- In the Summer of 1997, my husband Ben and I went out on our first date. We went to Tupelo for dinner and a movie. I remember we went for a walk in the park after our movie, not wanting the night to end just yet. We shared our first kiss on a deserted park bench under the moonlight. I still shake my head at one memory from that first date. We were waiting for our movie to start and he said something to tease me. I can’t even recall what if was. What I do remember is that I went to playfully bite his shoulder (don’t ask me why I did that on a first date!) and managed to get my braces caught in the weaving fabric of his shirt. It actually pulled thread loose. Talk about embarrassing! But somehow he managed to make me feel secure and easily brushed the incident aside. I knew then that he was something special. And he wasn’t a bad kisser either.
- Today my husband and I went out on a date for his Birthday. I was so very excited. We did not go to Tupelo because we didn’t want to waste 2 hours of our sacred time together driving. I realized that we only do this about twice a year, usually for a birthday or anniversary. I mentioned this to Ben and asked him “Do you think other people with kids go out alone so little?” He replied, “Probably not, but a lot of married people with kids don’t have a relationship like we do.” I do think we should probably spend more time alone than we do, but I’m so very grateful that we are able to work together to keep our bond so strong. We don’t allow the busyness and interruptions of life to take away from our relationship together, and that makes me grateful for us.
- I am blessed to be married to my best friend. I spend most of my time with this BFF. He tells me if my outfit makes my butt look big or if I need to get my hair done. He listens to me rant about the kids or just in general to my outbursts. He knows when to comment and when to just listen. He is my biggest fan and greatest supporter. When I complain about my figure, he’s quick to tell me to quit cutting myself down because I’m beautiful. He’s always quick to compliment me. He notices the small changes I make with my appearance. He also notices when I clean extra or add something new to dinner, and always mentions that he does. This makes me feel appreciated. He always makes me laugh, the belly busting kind of laugh that makes me feel young. When I watch him with the girls, I fall in love with him all over again. Nothing is so handsome to me as when I see the genuine smile on his face when he looks at our daughters. Nothing makes me admire him more than when I see him rocking our daughter to sleep, or playing ball with her, or fixing her hair. I am so in love. He loves me for me. He makes me feel special and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. Happy Birthday to you Ben. I am so grateful that God gave me you!
That is all 🙂
- As I tip-toed through the house this morning, I thought “if only my family knew how much I intercede on their behalf.” As I look at my children, I pray for their safety and health, while praising God for the gift of their life. I pray for anyone who cares for them, that they will hear God’s voice for their safety and well-being. I pray for my husband, for God to lift him up and pour out His spirit upon him. I do this daily, but it somehow feels special to walk through the house, touching their foreheads as I pray. When I leave for work, I hand my family over to The Lord. It’s not only committing them to him, but also surrendering control to Him. I’m not sure how I could leave for work at all if I didn’t put them in such capable hands.
- Even though my smart phone picked it up right away, my body seems to have missed the boat on springing forward. I feel like my energy and motivation has still been one hour behind the rest of the day’s momentum. Even when you only work two days a week, the same evil gnome exists. I’m speaking of the little guy who controls time. He still puts the clocks on fast forward when I’m off work, but puts them in slow motion when I’m at work. Combine that cruel creeping of a day with my dragging body and it’s worse than watching turtles race. The strange thing is that it was really busy at work with short staffing, but a unit full of patients. That should have made the day speed by, but every time I glanced at the clock, it was hours behind what I thought it would say. So be it the evil gnome or spring forward fighting back; I may never know. I was ever so grateful, though, to pass the reigns and resume Mommy duty at 7 pm.
