Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Already looking forward to Labor Day.

Yeah guys, that's the first break of the school year ... It's Monday, September 1st ... 20 days away if you're counting.

I don't feel ready for this. But, ready or not, my kids are back at school today.

Between camps and new jobs and sleepovers and 542 other summer activities, I didn't get nearly as much time with my kids as I wanted to have this summer. And, by new jobs, I'm meaning K Belle's ... she has a part-time job now ... retail. Yeah. Gross. Glad those days are over for me. She seems to like it so far. But, we all know the newness will wear off soon and she will loathe folding those shirts with a clipboard and straightening hangers. My only hope is that she might take some of her folding and hanging skills back home with her and put them into practice in her room. But, I'm a little pessimistic about that thought.

I want to take in every moment of this year with my girls. This is an important year for both of them ... K Belle's senior year ... and La Petite Belle's last year in junior high.

I remember both of the girls' very first days of school.

K Belle was two when we put her in a pre-school program as I got my final semester of college done by doing my student teaching. It was a hard thing. I cried when I had to say goodbye to her that first day. That was the moment I felt like the worst mom in the whole world. Any working mom out there knows exactly what I'm talking about. Eventually, I was able to teach at the very school she was at in K-3.

Look how cute she was going to K-4 ...

With La Petite Belle, it was way easier to say good-bye to at almost three years old, not because she literally cried to be away from me for about 2 years and a break was maybe a good thing (whew, that was a rough time), but only because she was with me at school while I taught too. And, so was K Belle.

And, La Petite Belle in her K-4 pic ... cutie patootie!

I've been blessed in that area as a mom for sure. The majority of the girls' childhood years I have been with them or easily available to them. I thank God for that as I sit and reflect on all those years.

Today ... as K Belle drives herself to school and parks in her own parking spot, I think I may actually have a harder time. Today is the first and the last ... first day, last year. That makes me sad and happy.

I also see that La Petite Belle is growing and maturing so quickly. She no longer needs to or wants to cling to me like she used to, always wanting to be on my hip. She's becoming independent and I see her making lots of grown-up decisions. That makes me happy and sad too.

I have to remind myself that these children are only on loan to me. That's hard to stomach. They're not mine to begin with. I've been entrusted with their lives ... to nurture them, teach them, and lead them in the way they should go. No pressure.

I pray I've taught them some life-long lessons and that the good stuff sticks. And, the bad stuff (yeah, there's some of that in every household) is forgotten. I mean ... there can't be that much bad stuff, right? Let's hope not.

Now, I just have to think of EVERYTHING I want to teach and pour into my oldest before she leaves the nest. She's gonna love those talks. She always does. Especially when I ask her about what questions she has about sex and does she really know the right stuff and does she want me to tell her the truth with details and what God thinks about these things. I ask her these things quite often. She's thrilled. 

Ok, gotta start making some notes on topics to make sure I've covered this year!

Monday, August 11, 2014

This Girl


La Petite Belle has always been one of those kids who's been outspoken about her faith, even as a very young child. You know ... the one asking kids on her soccer team if they're Christians and where do they go to church, inviting kids to church, asking kids if they know about Jesus ... that sort of thing. 

When she was about five years old, she told me that all she wanted to do with her life was tell people about Jesus. She was going to be a preacher. All she needed was a sword and toilet paper. The sword for protection obviously and toilet paper for ... well ... you know. That has always been part of her plan. Well that, along with being a soccer player, hair dresser, and singer. This girl has goals.

She attended a tween camp this summer (which she wasn't totally thrilled about due to the fact of her being one of the older kids there, but she went anyway) and came home with a renewed vision. Driving in the car a day or so after her return, she said to me, "Mama, I know what God's called me to do." I responded with a "What's that?" Then, she said, "God has called me to reach my school. This is the last year I'm there and He wants me to make a difference before I leave." To which I replied, "That's awesome!" And, we began talking about how she was going to do that.

