When I was growing up I had dance class on Wednesday evenings. Mom would drop me off and my Dad would pick my up when it was over. Well that also happened to be Dads payday so that meant he took us to ice cream EVERY Wednesday. It was such a special treat to get to go out with my Dad. We would go to Baskin Robins and our cone had to be gone before we got home. All evidence of the treat had to be eaten and wiped off of our faces before we went into the house. I know that mom knew he took us there but she normally didn't say anything. To this day I have to get a scoop of butter pecan ice cream when I am missing my Dad. It is a memory that I hold close to my heart!
So when I would think about being a mom and all of the things that I would do that would mean alot to my kids they were always big plans. Like Disneyland, big vacations, big purchases... but what stands out to me from my growing up years are always little everyday memories. We have in turn done little everyday memories with our kids. When we go to the Oregon coast we always stop in Depoe Bay at the salt water candy store that my parents took us to. We decorate their rooms the night before their birthdays, while they sleep, so that when they wake up it is all ready to celebrate them that special day! We do very little big things, I mean we have been to Disneyland once, but we do alot of little things.
And these little things the kids talk about all the time. So while they are little I will spoil them in little ways. I love them dearly and I just love to surprise them in fun ways, like spur of the moment ice cream stops, trips to Sonic for slushies, or saving up quarters and spending them at the pizza restaurant on games.
Because one day they will move out of my home and my heart will be sad. So I will savor these moments, hold them dear, and take lots of photos because before I know it it will be over. This ride we call parenting. Heaven help us we already have one that is almost a teenager!! So take time to stop and check out the millions of rocks that they show you. Spend a few extra dollars on ice cream dates. Dance in the middle of Home Depot (well we are at that orange store all the time so we stop and dance) So set aside the demands of everyday life and enjoy these precious kids that God has given you because before you know it they will be memories. Dear memories but memories none the less. I would love to have one more ice cream date with my dad, with no other worries that eating it before mom and the others found out.
It seems as if life goes faster than I can keep up with these days. Just the amount of things that are packed into each day can and has become very overwhelming. My day is just super crazy from 6:30am till I crash, exhausted, into bed around 9pm. So a few weeks ago my brain just felt like a pile of mush. I know you have been there, overwhelmed and unable to see a way out. I needed to take a step back from the normal craziness and take a breather. My kids needed it too. So we put away the piles of homework, the list of to do things, the keeping up on the many piles of laundry and we are focusing on enjoying each other. We have really done nothing exciting or monumental but it has been amazing to sit and breath big deep healing breaths.
I have enjoyed taking time to focus on and spend time with each of them individually. I have also enjoyed being able to spend time on me, very important but always overlooked. We tend to take care of everyone else and their needs and tend to overlook ours till they are screaming at us! I mean how many times have the kids had clothes that fit and look cute but we have ill fitting clothes on our mom bodies. I already stay at home, and work my butt off, I don't want to look like I stay at home. I feel so much better about myself and what I can accomplish each day if I am up and dressed in cute, well fitting clothes. I mean yoga pants have their place in my wardrobe don't get me wrong, but they need to be sparingly used.... for my sanity, sparingly used! Clothes are such a small part of taking care of ourselves but they make a huge difference. It is hard to believe that at the age of 33 I have been putting the kids first for 12 1/2 years. I will always put them first but I need to take care of myself too or my mind will always feel like a pile of mush.
We did take a drive this last weekend over to Montana. We have never been there before and we needed the state sticker for our traveling map. We got to go into a trout aquarium. Hahaha! Yep you read that right it was an aquarium for trout! People are always saying "only in Texas" but I feel like the saying "only in Montana" applies to that!
We found beards there too! It was fabulous to have a day of nothing planned other than to visit Montana and be together. We laughed alot, we ate icecream, we visited trout, and we held hands and danced! Family means alot to me and I easily loose sight of the enjoyment of it when I have a daily to do list a mile long! The to do list is still there.The piles of home work sit and have collected a tad bit of dust. And my home isn't as clean as I would like it to be. But those things will always be there, like laundry! One day I will get back to them, although the thought is still overwhelmingly huge. When it feels like I can handle it better we will resume "normal" life. Until then I am going to take big breaths and enjoy my little family.
I am not a writer. It is not me calling or my passion. I am also not a 7th grade math teacher, but we will talk more about that later! We get asked all the time why we do what we do or how we do what we do. And i never have an answer ready. My answer is always something like "one day at a time" or "we have learned to adapt..... slowly" But i never have a good answer. But if someone asked you the same question I am sure that your answer would pretty similar to mine. It has been 2 1/2 years since our life took a whole new direction and i still don't have an answer to that question. At least not a quick one that you would give to strangers who ask. So in case you need a little insight to our life, here it is....
We travel across the U.S. for my husbands work. He is a super intendent for a construction company and well the kids and I follow him. He loves his job and we love to travel!! To be quite honest it feels like a long vacation with normal everyday stress. We have 6 people living in a 35ft 5th wheel. In case you need to visualize this then mark out 300 sq feet in your house. Place in it everything that is necessary for you and your family to survive, plus all of the kids toys. (then you need to add 1 guinea pig, 1 ten pound dog, and 2 tree frogs) Try to accomplish life without loosing your mind. How long would you last before you gave up or learned to adapt to your tiny space? It has taken us 2 1/2 years to figure out how to live with minimal amounts of stuff but enough to survive. Enough to keep the kiddos entertained, enough to cook for 6 people, enough so that they all have their bike and favorite stuffed animals.... People say that I am or I must be super organized. I think of it more as regulating the chaos!! I guess it is a great way to teach the kids the difference between needs and wants. We do not have much extra room to fit many wants into our home. Our home may be small and alot of people may not understand it but it works for us and we love it!
We love the adventure, checking out new places, eating new foods, hearing the different accents across the U.S., exposing the kids to history first hand, attending a southern baptist church, meeting some pretty amazing people who have become dear friends, and teaching the kids how to adapt to life and all the changes it throws at you with grace, prayer, and laughter...... the list goes on and is long but at the same time it is pretty amazing!I know that this kind of life is not for everyone, and i feel like some days it is not for me, but overall I do love it! We don't have alot of control over our life. We move when his job says move and we go where they need him. There are some great life lessons that we hope to teach the kids thru this experience.
We do have a goal to all of this madness, as I am sure you are thinking it is by now. We want to take my husbands knowledge of tools and building things plus my desire to be a working part of a local community (and spending everyday working alongside my best friend) put them together and open our own Hardware Store! We are so excited about this step that we want to be doing this right now and not in a few years. But we would not fast forward through this adventure of traveling for anything! But the goal is always before us, always being talked about, always being researched, and always being prayed over. We call it the mustard Seed. So glad to have you along for snippets of our journey.