Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Proud to Be an American, Proud to Be a Mother

As a mother there are moments that take me to the brink of insanity. Moments when I look at the raging monster I helped create, laying on the floor kicking and screaming, and wonder what am I doing wrong. But then there are those blissful, wonderful, moments when I look at my children and know I am doing good (mostly this happens when they are sleeping.) One of these blissfully gratifying mother moments occurred last night.

My husband had the day off. My 3 year old and I had dentist appointments in the morning (his first, not my first) followed by a coffee date (is that bad parenting??). We then planned to take naps and head thirty miles west for a picnic, park play, and a wonderful outdoor musical that has become a family tradition (even though my husband has firmly stated makeup-ed, dancing, cowboys are not usually his thing).  I love the feeling of pride  and home the show gives us (and my husband, makeup-ed cowboys or not, agrees).  After naps, my three year old was a wreck...the term "woke up on the wrong side of the bed" doesn't even really get close.  However, we headed out anyway.  I was determined to make the most of it and choose to have a positive attitude about how the remainder of the evening would unfold.  We were a little rushed (as usual), but not to the point of being frazzled when we got there.  The kids were a little sticky with jelly and sunscreen, but otherwise excited to see the big amphitheater and escalator.  We made it to our seats just in time and only minutes after we settled in the National Anthem, signaling the start of the show, began.  As I sang along with the familiar song letting my heart and mind rejoice in the gift of being an American, I looked down at my son...He was not signing (he's only three), but what he was doing was even better...he had both little hands placed on his chest and was quietly pondering the proceedings while honoring our country and our flag.  I cried.  In that moment, I knew I was doing something so right, and I was so so proud of the little man I helped create.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


As summer rolls along, several tragedies have taken place in the small community and surrounding areas where my husband and I grew up. It seems so senseless, the taking of vibrant, young life, but who are we, mere mortals, to question that which God has planned. When tragedy strikes, the first question so many people ask is, "Why, God? Why?" I know, because I have been there. I have lost someone near and dear to me, long before I had deemed it her time to go. Asking why of God is a natural progression in the grief process. I have since grown in my faith and now my questions have changed.

As the news of a tragic accident or an untimely death reaches our ears, we are often bombarded with text messages, Facebook posts, and emails suggesting we hold our loved ones closer. My questions are, "Why now? Why weren't we already doing this? Why does someone else need to suffer lose and pain for us to realize that each day is a gift and what is important should be held close...everyday. But we do, we seem to need that tragic reminder to put down the laundry and run with our children, to leave the house unkept and read just one more story before bed. Why? It sounds as if I am on my soapbox, but I too am guilty of putting the urgent before the important, of needing that gruesome reality check to be a better person, a better mother, a better wife.

I try to remind myself daily to live as Jesus did, to put my life in his hands, follow his plans and not my own. I try not to dwell on the what ifs and live in the moment and I also know that I am human, a sinner, and God will forgive me and sent me straight when I don't.

So for yesterday, today, and all of the tomorrows...I will hold that which I love closer.