It is not all about looks….

This morning (my fourth morning of waking up at 6:00 a.m.- a first in my mothering), the kids were getting ready. I was upstairs when I heard a heated discussion between my children. I listened a few seconds before stepping in.

“…NO they won’t!!!!”-Cayden

“UH HUH!!! If you wear that people will make fun of you Cayden.”-Cobe

I try to be big on being confident in who you are no matter what people think. If your style is different from other people, but you like it, then wear it with confidence and it shouldn’t matter what others say… because YOU like it. I have taught my kids this often and I want them to believe it. I also believe that once a child thinks they should change because of what someone may think, then they are given permission to judge others in the same form. This is a continual learning experience for me, I mean there have been some outfits (believe me!) that my kids have put on and as long as we are not going to a wedding or funeral I have held my tongue. So, just as I stepped down from the last step and the words were preparing to be boldly stated, I had to stop and ponder, for this is what I found:

Cobe was absolutely right. There would be many kids making fun of her. I mean seriously….a band-aid on the nose accented ever so carefully by the Little Mermaid sticker? In her first week of school too. Ahhhh! Everything in me wanted to tell her to take it off and she could “play that” when she got home. I don’t want the kids to dislike school because of others teasing them, especially since I was not there to distract them, build them up or apply a band-aid to MY nose to show them “how cool it was”. I was not the most popular child and I don’t want my kids to feel that. But in disapproving of her look it would go against what I taught her and also open the door to judge others, especially now that Cobe had made it an issue.

So this is what I told her “Cayden, kids may make fun of you, but if you like it then you should wear it with confidence and not worry, because you like it”. I reminded Cobe of the same. (I then grabbed my camera-because come on it is funny!)

Now I am left wondering if I did the right thing. We will see! In the end I would rather Cayden be the trend setter and learn to love herself through what she thinks of herself (the fact that God loves her no matter what she looks like) and not fall to what the world thinks.

***Disclaimer- I do reserve the right to make wise decisions in the area of modesty and appropriateness. Let’s not go crazy now!
****UPDATE- Some of you are wanting to know the outcome of this decision. Tim informed me (since he dropped her off) that before they got to the front door she removed her band-aid and sticker. She was mad because he wouldn’t let her take the “matching turtle” in with her. I have to say I am relieved, but it would have been interesting.

Night and Day

Today was a mixed emotion day for me…well this whole weekend has been this way. Today not only do I turn 30, but my two beautiful children start school full time for the first time. I am surprised I could just type that sentence without tears streaming down my face. Cayden started Kindergarten and Cobe started first grade.

Last night as Tim and I sat and went through their school list one last time and packed in their supplies. I cried. Then we got their lunches together and I cried. We put them in the shower and I cried….OK I am crying now. We actually stuck to and accomplished bedtime at 7:30 (enough time to read and ask prayer requests and pray). As we kissed them good night Cayden jumped up on her bed squealing with excitement as if she could not wait another minute, and with her hands clasped she shouted “I cannot wait to start Kindergarten!!!!”. We spent 5 minutes just asking her to stop standing up and lay down. She had so many questions and silly comments. Then I bent down to kiss my precious boy and he pulled the covers over his head with only his little hands and the top of his spikey hair visible. When I pulled down the blanket to see his beautiful face I found tears. Through his tears he said “I don’t want to go to 1st grade”. Like night and day, my children were, right there in front of me. Tim laid down next to him and gave him a pep talk as I turned away and cried. Then when the lights went off and Cayden asked me to sing the lullaby that I rocked them both to sleep with when they were little, I turned my head and cried and then I told them daddy would have to do it because “I was getting stuff ready”. Then I went and stood in the hallway and cried as I heard them giggling saying “Daddy can’t sing”. But Tim came up and tried to sing and Cayden finished for him because he only knew the first two lines.

When they had finally fallen asleep I went in and laid down next to them and thought to myself “Is it really this time in their life? How? It went by so fast. Is this the little boy that used to wake us up all through the night only to end up in our bed playing with my hair and holding on to daddy? The boy who once called a giraffe a “fa” and an elephant a “fee” and who said “tadah” when things were going well and “oh mama!” when things didn’t go as he planned? And the little girl who so could not wait to get out to Kindergarten…is she the same little girl who I couldn’t wait to dress up in tiny dresses. The girl who who I would rock at night and wonder what she would be like? The one who used to want me to put makeup on her “ashleyes?”. Oh it killed me. Not that I cannot handle them in school, but it was more of a reality that they are not going to stop growing up and time is not going to stand still no matter how hard I hope for it. It doesn’t stop. My little tiny children who once depended on me for everything are gaining their first glimpse of independence.

