leaving on a jet plane #251

I love Wednesday mornings in my home because it’s all perfectly clean.  We are hosting a Bible study on Tuesday nights so it’s a huge scramble beforehand to ensure our house isn’t a disaster and then I get to reap the benefits when I wake up in the morning.  This morning was particularly early, as I heard Bart get ready for work and couldn’t fall back asleep, then thought it would be a perfect time to read my Bible.  Just as I stepped out my bedroom door I heard a little voice…Regan.  Normally I’d probably leave him in his room for a bit, but he’s no longer in a crib, so the amount of mischief available is exponentially more than before.  Would I rather clean pen marks off the wall later, or get him up with me and save the stress?  I opted for cuddle time and Bears (his fav movie right now) and still got a little Bible/Journal/Jesus time in.

I am headed on a little trip to see my family in Washington this week with just my oldest son.  I think I’m too excited to sleep.  I thought that kind of thing would stop when I became an adult.  Being so giddy I lay awake til one am and waking up at 6am?!

But I have reason to be giddy.  Not only do I get to see my family who I love…this is also the best traveling situation I’ve had in a long time.  I don’t have to plan ahead for formula, strollers, diapers/wipes, baby food… nothing!!!  It hit me the other day that this will be the first time I won’t have to change diapers for 4 whole days?!?!  How did I get so lucky?  No bouncing baby on my lap for 6 long flight hours…no stressing about ear pressure or trying to get someone to sleep while traveling.  I am sure it’ll be exhausting, just because we aren’t arriving in Seattle until midnight our time but I don’t even care because I can sleep in if I want to.  I told my dad that when Josiah wakes up early, he will be instructed not to talk to me but go straight upstairs to their bed.  hehe.

I’m trying not to have huge expectations for this trip, because Lord knows I tend to get disappointed when I think too hard about anything.  But I am just believing that Jesus wants to give Josiah and me an adventure together!  It’s kinda fun that I did this trip with just Josiah four years ago exactly.  He was just 5 months old when I brought him to Washington for the first time…to show him off to everyone- meeting my little bear, going to the pumpkin patch, probably what we will do this time as well.  I’ll be sure and post a then and now picture- he was in his prime chub months then.

So, let’s just say I’m excited.  I’m ready for a little out-of-the-ordinary vacation-from-my-normal-life.  Thanks Bart…you have the hard job this time around.

 

almost an end

As I bought yet another canister of formula this week, I suddenly realized…only one month left.  My little baby girl is growing up.  For every child, there are milestones- first smile, first tooth, first crawl, first steps…but one of my most favorite is the end of formula.  It is a rite of passage and is right up there with the end of diapers in my opinion.  I’m not sure why I so enjoy saying goodbye to this powder substance, but I do.

It might be the cost…my Target trips are automatically off budget the minute I put Similac into my cart.  It might be the nagging fear that we’ll run out.  It might be the endless piles of powder that I find on our countertops.  It might be the gross bottles filled with leftover formula from weeks ago that I find under her bed.  I am chuckling to myself that I actually have written two whole paragraphs on my hatred for formula.  Ha!

I think it is my way of avoiding the fact that my baby is turning one in a months time.  Insane.  As I look at this last year, I can truly say it flew by and it felt like it was 5 years.  A lot has happened in this last year.  So many ups and downs, dark nights and beautiful morning sunrises…I wish I felt like diving into explanations for why everything happened, but I don’t.  I’m just going to spend time feeling thankful for the end of things like formula.

It’s the little things in life that give hope.  Saying goodbye to this little chapter means we can say hello to so much more.

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random acts of peer pressure

*Side note: radio silence for the last month has been due to the fact that our computer died.  It lived a great long life RIP…we got a new one, and so I’m back.*

Last month I read an article about a Starbucks drive-thru that succeeded in a 341 people random act of kindness chain…meaning that amount of people paid for the drinks in the car behind them.  It linked to an article about one woman who refused, thus ending the incredibly long streak of drink buyers.  She basically said she didn’t want to be forced into something like that and it should be a personal choice.  Back then I was appalled.  How selfish, I thought.

You see, I have been having fun with this concept for many years.  I don’t buy someone’s drink every time I go through a drive-thru but more often than not, I used to gear myself up for it…get a little nervous with butterflies…tell the barista I wanted to pay for their drink…say a little prayer in my head for them and drive away.  It was exhilarating and I often hoped that it would brighten that person’s day…set them up with a smile, you know, the usual affects of a random act of kindness.  Most times I got out of there so quick, no one had a chance to even see me…but on rare occasions they would make sure to catch up with me and share their gratitude- usually through a downed window while driving.  I saw tears and joy and it always made me feel like Jesus and I were working together.

