Precious Memories

To say I’ve been busy is putting it lightly.  Gone are the days of daily blog posts.  I hope and pray that one day I can get back to them again, because I really do miss writing – and we certainly have a lot going on that I would love to share.  But today I have to write.  I have to do it while the feelings are still fresh – while the memories are still raw.  Before time steals them from me and they are only sealed in photos that will forever tell the story on my behalf.

This past week we drove to see my family for Thanksgiving.  It’s becoming an annual tradition because my grandparents are unable to travel.  In fact, they are unable to leave their assisted living home without special care.  Seeing them this week was bittersweet.  Grandma was very lucid.  Far moreso than what has become normal.  I had some beautiful time with her, and I will forever hold dear the photos of my precious Grandma working a puzzle with my baby girl.  Thanksgiving afternoon, as I sat alone with the two of them, she told me I’m a good mama.  She told me my children are beautiful.  And she and I shared what I’m sure will be one last hug and kiss.

Grandpa was in and out.  Sometimes he knew who I was, and other times he didn’t.  He gave me some gardening tips and reminisced with me about all the things he used to do with his granddaughter – though he didn’t realize that the adult woman sitting across from him was the same little girl in his mind and in the photos he was holding.  We talked about long walks through the woods near their home, and favorite spots.  We laughed about how his granddaughter used to enjoy shucking corn – until she’d find a worm.  I would then throw down the ear of corn and go running to the house!

I told them that even though we live hundreds of miles and 12 hours apart now, someday we will once again have forever together in Heaven.  I pray that they get their wish to go to Heaven together.  And I pray that God in His mercy takes them Home soon.  They are both very human.  They haven’t lived perfect lives.  But they have lived forgiven lives.  And I know that one day we will be together again, though I highly doubt from their current conditions that it will be on this Earth.

I love them both dearly, and I’m so glad that Becca is old enough to (even if only vaguely) remember them.  I’m also so very glad that we were able to bring a few minutes of happiness into their very dreary, forgetful world.  Our week was far more than just spending time with them, but these are precious memories that will never be repeated, and I will cherish them always.gma gpa collage

Perfect… Or not.

So I have this picture in my mind.  Always.  Of every scenario.  I can see the perfect, and then I can see the worst case scenario.  Usually, in my life anyway, what happens in reality falls somewhere in between.  So reality is somewhat unknown.  And it’s the fear of the unknown that holds me back.

I have to learn to let go. The phrase “Let Go and Let God” often seems so trite.  And yet, it’s scary how accurate it is.  In our lives as parents, in our careers as business people, in our relationships as friends… If we just would let go of all the fears that are holding us back and just let God direct… Wow.  The possibilities are limitless.

I never planned to have a gifted child.  I mean, yeah, the smart kid who enjoys school would be a plus.  Ya know, a teacher’s pet like I was- high achieving, reach for the stars kinda kid.  But gifted?  Nope.  Never dreamed of it.  Because I was too busy imagining the what ifs of having a child with a major learning disability or dreaming of having a kid who floated through school on a cloud.  

I never imagined I’d have a three year old who could read.  Like genuinely, pick up a brand new book, open it, and read 95% of the words inside.  I was too busy worrying I might have a third grader who couldn’t read, or planning how much fun it would be to teach my three year old about shapes and colors and play little matching games to realize what my reality could be.

Some people might think it’s the most proud, bragging sort of thing for me to call a spade a spade and say that Becca is gifted.  But that’s because they don’t know.  They don’t feel the pain. They don’t see the anguish.  They don’t know my fears.  They don’t see her tears.  

She knows she’s “different.”  She is socially aware.  She sees the kids her age, and then she sees kids much older, and she knows where her brain belongs vs where her body belongs.  She struggles. And because she struggles, I do to.  

I wrestle with just letting her do “whatever” and continuing to teach her new things.  But I’ve come to a realization.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.  She wants to learn.  She has a drive and a desire to learn more and more.  I have watched this week as she was devistated to realize she doesn’t understand the concept of rhyming… And seen her find every rhyming game on her Kindle, request every Super Why episode that involves rhyming, play her rhyming game, work her rhyming puzzles, and ask me a million times in a day, “Does ____ rhyme with ____?”  She WANTS to understand.  She WANTS to grasp this concept that has somehow managed to evade her thus far.

