Macaroni noodles and boo-boos

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Thank you mom for all that you taught me and all of the things you did to show your love.

Thank you for wearing necklaces lovingly crafted from macaroni noodles; for hanging countless masterpieces on the fridge, for making me believe I was gifted, talented, beautiful and brilliant, for all the boo-boo’s you made better (and yes that DID sting);for watching all the “plays” and dance routines and listening to the unending songs I made up as I went and never once making me feel stupid.

I thank you for your smile, you know, the one that told me I was your world.  I thank you for your long nails that gently scratched my itches, even when I was dirty.  I thank you for the soft, gentle voice that read to me and explained life to me.  I thank you for all of the meals you crafted and I apologize for the many times I stubbornly refused to eat something “gross”.

Thank you for never leaving my side when I needed you, for all the coddling when I was sick, for wiping my nose countless times before I could do it myself, for all the diapering, wiping and cleaning duties, which I know you did the majority of.

I thank you for the dresses you made, the many times you baked after everyone else was asleep, so that my class would have cupcakes for a party, for the way you knew how to stretch a dollar in lean times to feed and clothe all three of us. Thanks for lying across my bed with me when I was a teenager and making me feel comfortable to tell you the truth, knowing that even if there were repercussions, they would be fair.

Thank you for never forgetting a birthday, an important event or to tell me you loved me.  Thank you for your prayers and for teaching me about God, and for teaching your children morals and values.

Most of all, I thank you for being you; the wonderful, beautiful woman I called Mother.  I miss you!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

This week for the photo challenge at said, “IN A NEW POST PUBLISHED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE “THREE.”

I took this while in Texas visiting my youngest daughter.  We had just enjoyed lunch and tea at the Ambrosia Tea Room in Salado.  We were enjoying a nice walk together in the crisp November air.  She had been a married woman for only a month and I remember smiling at the realization of the subtle, but interesting changes in our relationship and conversations even after such a short time.

We took the time to slow down and enjoy the scenery around us and shared meaningful and heart warming conversation.  She is the photographer in the family and it was her idea to capture the “old bicycles on a fence”. 

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Threes

Three bicycles

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in My Life

The challenge: What does your day look like? Here’s your chance to share with everyone a day in your life! Here are some suggestions to get started: snap a picture once an hour and share what your day was like, walk us through a typical day for you, or even just what happened today!

My Friday

My Friday

I work four tens and Friday is one of my days off.  My youngest daughter and I made plans to spend it together, since she didn’t have school today.

The first picture represents what I try to do first thing when I get up, my time of prayer and devotions; I don’t always succeed, but my day goes much better when I do.

Picture number two is of my daughter and I having a smoothie, called, “The Energizer”.  At the time, I had no idea how much I was going to need it!  The next picture is my daughter, Morgan as we entered the mall and began our quest for all things needed for Spring.

First on the second row, you can see the beautiful produce at one of the health food stores we visited; then the loot on her bedroom floor when we got home.

The last picture…..well, mama was tired, so I drove a couple of miles from home to a good spot to watch the sunset and contemplate this beautiful day and all that it represents and be refreshed.  The waves gently washing up on the shore, and the lovely sunset were just what I needed as a backdrop for a few moments of solitude.

Blessings on this Good Friday!

Green but not for St Patrick’s Day

Jan 1st 09 - Project 366.No, I didn’t go to a crazy Saint Patrick’s day party and I was not trying out a new hair color.  It’s the Blistex lid and yes, it IS melted and um-hmm….I did this.

So, does anyone have a teenage daughter who likes your bathroom better because it has more or bigger mirrors?  And because of this, they leave their makeup, brushes, hair ties, deodorant, etc., all over your counters?  If so, you will understand this better than most.

I was in a huge rush today.  I had taken off work just early enough to throw some clothes and makeup on and get out the door to a chiropractor appointment.  For some reason, unbeknownst to me, my neck is very tense and out of whack!

Anyway, I decided my new hair do needed a quick touch up with the straightener, so I plug it in while I throw the makeup on.  I only have a few minutes left, so I grab a huge hunk of hair and pull the straightener through and lo and behold, there is green goo all in my hair!!  I was shocked and surprised, but had no idea where it had come from!  After freaking out for a moment, like any good,  self-proclaimed southern belle would do, I was able to calm down and get it out without damaging my hair.

As I picked up the straightener again to clean it off, I happened to look down and saw the culprit.  My daughter in all her messiness had left the straightener too close to a tube of blistex and when I turned it on, it melted all over it.  I had picked it up and pulled it right through my hair. I guess I can’t blame her entirely, but my counters were certainly a lot cleaner while she was out of town on Spring Break.

