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It’s fall, yall

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​Can it be? Is fall really here? In south Louisiana, there is no telling whether the weather will feel like fall, or mid summer. The past few mornings, however, have been beautiful. I have enjoyed the nice cool breezes. Something about fall makes everything better.

For some reason, the first snap of cool weather makes me want to cook. I always enjoy cooking, but I am talking about comfort foods. Is there anything better than fried pork chops and homemade mac and cheese? Of course dessert is fun, too. Last night, I made bread puddin, with an amaretto sauce.
Fall also makes me want my kids grandmother’s chicken and sausage gumbo with potato salad. Sadly, due to the flooding, she is displaced and living in Texas, right now. So many time I was intimidated by the idea of learning to make it myself. I suppose now is as good a time as any.
Other things I enjoy, this time of year, are taking the kids to the park, going to the zoo, sitting outside watching the squirrels, and standing around a bon
fire. All the simple, yet very relaxing, things are my favorite. I enjoy the slow down. Life gets too busy, and we forget to enjoy the little things.
I love riding with the car windows down, and watching the swirl of leaves behind me. Its nice to just take it all in. I don’t actually eat pumpkin, but I do love the smells of fall.
Here’s to light jackets, boots, fires surrounded by friends, good food, and fun times!

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Observation and Inspiration 

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​A while back, I received a friend request from someone I didn’t know. My first instinct is usually to delete random requests. For some reason I accepted. I figured we had enough mutual friends, so it would be fine.

Over time I’ve realized this person and their family are wonderful people. Sure, they have had struggle in their life, but they’re the first to help someone in need. This family is always gathering things for homeless. They mentor those in rough patches. It’s hard to explain how much heart you see from posts on facebook. I kind of feel strange posting a blog about someone I’ve never actually met. However, I feel compelled to talk about how selfless this person has been.

Friday, Louisiana experienced record breaking flooding. Friday, and the days following, many of our lives were shattered as homes were destroyed as the muddy water took possession of them, and everything inside. I don’t think anyone could have imagined just how devastating it would be.
I don’t want to take credit from anyone, so please understand that I realize there were many others chomping at the bit to help. I simply noticed this person, as usual was right along with them. Taking control in their own way, and guiding in the right direction. I can’t imagine how many lives were saved by folks just like this person. All I can really say, is it warmed my heart, to know there were those who put their lives at risk to save another.
I also sit back and think of their wife. Was she scared as she waited for him to return home? I bet she felt good knowing what a blessing her family was during this time. What about those beautiful babies? I hope they weren’t worried, as their daddy set out, unknowingly, being a hero to so many.
As I sat back, trying to wrap my mind around everything, I saw a post. It broke my heart. This person spent so much time saving others, then comes home to their own home flooding, and having to evacuate their own family.
I kind of expect bitterness from someone walking in those shoes. I couldn’t blame them, either. Only, there was none. There was just a post about how they’ve still got each other. 

For some reason, that has had my gears turning. I hope many get what I got from the actions of those like this person. I feel inspired to reach out more. I feel like hugging strangers. I feel like my home, Louisiana, is a special place, and I’m proud to be from here.

My Summer

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​It’s been a while since I’ve posted. It’s been so busy around here. Summer time with four children is pretty hectic. I don’t mind the chaos, it simply leaves little free time. 