Then…a few weeks ago, I drove through a Starbucks one morning, tired and just wanting coffee.  As I pulled up to the window an overly excited teenage barista declared that the person in front of me had paid for my drink and if I paid for the drink behind me, I’d keep the streak alive (they were at number 32).  I said yes, of course, but it didn’t feel the same.  In fact, I felt super pressured.  Instead of feeling so grateful that someone had just paid for my drink, I realized they were probably just as pressured as well.  And to make matters worse, when the barista told me what I owed (for the person behind me) it was less than my drink, to which he joked that “I got a deal.”  Totally not the point dude.

Now, I realize that this whole concept might give people who would never think to buy someone’s drink, an opportunity to participate in a random act of kindness.  However, I really see no other point, other than to boost a particular Starbucks store into the news with the new highest record.  Lame.  This thing is not random and it’s not necessarily kind.  It’s more like targeted acts of peer pressure…

So, this morning when I rolled through the drive thru yet again, I watched as the car in front of me held out her $2 and change.  Then, instead of taking it, the barista (I’m guessing) explained that their drink had been paid for…now, in that moment I bet if the barista had handed her a free drink and said “Hope you have a wonderful day”, that person would be feeling great.  Instead, I watched as the barista explained that she was the 5th person to be involved in a “random act of kindness” and asked if she would like to participate.  I looked on as the driver scrounged around for more change, but ultimately didn’t have enough to cover my pumpkin spice latte.  At this point, I wanted to yell out my window and say- “it’s okay, just enjoy your free drink!” but I didn’t.  When I got to the window the barista explained that half of my coffee had been paid for, blah blah…which confirmed to me that she had totally shamed the poor driver in front of me and under pressure and persuasion, I had been blessed with half my drink paid for.  Gee I feel so loved.  They must have talked to their employees, because this barista definitely was more nonchalant about keeping the streak alive, but shared it nonetheless.  I didn’t have the guts to say anything except yes, but as I drove away I shook my head in disgust. (not really…but it did remind me that I had wanted to write a blog post about this very topic)

Now, don’t get me wrong- I’m all for random acts of kindness.  But it’s about the giver just as much as the receiver.  I remember when someone paid for me a few years back and how amazing it felt…that simple little gesture.  But this whole concept of “keeping the streak alive” ruins all the beautifulness that occurs in a random act of kindness.  It makes me sad to think how many people probably drove away angry.  What’s even more sad is that if I ever get the inkling to pay for someone’s drink randomly, I might think twice because I don’t want them to feel pressured to pay for someone else.  Sad day.

Well, my rant is over.  I realize this is silly but I just had to write it down.

happy 3rd birthday regan

DSC_0356Oh my sweet Regan Ocean.  Even writing his name invokes an involuntary smile on my face.  This boy is one of a kind in the most intriguing ways.  I have not figured him out, not even close, and I love that.  He is simple and complex, loud and shy, calm and crazy…the most opposite of traits glued together to make up  my precious second born.

The Geegs, as he is affectionately known, has the most beautiful bright white smile I have ever seen.  I love walking into his room in the morning and being the first to receive his lit up face- and the first to get his deepest snuggles.  He might be turning three, but in many ways he’s still the baby.  He gobbles up Maya’s baby food and loves to be carried whenever someone is willing.  He still uses a binky to sleep and diapers to do his business.

I love the way he’s obsessed with shoes and chocolate…kinda like a teenage girl.  I love the way he loves his brother and sister- in such different ways, but so sweetly.  While he’s super independent, he does follow Josiah around often and mimics him in peculiar ways.  Jos can get him to repeat words endlessly and chase him whenever he wants.  But Regan and Maya are so precious to watch.  It took Regs a little time to warm up to his baby sister, but now their friendship is adorable.  He calls her sweetie and makes her giggle endlessly, and although he tends to assert his authority with strong no-no’s because he thinks he can…more often than not, I find them laughing together in a corner.

I love his incessant singing in the car, especially when he catches the exact inflection of the singer.  I love that he would choose his rain boots over anything and often sleeps with them on.  His “terrified” face makes us die laughing (don’t worry it shows itself when around giant stuffed bears and plastic lobsters…it’s not like we are truly scaring him).  I love the way he laughs- so full of life and infectious.  I love when he stares into my eyes so deeply I can’t imagine what he’s thinking and how tender his heart is right after he gets corrected.  It’s written all over his face…his every emotion.

I love Regan’s smooth skin, his perfect teeth with one chip in the front one.  I love how concentrated he gets when giving a thumbs up and how proud of himself he is after somersaults.  I love the way he has started warming up to people a little more now but also how I still get to be his safe zone.  I love his funny expressive words like Wampa for Grandpa, Puuyeah for Pool, and Watupoos for octopus and how he emphasizes certain syllables as if he’s Greek or something.  He’s so unique, so quirky, so absolutely hilarious.

