Thursday, November 12, 2015

Real Life

I posted this picture on Instagram the other day and it was so nice to be share what life really looks like. To admit that we do not have it all together and our life is anything but perfect.

This was my caption:
See this smile? This smile masks the fact that I pooped in the tub tonight with my sister in there with me. Then mom moved me to another tub where I pooped yet again. Earlier in the day I wrote all over the couch with an ink pen. Where was mom while I did that? She was fishing out an Elsa toy that I threw in the toilet. No worries...I just smile this sweet smile and mom forgets what a terror I am.

I am so guilty of always posting these precious pictures of my kids...smiling, laughing, doing something adorable. But let me be honest and say that 80% of the time...that is not reality. Life is absolute chaos most of the time and our days are filled with tears, screaming, fights, tantrums, messiness, spankings, and meltdowns. Of course there are special moments tucked in each day, but real life is not what we put on social media most of the time. I want to be sure to remember the wonderful memories, but I also want to keep it real and make sure I am not putting out a false sense of perfection. When I look back on these days, I want to remember the good and the bad. Real life. Being a mom to little ones is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I constantly fail, mess up and do wrong...and that is is all a part of life and life is messy. Hold on tight cause things are about to get real in here...

Let's start with my home...
My sink is always full of dirty dishes and most of the time there is some sort of odor coming from the sink or the garbage. My fridge looks like a ghost town 99% of the time and you are guaranteed to find a mountain of laundry at any given moment. The kids rooms are usually a disaster, the playroom looks like the aftermath of a hurricane and my toilets never seem to get rid of that brown ring around the water. Real life right there. Oh and don't even get me started on the backseat of my car. I cannot even begin to describe some of the yuckiness that exists back there.

My children...
Yes they are doggone cute...but they can also make me want to pull my hair out. Aubrey Lane gets a spanking pretty much everyday at naptime and it never fails that we are screaming, "I love you go to bed".  Aubrey has not mastered table manners by a longshot and it is a given that if someone is over for dinner...she will toot. Real life. Weston Hayes is the cutest little redhead I have ever seen, but that boy has a temper. I've seen him chunk a toy hammer at his sister's head just because he wanted her Cinderella doll. The other day, I was correcting him for saying something in a mean voice and he informed me that he was gonna "punch me in the face". Oh Lordy Bee. Yes I laughed...and then I put him in time out. Weston is in a constant state of frustration and his tears are endless. Sometimes I think he forgets what he is upset about and just enjoys the fussing. Going out in public is a very scary thing. I never really know how my two stinkers are going to act. Can't tell you how many times I've left a buggy full of groceries and high-tailed it out the door with screaming kids tucked under my arms.  The other day I attempted to finish printing off a few checks for work and I realize the kiddos are very quiet. That ALWAYS means something is up.  I go into Weston's room and find that Aubrey is changing his diaper. He is perfectly content to let her change him and by golly I just let her finish!  Again...real life means you do what you gotta do.

This is how Weston does Target.

My hubby...
My hubby and I are not immune to imperfection either. We fight...we get upset with each other...we go hours (sometimes days) without talking and honestly we forget what we were upset about in the first place. We bribe each other for who will bath the kids, who will change the next poopy, who will fix is just how we roll.  We rarely cuddle or get to watch movies and when we do have a few moments together, we always end up talking about the kids. Daily life is not romantic for us. Dinner involves feeding one kid with the "airplane" method and the other with threatening spankings. Dinner talk is limited to "we do not fart at the table" or  "do not feed your food to the dog".  We rarely do things together, but instead our days our filled with the "tag-team" method. "You clean up the kitchen, I'll bathe the kids.  You take out the trash, I'll empty the dishwasher." Sometime we crash into bed at 10:00 at night and realize we didn't have one meaningful conversation all day. It's just a season. I know our marriage will not always take a backseat to two screaming kids.  One day babe...One day.

I am constantly in workout clothes or gym shorts.  My body feels weird when I put on jeans because it is such a rare thing. Washing my hair has become a once a week luxury. I laughed when my mother in law asked if I needed to restock on my make-up because I honestly hadn't even opened the foundation that I ordered a few months back! My body after kids is not solid or fit. I can't tell you the last time I could do a jumping jack without peeing on myself. HAHA. Life is not about me right now. Oh how I long to use the potty alone....without an audience who likes to broadcast my business to the whole world. Weston loves to announce in public bathrooms..."mommy you made a tee tee"!   How amazing would it be to take a bath without two squirming bodies spraying me with squirt toys? Maybe in 5 years...