- Good to be home. I’ll share some immediate observations: Chloe is like a tiny mentally ill patient escaped from the asylum when she is sans nap. I believe she set a new record tonight for saying “hold me”. Bailey has got to be the best baby ever. She is always laughing, smiling, and making Mommy proud. My husband is absolutely adorable when he falls asleep sitting up. Who am I kidding. He’s adorable to me no matter what he’s doing. Remember the movie Goonies? Remember when Chunk is being interrogated by the bad guys and “tells them everything” when asked? That is my stepdaughter Marlie. I asked “what did you do today?” A series of run-on sentences describing every aspect of her day followed, from where Ben was sitting when she woke up, to what she ate for lunch, all the way to what she was playing before I walked in the door. The micro-machine man couldn’t have told it better. Cracked me up. For such a fighter of sleep, Chloe can pass out in record time. Nothing warms you up after getting wet in a cold rain than cuddling with a warm baby. Nothing will feel better after today than the pillow top mattress on my bed.
That is all 🙂
- As I walked into one of my patient’s rooms this morning, my first order of business was introducing myself and writing my name on the dry erase board in his room. They call them communication boards, as their intended purpose is to communicate the patient’s needs, questions, concerns, etc. It was at that time the patient asked if I could write something on the board for him. He said can you write up there “it sure is a beautiful day?” Kinda odd, I thought, as his blinds weren’t even open yet. How could he know if it was a beautiful day or not? As he explained it to me, I began to understand that this was his mantra. It was his personal, power phrase if you like, to help spur on his optimistic outlook on his own health. At one point, he asked me how my other patient was doing. (This patient was very sick) I couldn’t answer him for privacy reasons, but he must have read my face. He simply said, “No need to answer. Just tell me it sure is a beautiful day, and that will do.”
- Critical Care Nursing can get your heart pumping. To be honest, it can be downright scary at times. I’ve taken an approach that helps alleviate any fear I may have over impending disaster. Every morning before work, I will pray. I always pray that I will hear God’s voice and do no harm. I’ve noticed a calmness over me that is very beneficial to the job. I’ve noticed a change in the outcomes of my day, and I truly feel God answers my prayer. When rushed, you can sometimes be kind of flighty and it could be easy to make a mistake or miss something when rushed in a high stress environment. Before giving a medicine today, I suddenly felt an urging not to give it. I then realized that some of the patient’s lab results contraindicated this medication. I truly believe that God intervened as I asked Him to. I believe He guides me each time I put on my Nurse’s hat, so to speak. And that to me, sure makes it a beautiful day.
- When you work a 12 hr shift, by the time you get home there’s not much time left in the day. When I get home everyone is usually hungry. They will have been fed, but something about the way Momma makes food (or supplies milk for that matter) makes them hungry like they haven’t eaten all day. No baths had been taken before my arrival. MeeMo had suggested it, but she’s a pushover when it comes to her little buddy Chloe. Makes me smile really, while shaking my head. Then it’s pajamas and setting out clothes for church. Ben is capable of that, I’m sure, but I prefer to do it (and I think secretly, so does he). By the time that’s all done, kids are fussy and ready to be put to sleep. All the above could easily put one in a foul mood and be a bummer end to the day. I’m pleased to say it’s not though. Thank you dear patient. Thank you for reminding me to always be joyful and optimistic. After all, it sure is a beautiful day!
That is all 🙂
- Today started out like it was going to be a day of tears. I feared we might drown in them all. First off Chloe was in a “breakdown about everything” mode. It started first thing as we were watching cartoons together. She was in my lap, quite comfy. The baby woke up and started crying. She was hungry. So I went to retrieve her. Chloe started bawling. I could kinda understand that one, jealousy and all. But it didn’t stop there. She cried because she couldn’t get her pajama pants back on after using the bathroom. She cried because she didn’t want cereal for breakfast. She cried because she didn’t want to take a bath. It was insane! It seemed like every minuscule thing was a cause for total meltdown. After my blog yesterday, this morning was a definite test of my abilities to have patience for my child and not a reaction that I would regret later.