My husband and I went on a week long road trip. Our stops were Bisbee and Colorado Springs. It seemed like we would never get to go, but when it finally worked out, we had the best time.
While in Bisbee, we stayed at the Bisbee Grand Hotel. I have always wanted to stay there, it’s a beautiful building. If you’ve ever been to Bisbee, you know how lovely the architecture is. If you haven’t, I urge you to at least Google. It is the coolest little town.
I also went to my mom’s grave. This time, I was ok. I tried to clean it up, as there was a broken tequila bottle and the weeds were obnoxious. My brother engraved a tile with her name and a unicorn, which was something she loved. I put that there and I’m hoping it isn’t bothered before I can make it there again. We shall see.
The other reason I love going to Arizona is that I have family there. I don’t get to see them often, but it does my heart good when I do. My great Grandma Mabel told me over and over how I look just like my mom. I doubt she knows how much that makes me smile. I adore her, very much.
After a short visit we headed to Colorado. I never realized how gorgeous it was. I’d only seen pictures, before. If I could up and move, I think that’s where I’d go, for no reason other than the scenery. Louisiana has some nice areas, but I’ve always loved the mountains. One day, I’ll live in the mountains again.
My husband wanted to go to Pikes Peak. I am glad we did. It was gorgeous. Every moment of the drive up was filled with “oohs and ahhs”. Of course, when we got to the top, it was even more amazing. Pictures do no justice to the real thing, but it made me go back to my dream of photographing nature.
We decided to stay at the Stanley Hotel. We drove through the Rocky Mountain State Park to get there. We saw a momma moose with a baby, a male moose, and hundreds of elk. It’s funny how we move forward with technology, but the most intriguing and beautiful things are not man made. I can’t stress how breathtaking some of the views were.
The best part of this trip was the amount of quality time I got with my husband. I always enjoy our adventures. It’s nice to wind down and reset. I think people get caught up in the day to day and forget to stop and appreciate the person they fell so madly in love with. I’m grateful that we get these opportunities.
Then we came home. I was so excited to see my babies. I expected more excitement on their part, but I did get hugs and smiles.
Here we are, a little over a week and school is back in session. This year, I am the mother of a high schooler. I am still mind blown. Time waits for no one. (That is a quote from Kevin Matisyn.) I also have a fourth grader. My, how she has grown up in the past few months. The two of them are turning into wonderful people.
On the toddler side, we’re going to attempt to do our preschool lessons. Last year we did it when he wanted, mostly to introduce the “sit down” and the “shh listen” stuff. This year we will follow more strictly. I’m excited about it. Kids are so smart, it amazes me. Hopefully the one year old will enjoy playing along, but I won’t expect too much.
Maybe I’ll be able to find more time to collect my thoughts and share them, once school starts. 

Forgive

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​Someone recently expressed their apologies for some past actions. Their actions were very hurtful and discouraging. I thought I’d never be able to forgive them. Oddly enough, I did forgive them, long before they asked me to. 

I used to hold a grudge for the smallest things. I used to feel as if that helped me weed out the bad people in life. Unfortunately, it didn’t. All it did was keep me angry and bitter. I spent more time thinking hateful thoughts, than they did worrying about how they made me feel. At times I aimed my anger at the wrong people. I had simply become a hateful person.
I learned to forgive and let go, for my own sanity. Forgiving someone doesn’t make you the weaker one. It actually takes a lot to swallow that pride and move forward. I used to refer to pride as a jagged little pill. Nobody likes to swallow it. However, it’s the easiest way to find peace in your own heart, mind, and life.
I don’t forget the things people do. I don’t trust people the way I did before they did these things. I just don’t actively seek payback. I don’t sit around thinking of how terrible they are. I don’t waste my precious time on them.
You can’t grow if you keep yourself chained to one incident in life. Don’t commit yourself to the person that wronged you. Forgive and let go. Move forward and freely. Grant yourself some peace of mind.