Why do I share all this?  Hopefully not for anyone to call CPS on us. No, I share because this crazy, messy, hectic, loud life is REAL. It is not perfection and it never will be. When I look back on this season of my life, I want to laugh and remember the good and the bad. The beautiful and the horrendous.  The fun and the failures. The fragrant and the stinky. My family is everything to me and we are blessed beyond measure. Not a day passes that I don't thank my Lord for the abundant blessings that I have. However, life is not picture perfect and I am so thankful for the ability to stop in the middle of these chaotic moments and just realize that it is okay to embrace the imperfections. It's ok to have children that still need training and guidance. It's ok that my marriage has ups and downs. It's ok that my body is not perfect or my wardrobe isn't as fashionable as I'd like. It's ok that my house is messy and cluttered.  The only thing that matters is we are healthy, happy and have each other. I read a quote that said, "So what if your life is messy. Perfect isn't the plan. Purpose is."

Oh may it be so in our home. May we live life with purpose to do what is right, love others and honor God. That is all that truly matters.

So here's to embracing the REALNESS of life. Now excuse me while I go do another load of laundry.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

4 and many more!

My emotions always run high when a birthday comes along and I realize another whole year has passed us by. It is so hard as a mommy to watch those years fly by, yet it has become a treasure to watch the growth and development that has taken place as well. It is the epitome of bitter sweet for sure.
I was tucking Bre in bed on the eve of her birthday and I told her I wanted to share my "4" favorite things about her. These were on my list.
1.) I love your crazy butt shake dance
2.) I love when you say, "that's a great idea"
3.) I love that you love to sit in the car at lunchtime with me and just "relax"
4.) I love your passion and excitement for life.
I could have gone on and on, but those were my top picks. As I tucked my little one in that night, in order to hold it together, all I could do was just thank the good Lord that He gave me my girl. In the years of dealing with my eating disorder, I was told by doctors that because of the damage I was doing to my body, it would be very hard to conceive and carry a child. I stand in awe at the blessing that God allowed not only restoration into my life, but also a reward. He blessed me 1000 times over when He gave me a beautiful, healthy girl. I always felt like Aubrey was my gift from God, almost as if it was His way of saying, "I still believe you can do this, Ash...I haven't given up on you".  She is my daily reminder of how far I have come and also my inspiration to stay whole and healthy.
I am so thankful for this girl. She has made leaps and bounds in progress this year and I am beyond proud of her accomplishments. She has made wonderful strides in talking at school, doing much better at naps and bedtime, fully 100% potty trained, able to say her letters, spell her name, recite many bible verses, pledge of allegiance and the list goes on.  But above and beyond those great things, she is becoming a sweet, kind, loving and Godly little girl. She is an amazing big sister and she begs me daily to give her another sibling!  Don't get me's not all roses and sunshine with Bre, but she has come so far in these four short years.
As hard as it is for me to watch her baby years slip away, I am filled with gratitude that I get many more years of watching her flourish. I will continue to cherish every single special moment with her and relish every "simple, everyday" things we do together as well.
My wishes for you my sweet girl, are that you will continue to grow into the amazing young girl that you are. Keep being kind...loving others...doing the right thing and having lots of fun along the way. Thank you for teaching me that life is about laughter and imagination and that it's important to slow down and enjoy the ride.
 Happy birthday Bre!  We love you so much!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Old times are fun times!

My sweet daddy decided his grand-babies needed an afternoon of learning how they did things "back in the day". These stinkers are growing up with the ease of technology and to them everything is pretty much "instant". So it was a good dose of reality for them to see that sometimes things are better when you put a little sweat and hard work into it.

They were amazed to see the way they made corn, bread, butter, syrup and other goodies. For them, these things instantly appear in their pantry or fridge, so you can image the wonder in their eyes at seeing someone shake and churn butter or put a roll of yeast into an open fire. 

The girls went through this candle making process and each time they had to go around in a circle and dip their string in the wax. It took about 10 passes around to get just a tiny bit of wax build-up on their string. I had to laugh because when Aubrey and I were talking about her candle in the car, she told me "that was the hardest work I have ever done"!  Seems to me I need to be handing out some chores real soon so she can learn what work really is.

These two are best friends. They are so funny to watch because they are just giddy when they are together. Ciel insists that they are sisters...not cousins. Who am I to argue?  This is their fish face!

Weston had a blast too, he participated in every single activity and was determined to hang in there with his older cousins and sister. He is always a few steps behind, but refuses to be left out!  Weston said his favorite part of the day was riding the horsey. Aubrey said her favorite part was shucking the corn. My favorite part by far was the bee exhibit. I am fascinated by insects and reptiles so getting to see the bees up close and personal was amazing. Did you know that worker bees are all female?  Um...hello! Reality right there people! We were also able to see the queen bee. Apparently her only job in life is to lay eggs and be waited on hand and foot. The poor males are simply there to mate and then they die. HAHA!

