The Kids

The Kids

Saturday, August 17, 2013

So Long Soccer Ball

If I have not mentioned it before, Noah is a little bit crazy.

I suppose it is the typical third kid syndrome, but wow-he is just full of energy and opinions, much more than the other two.  Maybe it is because we are older as he goes through the two-year old phase, but sometimes I just look at him and wonder what on earth possessed him to do what he just did.

I wonder this when I see him standing upstairs in the loft...on the top edge of the recliner...close to falling over the railing.  I wonder this when he flat out disobeys us even though he knows what will be coming to him.  I wonder this when he runs out the front door, toward the street, laughing hysterically the whole way, as I chase him in my pajamas.

I really wondered this last night.  We were at Abby's soccer game and as they were warming up, the boys were playing on an empty field.  As Caleb walked over to watch the game start, I went to get Noah, who was preoccupied.  As I got closer, I saw him standing right by a drain pipe than ran into the hillside, like a tunnel.

As I wondered why he was just standing there, it dawned on me that he was just playing with Caleb's soccer ball.  And I did not see the soccer ball anywhere in sight.

When I asked him what he did, he said, "The ball is in there!" pointing to the dark tunnel.  Awesome.

I got down on my hands and knees and looked in, but could not see anything.  I suppose I could have stuck my head in further, but yeah, no, that was not going to happen.

I went back and told Caleb the bad news.  He and Nick checked it out and took along a golf club (from Nick's trunk) to see if they could reach it. Caleb, of course, could see the ball (because he has no fear about sticking his head in a dark drain pipe, which should probably concern me) and kept telling Nick that he was so close to reaching it.

They finally gave up and asked me to try, since my arms are longer.  I went back at halftime (because we wanted to watch the game, the actual reason we were there) and I could finally see the ball, but it was waaaaaay back in there.  I tried in vain, but that bright orange soccer ball was going to stay in the drain pipe.  Maybe someday it will lose air and be swept out to the pond, but for now, its home is there.

What is ridiculous is that Noah has no clue that he did something wrong.  It is not like I can say, "The new ball we have to buy is coming out of your allowance" to a two-year old.

He is actually quite proud of what he did.  A stranger walked by as we were trying to get the ball out and when she looked at us with a questioning look (what, you have never seen a grown woman, laying flat on the ground with her arm in a drain pipe, holding a golf club?), I quickly said we were getting a soccer ball out.  Noah yelled out proudly, "I put it there!  Me!"

The kid is never boring.  I could write more about him, but I have to go rescue him.  He turned a laundry basket upside down, stood on it to reach the basket of fruit and is now stuck, hanging on the side of the counter.

Two soccer games to watch today-let's see what kind of adventures we can find today.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A New Title

Last June I signed up to sell bags and totes with Thirty-One Gifts.  I knew I liked the products, I knew that I wanted more for free, and figured, "Why not give it a try?"

So, flash forward a year and two months and I find myself a Director with the company.

Um, what?  This stay at home mommy is a director of something?

Apparently.  And I absolutely love my job.  I still get to be home with my kids, but then go out and have my "me" time with my job.  And did I mention that my job is going to parties where women talk about bags?  Pretty sweet.

It is still hitting me that this is what I do.  When I am introduced to new people and someone asks me what I do, I have to catch myself from saying, "I stay home," and can now say, "I'm a director with Thirty-One."

NOT that saying, "I stay home" is anything to be ashamed of.  Hello-my entire blog is based on how thankful I am that I get to stay home while my kids are young.  But, I have to admit, it is fun to state that I do something else as well.

Maybe it is because I have felt lost during the past nine years-lost of who I used to be.  I used to be fun and felt like I made a difference in people's lives.  I had more adventures and ideas.  I look at my pictures from college and our first couple of years of marriage and I think, "Wow, where did that woman go?"

Yes, I know how important my past nine years have been-taking care of my children and spending quality time with them is more important than how I feel about myself.  I know that shaping them into the people that they are becoming is a thousand times more important than my ego.  And I would never trade it for anything.  The sacrifices have been worth it.

I just really appreciate being able to interact with other women and help them reach their goals.  And setting my own goals and working hard to reach them (this is when my stubborn personality helps me succeed).  And I love being able to contribute financially to our family budget.  It has been a blessing to work for a company that lets me set my own hours, gives me chances to move up and earn more, all while allowing me to stay home with my kids during these precious few years.

So, this mom will continue to change diapers (really need to get on potty training Noah, right?), clean the house, make meals, carpool to school and soccer and baseball, discipline, do laundry, pay bills, and generally keep our crazy family of five somewhat sane.  But, this mom will also schedule parties, keep up with customers, train a team of fabulous women, and sell bags and totes to anyone who is interested.

And will have fun doing both things at the same time.  Bring on the chaos.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cherish My Time

Since I have so many things to catch you all up on, the following posts will be in no particular order.  I shall write today, try again later this week and so on.  Forgive my lack of things in the chronological order, but I will start with what is on my heart right now.

