treats.

I haven’t been very good about blogging the past couple days. And even now, my computer is dead and I’m too lazy to plug it in (winning) so I’m writing this post on my phone.

Please forgive me?

If nothing else, please take this modest offering of my dear child in his Halloween costume all dressed up for his school’s Trunk or Treat. (He was Spider-Man, of course.)

He didn’t want to put the costume on at first, and so Dan and I were certain he would demand that it be taken off after a few minutes, but on the contrary — he loved it!

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He even kept the mask on!

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He happened to love it SO much that I had to pry it off of him while he cried so he could take a bath and get ready for bed.

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A hero never sleeps, I suppose. ūüôā

silence.

Despite always being surrounded by a plethora of friends¬†(or people who seem to not hate me)¬†I’ve always kind of had a loud mouth. I’ve always said what was on my mind without any any real regard for what repercussions might arise because¬†hey, it’s the truth, even if it sucks, so don’t shoot the messenger okay?.

Regarding this personality trait¬†of mine, my¬†husband recently referred to me as both a “firecracker” and a “loose cannon” in the same day. I asked him if that was a compliment or not.

“I’m not sure,” he replied. And my stomach twisted a little bit.

Up to that point,¬†I would have liked¬†to believe that maybe this flaw is just¬†part of my seemingly unending charm ( ūüėÄ )¬†but that all changed when I was having coffee with a sweet, deeply introverted friend of mine a few months ago. When discussing our personality differences in this area, she said, “I just don’t ever want to speak unless what’s about to come out of my mouth is more beautiful than silence.”

And that kind of wrecked me.¬†As Spider-Man teaches us, with great power comes great responsibility and similarly, with the ability to speak your mind also comes the discernment to know whether or not what you’re about to say is worth a damn.

As a boisterous, loud-¬†(and typically foul-)¬†mouthed, extroverted spirit through and through, it’s been really hard to feel comfortable being myself in this way lately, if I’m honest. Whenever I get fired up and feel entitled to spout off about something, a bit of shame creeps in and keeps me from doing so.

Is this a correct reaction? No, but every time you change, it’s going to be met with discomfort for a while until it isn’t foreign anymore.

Today¬†a friend of mine shared some bible verses with me that really convicted me in this area so, of course, I’m going to share them with you so if you’re like me you can feel bad about yourself too.

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. РEphesians 4:29-32

Yeah I’m the worst. But I’m working on it.

little victories.

I just got done reading this article about who Supermom is (it’s click bait, certainly, so I’m sure you can figure it out). And, as a mom, of course it resonated with me.

I think the reason there is so much pressure put on moms (on dads, too, but to a lesser degree) is that there really is a lot at stake. I mean, you’re shaping a human being. The decisions you make each day have a direct effect on the person entrusted in your care and will inevitably contribute to conversations had in a comfy chair in a therapist’s office years later.

In¬†the day-to-day of motherhood, each day brings with it the little failures¬†— the tantrums, the times you lose your patience and raise your voice, the times your kid wakes up in his crib before you and, when you finally hear him, it’s after a poopsplosion, etc. And because the stakes are so high, it’s easy to focus in on those little failures and deduce that you’re doing a really horrible job.

Yayyyyy… :\

But just like in everything, the fact is that¬†sometimes you nail it, and sometimes you don’t. So why not focus on the times you nail it?

As our weekend is winding down, I gotta say *brushes shoulders off* this weekend, we nailed it.

That is, we are currently celebrating a few small victories in our house. Notably:

  • Dax’s lunch was comprised COMPLETELY of vegetables yesterday. And he asked for more! (So what if it was just cucumbers? Baby steps.)
  • He now understands reasoning, so instead of completely freaking out and throwing the dinner I make him, he allows me to bribe him to eat his dinner with things like animal crackers and marshmallows. It’s not perfect, but I’d rather him have a belly full of real food and marshmallows than going hungry like he had been.
  • He has learned how to actually kiss. And I would venture to say that there are few things better than the feeling of little tiny toddler lips on your cheek. Ugh. So perfect!

So yeah. It’s been a good one. ūüôā

reality.

Like I was saying the other day,¬†no one can prepare you for the things you believe you are capable of and the things you actually are capable of. This goes both ways; just like you are far more capable of doing certain things that you might think you can’t, there are some other things that you feel capable of that you just aren’t.

This is what we like to call a reality check.

For me, September and October have been the months of reality checks. For some reason, these two months I’ve gotten some wild hairs up my butt or SOMETHING that have “inspired” (???) me to try a bunch of new things.

But not just¬†try¬†them — dive head first into them.

  • Blog everyday for 31 days
  • Work out everyday for 30 days
  • Reread the entire¬†Harry Potter¬†series (I’m on book 6 since starting 5 weeks ago)
  • Meal plan every week
  • Come up with and maintain weekly chores schedule
  • Continue doing other life things as usual

Let me just be honest and say that this blog post is not like the one in which I find out I’m capable of way more than I think I am. Oh, on the contrary. REALITY CHECK: I am stretched T H I N.

