The Monday Blues

Every Monday Morning

I wake up to the sound of Micah yelling, "Mommy can you wipe me!"  Amelia is carefully tucked in the bed next to me since her current wake up time is 5:30am and she just falls back asleep in our bed.  I can hear Mark and Julia making breakfast downstairs...and I realize I am alone, I am the only adult at home, and my better half is off to work.

Needing to get big kids off to school, pack lunches, brush little ones teeth, get breakfast out and put away, dress the littles, get juice, make coffee, find coats, gloves, hats, shoes, make sure back packs are at the front door...it is a busy fast-paced routine but there's no one else to lead it but me.

Often I am thinking about the fun we had the past 2 days as a family.  Weekends are sacred and we use every bit of our time to spend with each other, all the while getting things like housework, meals, and oil changes done.  Somehow there's no schedule on the weekends but the time feels longer and knowing John is home is such a comfort to me always because once he's at work I don't have any one's hand to hold, no one to make me laugh, and no one to be my right hand the way that he is.

There is so much to be said for routine, work and schedules...some of my favorite words, but when you have 4 kids and very little time to your self or miss being around adults for some reason the start of the work week is the hardest for us.  I find that John texts me the most at the beginning of the week and most of the texts start out with, "I miss you."

Our life is not quiet, it's not without moments of chaos, crying or craziness, but when everyone is under one roof it is comforting, it's everything that makes home, home.  And when even one of us is missing the void is felt.  Micah and Amelia constantly ask me, "Where are Mark and Julia?"  "Where is Daddy?"  Even though I have told them a million times that the big kids are at school and Daddy is at work so mommy can stay home with them, I think they feel the emptiness and the absence and just can't seem to understand why they need to leave.

And let's just say the moment when 3:00 hits and Julia and Mark come bursting through the front doors to tell us all about their day, Micah and sometimes Mia if she is awake are ALL smiles and ALL ears.  It's almost as awesome as it is when John comes home at night.  It's that collective scream of "DADDY!"  And you can't help but feel the joy.

To every parent that leaves Monday morning...you are dearly missed whether we remember to tell you so or not.  Life is better with you.

Here's to another Monday...!





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Her Journey...Not Mine

The first born...

We have such high hopes, so many dreams, so many expectations for all of our children, don't we?

But that first child... is it just me or are they almost magical?  There's something you just can't explain. There is a bond that is deep and an extra special feeling of knowing that that particular child made you a mom.  And because that child is older they tend to be your right hand.

In our experience we waited 4 years before we even started trying to have a baby.  We wanted to travel and establish "us" first.  After that it took almost 2 years for Julia to get here. The first year just trying to "get pregnant" and the second year just being pregnant and planning and waiting and reading every single book on parenting, sleeping schedules, discipline, food charts, we wanted to get it all right...



We lived in a different house when Julia was born and I can remember how every nook and cranny was filled with "her" from her high chair to exer-saucer, from her toys and mounds of clothes the minute she was with us it was all about this beautiful baby girl. I kept reading books on how to be a good parent.  I kept praying for her and asking for wisdom and guidance.  And I still remember that winter, snowy day driving her home and sitting in the back seat with her and thinking..."We get to bring her home?!...like what do we even do?? How are these nurses and doctors even allowing us to bring home this human??  Are we even ready for this?"

Then she started talking and crawling and walking and before we knew it this baby was no longer a baby, she was a person!  She was a girl with opinions and wants of her own.  She was crawling by 8 months, and talking up a storm by 10 months.  She was always so aware of her surroundings and her blue eyes were always captivated by people.



This whole time I kept wanting the best for her.  The best schooling, the best surroundings, the best books, the best learning toys.  I wanted her to experience as many new places as possible and I wanted her to love people and learning so we were always going to play dates, and gymnastics, and library story time.  I wanted to expose her to as many positive experiences as possible and I was so excited to see her joy as she made friends and learned new things.  It was always a double blessing.

We started doing homeschool officially when Julia was age 4, we enrolled in a homeschool coop and started doing social studies projects, and buying curriculum.  I wanted her to learn to read so badly by age 5 because I wanted to be able to say, "I taught her how to read," but like any average kid it finally happened around age 6.  I was so intense with homeschool at first.  I was so structured and so hard on myself.   Julia always loved the painting, and coloring, and reading books and she has the best imagination there is.  I love watching her play to this day because there is such a happy go lucky free spirit about her.



She is so different from me.

I always tried growing up to please everyone and succeed.  Julia just enjoys being and having fun.  She is so comfortable in her own skin.   Life is simple with her.  It is never complicated.  I am learning that now that she is almost 9 that this is all about her journey.  

She is going to have her own precious walk with the Lord.  She is going to learn to depend on Him and her faith is going to grow with each of her life experiences.  I can't deepen her faith or make her grow.  I can guide her.  I can be a good example.  I can teach her to pray and read the Bible and show her what it means to follow Christ but she is going to have to choose to walk that road.

She is going to make her own friends at school.  I pray everyday that she makes wise choices in the friend department.  We have been praying about and for her friends even before she was born.

She is going to make mistakes and need forgiveness.  She is going to learn to grow from those mistakes.

I can remember thinking (when I was pregnant with her) how am I going to raise a strong little lady?  Then she was born and I realized that she has a lot of strength already.  

God has given me a daughter who knows what she wants and finds a way to make it happen.  

It truly amazes me every day that we bring children into this world, but that God paves their journey.  We can do our best and our part, but there is so much that they have to learn and discover on their own.  For me that is both exciting and terrifying.

This year especially I have had to surrender a lot of control over Julia and Mark as they go to school and are not homeschooled for now.  One thing I loved about homeschooling was the control of who their friends were, and the things they were exposed to and learning and the environment in which they learned.  

I know that we did the absolute right thing for both of our kids and I have no regrets whatsoever.  I loved homeschooling but I also felt I was dragging Micah and Mia to things and sticking them in a nursery for hours instead of giving them the quality time they needed.  This year I have been able to truly invest in my littles and I am loving it!  From mommy and me swim class, the library story time, to a christian homeschool coop called Big Kids where Micah and Mia get to learn all about God with kids their age.  

This doesn't mean we will never homeschool again, in fact we are praying about next year and are almost 90% sure we are homeschooling.  But so far this year has been such a great change for us and I have loved watching Julia in particular blossom where she has been planted.  We keep praying that she will grow into a young lady that fears God, that she will walk in His ways, and continue to be that joy filled free spirit that sees the sparkle in everything.

Watching your first born child (actually any of your children) grow and mature is the coolest thing (and scariest thing).  I am learning that it is so important to take each day one at a time.  I'm trying not to look too far ahead, but to prayerfully consider the next best step for her and for us.  And I am mindful that this is her journey...not mine.



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