Because she wants to learn, I will teach.  If it kills me, I will teach her.  She may be stubborn.  She may be strong willed.  She may have sensory issues out the wazoo.  But I love her more than any other human in this planet (altho her Daddy comes in an extremely close second!!), and therefore I am more than qualified to teach her.  God placed me in every training class in college, every bit of research on my master’s, every student I ever taught in public school- they were all training me for THIS.  To be her mom.

  
(Not to mention Grayson, who seems to be coming right along in her footsteps speaking in two-four word sentences and recognizing a couple of the colors already at 13 months.)

So am I perfect?  Heck no.  Is this “unschooling homeschool” perfect?  Far, far from it.  But it WILL be the perfect place for my kids with His help.  And we’ll get through every step of the way – whether we be here at home, in a public, in a private, in a charter, or in an online school.  

I don’t have this mom thing all figured out.  I know I’m a pretty big screw up most days.  But I have figured one thing out: I’m in love.  The man I married is the most amazing man in the world.  And our children are beautiful.  These three humans are so precious to me.  I can’t imagine life without them.  Perfect, worst case scenario, or reality- I’ll take them any way they come.

  
I look forward to loosely planning our fall and sharing with you as I set up our themes and work with Becca to create our goals!  I hope you’ll check in with my Facebook page to stay updated on the latest ideas!! 

I’ll be back!

Whew.  Life is more than a little crazy around here lately!  I just haven’t had a spare moment to type up all the wonderful things going on!  Don’t worry.  I’ll be back.  It’ll just be a few days before I get a chance to sit down and write!

Home Sweet Home

I love traveling. I really do. And I love seeing family and dear friends even more. But I’m pretty sure that laying in my own bed has ever felt quite this good! Ahhhh home. The kids feel the same – Grayson audibly sighed when I put him in his crib.

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God’s Gracie

So back at the beginning of the year, I set a goal- to be more thoughtful. It seems ironic, now- for a pregnant woman to attempt thoughtfulness. They don’t call it “Baby Brain” for nothin, ya’ll. Seriously. Some days I’m doing good to remember if I put on deoderant and brushed my teeth, much less if someone’s birthday is coming up, or they’ve been ill or on a job search. And, sadly enough, here is is only early April… And already my focus has been less on others and more on the mirror- and my ever-growing midsection.

It’s hard to be pregnant. Noone ever said it’d be easy. Wasn’t the first time around, didn’t expect a cake walk the second time around either. But the hardest part is to be a woman and pregnant. Yeah, I know- that’s how it works. But somehow vanity makes it harder to be pregnant. Maybe if I didn’t care so much about how I look it would be easier. Or maybe if I chose to listen to my Maker instead of the little devil on my shoulder, then I’d feel better about who I am while pregnant.

This morning I got a dose of His reality. After feeling particularly frustrated at a lack of wardrobe options, we headed off to church. I pasted on a smile and hoped noone would see how much weight I’ve gained since we were last able to attend- before Spring Allergy Attack 2014 hit our family with a vengance. Well, someone did notice me. And much to my shock and surprise, her comment rocked my world- in a good way. What one of our youth told me has stuck with me all day.

“I just wanted to tell you how beautiful you look today! I saw you from on stage where we were singing and you just look so pretty today.”

God’s Gracie. Sweet Gracie. Thank you. Her comment reminded me that while my world spins around me and I may feel out of control, her world is doing the same… She’s a senior in high school about to set out into a huge, unknown world… And yet, she found the mere seconds it took to say something that made my day. Gracie is always a sweet girl, so I’m not surprised she made the comment. But she has no idea how thankful I am, on so many levels, that she did.

Because I need to remember
A) I am beautiful, no matter how pregnant I am or how fat I feel.
B) Others around me NEED me to be thoughtful and share God’s light with them.

God gave me that moment with Gracie to gently remind me that He loves me. He finds me beautiful. And He wants me to step out and share that with others. Thank you, God, and thank you, Gracie.