But it’s all good, though! Because sleep is great. And sometimes I do that sleep thing.

my own strength.

The thing about being a parent that no one can prepare you for is the huge gap between what you believe you are capable of, and what you actually are capable of. And that gap is sizable, I might add.

I never thought I would be able to handle the exhaustion of the colicky newborn days. I thought for sure that I would crack. Alas, I am still standing.

I never thought I would be able to breastfeed very long. I thought that maybe I would be able to nurse for six months or so, but here I am, miles away from weaning, well past Dax’s second birthday.

The terrible twos began sometime around his first birthday. And we’re knee deep in them and still getting through each day.

And tonight, he pooped in the bath and I didn’t throw up.

I didn’t know my own strength.¬†It’s a miracle, people.

prayer.

A long time ago, someone told me that the most powerful thing you can do is say to a person is,¬†I’m praying for you, and mean it.

Because it’s so easy to flippantly say that you will pray for someone and then just don’t. As a matter of fact, I’d bet that that happens way more often than not.

So today when I got a text from a friend who lives, like, a million miles away, telling me that she prayed for me this morning, despite me not even asking for it or knowingly exhibiting red flags for needing prayer, it really brought me joy. Because I knew she meant it.

It really does have power.

And so I texted back a heartfelt THANK YOU and pleaded for more. Because why not?

If anyone else wants to pray for me, please do; I’m currently in the process of weaning myself off of caffeine and¬†man —

it is a HELL of a drug.

the darnedest things.

The church where I work also has a private school onsite. My good friend Corri, who dyed my hair red, works as a teacher’s assistant there and asked me to swing by the lunchroom during lunch so she could check out how my hair turned out after washing it last night.

As she was checking out my tresses, one of the girls called out to her.

“Ms. Corri, is that your mom?”

“What?” we both shouted. My mouth fell agape. Corri quickly followed up with, “Does she really LOOK like my mom?”

The girl nodded.

“HOW OLD DO YOU THINK I AM?” I was shocked.

“I don’t know, like 24?”

“Okay,” I laughed, “so If I’m 24, how old is Ms. Corri? Like 12?”

“Yeah.”

“Well. Okay. Sure¬†then. I’m her mom.”

precious moments.

Ten years ago, when I had just graduated high school and moved into my dorm at Florida State, there was a new social networking site that had been created specifically for college students called “The Facebook.” I vividly remember a group of my fellow FSU freshmen and I rallying together to get “The Facebook” to add fsu.edu email addresses¬†to its approved network of students.

Once we finally got on “The Facebook” (feels so weird calling it by its first name) life was never the same. All of a sudden, we could now live out all of our college experience not just in real time, but also on the internet for everyone else to see/comment on/like/validate.

That’s right — validate.

If your roommate told you she’s started dating someone, you would ask, “Well, is it Facebook official yet?” implying that her relationship wasn’t “real” until it was made public on Facebook. Similarly, if you got a new job, you would count down the minutes till you could get on your profile and update it to inform your friends of your latest career endeavor.

It’s as if those of us who have been conditioned to do life¬†with things like Facebook and Instagram¬†have replaced¬†the old adage, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?” with a new one:

“If it isn’t on social media, did it really happen?”

(I am just realizing that I’ve written this before. But whatever.)

I guess it goes without saying that this way of life — blurring the lines between the internet and real life to a confusing degree — can cause some serious issues. For me, those issues have manifested themselves in a few ways: becoming envious¬†of the lives of my friends appear to have based on their posts,¬†getting offended and upset at things people post on Facebook to the point of ruining my in-real-life days, offending/upsetting others with my own posts, and (most notably for this post) struggling with what to post and what to keep private.

There are certain things I experience that are so special¬†to me that I have to fight the urge to post them. One example I can think of right off the top of my head is those moments in the morning when Dan and I are awake, laying in bed, before Dax wakes up. Another example is all the sweet moments I have when nursing Dax — private for obvious reasons. And just this morning — the inspiration for this post — Dax ran up to a sleeping (and, therefore inappropriately dressed) Dan, poked him and said, “Dada, waffles, please.”

Because those moments are so precious to me, I want them to be “real”, and because I am part of the Facebook generation I have to remind myself that, even if they never see the light of social media, they are no less real than the pregnancy announcements and relationship statuses that are currently populating my newsfeed.

In recent months, the idea of removing myself from Facebook has been extremely appealing if, for no other reason, it allows me to get a handle again on the preciousness of all moments of my life, regardless of their publicity. (Though if I did ditch Facebook, I would have to find a viable alternative place to post pictures of my son lest the rest of my family have my head.)

Does anyone else have this struggle?