Boys boys boys….

My mom always said she would take 10 boys over me. They’re so much easier she says. And I can’t tell you how many other people confirmed this. Ohhh, boys are so sweet. They love their mamas. They’re strong and smart and fun.

LIES!! So many lies.

My boy, tank, will give you a run for your money. He got my anger And my husbands patience. The two together are a lethal combination.

He is strong. But uses his force during his anger outburst. He loves his mama. No doubt. But when things don’t go his way, everybody better get out of the way because that boy ain’t care who he hurt.

He is so stubborn. That boy don’t give in. Period. If he wants it, he will get it.

He wants juice, but he only wants juice in the cars sippy cup, but with the ninja turtle lid. The turtles lid doesn’t fit the cars cup. And he will throw a tantrum to the point that I promise you our neighbors hear.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and just yell and spank and punish. In fact, tonight, he broke me. I put him in his room and shut the door and held it shut. He was on one side of the door crying and I was crying on the other side. I like to think I’m pretty tough. But, guys he broke me.

After it was all better and his puppy fixed the tantrum, I reflected. And let me say, I cried some more.

I feel awful. I yelled. And I screamed. And I lost my temper. (Which is short to begin with)

My boy currently has a broken foot. So, he can’t bathe in the bathtub. He has to bathe in the sink. That’s what started the tantrum that lasted over an hour. I wanted him to do what I wanted him to do and there was no compromise.

But guys, they’re human too! They have feelings. And so many of them. They don’t know what to do with all of them.

You have a favorite shirt. And a favorite cup. And a favorite pen. And if they are dirty, lost, don’t fit, etc. it’s frustrating. As an adult we know that we can wash them, find them, etc. but, a child, a 2 year old child, does not do the laundry. Or the dishes. Or stock the office supplies. To them, this is the end of the world.

My 2 year old doesn’t understand why he has this uncomfortable thing on his foot. And why he has to take a bath in the sink. So the only way he knows how to handle his emotion is to cry so I will hold him.

But, I failed. I didn’t hold him. I got mad. And I lost my temper. And I wasn’t there for him to teach him how to handle his anger. I fought fire with fire.

I failed my son.

He went to bed mad. I let him go to bed without saying sorry and making it ok. A stuffed dog did that. Because I was mad.

Kids pick up what we do. So much more than we could ever know. I was overwhelmed from work and gymnastics and all things life. He picked up on that. He felt it too.

I make up excuses for my feelings. And punish him for his.

It’s not fair.

But, tomorrow is a new day. And my goal is always to be a better me tomorrow than I was today. And tomorrow is no exception. Except I’m going to try extra super hard tomorrow, to be a better me.

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Love you from a distance

We love a lot of people and things from a distance; sometimes without realizing it. For example, I love Channing Tatum from a distance. And Nicholas Cage. And Miranda Lambert. Sometimes when I am on a diet, I love chocolate cake from a distance.

Well, occasionally we must choose to love someone very near and dear to our hearts from a distance. Because we are toxic to one another.

I have 5 brothers, and only 2 of them I can love “up close and personal.” Only 2 of them are in my life on a regular recurring basis. Recently, one of them has reached out to me for help. And I had to tell myself no. We’ve been down that road before. I want to help you and I want to be there for you. But, I have to love you from afar.

I want to scoop you up and bring you home with me and show you what a happy home is really supposed to be like; but we are both so toxic to one another that we will ruin many numerous relationships along the way. It shatters my heart into a million tiny pieces that I can’t be the one to help.

I am your number one fan. I support you through all your trials and tribulations, but in this particular instance, I can’t be all that you need me to be. I will do everything in my power to give you the resources you need to help yourself, but I can’t be the hero.

I struggle with that last statement. I CAN’T BE THE HERO! I pride myself on always helping those who genuinely need me. If I can’t personally be the one to help you, I will put you in contact with the people who can help you. Regardless of what I have to go through. It is one of my weakest points.

But, guess what?! I am learning with age that it is ok to not be the hero everytime. It is ok to put myself above other people. Sometimes in life, we have to admit that we can’t be the saving grace for those who need us. I am, in fact, not a superhero.

Some circumstances in life require us to choose between people. If you have never been in that situation, count your lucky stars. Because I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is the absolute hardest thing. Ever. It trumps grieving death, childbirth, falling from a 10 foot tall building, and any other crazy thing that I can think up. It flat out sucks. But, it is a necessary evil in my life currently.

If your reading this, I want you to know that I will never ever ever give up on you. I pray for you daily. I want you to succeed. I know that somewhere underneath of all the struggles and the bad decisions, the real you is in there. And you are smart, and funny, and an amazing role model for people. I know you can be you again. I have never lost my faith in you, and I never will. I forgive you. And I will forgive you a million times over.

People get angry because we often times forgive those who “don’t deserve it.” Because they continually make the same decisions. But, if I were ever in his shoes, I know without a doubt that he will forgive me. Every time. And, if I were ever in his shoes, I would beg for that forgiveness. And those people who are judging me for forgiving you have never met the real you. The one who taught me to make pancakes, and ramen noodles. And taught me that the bubbles on top of the sweet tea are poison. And taught me not to put up with anybody’s crap. And showed me that no matter what happens; with a little effort, and a lot of attitude, you can always come out on top.

It’s you and me against the world. And it’s a dark and ugly world, but we got this. Head up. We’re gonna make it.

I love you. From a distance.

Farmers wife. 

How are you not a farmers wife? I mean really? What do you do with yourselves all spring and fall? Are there normal family things that occur that don’t involve a tractor and dinner heated up in a microwave? I’m genuinely curious, if you wouldn’t mind letting me know. 😉 

I hear all the time, I don’t know how you do it. Well… my rebuttal… I don’t know how you don’t. While I LOATHE the busy seasons, I thoroughly enjoy them. And let me tell you why. 

It makes me admire my husband and his dedication to our family and the farm. 

It makes me misssss my husband. It helps keep that flame flickerin 🔥 if you catch my drift. 

Family time means tractor time. And duh, who doesn’t love a tractor? 

The busy season reminds me of the weight that my husband pulls when he is home. The second set of hands with toys and games and dinner and clean up. It’s tough doing it all on my own. And it makes me thankful for the not-so-busy season. 

His long hours teach our children a good work ethic. Lord knows they need help there with the world we live in now. 

And lastly, the busy season occupies his mind so I don’t get in trouble as much. For things like putting up see through curtains, and feeding the kids spaghettios and ice cream for dinner just because it’s Friday, and letting the huuuuge dog sleep in bed with me and me breathing his air. 

So, for each time someone says “I don’t know how you do it” remember there’s some crazy old dog lady like me saying “how do you not do it?” 

Kindergarten Woes

Sorry I haven’t written in awhile. It’s been hectic.

Leah started kindergarten in August. I wasn’t the teary eyed blubbering mom that cried all the way to work. Leah wasn’t the kid hanging on my leg begging me not to make her go. It was relatively uneventful to my surprise.

She is adjusting well. She sleeps. like a lot. and way better. So, thank you Mrs. Fallis and Gymnastics Lane for wearing her out every day. Y’all are godsends.

What did take me by surprise is the amount of stress on the parents. I was the first time school mom who thought I could just send my babe on her way everyday and have to put forth minimal effort. LIES! There’s making sure she eats breakfast before she gets on the bus. Making sure she dresses appropriately for the weather, which in Indiana I don’t think that’s a legitimate thing. Making sure she has her snack for the day. Making sure she has lunch money in her account. Making sure she has a drink for the gym after school. It’s exhausting.

I always said I would not be the PTO mom. I wouldn’t volunteer for field trips; that’s just not who I am. I don’t want to smother her. But, after being on the school adventure for a month now I am realizing just how absurd that thought was. I want to volunteer for those field trips. In fact, I’m going on one with her in October. I want to be on the PTO because the things that the PTO does makes a better environment for my daughter to thrive in. I want to be involved. Because when she looks back at these years and pictures from these years I don’t want her to think I didn’t want to be there. (And being the old, sensitive, gentle soul that she is; I can’t say with certainty if she would or wouldn’t think those things.)

Is it hard to find time to fit all of this in? Oh absolutely! You should see my calendar between gymnastics, the soap box derby, school events, things to remember, what amazing friend or family member is helping me that day while Clayton is in the field, the list goes on. But, knowing that my daughter will have me be a part of all of this with her is worth every ounce of planning that goes into it.

The thought that keeps me going through all the chaos is a simple one. I want her to succeed. I always want her to try her hardest at every single thing she does. How can I expect her to put forth all of this effort if I don’t at least try to help her succeed? I want her to see how hard I tried to help her. How much I tried to be there for her. When she has children of her own; I want her to remember that despite working full time, dealing with harvest season, having 2 kids, and all the other life that happens, I was there. For every gymnastics meet. For every field trip. For every morning getting on the bus. I want her to look up to me and know that I always tried my best. Some days are better than others but I gave it my all every day.

Clayton is a firm believer in helping them to see how far hard work will take them also. He works at the farm every day then comes home and works in the shop for his business which we have built from the ground up. He never bats an eye when I confront him with crazy ideas that he makes become a reality. Like Leah’s soap box derby car. Together, we have a pretty good handle on teaching our kids what working hard means.

Our children have been in the shop with us and at the farm with us from almost day 1. Luke was born in December, so his is a little later than day 1. But you get it. We involve our children so they see what we put into our lives. How can we expect them to work hard if we don’t first set an example for them?

I could get on my soap box here about how parents don’t want to put forth the effort for their kids but then get mad when they do what they have always known. But, I won’t. I will just leave it at; we can change the world one person at a time. Or, in my case, 2 children at a time.

 

Dinner for schmucks. 

5:00. Don’t call me on the phone. Just ring my dinner bell. Food. On. The. Brain. Y’all I skipped my second afternoon snack in anticipation for dinner this evening. So excited. 

Well, for starters I screwed up. I was under strict instructions to get the hubby then get the kids. I go into auto pilot when I’m hungry. It’s like a level between happy and hangry. It’s not a bad place. But I prolly wouldn’t cross me. So anyway I realize as I turn my turn signal on that I’m going the wrong way. Oooops. So, as usual we are casually late. I drive like dale earnhardt jr trying to make it on time cause our family is in from Arizona. Turns out, dinner isn’t til 6:30. Story. Of. My. Life. I can’t win. Ps at this point I’m definitely entering hangry. And errrybody knows it. 

Cue dinner. Aka purgatory. Just kidding. Kind of. It was loud. And chaotic. And stressful. And ya know what else it was? A freaking blast. We couldn’t hear what each other were saying. And I think that made it that much more fun. Just smile. And nod. And sometimes throw in a “no she didn’t. She. Did. Not.” Like mean girls style. 

No judgement. No cares. The kids played. Obnoxiously loud in the middle of the restaurant. Leah so fiercely pointed out that the water behind the restaurant was not in fact a waterfall. It is a man made dam. Just like a beaver dam. And dam is only a bad word if you use it when your mad. 

Jeff and Karen seemed like they enjoyed themselves. As much as possible in this scenario. 😂 they invited us to come see them. I don’t think they would be able to handle the madness. Maybe we can bring them a “welcome gift.” Do y’all prefer jack or Busch? 

So, at the end of the day, I realize how blessed we are with the most amazing family. We all get together and make the most of the situation thrown at us. And we come up the best ideas!! Like next time, we’re going to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and pop a squat in the grass somewhere. Far away from crowded restaurants and expensive beer. Next time, we will gather with yeti cups and coolers full of ice and Busch light. 

Message in a bottle

“Hide your crazy and start acting like a lady.”  Miranda Lambert is my girl crush. For sure. But this song, speaks to me on levels I can’t even put into words. Basically, if you haven’t heard it, it says I ain’t a Kennedy and I can’t paint on a happy face and pretend like I’m ok. This ain’t my mama’s broken heart. SO MUCH TRUTH Y’ALL!!!

Recently, events have unfolded that made me realize I have handled some situations in my life totally and completely wrong. Wanna know why? Cause it’s like old people and sex. You just don’t talk about it. That’s what is wrong with us as a whole!! We are taught to not talk about certain things. So then, when said things occur we don’t know how to handle them and are afraid of reaching out to receive the assistance we need to deal with things. So, we bottle them up inside us until there is so much hurt anger and sadness inside us that we blow our tops. Literally. Like when Mt St Helen erupted. Massive explosion. National news. This lady: Batshit crazy. Don’t talk to her. She’s insane. Next level guys.