Tuesday Morning Thoughts

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There is a moment each day, just before the kids awake, where I often sit and think of how grateful I am for this life. I have been blessed with four beautiful children, and my husband is the greatest man I’ve met, besides my pawpaw. We have a beautiful home, surrounded by trees filled with birds, and a back porch to sit on. I could go on for days about the blessings in my life.
Lately I’ve noticed, it’s hard for me to write my happy thoughts. I feel like they don’t sound as well thought out, or make as much sense, as my sad thoughts. Maybe that’s because writing is more of a therapy for me. What happy person needs therapy?
My thoughts lately, are mostly about how quickly time flies. I have an, almost, fourteen year old. It seems like he was just now starting kindergarten, and now he’s going to high school. My oldest daughter is ten, and becoming the most beautiful young woman. My babies are three and one. I know, all too well, how important it is to embrace each moment. Yet, they still slip away when I blink.
There is an Kevin Matisyn song that my son and I listen to. One part of the lyrics states “time waits for no one”. These words speak so much truth. I am often, like many people, bad about putting things off. When you’re alive and well, you feel like you’ve got forever. The thing is, we dont. We have this moment, and that is all were promised. That is all were guaranteed. That is all we can count on.

Change is Good

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So far, 2016 has been life changing. I have met people. I have lost touch with a few. With some I’ve grown closer to, and some I’ve grown apart from.
Life is always changing, but this year I feel like I’m finding myself. I have found that my husband, truly is, my best friend. He listens to my girl talk. He supports me in everything, and cheers me on. He doesn’t mind telling me when I’m wrong, which is a job nobody likes.
I have become content with sitting home while my pals are out having fun. Netflix and husband time is also fun. I do get out occasionally. Girls night usually means dinner. I’m glad my girls love mexican as much as I do.
Visiting with my favorite red head often means 45 minutes at a halfway spot, just to say hello and catch up. Its funny how that little bit of time is so good for the soul. Sometimes, we can just ride to the grocery store and make memories.
I look forward to things like sitting on my grandmother’s couch chatting about nothing, yet everything. It’s interesting, how perspective changes as you age. Man, I hope she knows how much I appreciate these times.
I’ve gotten good at forgiveness and apologizing. I’ve gotten better at letting things go. Sometimes problems can’t be solved, you just have to move forward. This realization has helped me in many ways, as well as strengthened many relationships.
I’m learning to push myself. I’m not so afraid to try new things. I’m also learning to be understanding with myself. I used to be so hard on myself, that I would hold myself back. I would syke myself out. In the end I would feel silly for having considered doing whatever it was i was considering. Now, I feel like I can try anything. Maybe I’m good at something. If I’m not, that is okay.
I find that my backyard is peaceful. I enjoy listening to the birds. The trees are beautiful. Gardening is therapeutic, and I’ve come to look forward to tending to the plants.
I still despise laundry, but have finished it about three times. Yes, I said this with humor. Laundry is my reminder that i will never actually win at life.
My demon dog has become, somewhat, lovable. I even thought of letting her ride around with us when we go places. The babies seem to adore her, and she no longer bites people. This makes me like her, a little.
Overall, it’s been a good “quarter” for me. Life is good. We are blessed.

“It is well with my soul”

Pre Empty Nest Syndrome

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Our youngest slept in her big bed, and slept through the night. She has been in a portable since she was born. I am so grateful for the opportunity to sleep. Of course, I woke up a gazillion times, to listen for her cry. Isn’t that a “mom” thing? Always exhausted, then when the time for rest comes, we cant.
This is the last first time for milestones. The last baby. The last first word, step, laugh, all of it. Somehow, knowing this is the last, and this IS the last, time I will do this, I’m almost sad about it.
I’ve always, since I was far to young, been mommy. I’ve had a good bit of gap, so I’ve almost always had a baby around. I’ve had four uneventful pregnancies. It is what I’m good at, having babies and being mom.
In no way do I want more. I am just unsure of what to do next. I was sixteen when I got pregnant with my oldest child. I can’t remember having any dreams, beyond always wanting a large family. I always wanted to be a wife and mother. My fairy tale was never about glitz and glamor.
I know I have plenty of time to figure life out, before the baby is no longer a baby. I just feel the page turning, and it has me thinking. What do people, without small children, do?
I have recently found that I enjoy a few things. However, I haven’t found a thing I feel particularly good at. Maybe it’s because I still lack the time to do anything that takes practice. Part of me is afraid of that extra time. I know I will miss the chaos of chasing babies around.