Aging Gracefully?

Ok moms in your 30′s and up. Do you ever go on facebook and randomly run across an old high school classmate… and think “Wow, she or he looks way older than me.” Come on. Lets admit it. Comment – I shamefully have thought this. More than once. Don’t get to excited, I wont reveal who. Although most surprisingly look the same to me!!

I turn 31 in less than a month now.

31! Thats one step closer to 40.

I tease my husband he is practically 40, at almost 37. He doesn’t seem to mind.

I guess, 30, its, I dunno. A big deal for me. I guess because when I 1st got married I told my husband “I want to be done having kids by 30” – and now that I am 30, the thought of being done with “having babies.” is sad to me.

I am not sure ill abide by that rule ;-) – but still, 30, is a new era for me.

I finally feel kinda grown up.

With my 4 kiddos tagging along haha…

The next door that opens for us, hopefully in full time ministry, will be different than before.

When we moved to Northern Ohio, I was a 21 yr old Youth Pastors wife… Crazy.

When Travis began Pastoring as a Senior Pastor in NC, I was only 23!! – thats just nuts. A Pastors Wife at 23. No wonder people had trouble respecting me… although they should have – but I will give some the benefit of the doubt. Yall who read my blog, know that situation to a degree… so I wont go down that road again.

When we go into our next church though.

I wont be the 20 year old Pastors Wife any more.

I will be 30 something.

New Era?

Totally random post tonight. Just my rambling.

I saw this old photo of me though and found it fun to compare with a recent one of myself.

Left one, I am 15 years old. Holding my sweet cat Carla… who passed away this year. Photo to the right was taken last week, at age 30+ – My hair in the left photo is WAY lighter and my skin too. Not sure why my skin looks so pale ;-) – but my hair I did color back then. All teens do it seems. I have not colored my hair though like that since Caleb was a baby! My hair color now is its natural color. I plan to keep it that way until it grays a lot… once it grays, ill cross that bridge and decide what to do. Not sure ill want to sport all gray hair til Im at least 50.

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I think without sounding vain or self centered?? that I have aged pretty gracefully.

Im thankful for that. I credit it to my moms youthful panamanian genes (she looks amazing too! have you seen her blog? ), but also healthy eating… using chemical free products on my skin… and being sure to limit sun exposure when I can. Those who see me think I lay out often. I dont. Trust me. I hide from the sun when I can… I guess my skin pigment just darkens easily… so even sitting in a shade spot, I darken during the summer rather easily.

Most of all though, I think my dudes keep my young – they may have sprung on some gray hairs (Ive found a total of 2 the last few years)… over all though, I feel like my running around all the time with them, keeps me active without always working out… and they keep me from getting sedentary and lazy.

So cheers to aging gracefully. Thanking the Lord for another year… and blessings he gives.

We caught a Whale!!

Meant to post these last week… but totally forgot! Last week on Travis’ off days, he took the boys fishing.

The 1st day started at like 6am. Crazy fishermen :) – they headed out early, made a pit stop at BO (yall southerners know what that is), ate a quick breakfast, then made their way to the fishing spot (about 10 min from our home).

Not to long after being there though, Owen fell into the water (full submersion) and so they came home for a change of clothes. By this point it was around 8am… Reed and I had gotten up, so we joined the fishing fun for the rest of the morning.

That is when this happened….


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Patient Taite… who waited and waited. Caught something big…

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… and he had to work hard, to get it in.

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I was honestly shocked his line did not break.

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Cause this fish was gigantic.

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Travis got him close to the surface and grabbed him with this fancy fish hook thing.

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Taite said “Oh man, my heart is going so fast!! my knee’s are shaking!” he was all smiles.

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He was one proud dude.

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Inbetween the fishing & people falling in (Caleb fell in 2, hence the towel above), we enjoyed chasing ducks…

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Or taking their picture :)

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Swinging.

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& enjoying each others time… on that awesome morning.

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& To those curious if we kept the fish. We didn’t :) – he went back to happy land swimming around free.

Just a lil sand – walnut play

We had to refill Caleb’s Dragon tank yesterday with new walnut bedding. It feels like SOFT sand.

Kids thought it be funny to hide August in the bedding while we filled it.

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I was surprised, he just sat there, letting us.

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Reed would have dug in this stuff for a while, had we let him :)

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It’s just a move.

IMG_0017copyMy parents who lived in Charlotte, NC… moved yesterday.

From my childhood home.

A house I spent from  age 3 or 4, to age 19 (when I got married).

A house where I sat as a child but also an adult, married, pregnant and with my children, throughout the years. Its the house my parents became grandparents in… and a home that holds so many childhood memories, all very vivid still today.

My parents are both retired now… and while I may not have understood their move completely… one thing I am realizing, is…

It’s just a move…

A hard one. For more than one person in this case… but a move.

As I thought yesterday of someone new moving into my old bed room… of new children exploring the back yard and creek… of different things up on the wall… and new smells and people entering those walls, parts of those thoughts, made me sad.

I think it should make anyone sad.

That is a lot to let go of…

As I sat yesterday, I looked around at my home. A beautiful 5 bedroom house that the Lord most obviously blessed us with… A home I wanted… and yet at times find myself discontent because of the unknown with Travis’ job. At times finding it hard to be, in the now… wondering when God might uproot us again.

IMG_9364copyIn our 1st 10 years of marriage we moved 8 times.

8….

Twice before Caleb was born.

Twice in Ohio (so Twice before Taite was born)

Twice back in NC before Owen was born.

and Twice since being in GA.

We have had a new baby in every city we moved too. We joke if we move again God may give us more HAH!

My parents today will be moving into a rental, while they figure out what the next step is. They will reside in a new city… a little closer to us (but still a bit of a drive)… around new people… new stores… and new things to see. It will be new for them.

Different…. and unfamiliar.

I know from personal experience… you will have days where you miss the old days and the old house… I still have moments where I miss our small parsonage back in NC… as much as I hated the small kitchen it had for many years we lived in it… the memories it held when my first two children grew up in that home for 4 years…  will forever and always be special to me, regardless of how we left.

Life here on earth is temporary.

“We are here for only a moment,

visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us.

Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.

- 1 Chronicles 29:!5

 

Some people stay planted for 25-40 years in one spot. Others like us, move every 2-4 years. It is just how it is.

One thing I am trying really hard to do though, is relish in the now… and remember that the walls around us, don’t matter in the end. Enjoy the memories… the pictures… and the move… one thing I always tell my boys when we move is… “To Consider it an Adventure!” :) – and always try to make it fun….

To the Mom’s of Boys

Many who read this blog, may not know the small details to my life… such as how old I was when I got married. Many who I tell, gasp. cringe. think I am insane. wonder why. and often times, just give a smile and say something awkward.

I admit. I feel alone in my young age with so many on occasion. Majority of the time though, I am thankful.

I got married at 19.

2 years (not even) fresh out of high school.

I don’t have the memories of college dorms… or living on my own. While I attended a community college for a few years, it wasn’t much more than a couple classes and waitressing in between. Yes I use to waitress :) – another fact many may not know.

I always lived at home.

When I got married I had only had a license for two years.

I think my bank account had a few hundred bucks.

I don’t even think I had cooked a full meal on my own (my poor husband).

I was, young.

Travis and I choosing to get married when we did was meant to be. I don’t have regret of that… but I will say, being 19… and a wife. It’s a lot to take in.

Quickly into our marriage God began to bless us with children. I got pregnant 2 mo. after we got married… only to miscarry that sweet baby who I do believe was a boy… who we named Daniel (Ive never shared that here btw… but felt it was time), He passed just shy of my 2nd trimester. It was crushing and hard… and I remember it taking years to recover from. Even after the Lord blessed us with our 1st born Caleb, I had many boo hoo moments where Id cry over that small baby Daniel’s ultrasound. It is precious to me… and a memory I cherish. I know my husbands mom has a sweet baby boy with her in Heaven and that right there, brings me peace. Travis’ mom never got to meet me… or any of our children. I just have this mental image of her grinning with the same smile Travis inherited from her :) – as that sweet baby entered the gate.

