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Friday, August 31, 2012

Bye, Bye Summertime!

School started almost a month ago, but summer 'officially' ends with the arrival of Labor Day.  We've had a fantastic summer - really great.  I especially loved our laid-back schedule and simple days.  Here are my best memories:
1 - Hilton Head Beach Trip
If I wasn't in love before, I certainly was after spending a week with Mr. Wonderful!
2- College Girl Friend Getaway
Nothing compares to the friendship we share!
3 - July 4 Freedom Festival
 I loved getting to do fun things with our favorite people!
 4 - Smoky Mountain Swimming, Hiking, Picnics & Wildlife

Visits With My Parents
My family are the best and most supportive, I am SO glad to have them and SO sad they live far away! 
I look for the best in each season, but I simply adore fall: the colors, the clothing, the activities, the mountains - everything.  I'm working on goals and praying about what is out of my control as I plan to once again list the house.  My sister is coming to visit, our schedule is exceptionally full and life is good.  I'm so grateful for our relaxed summer as our fall routine is unusually full!

If the weather permits, we're going to the zoo this weekend.  What are your weekend plans?  How was your summer?  What's new this fall?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Moody Monday

It was a cool and foggy morning today.  I'm still a bit shocked that we are entering another season!  The sun will soon burn away the fog and the temps will be warm, but it is a jolting reminder that time just keeps zooming by.

I had such a sweet Sunday in worship yesterday and I was very grateful for many things.  This was followed by a challenging parenting afternoon.  I realize that I've been lax in some areas and some bad habbits have creeped in ... undoing this feels like a daunting task, so I've been trying to prepare myself for the job.  This is when it's most hard to be the only parent in the home.  There is no back-up, no one to say, "You did the right thing," when an unpopular decision is made, no one to pass off the baton when I'm just weary. 

But, I'm ever aware that time is just a-passing-by and those behavior habits that I don't like will only become more entrenched if I don't work on them now.  So that's my goal.  I would like to be intentional and set some specific goals ... it helps me to remember the bigger picture when I feel lost in a mini-battle!

We add Awanas to our schedule this week!  What a fun and busy year this is going to be - I need to remember that on the days I feel overwhelmed.  Is anyone else ramping up to a new 'fall' schedule?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fabulous Friday

I seriously love the feeling of Friday ... my workweek is ending.  I get to cuddle, snuggle and touch base with my children after school and they are carefree with the possibility of the weekend ahead.  Then I get to send them to their Daddy's and I get a night for me - don't judge.  I'm much better for the me-time that I get!  Dare I say it is a perk of single motherhood?  We need to find them where we can, my friends.

We have just finished our second full week of school and while we're all a bit worn out, I'm so thankful that it's been a good start.  May the rest of our year be as calm and smooth.  This week we added soccer to our list of activities.  Next week is the first of Awanas.  The week after that my baby starts preschool and we should be up to speed for our fall schedule - whew!

Is anyone else adjusting to a new routine?  Share what you're looking forward to most this weekend!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Perspectives on Life & Love

The first love of my life was my own Daddy.  He was tall and capable, handsome and fun, and he made me feel so special.  Plus, my greatest role model (Mommy) thought he was the best person in the world.  My father helped me feel safe, valuable and precious. 

As I grew, my first love introduced me to my next.  It was Jesus himself.  I eagerly accepted unconditional love since it was modeled to me in my own home.  I began a truly intimate relationship with Christ that continues to this day.  Yes, there have been seasons of closeness and even distance, but I have learned to believe He is always for me and working on my behalf.  He is good.

From these models I learned to trust and to see the best in people.  In high school my first romantic love was my best boy friend.  He was kind and fun.  He made me feel like the most important person in the room and he shared my faith.  Ours was a deep friendship and I am thankful that I learned what it felt like to be adored - no regrets.

Then I met the man I would marry.  I felt passion for the first time - to desire and be desired.  It was a new feeling and my romantic nature, along with all the novels I read, primed to be swept away.  I projected onto this man all that I hoped and wanted in love and my heart was swiftly his.  We did things the 'right' way, waiting until after college to marry, after marriage to consumate and several anniversaries later before we expanded our family.  But it would seem that neither of us really knew the other and I am surprised to find myself divorced. I do not regret the way I loved and it still saddens me that ours was not the triumph over struggle I envisioned.