La Petite Belle has already gotten set up with a teacher who will be a sponsor for this Christian club/group at the school and she created 1,000 flyers to hand out at school to invite kids to come. The club will serve as a support/prayer/devotional group and be a place for these kids to invite their friends to so that they can hear about other kids' relationships with Jesus. And, of course ... there's food of some sort. This girl is on the ball with all her preparations. I spied her journal sitting next to her Bible on the living room side table and took a tiny peek. She had a whole devotion already written for the first meeting.

I am extremely proud of this girl. She has heard the calling of God upon her life and is actually stepping out into scary territory (we're talking public-school scary) and doing something about it. I can't wait to see what becomes of this group she's starting and how God's going to lead her in this area.

Proud Mama, right here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Flowers in the Attic

Ew. Y'all remember that book/movie? I vaguely do ... Something about some kids getting locked in the attic, abused, and a mean old lady.

I think that played a part in my strong dislike toward attics. Gimme a good basement any day

Then, there was that scary rhyme that my relatives would say about an older house, belonging to a great aunt, that we used to live in. If I could write in French, I would tell it to you. But, basically it was something about an old lady, Madame Grand Bois, who lived in our attic, who's looking for you and will come and get you. Yeah. Great memories in that old house. 

Needless to say, I didn't go into the attic. And, still don't like going into the attic.

I don't ever need to go into the attic, so there's no problem.

Except ...

this one time where the AC stopped working in 90-something-degree weather and Beau was out of town.

Of course, Beau was sleeping at his hotel when I did try to get  in touch with him. The nerve of him to put his phone on "Do Not Disturb" when his wife and children in a whole other state. Emergencies could happen here!

Even tried getting him through Facebook ... no dice ... he was sleeping like a baby.

We slept one night with the temperature at 84 degrees. And, the next morning, I was determined to get that sucker fixed, even if it was Saturday.

Just as I was calling the AC guy, Beau called. He gave me instructions on what I needed to do before calling anyone. It involved ... you guessed it ... going up in the attic. (insert dramatic crying sounds)

So, I bit the bullet and marched up the stairs, pulled down the attic stairs, and slowly climbed up until my eyes were level with the attic floor. I used my flashlight to scan the whole area before I stepped up any further. There were no rodents or old ladies so I was clear to go up.

I pulled the string to turn on the light and saw that the AC pan (no idea what it's called, but it's like a big drip pan) was full of water. Beau's instructions were to empty out the water. So, I began my long journey of scooping out water with a large cup and filling up a bucket, then taking the bucket full of water up and down the stairs ... emptying the bucket and starting over. Ugh. Not fun.

Despite all the noise I was making, no one in the house woke up to come and help me. No. One. And, I was NOT quiet. So ... I continued ... alone and sweating profusely.

When I finally emptied out that large pan, Beau said I would have to find where the pipe was loose, take it apart, and then blow on the pipe to rid it of any clogs. GU. ROSE. I was going to skip this step until he said if I didn't do it, I would have to start all over again the next day with the emptying of the water. Ugh again.

I found the loose pipe, unattached it, and stared at the inside of the pipe. Ew. Yuck. I was disgusted that I was going to have to put my mouth on that nasty thing. I encouraged myself ... cheered myself on ... and then I did it. I touched that pipe with my mouth. I did my best to get any clogs out.

I'm pretty sure I'm contaminated now. Ah well.

Guess what? The AC kicked on and we have had AC ever since.

I've come to realize that I don't want to do things like this. Nope. When I was younger, I would've been more than happy to prove that I could do whatever a man could do with no problem. I would go above and beyond to prove myself. But, as I get older ... nah ... I don't wanna. That's what husbands are for! And, I don't need to prove anything to anyone. So, basically I don't care if I am able or not able to do those type of manly things and honestly, I just don't want to.

But, I fixed the AC.

And, then unclogged the garbage disposal.

And, then ridded the house of some nasty, nasty bugs.

And, I don't want to have to do any of those things again. Come home, Beau. (insert dramatic, loud crying noises again)



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pay no attention to the police officers with assault rifles surrounding our home.

We were the talk of our neighborhood yesterday. 

Don't believe me? Check out our neighborhood Facebook group.



Yep. That was us.

I received a call at work from La Petite Belle. She said she thought she heard someone downstairs and it wasn't her sister or anyone who was supposed to be in the house.

K Belle had gone to a friend's house for a bit and La Petite Belle and a friend were home upstairs, starting to get ready for church.

As we were on the phone, she proceeded to tell me that she and her friend heard some loud banging downstairs, like someone banging on the door and windows and opening and shutting cabinet doors and drawers in the kitchen. The dogs were going berserk! She was convinced someone was inside the house.

She had followed our emergency protocol plan, which was any time an intruder might come in, go into our bedroom and then bathroom, lock both doors, call 911, and grab the gun.

Yep. She did it.

I told her to stay calm, after I had already called K Belle to hurry home to see what's up. Then, I told her it was probably not what she thought and she should put the gun away, which she had already put a fresh clip in. WARNING: To anyone who might want to break into our home, La Petite Belle will not hesitate to put a cap in your rear end or your head because she's actually a really good shot.

I knew K Belle was on her way and actually the friend's father was also on his way, but then I got a text from La Petite Belle saying K Belle had already called the police.

WAIT! WHAT?!

I called La Petite Belle again ... by this time she was crying and I could sense the fear in her voice. She was really terrified. Then she said, "I think I hear footsteps coming up the stairs."

Well ... that was it for me! I called 911. They had already received K Belle's call and the police were actually pulling up while I was talking to her.

They definitely wanted me to make sure La Petite Belle put the gun away, which she did. They surrounded the premises .. four of them ... with assault rifles. Nice visual for all the neighbors passing by. They checked all entries. Finally I was able to coerce La Petite Belle to go down with her friend to open the door for the police officers. They checked inside. All was clear. The only crime being committed was the condition of my dirty kitchen when the officers searched the home. Shameful and embarrassing!

I spoke with the police officer ... (they were awesome by the way and quick!) ... and he said he was glad they called and that we did the right thing. He also promised to patrol the area the next couple of days just in case there was someone banging on the doors and windows or trying to cause any trouble.

I had several mini-heart attacks throughout this experience. I was at work and not close enough to get there before the police. Generally, I feel like we live in a pretty safe neighborhood and obviously the neighbors all watch out for each other, as evidenced by the Facebook post. But, you just never know.

I did feel confident in my youngest's ability to follow protocol. She made sure the gun was ready to use if she needed it.

And, now I'm thinking we need to trade our two little dogs in for one big, ferocious dog ... well, except for Roxy Belle ... I love her so ... the other one ... ugh ... way harder for me to love ... anyone want a dog?

Now ... I'm ready for school to get started ... schedules and no more lazy days of summer nor possible intruders.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Discardable.


There was a time in my life, before I met Jesus, when I could simply discard a relationship as quickly as I had made it. It was easy.

I didn't trust people in the first place so I never gave my true self to anyone relationship-wise. My relationships were shallow ... superficial.

If I could keep them that way, then it was so easy to kick those people to the curb when they did something I didn't like or I disapproved of or when they wore out their welcome in my life.

When you keep people at arms length, you can take a step back easily. But, when you embrace people, it's much harder to let go.

Once I met Jesus, it was difficult to continue my view of people and relationships as being temporary and discardable. I had a hard time coming to grips with the fact that God wanted me to have relationships with people. And, not just relationships, but real friendships.

Now, as a woman, that can get tricky and hard because, as we all know, women are complicated. In one moment, you can celebrate friendship and relationship, but in the next question if you're even friends anymore. Drama.

I didn't even have a desire for lots of friendships in my life, even after I became a Christ-follower. So, I didn't. I was fine with it. I mean ... I could barely come up with four friends to be bridesmaids in my wedding. I had a couple ... two that were good friends from the get-go, and one that backed out, causing me to find a fill-in, and then there was a groomsman's wife. Yeah. Pitiful.

So, no joke. I just didn't have a whole lot of friends nor the desire to have more than the two I had. Then, I got busy. I got married, moved away, was in college, and started having babies anyway.