So while these thoughts were running through my head and I cried, the phone rang. It was Kristen needing to tell me a funny story. I didn’t want to pick it up because I was crying and it was so “stupid” to cry, but I needed to talk to her. So I wiped my tears, took a deep breath and pretended like all was ok. In my professional voice I answered. Kristen’s funny story was that she was walking through Kroger and saw the little cars that the little kids rode in and she lost it. She cried all through her walk through Kroger. I let down my facade and let her know I too had been crying. We both laughed and asked if we were normal. Then another friend called and she cried with me.

So this morning. I started off well. I got up early. Dressed before the kids even got up. Then I made them bacon and eggs. I did the rundown of questions “Do you know how to open a bag of Doritos, Do you know how to put your straw in a Capri Sun?” I reminded Tim that we have to put a wet wipe in Cayden’s lunch because she is so messy at lunch and the kids might make fun of her…” My requests and questions went on and on. We did have 45 minutes left over because I had been so organized. So we went on the trampoline and then I took pictures.

When we parked at school Cobe started crying. I knew I had to be strong, but this lump in my throat was not going away. Cayden pranced into her class gracefully sat down and began her coloring assignment.

We kissed her goodbye and I took a deep breath. Cobe took Tim’s hand and walked down his hallway.

When we got to his classroom, almost all the kids were there and quiet as can be. As Cobe hung his book bag the knot in my throat got bigger.

The teacher showed him where he will go every morning to get his pencil box and then Cobe sat down. No sooner did he touch his chair then did he break down with the saddest cry I can ever remember. I leaned down and whispered in his ear “You can do this, you have what it takes. You don’t have to cry…you can do this, and when you get home we will have a big party” I then had to make my exit because the tears were coming with no chance of ceasing. Mrs. Thompson his wonderful teacher mouthed to Tim that she would take good care of him. But I was in tears around the corner. I did compose myself as to not let the other “experienced mothers” see me. Then when we got to the van Tim got to hear another break down and excuses of why this was so hard.

We went to Starbucks next and seeing the pumpkin loaf did help my day. Eating it even helped more. Two of my dearest friends stopped by with birthday gifts. I cried again. Then we all laughed because it was getting funny that I was such an emotional wreck. Then Tim and I spent the morning together (FYI, the Christmas houses are up and in motion at Michaels…GET EXCITED!) and now I am sitting in his office. Waiting….oh waiting until I can hear from my kids that there day was wonderful and I won’t have to worry anymore.

It is about time.

Well, my life has been crazy and it has already been almost a week and I just have not had a chance to sit down and write. Last weekend was so eventful. I spent the entire day on Sunday extremely excited because two people that I am close to got engaged. Starting with Rachel at noon.

Jason Chandler (the worship pastor for Genesis-and one of Tim’s closest friends)

proposed to my friend Rachel.

This was an event that my kids were so excited for. Although I must admit Cayden was a little confused, thinking that she needed to wear her white dress (from April and Brads wedding) to the engagement party. Both my kids quickly agreed to take part in their wedding. They cannot wait. Congrats Jason and Rachel. We cannot wait to help you plan this day…June right?

So come to part two. While Tim headed off to the community makeover celebration, I had to finish preparing for the next big event. I had to get my house ready for Chris Lindsey to propose to my sister, Tatti Anna Elness. I baked a strawberry and blueberry pie. I also dipped some strawberries in chocolate. I then decorated the entire back deck with white tulle, rose petals and over 150 candles. I finished just in time for Chris to get there. Tatti arrived shortly after and as soon as she stopped talking to me about everything she finally answered my plea to go out back and “check out the new patio furniture”. She was so surprised. This pic is from Kristen.

So we finally recovered from that weekend (okay maybe…still working on it). Monday Max (Brad and April’s new puppy) came to play. We had so much fun with him. He napped with Cayden and she hated to say good bye. Max and Starbucks seemed to get along.Starbucks was like the old Uncle and Max was the eager nephew.

We then left for NC where we stopped for a night to visit Tadd and Becki and our new little nephew Brogan. We went to a wings place and to a park where I took pictures of the sweetie. The next morning Becki and I hung out and experienced some firsts for Brogan. It was quite entertaining and I really had a lot of fun hanging out with my sister in law. This is Brogan at one month old. He looks just like his daddy.

We got to Virginia on Thursday afternoon and this has honestly been the funnest trip we have had ever here. We have done stuff that I have never done before, and some stuff Tim hasn’t done since he was a little kid.  I will hopefully give you a small rundown of our trip…tomorrow. There is so much to talk about.