Yet love is always victorious.  From that unrequited hope came the next male who would forever have my heart.  He was born after a season of loss which made his arrival even more precious.  My firstborn will forever be have my heart and the devotion of my love.  I will be his greatest fan!  Two other little loves came soon after and I thought my heart would burst from the joy.

And this love sustained me through times of extreme pain and loss.  The love of my father, my sons and daughter and a family who lifted me from depths of dispair, faith and Savior who would not let me fall into bitterness - these things allowed me to survive intact.  These things are my constants.  They do not change when all else is swirling, and they provide precision perspective when I lose my way.  

And one day I met a stranger for lunch who became my Mr. Wonderful.  I don't know how our story will end, though I treasure hopes in my heart (and Pinterest dreams).  My first and second loves have faithfully proven that I can yet trust, hope and move forward in faith.  I am confident that my love is reciprocated and pray daily for the ways in which I can love him well.  I am most amazed by the ways he gives.  I'm older, more experienced in life, know myself better than I thought possible and have more responsibilities that any one person should shoulder alone.  But I have never felt more like a 17-year old girl with a world of open possibility and just a glimpse of what a real-life fairytale might look like. 

I'm solidly in midlife.  I've been loved and betrayed and then loved even more.  There are choices I wish I'd made differently, yet those very choices have given me depth and perspective I may not have gained otherwise.  I still believe in love - family, friends, faith - that survives even alongside doubt, and even in romance.  The wonder of connecting with another human and all that opens up when we try is a gift. 

I'm linking up with others for Perspectives on Life & Love with Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy.  I started reading her blog because I loved the title and I kept reading because I love her style. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Remember That Time My Ex Walked In on Me Naked?

Okay, so that's not exactly how it happened - but did I get your attention?  It came this close to being true.  You see, as co-parents we both try to be present for the 'big' moments in our children's lives.  This week was our first day of school and so I had made plans to meet their father at the school.  We were to meet about 20 minutes prior to the bell in order to take a few photos and such.  We had the expected craziness as we adjusted to having a wake-up time after summer vacation.  So, once the children were all dressed and ready, I still needed to get myself together.  I was in my bathroom blow drying my hair in my normal fashion - sans clothing (those blow dryers are hot!).  When I turned it off, I was alarmed to hear my former spouse chatting with the children! 

I may have squealed a little bit, then grabbed my robe and closed my bedroom door.  I'm not sure how long he had been there, and I'm fairly certain he didn't venture into my room or have access to any views of me in the bathroom.  Nevertheless, it was a bit unnerving!  What happened to meeting at the school?  I'll probably never know. 

When I decided to coparent for the sake of my children, I decided to give up some of my own right to always have the answers.  I could make a big deal of all the questions and things I don't understand, or just let it go and assume that it really doesn't matter.  This is hard for me and Monday morning was just one more example of the times I just have to choose to release.

On a side note, we've had a great first week of school so far!  Do you have to intentionally let things go?  Want to share?  Please comment - I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Little House By the Numbers

Here is just a slice of daily life as a single mom.  Our life and schedule are about to change with the arrival of the school year and soccer season.

Loads of laundry per day: 1-2

Loads of dishes per day: 1

Times per day I check my email: 5+

Times I look at Facebook: 3+

Times I schedule to workout during the week: 7

How often I get to workout: usually 6

Kitchen floor swept per week: 3 times

Floors vacuumed: 3 times

Furniture dusted: every other week

Bathrooms cleaned:  Once for full cleaning, wiped down at least every other day (boys)

Sheets washed: Four sets, every other week

Cups of coffee per day: 1

Sonic Cokes per Week: 4

Days I wash my hair per week: 3

Gallons of milk we go through in a week: 3

Times I went to Kroger this week: 2

Hours spent on video games: WAY too many!

Number of times a child has been disciplined or in Time Out: at least 14

Number of times I've needed a time out: No less than six

Number of days till school starts: 5

Number of times we ate dinner at home last week: 3 (we were out of town)
Does the arrival of school change your life?