I told the girl who was doing my deep tissue massage at the chiropractors office the story and she got a good laugh.  I didn’t want her to see green bits and think I had something nasty or leftover in my hair.

The thing is, as messy as she can be and as crazy as things can get sometimes, I am very much aware that I will miss this.  Every little tiny bit of it!

Reflecting and preparing

Ashley and Morgan; then and now

Ashley and Morgan; then and now

It was that time of day when things are getting quiet everywhere.

Outside, the birds are seeking a place to roost, traffic slows down in the neighborhood and people begin to go indoors to settle in for the day.

From where I am sitting, I can see palm trees gently swaying in the breeze, but I can no longer see the streak of sunlight across my dining room floor; the same streak that Ayda found her shadow in when they were here just three long days ago.

I remember watching her quietly, not wanting to spoil the moment.  She would find it and pounce, trying to catch it, and then look for it again, line her little body up just right and try again.  The ever elusive shadow kept her busy for several minutes, an eternity for a toddler.  I remember thinking, “Enjoy this, Nana….capture this moment in your mind’s photo shop so you can enjoy it when they’re gone”.

And way too quickly, they were.  I fought back the tears as I leaned in to kiss her goodbye.  She was already strapped in nice and snugly in her car seat.  Away they drove, leaving me with an ache in my heart that felt like a brass fist clenched tightly around it.

Oh, and it wasn’t only Ayda.  My eldest waved from the car window, her blonde hair bouncing around her shoulders; the hair I used to put in pony tails, pig tails and bows, which she always fought me over.

Her husband and my youngest shared the front seat.  My baby, my youngest (wasn’t she in diapers yesterday?!?) was driving for the first leg of the journey.  The days of Barbie jeeps, speeding up and down our street until the batteries died, are long gone for this nostalgic mother.

Little Sis heading to her Big sister’s home in New Orleans for a visit that will wrap up the remainder of her last Spring Break as a high school student.  Spending Spring Break together is a tradition with them that I hope they keep.

Yes, this house is eerily quiet and lifeless (except for me of course).  And all of the things I thought I would do when I got the time, the solitude, and the silence are left waiting.  It seems I don’t have the motivation to do them today.  I look forward to my husband’s footsteps on the porch to break the silence and his kiss when he comes inside.

I’m glad that I always told my girls that as important as they are, one day they would leave and begin their own lives, leaving dad and I alone.  And for this reason, they must not complain when we spent quality, child-free time together; time spent nurturing our relationship so that when we were alone one day, we’d have invested wisely and be able to draw from that.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven  Ecclesiastes 3:1

From the inside out

Prov 31 30 1440x900

We often fail as parents. Although we love our children dearly, the truth is, we aren’t perfect. We make mistakes.  Since I’m older and one of the reasons I blog is to share something that might inspire, encourage or teach someone, I thought I’d share one of my failures.

One of the areas I missed the mark on was in putting too much emphasis on outer appearance.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I realize we want them to bathe, brush their teeth and look and smell at least somewhat approachable. This can be a feat in itself in those elementary years.

But, I was overly concerned with appearance. I didn’t realize I was doing this because I was verbalizing all the right things. Beauty is as beauty does, God looks upon the heart; out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and what’s inside is what truly matters.

Here’s the quagmire……

While I was telling them all the right things, my actions were betraying my words. You see, I was standing in front of the mirror (in their presence because how often does a mom ever get alone time in the bathroom), saying, “Do I look fat in this?” while pointing out all of my imperfections. Effectively telling them one thing and showing them another.

Thankfully, by the help and grace of God, and the words of a very wise woman I stumbled upon on the radio one day, I realized this and began to concentrate more fully on the inside and kept my own insecurities to myself (for the most part, not always). Obviously, the reason I had struggled with this, was because it was also a personal struggle.

Although I do want to look nice and be healthy, my life no longer revolves around that. I have learned that I have a purpose in this life and it isn’t just to look pretty.

Concentrate on becoming the woman that God created you to be. If you are loving, kind and gracious, it will shine from the inside out. We’re all beautiful, in many different ways, but we are all also aging every moment. Beauty is indeed, fleeting. People will remember you, for WHO you were to them, not what you looked like.

Personally, I find myself praying for the ability to accept aging gracefully, to acknowledge that for every wrinkle, there are even more beautiful memories and experiences!

There is nothing wrong with taking care of ourselves and looking our best, but we can’t make this our God. It can’t become an obsession. I share this in case there are other mothers who can benefit from it, or girls or women who need to be reminded that they matter; their talents, their gifts and all of the wonderful things they bring to the lives of those around them.

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