I also had a couple of difficult friendships, which then turned me off to the whole idea. And, these friendships caused me to revert back to the arms-length friendship idea.

But ... God began to work in my life in this area and my eyes were opened to the importance of friendship, not only in my life, but that my friendship could also be important in the life of someone else. I began to think that if I was feeling this way, there must be some other girls who felt the same.

About eight years ago, God impressed on me the need for friendship in my life. Real friendship. Not superficial junk. Ain't nobody got time for that!

So, I prayed.

But, I didn't stop there. I put a plan into action. I invited girls to a Bible study.

That's it.

The group changed over the years. Girls left the group and new girls came into the group.

But, one thing remained: Friendship.

One of the saddest parts about leaving my job months ago was realizing that this group that started so many years ago would not continue. It was something I'd have to leave behind and then just hope that our friendship would remain strong.

I've come to realize that these relationships are too important and I've invested too much to just discard them. So, what do we do? We try to make it work. We set up lunches, dinners, movie nights, birthday celebrations, whatever we can.

For true friendship to last the long haul, you have to be intentional about it.

Our pastor preached a great message this past weekend about this very subject. He said, "The greatest form of discipleship is friendship." It hit me hard. So true!

Who else will we share our lives, thoughts, struggles, fears, happiness with other than those whom we have real relationships with? Our friends are the ones who are and should be there for us throughout life's seasons, good and bad.

Sometimes we feel like we're going to burden a friend by letting them in on the fact that we're having a hard time. How ridiculous is this! {insert Dionne Warwick song lyric here .... That's what friends are for ...}

There's no point in having friends if we're not going to share ourselves and lives with them. Then they ARE those shallow, superficial relationships. No thanks.

If I'm going to invest all my years in a relationship, it needs to be for real. I mean ... come on ... life is too busy and time-consuming to waste energy on that.

Once I prayed that prayer so many years ago, not only has God given me some really, close, fantastic friendships within that Bible study group, but He's gone above and beyond ... like He typically does ... and has blessed me with three times that amount of friendships.

And, when I say friendships ... I mean real, true friends ... more than I can imagine.

My desire is to be more intentional in these relationships. Trust me ... I know it's hard. I work a full-time job. I have a family who I spend lots of time with. I am super-involved in church. And ... the biggest roadblock .. yes, here it is ... I'M TIRED.

Yes, it's hard. Finding time to spend with anyone is hard, but I will be more intentional in these relationships that are so important to me. The alternative is walking away, letting them go and letting them die. This is not what God desires for any of us.

I thank God that He's blessed me with so many good friends. I'm thankful for the different roles that these friends play in my life. My desire is to be a better friend and for my relationships to go even deeper.

And, if God desires to bring more friends into my life, I will be open to it, and not believe that I have enough friends. What a dumb idea! There's no such thing as having enough friends. Who said that, anyway? Duh.

God desires for us to influence the world. We can't do that when we put a halt to the amount of relationships we're open to.

I encourage you to be open to ALL that God has for you, including more relationships, more friendships. And, most of all, not to discard those that you've invested so much in. Work it out. Life is messy, but some things are easily cleaned up.

Words of wisdom from Winnie the Pooh ...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer

Y'all ... Summer is zooming by!

I have been to the pool two times. TWO! This is not enough, people. We are mid-June already. The girls go back to school in about eight weeks.

That's it! Unbelievable! And, then we're back to crack-of-dawn wake-ups and the dreaded homework checks.

And, to add insult to injury {what a horrible saying ... who insults the injured? Total jerks, that's who!} ... each of these girlies will be graduating next year. One from high school and one from 8th grade. My word! There will be lots to do and plan. This should help keep the crying to a minimum.

But ... yeah ... summer ...
Our summer is jam-packed with camps, activities, and events. We've all been busy.

But, I have a couple of goals:
1. Go to the pool more than two times.
2. Spend as much time with the girls as possible

That's all. 

