Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Help Me. Help You." Parenting as told by Jerry Maguire

Hey boys and girls! I think we made it. High Five.

I don't want to prematurely celebrate or anything (as if the last week of September is premature. Ugh.) but it seems that we have survived summer. We are just a few days from October and the heat seems to have run out of steam (literally). Yesterday we woke up to cooler temps and it was down right blustery. It even looked like fall outside my window because with just 2 hours of fall weather every single pine needle fell from our trees and made a nice fluffy pine needle blanket over our driveway. It was as if they too just said "Finally." After holding on to those branches way longer than expected.

So I'm sitting here highly satisfied with the possibility of an official season change and drinking my latte while listening to Justin Timberlake radio on Pandora. (that was an impressive run-on sentence. But since this is just my blog and not English class, I have no desire to go back and correct it.) (I feel pretty confident that any true grammar sticklers have long since quit reading my blog due to sentence structure induced headaches.)

I feel like I need to take advantage of a good latte and the cool weather good vibes that come along with a beautiful fall day. Besides, I haven't written in a while and there are a few things to catch up on. So lets do a little recap of last week.

I was tested last week as a mother and as a decent human being. My sweet sweet husband was out of town Wednesday – Friday at a conference. As I type that I realize that it wasn't very long, but let me assure you that time stood still last week and those three days lasted for an entire month. I am not cut out to be a single mother. Thank the good Lord I don't have to do that regularly. I'm not sure what that says about me as a capable mother, that I can't handle parenting my children all by myself. But I choose to believe it means that I am better at being a team player and at working harmoniously with my partner. Regardless, It means that I rely heavily on Steve to pull his weight around here and while we are always technically outnumbered 3:2 as parents, he is pretty big and tall and probably counts as almost 2 of them.

Wednesday started off with a bang because Walt pointed out (as we were walking out of the door) that his finger was very swollen and red and "it really hurts to touch it like this...Ouch!" *eye roll emoji* (Why do kids always say that? It hurts when I do this... and then do that thing and cry about it? "Help me, Help you! Help ME. Help YOU!")

So we made a detour to the early morning walk-in clinic before school only to find that he had some sort of infection that required an antibiotic. Thankfully he didn't have fever and was not contagious so I sent him on to school. I later received a call from the school nurse, (totally expecting Walt's finger to have fallen off or grown to the size of a banana) as it turned out, Amelia was now sick and needed to be picked up. Awesome. I was gonna shower, but who has time for such luxuries? So I woke up sleeping Louisa (breaking the first rule of motherhood "never wake a sleeping baby/toddler") and we went and checked out the kids from school. At 2:45pm. Just FYI the school day ends at 3:30pm. Sigh.

Amelia took a sick day Thursday and Friday due to Strep Throat and honestly I think it was best thing for her. Not that I want my kids to be sick, but she needed the rest and I've never really been a stickler for perfect attendance. (all of my former teachers would like to insert a *eye roll emoji* here.) We had to hit the early morning walk in clinic Friday morning once again to get Amelia's necessary meds. I know those nurses took pity me and my hot mess existence. At least it's nice when the patient is a little older so that you can run all the mom errands while she is at home in the bed with a phone nearby.

Steve arrived home at 6pm on Friday with pizza in hand. It was the most beautiful sight these eyes have ever seen. At that moment I completely understood the definition of the word Savior. I was finally able to let out the breath I had been holding for 3 days.

This is the point I give a shout out to all the single moms out there. Whether you do it every day or you have husband who travels a lot, you have my respect and my prayers. That's a tough job and you will get your reward in heaven. May your children rise up and call you blessed my friends. You deserve it.

The weekend was a great reward for a yucky week. Walt and I had the chance to participate in the St Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer. It is such a fun event and it was nice to spend some one on one time with my boy. He is growing so fast and sometimes I forget to notice. Time alone with me  doesn't happen very often so he took advantage of it by filling all the minutes of the day telling me every thought that came to his sweet mind. His brain is always operating on super speed. I kind of can't wait to see what he will create with that amazing brain of his.

Sunday was filled with Church and Family and Naps and then a much needed date night with friends. It really doesn't get much better than that.

