these are the days

these are the days

of loud music blaring in cars

girls belting tunes

as if they were the stars

these are the days

of selfies and laughs

dabbling in makeup

and perfecting the craft

these are the days

when emotions run low… and high

these are the days

that too quickly will pass by


I can hardly believe that my oldest daughter just turned 16. How did that even happen?! I remember finding out I was pregnant with her and the overwhelming joy I experienced when I held her in my arms as a newborn. It seems like yesterday, and yet it was a lifetime ago.

Katie

I remember celebrating all their “firsts”… the first smile, laugh, their first bite of baby food, sitting up, crawling, walking… the list goes on and on. It seemed like those days of them being children would last forever!

My youngest just got braces last week and lost her last baby tooth (finally!!) the week before. And after only a week, I look at her and see the remnants of her sweet baby face fading away…

Sigh.

Sixteen is way way to close to eighteen…and way too close to technically being an adult. And I am so not ready for that.

Not at all.

But life keeps on marching whether I’m ready or not!

Sophie

So for today, I will savor every car ride with the girls and I’ll let them turn up the music. I’ll laugh along at their crazy stories and selfies. I’ll let them put makeup on me and style my hair, and I’ll let them invite their friends over often. And those moments when motherhood overwhelms and stresses me out- I will remind myself to soak up all the joy I can.

Because one day they will be out of the house and all will be quiet.

And that day is coming way, way too soon!

Train up a child in the way he should go,
[aAnd when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Me and my Soph
Me and my birthday girl- Katie
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holding on

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My girls aren’t little anymore.

Overnight, it seems like the playroom has become a museum- frozen back in a time when the girls pretend played for hours on end with their Barbie dolls.  Doll clothing and toy pieces still litter the floor.

There’s a part of me that wants the playroom to stay that way forever so I can remember it all… their excited giggles, the singing, and the not-so-quiet sound of toys being tossed around.

I feel like my “mom life” is in a bit of a transition.  I don’t write about it as much as I used to, because those cute moments don’t come as often.  And as I watch my coming-of-age daughters try to navigate life, I’m still finding my own way as a mom.   It is WAY harder than I ever thought it would be.

I told the girls recently that they needed to clean the playroom and get rid of some of their dolls and toys.  We don’t need all that stuff down there anymore- I tried to reason with them.

But my oldest looked at me in utter disbelief…

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Mom!!  You are NOT giving away my whole childhood!  You just can’t do that! 

How long has it been since you actually played with those Barbies??  I tried to reason with her.

Umm… just a few weeks ago- she sheepishly admitted to me.   

And then I smiled. I might have even teared up a little bit.

Just when I thought I was having a hard time letting go of my girls being little girls– I see they’re not ready to let go either.

We’re all holding on.

Hold on to what is good-

1 Thessalonians 5:21

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“Sometimes you will never know the value of something,

until it becomes a memory.” – Dr Seuss 

Pi Day

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How could I ever deny 

a day that’s devoted to pi?

I partake without care

blissfully unaware

that it finds a new home on my thigh! 

My oldest daughter celebrated “pi” day at school yesterday. She asked me to come for a special activity her class was doing to celebrate- including eating pie, of course!  Anytime my 12 year old asks me to be a part of her day- I am there with bells on!  Due to the busy-ness of our week, I had not purchased any pies ahead of time. I decided to go to the store first thing in the morning, and much to my surprise- there were no pre-baked pies.  I guess people really do plan ahead, lol!  The entire bakery shelf was bare. I am thankful I minded His “nudge” to get out early to buy the frozen ones that I had to bake.  

On a side note- my daughter added before she left to get on the bus- 

“Momma- don’t forget to wear your “skinny jeans!”  

False advertising at it’s finest!

I smiled…just maybe one day those jeans will do what they say! 

I have called you friend

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Déjà vu… it happens all too often lately.  One simple statement from my kids and I am instantly whisked back to my own childhood. My daughter got off the bus with her usual cheery smile, but I sensed something was wrong.

“Who did you sit with at lunch today?”

Nobody.”

My heart dropped to the floor.  She said that the table where all the girls were at was full, and that she went to the empty table and no one sat with her.  As she spoke, I had to hold back tears as I remembered so many similar days at my school.

