see, in the midst of all the good stuff...bad stuff happens. And while we soak in the joy, we also embrace the grief. Allowing ourselves to do both…now that is what life is really about. What we, my family specifically and I am positive yours also, are trying so desperately to do.

This month we are taking a week to Just Be. To enjoy some down time with each other. To look back and reflect. To look forward and plan. Each year, it seems the look of our annual beach week changes. This year we are not going to OBX. Hard to imagine, I know, but we are venturing to new places. New traditions? Maybe. You may or may not hear from me between now and then but my plan is to do some serious writing while on the beach. We shall see if that actually comes to pass.

August is going to be a time of change for us. Will be updating on that, as well.

And, finally. This.