Monday, October 24, 2011

lazy Monday's

Contrary to what I used to believe - the weekends are absolutely exhausting in this season of life! Most of the tiredness comes from fun, outdoor activities with the boys so it is all worth it but I think every Sunday evening I get a little mopey knowing that the week starts the next day and I am seemingly more tired than I was come a Friday afternoon. But the full weekends make way for a L-A-Z-Y "I never knew one could be this lazy" kind of lazy. We've all been up for three hours and except for the person that goes to a big boy job everyday we are all still in pajamas and I couldn't even tell you where some clean socks are for the boys anyway....that kinda lazy. Everyone still smells like syrup and waffles, too....that kind of lazy. I have come to look forward to this slow start to the week and I couldn't remember what it feels like to actually accomplish something on a Monday - but I welcome that. While we may not be dressed and we may not step out of the house until 4pm we have been "productive" in side these 4 walls.......crawling through tunnels, baking pumpkin seeds, building forts, and "learning" from PBS all morning. I'll take this Monday any day!

Here are some of our weekend pics. Nothing exceptionally "tiring" but as Brad and I summed up last night - to get someone out of bed, make breakfast, change a diaper, clean up breakfast, get another little one up, change some clothes, change another diaper, clean up another breakfast, change anther's clothes, wipe a nose, change a diaper, feed some snacks, lug 60 lbs up the stairs for naps, walk up and down the stairs 6 times to deliver blankets, cups and what not for proper napping, get 60lbs out of bed and down stairs, change a diaper, give a snack, change another diaper, clean a snack, get a snack, fill a cup, change a diaper, feed two messy boys dinner, change clothes, attempt a bath, lug 60lbs out of the bath, change a diaper, change another diaper, do the pajama thing, fill up sippy cups, read 8 books, lug the pounds up the stairs, come back three times to threaten to sleep, oops change another diaper, and put to bed again.......All on top of anything you might need to do for yourself just makes one tired thinking about it. Bring on a nap today!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Heaven on earth

Anyone, Tiger fan or orange and blue wearing maniac alike, who gets a real taste of The Promise Land, aka Athens, comes away a believer....maybe not in the football but surely in the charismatic little city 60 miles east. I got the privilege of growing up sitting on Vince Dooley's knee and learning about the Mayflower and the Varsity from even a wee age so really it was no question at all where I would spend those 4 wondrous years of higher education. I used to laugh when my dad and mom would walk down Broad street and talk about the bar they used to go to after football games or the diner they went to for breakfast on a Sunday. They really dated themselves! Of course, for me, now more than 10 years have past since I first called Athens home and, I, too, find myself reminiscing about Joes (freshman) bar and, yes, the downtown Roly Poly that has now been taken over.

Last weekend we were invited to a dear couple friend's home just outside of Athens. This would be the gathering that several college friends (many of whom I hung out with in college but admittedly it wasn't until I married "in" that I really got a taste of this neat bunch of friends.) Brad and I ate at our favorite, Five Star Day, on the way into town and then met the others to let the 11 little kids run around on North Campus. I can say I never imagined when I was there as an undergrad that I'd one day have two little boys climbing the magnolia trees and running through the beautiful grounds of North Campus - but it was so relaxing to watch them explore a place that is so dear to us. After wearing the little ones out we went back to our newly-turned Athens resident friends' house for a lazy afternoon of football and swinging on a porch swing in the perfect fall weather. The pictures below are obviously (finally) not from my iphone camera!..... And they speak for themselves. Last weekend in our favorite town was truly the most refreshing, relaxing, and rejuvenating weekend we have had in a long time! We are thankful for a group of friends all aiming to raise their families in a similar way and all in love with this perfect little city. See y'all next year!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A little cheese for the 4th