September 2014
God is constantly trying to teach me patience. Patience with my children, patience with my husband, patience with 1000 little things a day, even patience with God and His will for my life. Ever time I think He's getting through to me, I burn by tongue on my coffee rendering my tongue useless for the rest of the day. Clearly I still have a lot to learn.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pronto Pups, and Funnel Cakes, and Pastries OH MY!

I have been MIA for the week because Steve and I have been on a 10 day food cleanse.

That statement needed a little breathing room because.... 10. day. cleanse. Y'all. The struggle has been completely real. I have been so cranky and bothered because delicious food is my love language. I kept trying to sit down and write but couldn't even form complete sentences. Most of my posts are powered by Starbucks and Cinnamon Toast Crunch and apparently without them, I am useless.

This week has been a blur of obnoxious meal planning and vegetable washing and exercising will power (that I don't have) mixed with all the regular dinner prep and homework and kid shuttling of a normal week. It is not all bad and I'm not really "hungry", but I do miss the sweets and carbs I love so much. I'm trying to be a big girl and push through because I know that as I get older I need to work towards a healthier lifestyle. One that includes more leafy greens and less donuts.  So I will press on.

I was at the gym the other day and saw a few of my younger, more fit friends. They were working out like beasts. (and barely breaking a sweat. I walk for 5 min on the treadmill and my shirt is soaked and I have the blotchy red face. Life is unfair.) One friend had run several miles that morning and was back for more weight lifting and whatever else you know when you are awesomely athletic.

I stood there (sweating) and thinking... "When does it end?" and a wave of sadness and defeat came over me. I had dreamed of the day when I would be in shape and could just maintain and not beat myself up on a regular basis. I thought skinny people got a break and could just relax and eat the Poptarts again. Y'all. I will be honest. This sent me down a depression spiral that almost landed me in a pint of Ben and Jerry's. (I will have you know that I resisted that urge and had a "delicious" protein shake instead. *insert eye roll emoji*).

I have since come to terms with the fact that achieving "skinny" is not the goal. I need to stop waiting for the day when I can eat whatever I want and not worry about what it does to my body. That day is has passed. It was called childhood.

That truth became oh so evident this weekend at the Germantown Festival. We have lived in Germantown for 6 years, but this was our first time to make it to the festival. It was fun and hot and there was every kind of delicious fair themed food you could imagine. The smell made my cleansing heart ache. Steve and I remained strong and drooled as we watched our children devour their hot dogs, hamburgers, and italian ice. It was hard and I may have taken a teeny tiny bite of that burger when Steve wasn't looking.

Festival rides get 2 thumbs up from these guys. Amelia and I stayed in the shade and shopped the booths.
Sadly we left empty handed because I don't do well with too many choices or shopping while I sweat.
Ugh. Again with the sweat.

I am on this constant journey to be content with my body. Lots of days I struggle with self doubt and comparison. But then I have days when I am confident in my identity and the promise that...

"I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well." 
Psalm 139:14

I am a work in progress. I am almost 40 and I have to continue to remind myself of this every day. I pray my children can learn this truth sooner than later. I look at my beautiful girls who, I can already tell, will have very different body types. I pray often that they will not compare themselves to each other. I pray that they will be confident in this truth so they will not fall into the trap of comparing their outward appearance with friends and images they see in media. As a mom, it is easy to tell them what really matters is the shape of their heart. I can see this in them, but I have trouble telling it to myself.

I read this blog post recently titled "Your Body is not your Masterpiece". It was so wonderfully convicting and something that I will make sure to go back and read many times when I am obsessing too much about the diet or the exercise or the super tight pants.

Glennon Melton writes "Stop spending all day obsessing, cursing, perfecting your body like it's all you've got to offer the world. Your body is not your art, it's your paintbrush. Whether your paintbrush is a tall paintbrush or a thin paintbrush or a stocky paintbrush or a scratched up paintbrush is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is the YOU HAVE A PAINTBRUSH which can be sued to transfer your insides onto the canvas of your life – where others can see it and be inspired and comforted by it."

Lord, have mercy. I love a metaphor. And an artistic metaphor just makes me clap my hands with joy.