- If you have a child or have been around babies, then you know that depending on their age, the cry will be different. There’s the newborn cry that is very distinctive. It sometimes resembles a screaming cat, but when they first arrive and you hear it for the first time; it is the best sound you’ll ever hear. Fast forward a couple of days when they’re doing that for an hour straight at 3 am, and it may not sound so sweet. Fast forward a couple of years and you have the toddler, whiny cry I heard all morning. An infant has a different cry as well, and often depending on her need, the cry will differ. You can often tell the difference between hunger, boredom, or exhaustion based on the quality of the crying. Today Bailey did such an upset cry, that it melted my heart. She had been laying in her crib watching her mobile. She began a fussy cry that told me she was bored with that and considering a nap. I was doing some other things, so I scooped her up and put her in the swing to lull her to sleep. Well, she didn’t like that at all! She let out a loud, pain-filled, shrieking cry. It even had the stuttering, out of breath quality that punctuates a cry when a child is truly and exceptionally upset. She didn’t want to lull herself. She wanted to be lulled. She needed the touch of another to help comfort her into a sound sleep. Once comforted, she fell asleep easily and soundly.
- The girls weren’t the only ones crying. I found myself this morning feeling the need to cry out to God. I told Him I needed to hear His voice. Sometimes we have questions and we can’t feel His presence as close as we may like. Or maybe we’re not getting the answers we so desperately seek. Or maybe the answer to a persistent prayer eludes us. Sometimes as a child of God, I feel like Chloe, wanting to bawl over everything when it doesn’t go my way. Or maybe sometimes I’m like little Bailey, crying out desperately for that comforting arm of God that I need to put me at peace so I may rest. So, I cried out to my Father today. I was reminded, Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. Financial worries, job stresses, or questions about what God’s plan is for Ben and I with a ministry in mind; these can all be taken care of when I walk in faith and choose to seek God rather than my answer that I want right then. I’m reminding myself of this right now, as I often have to do. I have to remember that the answer may not be immediate because God is working in me. He’s working in Ben. He knows when we’ll be ready for His answer. And who can cry about that.
That is all 🙂
- Do you ever hear a Mom yelling at her kids in the store and you cringe? Depending on the Mom, you may wince at this other Mom for many reasons. You may think, with a relieved sigh, “Better her than me! Thank you Lord that my kids are behaving right now!” Sometimes, it’s tragically one of those instances where a Mother talks so poorly to her child that it borders on emotional abuse. You cringe as you silently pray for the poor kid on one hand while mentally checking yourself on the other to make sure you haven’t said something remotely close to their comment to your own child that very day. Nothing like hearing or seeing bad behavior in someone else to cause you to question your own behavior. God seems to be bringing this to my mind a lot lately. But I suppose I asked for it! I often pray that He will help me be a better Mommy and Wife.
- As I sat silently at the back of the shoe department in Walmart nursing my baby, I got to overhear an obviously tired/overwhelmed Mommy. The first thing I noticed was when she said to her son, “Wow! I am so glad that you just disobeyed me now!” This struck me as I thought, “Guess I’m not the only one who employs sarcasm with her child.” At first I thought it was funny, but as I observed that it definitely didn’t work, it got me thinking. Why do we do that? Little kids don’t get sarcasm, first off. So it won’t work to get your desired result. Then, they will eventually learn it. So, in essence, I’m teaching my kid to be sarcastic. Great. That will make for fun teenage years. (There I go with the sarcasm again. Geez. I’m out of control!). Also, in reality sarcasm is really disrespectful. My child doesn’t deserve my disrespect. She deserves more of me than that.
- This morning Chloe was talking to Ben about a show on TV. She said, “I’m so sick and tired of that show!” As if the words weren’t bad enough, it was the ugly tone she used with it. I immediately knew where she had gotten that. From me. How many times in aggravation and anger have I said to Chloe something like, “I am so sick and tired of all this crying!” Talk about shame. When you hear your own terrible words repeated by a child, it will make you want to cry. That Mom today was obviously frustrated and worn. I to have days like that. I actually have them more often than not. Parenting is a challenge. It’s already a tough job as it is, but add in the task of being a good influence and fostering a relationship of love and self respect, while building a foundation of healthy self-esteem, and any Mom will throw her hands up! And there’s your answer to this extremely hard job. We all have to remember, myself included, that we’re not perfect, but God is with us on this journey. He is teaching us as we go. When you can’t stand another tantrum or take another minute of infant colic, take heart in the fact that you can. He will give you strength. He will also give guidance to train your child up in the way they should go. Thank you for that Lord. I have a long way to go, but the journey is not mine alone.