My most favorite day of my 3 decades was this day 4 years ago. The setting, the weather, the people, the atmosphere....everything was more than I could have ever hoped. I remember standing outside the lighted tent nearly half way through the party just saying to Brad - "we have to take this all in. It's so perfect." And then hours before as we walked through the ceremony of marriage with with of our dearest friends and pastors, Gary Purdy, Brad had said the same thing to me - "Take this all in. It's so perfect." You can even hear on the wedding video a few tears from both of us as the music was playing during communion and then Brad saying, "God is here, Betsy." Ahhhh...I LOVE rewatching the video of our ceremony. I don't have video of the gigantic party but I don't care - no video could have captured it anyway but I do have video of the most beautiful wedding ceremony every done. I know, I am biased. God's presence was there that day and while there have been many trials these last four years, some that seem too big to ever hurdle - we both have known no matter what that God was there and He had us together in order to do our lives together. That, to me, is the most solid promise I know and it withstands any grand trip or fabulous house or beautiful wedding dress. That is the kind of beauty that I want in my life - a promise that no matter what takes us up or down God had us going up and down together.

This last picture just makes me happy. I can remember thinking during these fun pictures "I've never had so much fun in all my life! Pinch me!" {Pictures courtesy of Kerie Cleveland Photography}
Anyway, there is a popular country song out right now and I may or may not play it on repeat a few times a day. Originally one of my favorite artists, Dave Barnes, recorded the song. This is exactly how I feel on this 4th anniversary. You're my most favorite thing, Brad! {And I loved finding surprises in my car this morning and throughout the house. :) }

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A little substance

I've been sort of whiny the last week and it is so annoying. You know when you catch yourself just throwing fits over things not going your way or life not being as easy as you had thought...or worse, not as easy as your neighbor's life or your coworkers life...yuck! I feel like a toddler just waiting for someone to listen to my cries and do something to shut me up. The timing is off too. A few weeks ago I "for real" dumped out all of the "this should make you sleep" medicine and just decided to face the music. The music was not pretty for several days as no doctor would ever recommend just stopping a medicine cold turkey but more so I had no idea that I would ever actually sleep. But how was I to know if the insomnia was any better without taking away the thing that had given me some sleep (and a host of many other unwanted things.) Well, just like a baby, after the 3rd sleepless night I fell beautifully asleep for the first time in the likes of a year! If you've been tracking with me you are probably wondering - did you turn flips in bed the next morning? Did you tell everyone you met the next day that YOU SLEPT! I mean, this sleep thing had taken over my life this'd think a step in the right direction would have me throwing parties and writing books! And while I am ecstatic over my new skill - I, like a toddler, took the toy that was given me and then looked and saw a newer toy and wanted that one too. Brad is good for me in this case because he reminds me that this is a lesson in baby steps. You don't sleep one night after a year of a mess and then head off to the mountains with 8 other adults and try to sleep in a scratchy bed with two kids in your room and get a "normal" night of sleep....which is just what I did and thus, came home all whiny over the things that aren't "right" and upset that unlike everyone else I didn't really get a vacation because when let's be honest - a mom is rarely "off" no matter how far away you go. Whine, whine, whine....yuck yuck yuck!

Luckily, every Tuesday I get to be a part of the best thing in Atlanta. Seriously, this isn't a commercial for another "self help" book or online program but an honest account from a real live mom. No matter the sour attitude that I take with me when I walk in the door to my Mom-to-Mom bible study every Tuesday at Church of the Apostles I always come out feeling a little less alone, alot more supported, and surprisingly energized like no exercise or cup of coffee or even day off could give me. Today we were talking about the gift of inspiring your children. The author in our book writes about letting creation "wow us" and thus cause us to beg of our children to "come and look" out the window at what God has displayed. Well, here I was this weekend in the middle of the Georgia mountains, with the changing leaves among us, and the most perfect weather and I just couldn't get outside of my own needs enough to see what was around me. I wish I would have let the setting over the weekend minister to me because I so needed it. Oddly enough, Brooks was obsessed with the "mou'nains" as he called them and he didn't ever want to come inside the cabin. Which is just how he is at home - taking joy in picking the bark off the trees in the front yard and pointing out each different color of leaf in our driveway.