News Flash!!!! YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THAT!!!! This is the 21st century. We talk. A lot. In so many different forms. You don’t wanna talk to your mom about your issues? Find a support group on Facebook and message a stranger about it. Call an 800 number and talk about it. Dude, start a blog! Seriously. We have to stop acting like we live in the 1950’s!

My most recent problem? Addiction. Not my addiction. My brothers. He essentially raised me. My mom was a single parent and worked a lot. He was my rock. It’s me and him against the world. For a good 10 year stretch, I thought that wasn’t the case. I was so mad at him for everything that he was doing “wrong” in my eyes. I ruined our relationship because no one told me how to handle my feelings.

Addiction is a terrible terrible DISEASE! Yes! You heard me! DISEASE! In the beginning, addiction is a choice. Just like me choosing to drink a lot more than the recommended daily intake of Mountain Dew. And just like I choose to put chewing tobacco in my mouth. But, unlike Mountain Dew and Grizzly, drugs change your chemical makeup in your brain. They change who you are entirely. Addiction is a nasty little monster that changes a person entirely. She sets up bunk in your brain, your heart, your stomach, and your muscles. She controls EVERYTHING you do in your life. You evict her from one part of your body but she’s still there. You get her out of your heart when your girlfriend decides to have a baby. But, she’s still in your head. And your gut. It takes so much will power and desire to evict her entirely. And even once she’s out; there’s always remnants of her. Just like a breakup. You here a song and it takes you back to your first kiss. You smell a certain smell and you go back to that place. It is so hard to overcome addiction. I don’t think we give enough credit to those who successfully evict her and fight the desires day in and day out. And I don’t think we are compassionate enough with those trying to overcome it.

Very frequently, there is an underlying issue that causes a person to do drugs in the first place. Go back to that second paragraph. Old people and sex. WE TRAIN PEOPLE NOT TO TALK ABOUT THINGS! Maybe a person is dealing with their sexual preference and are afraid to talk to those who matter about it in fear of rejection. Maybe a person is dealing with mental disorders and don’t know how to get help. Maybe a person is struggling with their surroundings and don’t know how to change it or how to talk to people about it. We don’t know. And we don’t ask. We put on our judgement pants and stare them down. Degrading them in our heads. Steering clear of them in the grocery store and at the park. Walking between them and our kids in town. Fearing the unknown.

The addiction insert there was just to let you know what I’m feeling at the moment. The take away from this one? TALK!

I’m struggling really hard with turning 25. Like I cried on my way into work today because of it. I’m halfway to 50. I’m almost 30. There were so many things I wanted to do before I turned 30. Know how many I accomplished? 2. I traveled out of the country once. And I got married. Now, I’m not saying I don’t love my life now! Lord knows I do! I have two littles and a husband waiting on me everyday in a house that we got all on our own! I have so many things to be thankful for. But, I talked to people about being sad about turning 25. And guess what!? Craziest thing ever. I FEEL BETTER ABOUT IT! In one more year, I’ll legally be able to rent a car. oh! and a condo! In another year, I get to take a new license picture because 26 is when licenses expire. I just bought my second handgun. People might start taking me more serious from a business perspective cause I’m 25 now.

If something is bothering you, there are billions of other people in this world. Chances are, there is someone somewhere dealing with the same issue. Reach out!

 

A day in the life of tank

Tank. Never in my life would I have thought I would have a child with the nickname tank. A child so ferociously curious. So impatient. So strong. So large. So loveable. So sweet. So… just everything that he is.

So, let me tell you a little about our adventures with tank. When he was born, he was a tiny little 6 pound 15 ounce bundle of sweet perfection. I breast fed. We coslept. He was attached to my hip. When he was a little over 3 months old, we ended up in the hospital because he was having some digestive issues. Well, after 2 nights in the hospital, my mom gut determined he was lactose intolerant. So, we did the lactose sensitive formula for a minute. Then we put him on lactose free whole milk. And holy mother of all things good in this world the kid started growing. A lot. In a hurry. And hasn’t really slowed down since.