So let me reign this post in before it exceeds some online word limit. I will continue to eat clean and healthy and try to cook clean and healthy because I would like to feel good and stay healthy so I can do whatever it is I'm supposed to do. And in two days when this cleanse is behind me, I am going to eat a celebratory cupcake because that it is who I am.

I must remember that no matter what Facebook and Instagram and tv and magazines and all the other voices say, my goal can not be to perfect this body. Because my body is not my offering. "Your life's work is the love you give and receive – and your body is the instrument..."

Can I get a Amen? Because that, my friends, is quite a relief.

July 2013
The public restrooms that I have visited the last couple of days have made me lose my faith in humanity.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The season of Walt and pumpkin spice!

September is here. It is Labor Day and this weekend there was a hint of slightly cooler weather. That's the interesting thing about the South, we have endured the 120 degree heat of August and all of the sudden 88 degrees feels like boots and scarves weather. Whether it's perceived coolness or actual cooler temps, Ill take it.

This semi-shift in seasons gets me so excited. Fall is my absolute favorite. Once I get in fall mode, there is no going back. All I want to do is eat pumpkin bread and candy corn and drink salted caramel mochas while sitting outside.

Our family rings in the most wonderful time of year with Walt's birthday which happens to always fall on Labor Day weekend. So I guess technically everyone celebrates the end of summer/beginning of fall on Walt's birthday, they just don't know it.

I believe I have made it very clear here and here that I think birthdays are a big deal.  They must be celebrated to the fullest. That doesn't mean we always have huge Pinterest inspired parties (although I will admit I have been known to go down that road and I stress myself out so much I have to take to the bed for the next week.) it just means we like to do as many special "birthday" things as we can during birthday week. (I'm going to keep talking about BW until it is a culturally accepted thing. I will not stop until Birthday Week gets the respect it deserves.)

This year sweet W got 2 complete birthday weekends. Last weekend we took the new mom mobile / family truckster / swagger wagon (Still working on we are going to call the van. Because a fun name will somehow make a van seem cooler.) on a roadtrip to Jackson to visit Steve's family. Three out of the 8 Summy grandchildren celebrate their birthday during the first week of September so that called for a rip roaring family birthday party.

The kids had a great time and we adults had fun talking over all of the noise. And of course there was eating. Always lots of eating. Here are pics of the kids and the cakes. Nothing else really matters does it? I'm so glad my kids get to grow up with lots of cousins. Those are some special relationships!

So since one birthday party is never enough, we spent the next week preparing for Walt's second "party". Don't tell him, but it was really more of a glorified playdate. We invited 3 of his friends to come play for a few hours on Saturday morning. They played outside. I fed them Chick Fil A and cupcakes. No muss, no fuss.

Just some boys running around the yard shirtless shooting each other (and big sister) with water guns.   Just good clean (er not so much clean. More smelly) fun.

There were a few presents and balloons so it could technically count as a party. But nothing fancy. Nothing Pinteresty. Very 80s birthday retro. Steve and I have decided that is the way to go for all future Summy parties. We are calling it now.

So we celebrated our boy becoming a 7 year old to the fullest this past week. I think he had a pretty great time. I talked about it yesterday on the obligatory Happy Birthday Facebook post. We moms often talk about how we "can't believe our babies are 7" (or whatever age). I understand that thought, but on the other hand, I can totally believe that this guy has been with us for 7 whole years. They have been some of the most challenging years of motherhood. But also some of the most fun and the sweetest. I have aged every day of that 7 years thanks to his.... we will call it "spunk".

He is high energy and always the life of the party. But he is also my most sensitive child. He feels every emotion outwardly and is often confused by it. I watch him struggle with difficult decisions and listen to him talk about his love for others. It has been my great joy in life watching him develop from that squishy little chubby baby into such a cool young man. He challenges me and I am grateful for the challenge. Walt Summy is going to do something big and surprising in life. Just wait and see.

Here are just a few more moments of our little man enjoying turning 7.

Doesn't every 2016 boy ask for a coon skin hat
and a wooden pop gun?

10pm family pic on his birthday.
Hanging with friends and enjoying every last second of the day.

September 2014
Let's go ahead and put this out there... It's Friday. I am a stay at home mom. And I am wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday.