Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Love Your Busy Life

Who isn't busy, especially this time of year?  There's Christmas parties, shopping, cooking, kid activities, appointments, etc.  sometimes we find ourselves complaining.  But think about it this way: what if you couldn't do any of those things?  Maybe you were sick, elderly, no car, no family.  

I think about things like that a lot.  I am so very thankful for my calendar that is sometimes full.  Thankful for people to enjoy time with.  Thankful for my family to share memories with.  Thankful for my friends to laugh with.  Even thankful for the laundry I have to wash.  

Remember to count your blessings, even when you are busy.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


I read an article this week about infertility in my Redbook magazine and learned some things I didn't know even though we went through infertility.  Did you know 1 in 8 couples have fertility problems? Many of those go in debt trying to have a baby.  Insurance usually pays for part of treatments, meds, and labs or none.
Fortunately, Walter and I never had to borrow money during our process.  Our insurance paid for some, but we did pay out of pocket for labs, medicine, and travel.  I'm not sure of the total amount, but it wasn't cheap.
Infertility also messes with you physically and mentally.  You have hormones and other types of medicines entering your body and you are on a roller coaster ride of emotions...wondering will it work this time, is this the right decision, is this what God wants us to do, will it ever work?  Should we try another month?  We had decided to try one more month and then stop if it didn't work.  The "one more month" we tried was the month God decided to bless us big.  Even if we didn't get pregnant, we still knew God was in control.
When miscarriages happen, you are thrown for another loop.  We would have 7 kids if they were all successful pregnancies, one being from my last pregnancy when we started out with triplets.  Getting pregnant and then losing the baby is tough.  It will test your faith.  Thankfully, our faith grew through our journey, but we didn't ever realize why we had to go through this while we were going through it.  Some things we will never know the reason for and that's okay.  I know now I can help others who are on a similar path.  I can understand them when others can't.  I can be more grateful for my husband and the kids we have.  I can talk openly about our struggles.  I can tell people how blessed we are when they look at our crew and say we have our hands full.  Yes, we have our hands full and our hearts too.

If you want to read more of our journey I have several other posts on this blog from 2011.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What NOT To Do When Someone Dies

FYI...this is just random thoughts in my head.  This blog is not about a certain funeral or my family in particular!  Just because you read it here, does not mean it happened to me or our family.  :)

There is no special handbook that tells you how to act, what to feel, or what to say when someone dies. Both ends of it can be awkward, whether you are on the close family end of it or the friend end of it.  I am terrible at death and funerals.  I know I am.  I'm not good at showing emotion in front of people.  I hate to cry, especially when people are around.  I crack jokes to keep it together.  I don't know what to say.  However, I have learned some things you should NOT say or do.  None of this is intended to hurt feelings.

  • Do not post anything about an accident or death on any social media before the family.  Let them share when they are ready.  
  • When you go to the visitation or funeral, don't ask what happened to the person.  Chances are, that question has been asked by many others that night.  Instead, share a beautiful story or memory or just offer condolences.  
  • Don't get upset if the family didn't call you.  Think about everything they have done.  They may be in shock from the death, trying to get funeral plans together, figuring out arrangements for their kids, trying to find paperwork, making plans for out of town guests, etc.  the list goes on and on.  The mind is tired.  Sometimes they just can't think of everyone to call.
  • Don't be pushy with your ideas.  Let the close family make decisions and just support them.
  • Don't ask about the stuff left behind.  Is having a piece of furniture or anything else worth hurting feelings?  NO!  Materialistic things aren't that important. 
  • Remember everyone handles grief differently.  Don't judge.  Some want people around.  Others don't.  Some want to talk.  Others stay quiet.  Just try to understand.
All of these things I have experienced or learned from others.  Just be loving, compassionate, and offer support.  It means a lot.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Give Me a Break

Being a Mom is the most difficult job there is.  It's very rewarding, but hard.  I hear it gets harder the older your kids get.  Even though I enjoy being a Mom to three boys very much, I sometimes find myself longing for a break.

  • Like when I sweep and mop the floor and 5 minutes (if I'm lucky) it looks like a tornado came through
  • When I take the time to cook dinner and before we can even sit down some one is saying they don't like it or Daniel's famous comment of its yucky!
  • Tripping over Walter and David's many shoes they leave in the doorway.  
  • Having to repeat simple tasks like get a shower 7464636633 time before it happens and when he gets out his hair isn't washed.  
  • Daniel waking in the middle of the night screaming and can't tell us why.
  • Walking in the boys' bathrooms and seeing pee on the floor around the toilet.  Is it that hard to ring the bowl?
  • Riding in the car with someone asking question after question after question.
All of these things can drive me crazy, but there's one thing I do know.  One day none of these things will happen anymore and I will miss them.  I will want the noise, the messes (well, maybe) and the chance to cook for all of them.  

So what I'm saying is, I love being a mother.  Life isn't ever perfect, but it's just right for me.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Time Flies

I often think about how time flies.  It seems like I was just riding my bike around the neighborhood playing with my friends and rushing home when the street lights came on.  I often forget it has been 14 years since I played high school sports for the mighty Holtville Bulldogs (I actually saw there teachers wearing shirts today that said "once a bulldog, always a bulldog" and I thought to myself "I need one of those.").  How in the world have I been married for 11 years?  And when did I get a nine year old and two 4 year olds?

I hear people tell me all the time that I go a lot or I stay busy.  I agree.  I do go a lot and stay busy.  I do it because I see how fast time goes and I don't want to miss an opportunity to make a memory.  David is already 9 and there are not too many years left of him wanting to hang out with the parentals.  I want to have as much fun as possible with these awesome boys God has blessed me with.  I want to watch them play on the slip n slide, splash at the splash pad, bowl, jump in the pool, hop in the waves at the beach.  I want to remember the walks in the woods and the critters we find.  I want their childhood memories to include making Popsicles, playing board games, riding the golf cart, and reading together.  I hope they remember fishing in the pond, playing in the creek, and connecting train tracks.  I don't want all their memories to include watching tv or playing video games, because that might would happen if we allowed it.  I want them to see the world and have as many experiences we can provide at home or on an adventure.

God made me a mother 9 years ago and again 5 years later.  That's an important job to have.  I pray often that I am a good Mama and that my children always know how much I love them and that they are always good enough for me, just the way they are.  I hope when they grow up, their memories will include feeling loved and special. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

One Special Lady

My Mawmaw, Peggy Haynes was a very special lady.  She didn't have any enemies and spoke evil words about no one.  She was the most Christ-like human I ever knew.  She loved life and everyone in it.  She cared about people and gave generously.  She had so many friends from so many walks of life and made each of them feel like the most special person.  Many of my childhood friends called her"Mawmaw" because she treated them like her own grandchild.  I always knew my grandparents loved me and spent a lot of time with me but it wasn't until I was older when I realized how truly blessed I was to have my Mawmaw and Pop.  Many people say they have the best grandparents, but Josh and I really did have the best.  Here are some of my greatest memories of her...some sweet and some funny.

  • Spending the night at their house and she always cooked me my favorite: bacon, egg, and cheese on toast.  She even cooked me one if she was cooking something else for Pop.  Yeah, I know she spoiled me. 
  • She would scratch my back and rub my head a lot, and I never returned the favor.  
  • I loved baking with her.  She was always so patient with me.  We would bake at her house, especially at Christmas time.  She worked until 11 at night with the Forestry Commission and I would go with her and we would bake while she worked since no one was there.  We even baked together this past Christmas when I used condensed milk instead of evaporated on the fudge and we had to start over.  She just laughed.
  • I can't leave out the drive by peach milkshakes from Hardee's she would deliver after getting off work at 11.  She would cut her lights off on her car and Josh and I would sneak out the door to get them.
  • She would find the switches and break all of them thinking we wouldn't get whooped.  Dad busted her on that!
  • If we were ever told we would get a whoopin while she was at our house she would stay as long as she could thinking my parents would forget all about it.  
  • All the vacations they took us on are great memories: Disney World, the Keys, Everglades, out West twice to places like Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Royal Gorge, to the beach, many North Carolina trips to see family.
  • She never failed to tell me how proud she was of me: my grades, sports, marrying Walter, getting 2 degrees, being a mother, my job.  I wouldn't have my masters degree if it weren't for her and Pop encouraging me and telling me they wanted to pay for me to go back to school.
  • She would always have something for David, Dillan, and Daniel.  It might be Yoohoos, cheese balls, marshmallows, etc.  
  • Looking at Christmas lights will not be the same without her.  
  • She never would ask me to do something for her.  Instead it would go something like this: "Toot, you want something to drink?"  I would reply "no thanks."  She would sit for a second and say "a diet coke sure would be good."  We called these Mawmaw hints and I never let her slide by with one without picking on her.
  • She would call the house and leave a message saying "she didn't need anything.  Just calling to check on us."  
  • She and Pop bought Josh and me diapers when we were babies.  When our 3 came along she said she wanted to continue for us.  We never had to buy diapers thanks to them.
  • They also taught me to drive way before the age of 15 and bought me my first car.  
  • She made me my own make up bag when I was little, let me put it on myself, and then let me wear it to church!  Only a cool grandma would let you go to church looking like a clown because she didn't want to tell you no.  Mom wasn't too happy with this.
As you can see, I did have the very best grandparents and I am thankful God gives me the ability to notice how blessed I am.  Pop has been missed for a little over a year now and Mawmaw will be sorely missed too.  

I feel like Mawmaw wouldn't want me to end this without asking you do you know The Lord?  Have you asked Him into your life?  If not, don't wait.  He loves all of us and will always be with you.  Trust in him with all your heart and with all of your soul.  I am promised to see my Mawmaw and Pop again one day.

In closing here is a poem I wrote the night before Mawmaw's funeral visitation.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

It's the Little Things

Sometimes life can get busy and we forget to stop and think about the little things.  Summer time has me thinking and there are so many "little" things to be thankful for!

  • Socks...or lack of!  I'm so happy we wear sandals most of the time in the summer.  I despise matching socks and there aren't many this time of year!
  • Sleeping an extra 30 minutes or so.  I get a little extra time before the kids wake me up torturing our poor cat Kiki.
  • Staying home with my kids.  I love being a mother and love being with my three Ds during the summer.  This is my dream!
  • No chores on the weekend.  I love having the house clean during the week so time isn't wasted doing it on the weekend.
  • Berries.  Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, huckleberries.  I love them all and enjoy making new recipes with the kids.
  • VBS.  Having 3 of my third grade girls ask Jesus into their heart this week is amazing!  
  • Adventures.  Going down the river, to the beach, to the lake, creek, Six Flags, to the park, playing in the yard, riding the golf cart.  The list goes on and on and on.  I love it all.
  • Coffee.  Coffee during nap time is the best!
I wrote this the day before my Mawmaw was killed in a car accident where someone was in her lane and hit her head on.  I hadn't posted it yet.  I miss so many things about her already, but I'm thankful God gave her to me to show me true love.  She was one of a kind in the best way possible.  I am also thankful for the peace that only God can provide.  

Today, think about your little things!