Seeing my kiddos experience these wonders was so much fun for me...and such a bonus that my parents get to make these lasting memories with my loves!! I adore getting to learn and experience things through their little eyes. Making these memories is what life is all about. Thanks Papa D for the awesome field trip!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Life Lately Fall Edition

How on earth is it almost October?  I seriously blinked and by golly 3/4's of the year passed me by.  We have had such simple, yet sweet days around our house and we are finally settling into a new normal for our family. Christian has started back to school to obtain his Nurse Practitioner's license and so our days have changed drastically from what they used to look like. He now works 3 twelve hour days on the weekend, what they call WOW, although I think it should be called BOO because it stinks...nothing exciting or glamorous about it. He then does school M-Thurs online and soon to be at clinicals. Our time with him is less now, but he is good about carving out family time and really making it count. It's been a rough transition for me, just because I am basically "on duty" by myself 7 days a week. I'm getting more used to it and the kiddos have been absolutely wonderful.  They are so adaptable and easy going. I really need to learn from them in that area! 
We decided daddy needed a "back to school/first day" picture. HAHA!
(side note: are Weston and Christian not twins minus the hair??)
Aubrey is in school on TTF mornings til noon and so it is just Weston and I for those few hours.  I have loved having one on one time with him, he is seriously the wittiest person on the planet.  Not to mention that he talks like he is 5...I sometimes find myself having conversations with him and then thinking, "wait...he is 20 months old...this is not normal".  Usually we drop Bre off at school and go run errands, go to the gym and our most favorite thing to do is hit up the library!  I find the library to be a sanctuary and for some reason it is super relaxing to me. I guess just the quietness makes me feel at ease. They have awesome children's areas at our local libraries and my kiddos absolutely love to go and spend hours on the computer or at the learning centers. Weston mostly enjoys taking every single book off the shelves and tossing them onto the floor.

Last week, I took Weston to his 18 mth check up and he was a hoot. I kept preparing him for the fact that he was going to get shots and he kept replying to me, "I be brave mommy".  He weighed in at 21.5 pounds (not even on the chart for his weight) and in the 30th percentile for height. (I can't remember his exact measurements.) He is a tiny little thing and the doc was slightly concerned that he had dropped off the charts in his weight. We are going to start him on some chocolate almond milk and see if that helps fatten him up a little. Talk about a great problem to have!

We had our first LSU game last weekend and my sweet girl rocked her new outfit. She has no idea what football is but she still loves to get dressed up in her purple and gold.
We also celebrated my sweet momma's 60th birthday!!! I can't believe she is 60, although she looks about 35! My dad set up a surprise dinner for her at Stab's and we had a wonderful evening celebrating her. My momma is my dearest friend and not a day goes by that we don't talk or see each other. I can text or call her at any moment and she will be there for me in a heartbeat. She loves my babies like her own and I adore seeing them together.  I seriously have the best family in the world...none other can compare. (although my family on C's side is just as amazing)
We have spent almost every Saturday this month at the park because this weather is just too fabulous.  Long mornings at the park means long naps in the afternoon.
Love my little sidekicks. They make each day brighter, more fun and full of love.
Looking forward to cooler weather which brings fires and smores, football, pumpkins, and more wonderful memories.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Beach Blast and A New Chapter

We had an amazing week at the beach with my family. This week is something that we look forward to and talk about all year long. I always feel a few days of sadness when it's over because of how much we anticipate its arrival. This trip was one of my favorites.
We had so many special times of just sitting at the table, while the kiddos played, and talking about life and relationships. Some talks we laughed til we cried. It was so refreshing. My kids and my nieces play amazingly well together and so it was kinda like having a babysitter! We were able to read books and chat to our hearts content. We always eat amazing dinners and I'm kinda ashamed to say I ate steak 4 nights in a row!! It was Delish!
We spent hours at the pool, the lazy river and the beach. It was like a rotation of fun each day. Christian and I decided to paddle board for the first time and we had a blast! We took Aubrey out with us and had the chance to see multiple Dolphins! She was amazed. We are so blessed to get to take this trip every year. It is memory making at its finest!!
And in other amazing news, my sweet daddy retired after almost 39 years of work. No one works harder than my daddy so this is well deserved and much needed! We were able to be apart of a retirement party for him at his plant and it was absolutely incredible to see how many people came out to honor my dad. I always knew he was special, but it was so heartwarming to see how many other people felt the same way. Hearing stories about him made me cry tears of proudness and love. I know he is anxious about this new chapter in his life, but we couldn't be happier to have him around more now. Not to mention how great it is cause he will be working with my brother and so ill get to interact with him in that way too. Praying he finds his way and begins to absolutely loves this new beginning in his life. So proud of you dad...for working so hard all these years and for taking a step of faith in venturing into this new chapter. I know God has amazing things in store for your life!