Some days I can’t even handle the fact that he’s my son- how did I get so blessed?  He is such a precious little boy and I want to love him in all the ways he needs.  He is so clearly not his brother, and while I appreciate the differences- there are times I forget.  Reegs looks at me with such love and I can’t even describe how it makes me feel.  It is an honor to spend each day with such an incredible little human.

I love you forever my son.  Happy Birthday.

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the end of an era

It’s funny.  Since I was 5 years old and started school, I remember having to get up in the morning and be somewhere.  Through the age of 30, for the most part, I had to be up at a certain time and go to school or a job or something.  But then, one day, I became a mom.  At the age of 30, I stopped having to be somewhere at a certain time.  Sure, I had to be up and to be honest, it was much harder to get up on another human’s time table, but I never had to go anywhere if I didn’t want to. For the past four years, my life has looked relatively similar.

Being a stay at home mom is a gift for which I am super grateful.  And today as I looked at my calendar it hit me.  Josiah starts pre-k next Thursday and while it’s only two mornings a week, it means I must get all three kids up at out the door before 8am.  This isn’t optional anymore.  This isn’t based on whether it was a long night or whether I’m exhausted or someone needs to sleep in or anything…it’s mandatory.  School.

I’m really excited for Josiah to begin.  I know I’ll miss him and be sad but that the same time, it’s a fresh perspective on life for me- only juggling two kids for a few hours a week.  I’m excited for the possibilities…using the double stroller…shopping at Costco bc two kids can fit up front…easier playdates…some one on one time with Regan while Maya naps.

But what hit me today was that this is the beginning.  Next year, it’ll be FIVE days a week?!?  And forever and ever after that…….my life as a mom is about to drastically change.  For the past four years, I’ve been able to stay at home, in my pajamas, unshowered for as many days as I want.  I’ve lamented at times about how hard it’s been to transition into this job of motherhood.  But the loneliness has been one of the hardest parts.  Of course, I know that it’s partly my fault.  But it also comes with the territory of being a mom of three young kiddies.

So, as I look at the future- it seems bright.  I’m forced to be in contact with other people on a regular basis.  It’ll be good for me.  My oldest is going to spend time away from me.  It’ll be good for me (and him!).  I have to wake up with an alarm two days a week.  Dang.  It cracks me up that it was such a normal part of my life before kids came along.  I hate alarm clocks.  But I’m loving the thought of a new season.

I’m rambling so this is where I’ll stop.

currently…

going…on a date tonite. WOOHOO.  your classic dinner and a movie plus possibly buying a living room chair. heheh. normal right?

craving…cheese. goat cheese, feta, cheddar…all of it.

wearing…my hair in a new style- parted down the middle- yikes?! and messy. we’ll see if I can handle the change.

feeling…good, even though it’s the middle of august and for the first time in my life I do not want fall to come.

making…popsicle garland for regan’s birthday party which is quickly approaching. yesterday I got a bunch of inspiration, so my to-do list is a mile long for it now.

watching…regan jump around like a mad man.  And also watching the new HGTV series my big home renovation with the Hatmakers- I love Jen’s writing…and so far it’s very entertaining.

believing…for new beginnings and fresh starts coming soon.

not believing…that Josiah starts school in THREE weeks?!  Eek.

knowing…I have the best husband in the world.

missing…my sister dearest.  But I get to see you in less than 2 months!!!

it’s not just a backpack

I just ordered Josiah his first school backpack.  EEK.  I also just downloaded his first school supply list.  DOUBLE EEK.  I have written many supply lists for other students to complete, but never have I been on this side of things.  I get to take my little buddy to Target and buy dry erase markers and playdoh and tissues and even a pencil box?!?!  And then I get to label them!

I’m vasilating between pure excitement and sadness.  Josiah is gonna rock pre-k.  He will love every minute of it and want to go every single day, instead of just the two mornings a week he’s signed up to attend.  But it also means he won’t be with me two mornings a week.  So weird.

So, back to the backpack shopping.  I know for some moms this wouldn’t be a big deal at all and they would throw the latest cartoon character bag into their cart and keep right on going (which is awesome).  And I also know that Jos would probably love the latest cartoon character splashed all over his new school backpack, but I can’t bring myself to do it.  I want his backpack to be the right amount of casual and cool.  It’s funny that I’m admitting this to the internet, since it should be embarrassing to me, but it’s totally not.  And to tell you the truth, I have thought about this long and hard.  Do I go old school Jansport?  Or the classic kiddy Skiphop animal?  Or a surfer brand like Quiksilver or Volcom?

Yes.  I’m serious.  Stop rolling your eyes.

I did make a decision.  And GASP…I did it without Josiah’s help.  He will be sporting a sweet gray and black checkered quicksilver backpack to his very first school and he will love it- because I will present it with such flare and excitement that he will be overjoyed!  And…the kid is easy to please.

Just wait til I have to pick out a pencil box…