I Feel Him There

Sometimes, I open my eyes and I am standing in our pasture. It’s those few minutes between darkness and daylight break. I look out over the high grass and see the fog settling. It’s peaceful. It’s quiet. The air blows just enough that I feel it move my hair. I can feel God there.
One week ago, we welcomed our second son into this world. Already having a child prepared me for what labor would be like. I said several times that I think a woman’s brain is trained to block some things about labor out. Otherwise, nobody would ever have more than one. We went in to the hospital early Thursday morning. My doctor broke my water around 8:00 a.m. Things progressed pretty quickly this time. (I was in labor with our first son for 8 hours.)
After four and a half short hours, it was go time. Every time I was told to push, I did. I would close my eyes so tight. When I opened them, I was standing in our pasture. I was feeling the dampness in the air. I was listening and waiting. I felt the comfort of knowing he was with me. I couldn’t see him. I couldn’t hear him. I just knew he was there. Before I realized what had happened, my son was being placed on my lap. I had tears running down my face. All the months of fears and worry had come to a screeching halt. The worrying had been about eating the right foods, getting enough rest, living with guilt of my first son not being my only priority anymore. All of these things and more had been challenges for me. In that moment, the moment he was placed on my stomach, the moment I heard him cry, the moment I knew my life would once again never be what it was before, I knew that God had been there with me. I knew that he had a hand in helping us through.
Life is such a beautiful thing. In moments like these, I am thankful that I can open my eyes and my heart to see the things that not everyone believes to be there.

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New Ball Game

This past week, I experienced something that I am sure most mothers are familiar with. I got the mystery stomach virus that is going around. When I say going around, I don’t mean my community. We live in east Texas. My mom’s neighbors in Florida had the same symptoms and they were sick for the same amount of days. My best friend who lives in Ohio, her dad had it this past week. It’s actually very strange. Anyway, did I mention I am 36 weeks pregnant? Not fun. Monday after work, I was exhausted. We did our usual nightly routine. We went to bed. I work up several times in the middle of the night with stomach cramps. I will spare details. The whole next day I could barely move. My two year old woke up crying. I thought for sure he had it too. I stayed home from work and kept him home from the sitter. Low and behold, he was actually fine. I checked him throughout the day and he showed no signs of sickness. His appetite was as big as usual. He was happy. I was so thankful he didn’t have it.
I was a different story. I had three main areas that I visited: the bathroom, the couch and the bed. I had no appetite. My poor child was stuck watching the same Dora DVD on repeat all day. I also handed him a ziplock bag of leftover pizza and he just carried it around and ate out of it all day (not my proudest parent moment). We lived to see Wednesday. On Wednesday, the stomach cramping was gone, but I was so weak that I couldn’t stand up longer than 10 minutes. It was awful. I missed another day of work. My 2 year old was stuck at home with me again because I was afraid to drive. Finally, although I was only operating at about 50% my normal speed and brain functioning, I went back to work on Thursday.
I guess my whole point here is that having a husband at home every night to help in these situations would be ideal. I guess I am just proud of myself because being sick is hard. Being sick and still having to function enough to take care of your kids is a whole different ball game. I am thankful that The Lord gave me strength, trust me, I prayed for it. Especially when I was taking breaks every five minutes from picking up toys because I thought I might pass out or changing dirty diapers and gagging. If you are lucky enough to have family close by or a husband home during the week, do all of us who do not have those things a favor, count your blessings. My children are amazing gifts. They teach me things every day. This week, the lesson was that even when you feel the most helpless, someone else is there depending on you.

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May Cause Bloody Lip

I have developed an ice chewing habit. I have no idea when or why this happened. The ice must be crushed. I also prefer the taste of the crushed ice from my refrigerator, specifically. No doubt a pregnancy side effect, it is proving to be annoying, sad, and dangerous. It’s annoying because I was laying in bed last night chewing ice, I prefer my ice in a glass. I got down to the end of the ice in my glass. Not even realizing that I was doing it, I was vigorously shaking the glass to get to the softer pieces at the bottom. After a few minutes, my husband came in and took the glass from me. He said, “I’m going to put more water in this.” I think that was code for “stop shaking that dang glass.”
My newly formed habit is sad because I take a tumbler full of ice with a little water in it to work with me every day. By 9:00 a.m. the water is gone. By 10:30 a.m. I have chewed all the ice in my tumbler. The rest of my day is sad. It’s hours upon hours of me dreaming about my ice. I crave it. I need to google this and see what exactly the deficiency is that is causing this extreme ice chewing issue.
My new favorite habit is dangerous for obvious reasons. Every single bite I take puts me one step closer to ruining my teeth. I’ll probably have dentures by 35. I guess that just gives me something to look forward to. Now, for the not so obvious reason that chewing ice is dangerous. Last Sunday after church, I was driving home. I had left my tumbler with ice in my car during church. The nice hot Texas sun had melted my ice to perfection. I couldn’t wait start chomping on my ice. Anyway, as I was driving, I tipped my glass back to get a lovely mouthful of melted ice. As soon as I tipped the cup, a giant clump came tunneling towards my mouth. Before I knew what had happened, my lip was busted. I looked in the rear view mirror and smiled. I had blood trickling down my teeth. I rolled my eyes. I thought long and hard about what had just happened. I closed my eyes, I took a deep breath, and I proceeded to chew my ice. Some things are worth a bloody lip.