I must have been about my daughters age-there were 10 to a lunch table, and all the “popular girls” sat at the main table.  There were 12 girls in our class, and the 11th girl and I sat at the other table every day.  One day a girl from the “popular table” was not there and I made a bold choice- I decided to sit where I always did, because I didn’t want my friend to sit alone, and because,well- that’s just where I always sat.  So I got out my lunchbox… I can still remember where I sat, and how the light filtered through the cafeteria windows.  I watched in slow motion as my friend came through the cafeteria lunch line….and sat at the table of 10.  She chose them over me.  I was crushed.

I went home that day and remember thinking I could never go back to school.  Ever again.  I stayed home from school the following day. I said I was sick, and really I was!  Sick to my stomach because I felt like the only girl in the world without a friend.

And I tell my daughter this story and tell her that she will never, ever, find a truer friend than her sister.  As quickly as I tell her this, she interrupts me and says “No, mom!  JESUS is our best friend!”

Oh how right she is!

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  John 15:5

The next morning, as we waited for the bus, I told her to look for someone at lunch who needs a best friend- because she already has one- Jesus!  And there are so many people out there who don’t know this Friend of hers- and He wants to be their friend, too.  I tell her it is so simple- just love people and show them that you care about them.

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6

He is with us wherever we go, He will never leave or forsake us, and we are never alone.

Jesus is all the world to me:
  My life, my joy, my all.
He is my strength from day to day;
  Without Him I would fall.
When I am sad, to Him I go;
No other one can cheer me so.
When I am sad, He makes me glad;
  He’s my Friend.  

 by Will Thompson

Standing Tall

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Standing tall- a radiant sunflower on a recent day trip

 Listen, stay alert, stand tall in the faith, be courageous, and be strong- 1 Corinthians 16:13

It’s the little things that make me smile.  Sunflowers are one of those things.  I can’t get enough of them.  A daydreamer at heart- I could stare at them all day if I’d let myself!  I remember seeing them when I was young, and wondering how on earth they could have such a huge, beautiful bloom and still stand so tall on such a thin stalk.

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God’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, Setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.  Psalm 11:7 (MSG)

I remember when I was in elementary school feeling self-conscious of how tall I was. Feeling like a giant, I often walked around with hunched shoulders, hoping it would allow me to fit in and not be noticed by others for my tallness. Standing tall meant that I would be standing out above the crowd- literally. It was during my adolescence that I took notice of sunflowers and how beautiful they are.  If they somehow had the strength to stand tall, certainly I could find it the strength to embrace my tallness and do the same.  I began to realize all the beautiful things I missed out on seeing by hunching and looking down all the time.

And one of the things I detested about myself as a child, I have grown to appreciate. I love being able to grab something off the top shelf for a friend, or a fellow shopper in the grocery store.  By His grace, I now stand tall for my faith in Christ. And I stand tall for my fast-growing daughters- who look up to me (literally and figuratively) and follow my example.

God’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, Setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.  Psalm 11:7 (MSG)

The evolution of “Mom”

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Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

I have had the pleasure of spending lots of time with my girls over the last couple of weeks.  Ok- honestly, some of these times were not pleasurable at all, and were in fact quite the opposite! They seem to be growing and maturing at a faster rate than I can keep up with!   My oldest is quickly moving past the days of wanting to play dolls with her younger sister-which leads to a lot of conflict in the house!

Not only do I see the relationship between my girls changing, I am recognizing the way we parent them must change as well. Change is hard.  And painful.

I took my oldest daughter with me recently to run an errand.  When I saw her walking in front of me, I hardly recognized my baby.  She is becoming a beautiful young lady before my eyes.  I find myself staring at her and searching for that “baby face” I once kissed and snuggled with.  As we were shopping, I told her that “mommy” needed to pick up this and that. And then it happened…

She looked at me, rolled her eyes, and said –

“Mom, you don’t have to refer to yourself in the third person.  I know who you are!”

I felt a pang inside of me.

I am no longer mommy.  I am mom.

So why have I referred to myself in the third person for the past (almost) 11 years? I have done it since they were babies out of habit, and not once until this particular outing has either of them mentioned it. It does seem like a silly thing to still do after all these years.  So, as I see my children maturing, I am learning to make some changes myself.

I pray that in their quest for independence, they will see how much we need to depend on our Savior.  And that no matter what age they are- they will still need “Mommy” too.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 

Proverbs 3:5-7