That is all 🙂
- When my sister was over at my house the other day, she did something that made me think. She immediately went into Chloe’s room and started playing dolls with her. I knew she had worked all day and was tired, but she took the time. It made me wonder how long it had been since I’d gone into Chloe’s room and played with her. Much too often now, my energies are going elsewhere. Understandably, I’m often holding the baby. Then when the baby sleeps, I’m using the time to catch up on housework or honestly, sometimes just spend some “me time” watching TV or playing on my phone.
- It’s no secret that Chloe’s reaction to playing second fiddle isn’t always pristine, but rather natural for a 2 year old, first child. She is always working to get my attention, even if it’s negative. Last night when I wouldn’t hold her while I cooked dinner, she reacted by hitting a metal spoon onto the dishwasher and yelling, “you better listen to me.” My first thought was “what a little mimic!” (Except for the spoon part of course). She seems to have grown up tremendously since the baby’s arrival and says some of the wildest things. She has a mild food allergy. Last night I made barbecue chicken that she apparently didn’t like. When I told her to eat it, she responded, “I can’t Mom. It makes my face break out.” But then she does some really cute stuff to redeem herself. Earlier I noticed a bandaid on the foot of Bailey’s sleeper. Upon questioning, Chloe told me she put it there because she accidentally stepped on Bailey’s foot and wanted to make it better.
- So today I found myself sitting in my favorite arm chair checking my Facebook. Bailey was asleep. I looked over and saw Chloe playing with her dollhouse. I immediately felt a tug at my heart. I put my phone down and went into Chloe’s room. I asked her “Can I play?” The beautiful, gap toothed grin on her face as she said yes, melted my heart. Such fun. We played on the top bunk and set up a stuffed animal hospital up there, using her doctor kit to see furry patient after patient. (Yeah, I can’t get away from patient care even when I leave work). I took the battery powered baby monitor outside and we played hide and seek, ball, stick sword fights, and with the puppy until we got too cold. It was great to just stop and play. So now that you’ve finished reading my blog; put down your phone or shut down that computer and go hug someone you love and take the time to play.
That is all 🙂
- I enjoy how a child can put a simple spin on something. Sometimes we tend to forget how young Chloe really is because she acts so much older. I have to remind myself she’s two and try to speak on her level. When we don’t, she usually adjusts accordingly. Yesterday we took Chloe down the Easter aisle at Walmart and Ben proceeded to tell her about Easter and why we celebrated it. He told her Jesus was crucified, that he died on the cross for our sins, but then rose from the dead. He told her we celebrate Easter because “Jesus is risen.” I asked her today why we celebrate Easter and she replied “Cause Jesus fell down, but then he rised up again.” I’m assuming she didn’t understand the word crucifixion, but knew Jesus got hurt somehow, and falling down is how she usually gets hurt. I couldn’t help but smile.
- When my husband was home for a lunch break we watched a funny TV show together. It’s more of a man show, with clips of people doing silly stunts and inevitably bashing their faces or crouch region in the process. I had control of the remote, but purposely put the show on because I knew he found it highly amusing. As I said before, true love is relinquishing control of the remote. Anyway, as the show got going he just laughed and laughed. It was a hearty, out loud cackle that I just love to hear. I can’t help but smile when he laughs. It just makes me feel content, full. While you should never let your own happiness rely on the mood of others, something about being completely and totally in love with another human being makes their joy somehow become a part of you. It’s like it can’t help but bubble over out of them and seep into you. Love somehow makes you a partner of each others’ emotions.