He weighs in at 43 pounds. Of pure muscle. He outweighs his 5 year old big sister. I only outweigh my 1 year old son by 60 pounds. He is a brute. Hence the name tank. Somedays I swear he isn’t human.

This past Tuesday, we were outside like usual in the evenings. Going about our merry little blessed life on the farm. He was in his little baby swing (which I knew he was creeping up to the weight limit on.) and I turned my back for 2 seconds. Maybe. He leaned forward while the swing was going backwards. The principle of Kinetic Energy or something like that says that objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Well, let’s just say that’s a fact. The swing stopped to change momentum to go forward. Luke did not get the memo. He does a front flip out of the swing towards the shop. Lands on his back. Hard. I panic. Clayton Panics. Dude cries for a mere 3.76 seconds. Then he’s off.

I picked him up to see if it “knotted out.” Ya know, one of those things they teach you in motherhood school. If the belly hurts, ask if subject has to poop. If they hit their head, check for a knot. If no knot, no sleep. Well, here’s the thing about tank. He has so many knots on his head! My dad used to call me a knot head. I thought he was just being silly. Luke really is a knot head. So, I’m watching for other signs of a concussion. Ya know, stumbling, pupils dilating, etc. I’m watching him plow his way across the yard. Next thing I know, he is halfway up the slide. Climbing. Up the slide. I think it’s safe to say at this point he has no concussion.

I then decided to put the children on the trampoline. Yes, I know. My daughter just broke her leg on the trampoline. No, she isn’t scared of it. No, I didn’t sell the damn thing. And no, I don’t think I’m a bad mom for putting them in there. Shit happens. Freak accident. We’ll do better. Anyway, back to my story…. Luke takes off in a full force run the best he could do on a trampoline. Runs face first into the pole that holds the net. <<< see. I’m a responsible parental type figure. We have a net.>> big black bruise with a gnarly knot on his nose. He laughs. Literally. Cackles that cute little baby laugh. Well, his actually sounds more like an evil laugh. Like Pinky and the Brain when their plotting their earthly takeover. But none the less, he laughs.

Then, we go to a friend’s house. Where Tank proceeds to eat. again. He just ate a whole plate of spaghetti at our house and now he is eating hot dogs. String beans. Cottage cheese. And whatever else he can get his little paws on. He is all over the place. He goes to pick something up from under the table and hits his head on the wraught iron table. And moves it. With his head. Laughing the whole time.

Every one says boys are a different world than girls. I thought I was prepared. But for real, no one. No one at all. Could have mentally prepared me for life with tank. I am always on my toes.  Literally and figuratively. He pushes me to my breaking point. He tests the limits. He enjoys risks. He purposefully does things that may hurt him. But, his hugs might possibly be one of the best things in this life. And his new thing is when he kisses his mama, he grabs my cheeks. And when he wakes up crying and I go in there, he just relaxes. And I know he needs me. And now I know why mamas of little boys are so tough. ❤

 

Hypocritically hypocritical 


Hypocrisy. What a dirty little bastard. Think about it. How many times has someone said: “you shouldn’t chew, it’s bad for you.” As they light up a cigarette. It’s usually a very negative term. Well, I’m going to bring some light to the topic. 
Five years ago, if you would have told me that I would be proud of this picture, I would have laughed in your face. Literally. The wrinkles. The bra straps showing. My hair a hot mess. My makeup smearing. I would have been embarrassed to know that this was the picture circulating. I wouldn’t have cared if it was capturing memories. 

Flash forward 5 years. Those wrinkles? They mean I smile. And laugh. Like a lot. Because I am blessed beyond measure. And I have two wonderfully beautiful babies that put those laugh lines on my face. 

My bra straps showing mean I spent more time making sure my kids were presentable and happy and didn’t look like neaderthals like they do 99% of the time rather than picking those flaws out of my outfit.  

My hair being a mess means I have two wonderfully beautiful children that I had chased around the yard and helped find Easter eggs. 

My makeup smeared means I worked up a sweat chasing those sweet babies. 