After my 1st born Caleb was born, just shy of my 21st birthday… I never could have imagined the Lord would give me 3 more boys.

This verse holds such truth and is one of my favorites….


“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.”
- Psalm 127:4

I am completely covered in boy love every single day…. and while some days are harder than others. One thing remains constant. They love me.

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They love me after I completely loose it…

They love me even after a bad meal with lots of veggies they hated to eat.

They love me after a long school day, where tempers boiled and tears may have been shed.

They love me with or with out my make up.

They love me with or without a bra.

They love me squishy stomach and soft unripped body and all.

They love my stupid faces and annoying voices.

They love me even in my brokeness.

Boys. Are the best…. and while it is all I know. What I do know is, I am so glad God gave me a house full of boys, who I know, love me in a way, that blesses me each and every day.

So. To the Mom of Boys.

Be brave.

Put on your flip flops or muddy shoes and get dirty.

Throw out the tight clothes and fashion forward skirts… (saving them for girls nights or a date night. No need to be mom-ish all the time)

Sit down, build, create… love on those boys. The messes, the boy jokes and obsession over their privates (already, geez) and smelly feet. One day, when they leave home, they will look back on their sweet short ole mom, and remember how she put up with all of it… and even when they leave, they will love you, in a way, that will forever melt your heart.

Remain strong. Guiding them and teaching them. One thing I am realizing, year after year… as I meet new people… am around others… see families at the park… and so on, is that God is so clear in His Word on how we are to teach… and guide… and discipline our children. There is nothing more frustrating to deal with than children who do not respect and obey. While every child will disobey… and disrespect at some point… teaching them the truth on why these things are so wrong… and so bad, is so important.


“He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”
- Proverbs 13:24

I am so thankful that from the get go, The Lord began to work in my heart as well as my husbands in these areas… and while I know, our boys are not perfect. I am proud of them. I am proud of the fact I can go out with all 4 and be okay. I am thankful for their obedience and respect for others… while they have their moments of failure… like everyone… I see a desire in them to please. I love how when I call their name, they now say “Mam’…” and while it is just one word… it is a word that just echo’s respect and honor… and I am thankful for how we have pushed and taught our boys the value in this. I hope and pray my boys continue to grow… and mature…. desire to serve, treat others with respect… and dig more and more into God’s Word as the years pass.

Often times Believers are criticized on the verse above… where it speaks about the Rod. I for one am not here to tell anyone how to discipline their child. I think that is something a parent has to come to a decision about. We hardly spank it seems these days… but there is a time and place for it in our books. Done in love and with proper teaching to go with it. I remember early on as a mom, one time my child darted out from my arms in a busy parking lot and all I could see flashing before my eyes, was a car coming and when I yelled “STOP!!” that child disobeying me and getting killed by the passing car. This thankfully did not happen… but it surely could have.

Children need to be taught to obey… and fast…

No matter how you choose to discipline… always follow through. Actions always have consequences… My boys know this… and while at times it seemed like a loosing battle… Now that my oldest is almost 10, I am finally beginning to see the fruit of all that hard work…

Thankful for God’s Word.

Thankful for Wisdom.

For guidance and examples from other moms.

IThere is no shame and no harm in ever going to a friend and asking her questions… if anything I believe that to be biblical… I have done it myself… in fact I just did it last week… called up a mom of 8 (almost 9) – just asking her plain and simple “How do you do it….” in regards to home school, etc… as soon as I was ready to quit… give up, toss my kids on a school bus, she encouraged me… and gave me that boost that I needed to stick with my gut and keep at it. Those conversations are…

Humbling…

Needed….

…and so worth having.

Thankful to be where I am today.

Now 30.

No longer a teenager ;-) – newly married with one baby.

Lord has been good to me.

I am loved. By Him… and thankful for my these boys, all blessings.

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