- I recently commented on my toddler not wanting to hug me. Well, today she showed me plenty of times when she needs my loving. Of course, when she first wakes up she calls out, “hold me!” When it was time for me to walk out the door and go to a class at work, leaving her with a sitter, she cried out “hold me!” When she gets in trouble she wants me to hold her. After having rocked the baby to sleep, I found her in the living room chair with an open bottle of nail polish. She had painted her hands, legs, and face. She started bawling when she knew she had been caught. She had built it up in her mind how much trouble she was gonna be in. I didn’t have to punish her at all. She did it to herself. And of course, she cried “hold me!” When I was in the middle of dinner, preparing 4 things simultaneously, she tugged on my shirt, stating “hold me!” It’s a given that whenever the baby cried, she begged “hold me!” And the thing is, 9 out of 10 times, I did, almost right away. Yeah, I made her wait a bit after the nail polish fiasco.
That is all 🙂
- I had a moment of absolute terror this morning. Bailey slept for an almost 6 hour stretch last night. I awoke at 3:30 am and went to check on her. Her head was cocked strangely to the side, pale and motionless. I touched her face and it was cold as ice. My heart jumped into my throat, as I momentary thought my child was dead. It was probably only a split second before she moved her head after I had touched it, but the fraction of time where I thought I had lost her was unexplainably horrible. I don’t think it had been helped by someone at work yesterday who spoke about a family member’s baby passing away from SIDS. That is like the worst word you can utter around the Mom of an infant. I cannot fathom losing a child, and don’t like to think about it. My heart hurts for those who have lost their babies, no matter the age. Bailey was sleeping so soundly that I surprised myself by not scooping her up right then. I walked back down the hall and prayed to God to take care of her. A Mother could stay awake all night with fearful concern for their baby. I gave my fears to Him this morning. But I’ll admit that when Bailey woke on her own 30 minutes later, I was more than eager and pleased to take her into my arms.
- I’ve had a nice Monday, as usual. Bailey woke me up early and she and I spent some quiet time together this morning while the others slept. It was really nice to giggle with her without a well meaning but jealous two year old crawling between us. After about a hour and a half of playing, she fell back asleep. I had exactly 5-10 minutes by myself. Like any Mom who is allowed some private time, I chose to spend it in the bathroom (by myself I will add a second time!). Five minutes into my quality time with myself, my toddler tip-toed into the bathroom and climbed onto my lap while I was on the commode. She whispered, “I didn’t wake Daddy.” For the billionth time I thought “lucky dog!” Instead of my long, hot, relaxing soak, I drew us a luke warm bath to share. Any melancholy I felt over my dashed dream of alone time was forgotten and replaced with pride when I took off Chloe’s pajamas and saw she had slept all night in panties and they were dry. It’s the small things in life.
- Today we had a joint Birthday party for my sexy man and my Aunt Paula. Paula’s Birthday was last week and Ben’s is next week. Since Ben and I get only one day off together each week, we have to cram everything into our sacred Mondays. This is one reason that I still had containers of Christmas stuff sitting in my dining room. It’s been needing to go to the shed, but is much too heavy for me to haul. That leaves it to Ben to do on a Monday, but I usually have so much already planned for us to do, that moving boxes has taken the back burner. But I am proud to say that today, in March, I finally got my Christmas stuff put away! It’s funny what having company come to your house can force you to do. My man grilled bratwurst and I sautéed onions and peppers to go with them. We had cake and ice cream. Chloe helped Ben open his presents of course. My Sisters were there. The older one I haven’t seen in a while, so that was nice. The younger brought her newborn, and I truly enjoyed watching the ease with which she held her son. My older sister was right when she commented that all of our babies looked like Mom when they slept. So in a way, I suppose Mom was with us today as well. Yes, it was a nice Monday as always. And now I will bid you all farewell as I go to put the kiddos to sleep so I can more closely enjoy the new cologne I got the hubby for his Birthday.