Oh to have the faith and perspective of a child. Yes, they are needy and demanding but they can easily be moved and excited by the passing of a butterfly even in the midst of a temper tantrum. I on the other hand can't even see past my own sin and selfishness so often and therefore I miss so much of the beautiful stuff - the stuff that can actually snap you outside of yourself and allow you to see the great big world out there and the miraculous things that are still being done everyday by a God that sees everything....even my little tiny cries for attention. On the way home from our trip I was analyzing the whole weekend because isn't that what most of us do once we leave a large family gathering? Anyway, Brad said, "Look behind you. Look out the window." I kept talking and over analyzing my disappointment of course. "No, really, stop talking and look outside. Yes, life is heavy and hectic right now and yes we just walked through the hardest year of our lives but look at the sun behind the clouds and the mountains...That's what it's really all about." I finally stopped and looked behind me and atleast for a little while I was quieted. I was thankful for the scenery for sure, but more thankful for someone to pull me out of the muck and when I just want to sit and play in it for days.

So my mom's group today was so fitting. After talking today in our group someone said something that I hope I believe. "It seems that the mom's that "get it" and apparently embrace their time as a stay at home mom are the ones that have surrendered to themselves and understand that the daily, mundane sacrifices of being a mother are what makes greatness. If I could just know that changing a diaper and wiping a nose is just a small part of a great work that I am doing and see it as that then certainly I will not be as concerned about me and my little whiny needs....and hence more able to actually see the bigger, prettier things around me." {Maybe a little paraphrased.} There really is joy to be found in the minutia of being a mom and it isn't just the moment that all the babies are sound asleep. We may not be thanked or praised or appreciated for years to come but enough have gone before me to tell me that there is no greater joy than "laying down one's life for a friend {a child in my case}" and truly experiencing real sacrifice.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The first fall Saturday

And because for some insane reason William is asleep and B is occupied I am going to post our pictures to our first pumpkin patch. We didn't do any cool matching outfits, nor did we even pack a diaper because it was a last minute decision to head North to find something fallish to do on this last perfectly cool fall Saturday. The boys were drooling over all of the boy things to do - tractors to ride, pumpkins to smash, animals to chase, and fried pies to devour. Because we drove the 30 miles to get to Berry Patch Farms we did buy a few baby pumpkins and one medium sized one for the porch but it is hard to overpay for a pumpkin when the grocery has them for like $6 right now. Luckily the boys didn't get that the reason you go to the pumpkin patch is to pick out a pumpkin....they thought it was to sit on every pumpkin and possibly smash it to pieces. Boys....

Toddler friends

First steps and first words are certainly thrilling in the development of little people. You grab your camera and try to jot down the date and just how many words or steps were made. But honestly, those milestones end up getting a little trumped by the next thing...running through the yard and spontaneously asking a question of me like the little guy had been talking all his life. For me it's the relational developments that really have me addicted to these toddler years. I know it's biased but I think multiple children are their own unique blessing - to watch a little one interact with his own brother, whether in a concerned manner or acting out of his own selfishness - it really beats any first step or first word. The boys are at the most amazing age. William is probably a little too young normally to care about another person about his size but because he has a brother he is much more attentive to people his own age. I remember watching Brooks at the same age and wondering if he would ever notice another child? It makes "playdates" really seem like just "adult dates" while the little people play next to eachother but not with eachother. Of course now Brooks is at the age to actually enjoy not only his brother but other people his size. Yes, a child on his/her own is a wonder in itself but a child discovering his relationship with other people and how to interact in the world around him is truly the coolest thing to witness. Recently Brooks has had lots of play time with his "friends." Here is a picture of B and his friend, "big William", at the zoo. They were a little more fascinated with eachother this day than the flamingos and lions.

He spent a whole day this week with his friend since birth and here are a few pictures of them playing and getting ready for bed. I love their expressions.

But of course it is the brotherly love or frustration that is the sweetest for sure....but I'm not sure if B quite knows how to "love" William without smothering him....but I do think William will show B some of his own "love" very soon and in this case the smaller man may win!