Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The good comes with the bad. Apparently.

I'm trying the Blogger app to see if perhaps it might help me to post things from my phone in a more timely manner. It's amazing how as a mom (or maybe as anyone, but I only know what I know) time just flies by. And all those blog posts that I meant to post in a timely fashion are now irrelevant. I know, I know. I should have tried this app sooner. We will see how it works out!

Today is one of those days that I could label a really sucky day. Yesterday morning the blower on our furnace went out. Not only is it not my idea of a fun way to spend $430, it's also not a thrill to be without air conditioning on the two hottest days of the year so far. (Why should I be complaining when at least I HAVE air-conditioning? I know. I am so pampered.) 

And so, the HVAC guy was supposed to come fix the furnace between noon and five today. Of course, he came at 5:15. So we were house bound, in an increasingly sweltering house, all afternoon, longing for just a quick dip in the pool or a whiff of conditioned air to soothe our sweat-caked bodies.   

While I sat withering on the couch (unable to do housework--or anything else productive--because of the heat), the kids' creativity came to the rescue. They put on a play, complete with Meredith announcing an intermission and a set change. The play was a very funny rendition of The Frog Prince--mostly funny because Meredith gave Sophia (who was the frog) all of her cues and Sophia dutifully obeyed. 

I got everything on video. What a precious moment with my three girls. The good comes with the bad. Usually days aren't all good (it's a fallen world after all) or all bad (God's grace is evident everywhere), but life happens somewhere in the middle. May I continue to see the good every day. Unless, of course, I die of a heat stroke in my own home first!

And here are my favorite actresses in the world: 

Singing Soph

Who knew that life begins at the age of four? I didn't know this until I had a three year old with two older siblings who get to do everything but she can't because she doesn't make the age cut-off. It's been trying for her to help drop off the big sisters every day at VBS this week, with all the loud, exciting music happening on stage, knowing that she can't stay too. The good news is that her life will begin in six months!

Today Sophia, Carson, and I went to visit a friend who is moving to Texas soon. Sophia is just the easiest little kid I have ever met. She is so content to play by herself or to play quietly. She is such a joy and she is my little friend. I love being her mom!

Sophia's three favorite things in the whole world are: 1) dressing pretty (she has always been excited by a new pair of shoes, and wants to wear dress shoes everywhere); 2) riding her bike every day; and 3) music. She sings and sings and sings, wherever we are. The other day we pulled up to a playground. She could see the play equipment from her car seat. Kevin was driving and he was about to turn off the ignition when Sophia asked, in her sweet voice, "Can we please stay in the car a few more minutes to hear more music?" She wasn't done listening to her songs yet!


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Halfway around the sun ...

Our little sport is six months old.  Six months is the golden age of babyhood, isn't it?  They just sit there, or lay there, and coo and smile back at you.  They don't move around and destroy stuff and they are usually sleeping through the night.  Pure, chubby, smiley cuteness in a diaper!  We sure do enjoy baby Carson a lot.  He is a very easy going baby so far.  He has to be, with three big sisters handling him all day, right?  And, since he is #4, we don't have the luxury of planning our whole day around naps.  So he is an expert power-napper, getting what he can take in his stroller and car seat most days.    

Carson is a very social baby.  He totally eats up all the attention he gets all day.  He "talks"/babbles a lot and he is very LOUD.  He is very content to play with his toys and hasn't really tried to move around and explore.  He loves his oatmeal cereal, sweet potatoes, and mashed bananas.  How I love to dress him up!  (Who says little boy clothes aren't as fun as girls' clothes?)  We are enamored with him and so glad he is part of this family!  We love you baby Carson!!
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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Do I look perfect?

We women are really good at comparing ourselves to other women.

I often look at one particular lady I know who always seems so put together and wonder why I can’t be more like that. One of the last times I saw this lady—let’s call her Suzy—I was at the library stuffing books into the bottom of my stroller. My rear end was probably stuck up in the air, in a very unladylike manner, while I was shoving the books in, and Sophia was clamoring for my attention, and the baby was fussing. I really didn't know where Clara was at the moment. She was probably over by the computers. Again. Even though I told her we needed to go home. Sigh. I made a mental note that, after soothing the baby, and trying to help Sophia with whatever she needed, I would have to go track down Clara again.

Then I stood up, my hair probably flying in all directions, and there was Suzy, with her two girls. Suzy’s hair looked perfectly combed, with a nice part on the side. Her kids looked particularly clean and neat. And I noticed how they were both standing obediently by Suzy’s side, with slight smiles on their faces. Suzy had her library book bag hung on her shoulder, with all her books stacked neatly in a row therein. It was a far cry from my disheveled stroller. Of course, I had forgotten to bring a bag.

“Hi, Suzy. Good to see you,” I lied. In fact, Suzy, you are are a reminder to me of how imperfect I am.


My only consolation is that I probably have a lot more fun that Suzy. Being perfect is probably boring. At least that is what I’m going to tell myself.

However, there is someone else—let’s call her Jane—who does think I’m perfect. And, she tells me this a lot. In PUBLIC. In front of other women. And it embarrasses me like crazy. I know, very well, that I’m not perfect. I hardly know this lady (which is why she thinks I’m perfect) and if she ever dropped by my house she would probably realize how frazzled I am half the time.

When I am with her, there are usually other women around and she always is singing my praises, about how organized I am, and how good my children are, and blah, blah, blah.

What am I supposed to say to this? I’ve already said, “No, not really,” like a thousand times.

I think the problem is that, at the current time, things are not going very well for Jane and she is feeling like a failure. So it’s easy for her to see other women who appear (yes, just appear) to have their act together and wonder why they can’t be that way.

Hey, that sounds like me with Suzy.

The reality is, none of us are doing everything. And we are definitely not doing everything perfectly. We are all good at some things and not-so-gifted at some things. We need to be easier on ourselves. We need to stop criticizing ourselves so much and feeling like a failure. Where we need to improve, we need to be realistic, and work on it as best as we can. But, at the end of the day we need to give ourselves grace.  God gives us lots of grace, but we have a hard time giving ourselves grace most days.

In the meantime, I will smile and wave at Suzy. Hopefully from a distance. And I will try to encourage Jane.  And I will try to continue to keep it real.