That is all 🙂
- This morning I left a few minutes early for work. It wasn’t intentional. It just worked out that way. I was delayed by a train. I’ve shown up at the railroad crossing with a train going by before, but today it was actually stopped. I waited for a while, but it didn’t budge. I resigned to taking a detour. I did fear I might end up being late, but rather than cuss and fuss about it; I thought about it in a different way. All things work together for our good. Perhaps God divinely planned my detour to prevent me some harm. Will I ever know what harm may have tried to come my way? Will I ever even know if the detour was of God or just a coincidence? Well, I don’t believe in the word coincidence, but either way, I will not know the answer to the above question. At least, I won’t know it while I’m on this earth. The thing is, that’s ok. That’s what faith is. It’s giving every aspect of your daily life to God. It’s not always knowing the answers or what God’s specific will or plan may be, but trusting that He has it under control and is working it all together for your good.
- Something has been on my mind lately. I’ve seen some things lately that make this come more to the forefront of my mind. I think that as followers of Christ, we need to be more mindful of demonic influence. Strong words, right?! If you are not a follower of Christ, but just a follower of my blog, this may especially sound odd to you. First, it is not my intention to sound condemning. Rather, if God convicts you with something I’ve been pondering, then this has come across the right way. I believe in Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. We must always be on guard against the trickery of satan. I often see things quoted on Facebook that I feel in my spirit to be lies; a self-help happy thought that tells us to draw from the strength of our “inner being”. I see musical performers who are idolizing darkness. I see good people who love Jesus, falling to the influences of the world. I have been there, so I do not judge. But I believe Matthew 12:30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”
- I am afraid that we are allowing ourselves to slowly boil like a frog in the pot. The heat is being turned up slowly and we are oblivious to the destruction happening to our souls. I do not believe there are shades of gray. I used to. I used to thing “well, that’s ok sometimes.” Things must be black and white if anything. I think we can no longer allow ourselves to be wish-washy and tolerant. Don’t misunderstand me. Jesus loves the sinner, but not the sin. We have to start guarding our hearts against evil. We must protect our children from influences that are not of God. We must make a stand. We must pray and seek God. We must ask Him to reveal to us the garbage He wants us to throw out. If something you encounter, watch, listen to, or allow in your homes does not settle or feel right to you, then it’s likely not. We must get our houses in order. I think our Father would like that. I think He would like that very much.
That is all 🙂
- Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had the innocent honesty of a young child. It would certainly make things easier. Criminals would turn themselves in if they were like my daughter. Yesterday I saw a lump of her under the covers. I asked, “Chloe, what are you doing? Are you under there because you’re doing something you shouldn’t be?” A tiny whisper with a tone of defeat replies “yes.” Then when I bought her paints last night at the store, she proudly proclaimed to the cashier, “I’m gonna make a mess!” It might be a better world, but on second thought, if you’ve ever had a kid tell you that you’re fat, then honesty may not be the best policy after all.
- Well, it happened. My little, baby girl hurt my feelings tonight. I know I’m being silly, but I can’t help it. When I went to pick her up, I didn’t get a hug. I barely got acknowledged for that matter. When it was time to leave and go home, she didn’t want to go with me. She cried and ran away. She was more interested in the allure of the iPad. I know it’s silly to be bothered by it, but it made me sad. Does my little girl no longer need her Mommy?! After a hard day at work, I look forward to love from my babies.
- As bedtime grew closer, Chloe and I played together, jumping on the bed and hiding under the covers (yes, I realize that’s not a very good bedtime ritual for eliciting sleep). We had a jolly time. For Chloe, not a harsh word had occurred between us. For Chloe, nothing had gone wrong. Chloe just knows she loves her Mommy, and assumes her Mommy can see it as clearly as she can. Young children don’t know rejection. They can’t fathom such a thing. They know pure, sweet love that is forgiving and never falters despite what may surround it. Isn’t it interesting that the closer you are to the time God fashioned you in the womb, the closer you are to understanding how He wants love to be: unconditional, everlasting, and true. Deep thoughts for bedtime.