Unfortunately, the girls are at that stage where they have this super-busy social schedule. And, then I'm accused of being "obsessed" or "addicted" to them because I want to spend time with them. Well, duh. Of course.

Beau and I actually have gotten quite a bit of alone time because the girls are so "busy." It's a tiny taste of what those days will be like when ... oh, you know ... I don't want to say it ... {tear}.

But, imagining a household without those two is kind of a downer.

La Petite Belle will soon get a taste of finally being the only child within the next year-and-a-half or so. You would think she'd be ecstatic, but I'm pretty sure she'll be sad without her sister here. This is the same child who never wants to leave home and wants to buy a house right next to us so that she can always be near us. While K Belle is on the other end of the spectrum and ready to hit the road and travel to one of the farthest places away ... Australia. 

Yeah ... so different.

K Belle is still job hunting. She babysits here and there and plays/sings at a couple of churches/camps and makes a little money. But, this girl needs something more. Australia is expensive. They are definitely proud of their koalas, kangaroos, and Vegemite. 

She's applied a couple of places, but, has high standards for places she'll actually work. No fast food for this girl. No grocery stores. No place she doesn't like. She's high-falutin. Whatever.

That's the down-low on life right now.

I mean ... there's a lot more ... a lot ... but ... let's wait on all that.

Let me just get through my #1 and #2 goals of summer for now.

Aw ... look at my girls at the pool so many summers ago ... {tear again} ...



Now ... you can find me at the pool this week ... well, when I'm not working or being a mommy/wife and all the other things I am ... geez ... I'll be at the pool at some point.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Well this is awkward.

Two posts in a row with titles beginning with the word "well." I debated changing the title due to this fact. But, I like the word. It gives dramatic pause (well ......... ) or tells the reader/listener that you are about to give your opinion or valuable information (well .... you know ...).

This post is neither ... not dramatic, nor containing valuable information.

UNLESS you find yourself in a similar, peculiar situation ...

Like say you've found out that you are registered on a dating website.

Yeah. Awesome news for this happily married woman.

I began to receive notifications a few months back that so-and-so would like to meet me. I ignored them, thinking they were just spam and would go away.

But, it started to get out of hand.

I started receiving multiple messages and emails EVERY DAY & STILL receive them EVERY DAY.

First off ... I NEVER signed up for such a website. Duh. Beau said, "So you're thinking of dating other men?" It was a little awkward when I told him that someone signed me up for this site. He gave me that "sssssuuuuuure they did" look on his face and thought it was pretty funny.

Well it's not funny to me! AT ALL!

I have tried everything to get off of this site. Obviously whoever set me up did it from a different email and referenced only my email for notifications. I cannot log in to even try and delete this account.

This account was set up on a Monday morning around 8:00 am, where no one in my family was home and we were all accounted for at school or work. Maybe this is just a sick joke someone is trying to play on me, but it's not really funny. It's annoying.

#1 - If I were going to cheat on my husband, I definitely would NOT go to a dating website. What kind of idiot signs up for that thinking their spouse would not find out? That's just stupid. I would be way more discreet than that. (Of course, I wouldn't do it AT ALL, seeing as I am still madly in love with my stud muffin of a husband.)

#2 - My username ... 01FallinAngle86 ... ummmmm ... I would NEVER have selected such a ridiculous name, but if I had I would have at least spelled "angel" the right way. Obviously, this person was probably born in 1986 (just assuming) and did not do well in spelling.

And, now I am on a mission to get myself REMOVED from this site. I have emailed the site multiple times ... no reply. The site has no phone number - surprise, surprise. I have Facebook messaged the company ... again, no response.

I am ready to not get daily notifications from La_Country_Boy or SeaFox200 and all the others! I am NOT AVAILABLE, guys!

So ... Maybe y'all could help me? The site is Plenty of Fish - www.pof.com.
They have Facebook here and Twitter here.

Think you could re-tweet or re-post this on their pages? That would be awesome!

You could title it: "She don't need no fish!" OR "Save my marriage!"

Please and thank you.

I mean ... look how in love we are ... Duh.