This summer, our school community lost two women in a tragic way.

One woman was Julie Willard.  She was a mom of two boys, one already grown and one still in high school.  I was blessed to know her because Nick taught her boys and she heard that I was a Thirty-One consultant.  She opened up her home last fall and hosted a party, in which I was able to meet many of her friends.

What I noticed about Julie at that party was that she was always making sure that everyone was comfortable and happy.  As I got to know her more and hear others mention her, I realized that she was a very charitable person who always gave of her time to step up and help anyone in need.

This summer, Julie passed away suddenly.  And by suddenly, I mean she was texting a friend about a random thing one minute and 15 minutes later her son found her unconscious on her bed.  She never woke up.

I cannot imagine the pain her family is still going through.  No chance to say good-bye, words let unsaid, future plans left unmade.  She will not see her boys get married or have children or see them find their dreams.

The second woman was Lisa Heath.  From the moment that I met her, I always loved her name because my best friend's maiden name was Lisa Heathcote.  Lisa Heath had battled cancer for a few years so her death was not a surprise, but rather a long, drawn out tragedy that still left the same results-she will never see her kids graduate, get married, have is unfathomable to me.

Last summer, Lisa was told she wouldn't live much longer, but was miraculously healed.  She was able to have another year with her family.  She knew the cancer was back this past spring and just a few weeks ago, she went into liver failure.  Yes, she had that extra year, but it was never enough.

I missed both of their funerals.  Julie died on July 4th and her funeral took place while we were at camp the following week.  Lisa died on July 26th and her funeral was while we were on our family vacation.  I received the text from her best friend (also my good friend) while I was in the midst of the Thirty-One Conference.  Everyone was around me, "Woo Hooing" about the new purse line and I looked at my phone and read, "She is in Heaven now in the arms of Jesus."

Have you ever been in one of those moments where your world stops while everyone else's keeps going?  I sat there, stunned, tears rolling down my face while 16,000 other women kept laughing and smiling over bags with their friends.

I tried to get out.  I left the room and tried to find a space where I could be alone to call my friend, but everywhere I looked there were people.  In those moments, it suddenly becomes a mystery to how everyone can be so happy and not realize that you are screaming inside.

My heart is still hurting for her husband, who lost his partner in life.  And especially for her kids, twins, who are in Abby's grade.  They are too young to lose their mom.  Although, is there ever an age where we are old enough?

I have no explanation for why these things happen.  All I know is that it makes me appreciate the time that I do have with my family right now.  So when I am getting frustrated because I have been interrupted ALL DAY while trying to write this (seriously, every time I sit down to type this, I get about a sentence in and one of my children needs something-and this is the girl who wrote two 10 page papers in one night in college and received awesome grades on them), I need to keep my attitude in check.

I am here right now.  I am with my children.  I am seeing them grow and reach milestones.  I do not know how long I have left, but I want to cherish it all.  We are given a sliver of our time here compared to what lies ahead.

And what lies ahead will be oh, so glorious.  Julie and Lisa already know.  They are not asking the questions or wondering, "Why God?"  They are with their beloved, waiting for everyone else to taste what they now know.

To quote from one of my favorite passages in the Jesus Storybook Bible (not just for kids, people), "And the King says, 'Look! God and his children are together again.  No more running away.  Or hiding.  No more crying or being lonely or afraid.  No more being sick or dying.  Because all those things are gone.  Yes, they're gone forever.  Everything sad has come untrue.  And see-I have wiped away every tear from every eye!'"  And then a deep, beautiful voice that sounded like thunder in the sky says, 'Look, I am making everything new!'"

Monday, August 5, 2013

Busy Much?

Oh.  My.  Word.

I used to be a blogger.  When I had thoughts about something, I wrote them down.  When my kids said something funny or profound, I wrote it down.  If I had a brilliant picture of something, I shared it.

What on earth happened?

Um, summer.

It is amazing how little time I have to myself when everyone is home from school.  You know all of those moms who home school their children and have time to write about it?  I swear they write in place of sleeping.

I cannot blame it all on the presence of my children (and husband) being home.  I have gradually been increasing my hours with Thirty-One.  I never dreamed this little job "selling bags" would turn into an actual career.  Not only has my calendar stayed full of parties, but I keep adding team members.  Out of nowhere.  I actually just promoted to Director this month, which is just amazing to me.  God has truly blessed this and I love every part of my job.

So, between the constant chaos of my house (I can literally hear the boys fighting in their room when they are supposed to be sleeping-wish I was kidding), my job taking off, and the constant traveling in July, I am justifying my lack of blogging based on all of these excuses.

However, after numerous complaints over the lack of my writing (did not realize there were so many of you readers out there), I am determined to keep up.  Prepare yourselves for stories of humor (mostly from the kids that I usually claim are mine), sadness (our school lost two dear women this summer), and encouragement (after all, I work for a company that loves to "Woo Hoo!" each other).

I would write more now, but Noah screams are now reaching a level to which the neighbors might be calling the police on us.