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“You Gotta Show Them”

Today, on Mother’s Day, our church sermon was about showing our children how to be godly. It was about putting God first and always following his word. We were told that our children see through our ways. If we are simply pretending to be good people and not actually being good people than our children know.
For anyone who has known me longer than the 5 years I have been a Texan, they know that I didn’t belong to a church. They know that I did not always make good choices. They know that I did not make God a priority in my life. I can’t say that I know if it is the family I married into, or the friends I have made since living here, or the simple fact that I am now responsible for small humans that has made me want to put God first in my life. Looking back at stupid things I have done, there is no reason why I should be alive. There is no logical reason why I shouldn’t be a complete mess. I believe that God has a purpose for me. My purpose may be nothing more than to raise my children in a God loving environment. Whatever his intention, I am open to it.
Mother’s Day is a wonderful day. It reminds you that you must do your best for your children everyday. The worries and burdens of everyday can follow you around, but if you look into your child’s eyes and see the reflection of a good person, you have won half the battle. The other half of the battle is to remember to be a good person for them to look up to instead of just pretending to be one. I believe that being a mother or just a parent is a true gift. My Mother’s Day was wonderful. It was full of love, kisses and time well spent.

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Cankles and Cowboy Boots, No Bueno

What is it about a woman’s legs/ankles during pregnancy? It must be the fact that the baby is pushing down on every single thing below your bra that causes all the fluid in your body to go straight to your ankles. This is my second pregnancy, so I guess I should have expected it again. Call me crazy…but I really examined my ankles the other day. I even said to myself…”I think I can see my ankle bones…maybe they won’t swell this time.” Notice I said “I think” I can see my ankle bones. Honestly, it’s a struggle to see anything below this large watermelon someone so generously asked me if I swallowed. Now, back to the ankles/cankles. The thing that makes me the most sad is that I can no longer fit said cankles into my fabulous cowboy boots. Cowboy boots are the essential must have outfit piece here in Texas. You can wear them with a dress, you can wear them with shorts, you can wear them with jeans, or you can wear them with nothing. They are that thing that makes you feel sexy when you are walking away. They give you confidence. They say “look at me.”
I love every single pair of my boots. The problem is that my boots don’t love me when I’m pregnant. They allow for no “give.” This hurts my feelings beyond explanation.
I have some fabulous boots. The problem is that no matter how fabulous your boots are…they never look fab when you have two oversized sausages stuffed into them. Last time I was preggo, I tried shooting some of my maternity pictures in a pair of my boots. The result was hideous. If I still had facebook I would look the picture up and insert it here. Let’s be honest, I’m double L these days (large and lazy). Just take my word for it…I looked like I was in pain. My husband also had to pull them off of me!
All of this brings me back to my solution. I own a pair of boots, non-cowboy in design. They are leather and they have a large piece of elastic in the back. This piece is good and stretchy. I can wear them when I’m preggo and when I’m not. My question is this, why can’t they make a pair of cowboy boots like these other “fit all stages of my life boots” that I own? Surely, I am not the only large woman who has swelling in that area who also enjoys wearing her boots? I just want to scream!
I feel it necessary to note that no boots were injured in the writing of this post. (Hey, I’m hormonal…you never know.)

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Dark World

Do your dreams define you? Do they always push you to want more from yourself? I want more from myself everyday. I want my dream career. I want the things I write to be important to me. I want to look back one day and be proud of my accomplishments. (I don’t particularly care what anyone else thinks of them.)
I am on a journey. My journey is to be the best wife and mother I can be. It is also to be the best me I can be. I don’t want to wake up when I’m 80 and regret not trying at my career goals. All I have wanted for as long as I can remember is to “be a writer.” What does that mean exactly? I’m not sure. I’m not ashamed to say that either. It can mean so many things. It could mean that I sit at a desk every single day and have a boss or it could mean that I have a small space in my house or my yard where I go to write when I feel inspired.
Either way, I want to know that my career is mine. I’m not defined by a box. I don’t necessarily need a title. I need to live and breath for inspiration. I need things that give me a reason to want to be better. I need to remember that I can make my own rules. I may not be able to pull this off in other areas of my life…cough, cough…potty training my son, but I can do it when it comes to expressing myself through my work. I can never truly be at peace with myself if I don’t attempt to unleash my creative beast.
I’m not giving up on my dreams. It would be a dark world without them.

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Tap Dance

My body is 100% rejecting this time change. Baby #2 is kicking the crap out of me and my television is on World News. All of these factors mixed together make for a very uneasy sleeping environment.
My husband started a new job about a month ago. He now works 5 days a week. He is able to be home with us on the weekends. This is a very welcomed change from the last two years. With his old job, we averaged seeing him about twice a month. We had a very busy weekend this past weekend. A little “horsey” riding, a little “horsey” sale, and a little riding the tractor to put hay out for the “horsey.” If you can’t guess, we have a little boy who is a little more than obsessed with horses. Now that we know baby #2 is also a boy, I see my future very clear. I am surrounded by the male species. My life is going to be about dirt, horses, rodeos, basketball, and trucks. Little boys are wonderful. We are beyond blessed. I can’t believe we are halfway to meeting him. I can’t wait to see Cooper with him. He loves all the other kids at the sitter’s. He runs in every morning and gives them all hugs. I hope he takes to his little brother the same way. I was always so grateful that I had a sister. Well…not always. My sister and I have birthdays in the same month and babe #2 is due the same month as Cooper’s birthday. Mom and I were talking today about what a funny coincidence that will be if it works out that way.
I got to see our little guy again yesterday. Doc said he is measuring well and looked good. He was doing a little tap dance with his feet during the sonogram. He had his hands covering his ears. Cooper is very familiar to this particular action. For example, if mommy gets carried away with playing too many Christmas songs. He just puts his hands up to his ears and tunes it out. Let’s hope that doesn’t carry over into the teenage years.

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