I’ve never been one of those people who say “I was born to be a mom.” 85.5% of the time I think I’m failing miserably at it. I question my actions more so than not. And the 14.5% of the time I think I’m killing it is when their asleep and can’t do anything to make me question my parenting abilities. 

But looking at this picture, seeing the pride in my eyes and the happiness radiating from me, I know with 100% certainty that God knew what he was doing when he made me their mom. 

Even during weeks like this where my husband has worked 114 hours in 1 week and I am pulling double duty as mom and dad and I am so stressed I can barely comprehend what day it is. I know that when I see those babies my whole day will be better 

Even during days like today where I was a little too insensitive for my sweet daughters innocent heart and made her cry, I know that God knew what he was doing when he made me their mama. 

Friends in low places 

Funny story about this song. On our flight home from Cancun a few years ago, our whole flight sang friends in low places. Even the flight attendants. 

But seriously, friends in low places are sooo important! And I’ve snabbed a few favorites in the last few years. You need a concrete guy? I got one. You need a bank? I got one. You need help with math? I got a guy you can call.  

It’s kind of a “you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours” situation. They help when your in a pinch. And you help them when they’re in a pinch. It works. 

But you have to take care of your friends in low places. Call em and see how they are. Send em a card. Take em to lunch. “Scratch their back” so to speak. Let them know you appreciate them. And for the love… when you see them, SMILE! Seriously! Fake it til you make it! Paste a big ole cheesy one on. Run up and hug em. They’re your back bone sometimes. Show em. 

Just a run down of my friends in low places that have got me out of a pinch recently… 

Kelsey kept my kids last minute when my babysitter had a baby. Alyssa also kept my kids. Jaden is keeping my kids. Rene gets my kids a ton. Like a lot. Lisa bought my lunch today. Kim helped around the house. RC came and towed my husband home at 11:00 one night. Austin helps us a ton. Kayla helps us a ton. And you know what they ask in return? Friendship. Like how do I get this lucky? I musta been a helluva nice person back in the day! For real!! 

Y’all, do me a solid. Take care of your friends in low places. You’re gonna need them sooner or later. Promise. 

Oh, and be safe this weekend with those friends in low places! 

Do you need any change? 

Life requires change. Love requires change. All good things come from change. It’s hard to step out of the comfortable monotonous slug that we grow accustomed to. But, CHANGE IS GOOD!!!!! 

Most of this is directed at my dear aunt Stacy, this ones for you love!! 

We deserve the best we can get. Being walked on and torn apart by someone who doesn’t deserve us is heart wrenching. And unfair. And stupid. So, I challenge you to step up and take the initiaitive and do what makes you happy. Is it leaving? Then do it. Is it a new job? Then do it. Is it a boob job? Then do it. (Maybe start with the new job first so you have money to get said boob job.) but, do it!! Is it some time apart? Then sweetheart pack those bags and show him what he’s missing! 

You are a beautiful soul. You are an amazing flower in this world of ugly. But as with all beautiful things, you need nurturing. Sometimes we nurture ourselves. Sometimes we rely on others to nurture us. 

Much like a flower, the flower adapts to the earth with roots and defense mechanisms. Very independent if you think about it. But, flowers rely on the sun to help it grow. And humans to water it when Mother Nature is lacking. And to take it indoors when the weather is too cold. Flowers are hard natured, and independent, but fragile at the same time. 

Women need love. And nurturing. And sunshine. And support. Do what you need to do to find the things you need as a woman. 

But, remember what my daddy says. Don’t be afraid to do it. And don’t be afraid of the consequences. If you decide to leav, accept the consequences that he may not take you back. If you get a boob job, accept the consequences that your back may hurt. A lot. 

Most importantly, remember to put yourself first. My dad always said you put your life in this order: god, your husband, your kids. I disagree with this. God, yourself, your husband, your kids. You can’t rebuild a house in a hurricane. And you have to accept that you need to rebuild yourself to care for those around you. 

And for the love of all things holy, don’t forget to lean on your family in your time of need. We are family. That’s why we’re here. You may not always like what we hav to say, but you best believe we always have your best interest at heart. ❤️