Monday, July 6, 2015

scrubbing in

One of my ridiculous pastimes for the past month or so, I'll reluctantly admit, has been watching "Grey's Anatomy" seasons 3-4 from the library.

I decided right before school let out that I wanted a new diversion. I chose that since I quit watching the show about that time because our children's bedtimes began interfering about then. (We've never had DVR up until now.) I've been able to begin watching it again this season since we can record it now, and I've been so confused on many plot lines and characters. I figured it was time to catch up.

I don't know why I love the show, but I do. I have a low tolerance for drama and cheesy romance entertainment, but for some reason I'm drawn to this one. I have been since they began showing commercials for it the year it began. I got hooked quickly. Maybe it's the medical side of things. Deep down I have always wanted to be a doctor. I've always enjoyed medical shows.

Now that I'm re-familiarizing myself with the show, something has struck me that I hadn't noticed in the years that I've been watching it. I'm both fascinated and inspired by it.

When the doctors' pagers go off, they trip over each other to go running toward the action.

It made me recall my career days as a congressional staffer. Honestly, when my line rang, I was rarely excited. It was more often than not a new fire to put out or an angry constituent to give an ear to. Someone asking the impossible of me and my Member. I loved my job, but it was high-stress. I don't ever consider myself as someone who ran toward the action. I liked to maintain peace and harmony.

I draw the same parallel in my life stage as a mother right now. When my "pager goes off":

-an argument between kids needs my mediation
-a catastrophic spill begs to be cleaned up
-the tiny humans in my home declare an unfairness uprising
-a monumental mess is made
-ill behavior springs up to correct with appropriate wisdom, or
-something as simple as the hundreds of interruptions to my carefully planned day that make me bristle on the outside and want to scream on the inside

it could be anything,

my instinct is not to run toward the action. If I'm honest with myself, I'd rather hide from it and not deal with it.

(Yes, there are times when it is best for Mom to hang back and let the children take ownership of the conflict resolution. This takes wisdom to know when and how. Mothering is delicate, intense work.)

Why would a doctor run toward the action, I've been asking myself? Why would they dive head-first into the hard work?

-They are eager to learn and hone their surgical skills
-They desire to excel
-They desire to be known for their excellence
-They desire to be known for their determination
-They desire to be known for their diligence
-They desire to be known for their faithfulness

Doesn't this sound a lot like the Christian life? Living in such a way that brings glory and excellence to God's name?

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men..." Colossians 3:23

"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master." Matthew 25:21

"shepherd the flock of God that is among you..." 1 Peter 5:2

So observing the doctors at Seattle Grace (or whatever it's called now) has taught me something about my attitude toward mothering. I don't want to be the kind of mother who tolerates weakness from herself; who shrinks away from conflict and difficulty.

Rather, I want to be known for all of these things listed above. I want to be known as obedient and faithful in my boss' eyes (in my case, the Lord). I want to press in when  moments escalate and become difficult. I want to practice my craft and get more and more skilled. I want to be more intentional about my time with my family. I want to grow more and more in wisdom in my current job. I want to mother with increasing and confidence each day.

These things grow increasingly more important as we begin to enter the critical pre-adolescent stages. These years require a strong, confident, consistent mother.

So when my "pager goes off", I'm going to practice running toward the action and being the first to scrub in.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


After school yesterday, we enjoyed the overcast dry day and played outside. When J got home and joined me in sitting, drink In hand, and watching our kids play, I looked down and smiled at our clothing choices. 

Blue oxfords and khakis forever! ;)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Doodlebug Babysitter

We've had so much rain here the past few weeks. I'm not a huge fan of rainy days; I'm definitely a sunny weather girl. I will not complain or grumble about it, though...everything is so green here as a result, and it reminds me of the beautiful East Texas that I miss so much. I know that in a few short weeks it'll be dry, hot and brown around here, and I'm glad I have this brief beautiful rainy season to fill my heart up with in the meantime.

Yesterday the rain held off in the afternoon, so we were able to play outside after school. It was wonderful to be out in the fresh air! The kids are very much into playing with roly polies these days, and Stu charged me with babysitting his in a frisbee while he was off on his bike and scooter.

Wife, mom. daughter. niece. friend. cook, house cleaner, laundry-doer, kid taxi-driver, homework helper, story-reader...

...and doodlebug-babysitter.

Anytime, my boy, any time!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lessons from The Mockingbird Nest

The last several days when we've been outside, we've noticed some baby mockingbirds in a nest in our live oak tree out front. We've had fun watching mama bird take care of her little ones, and we hear them chirping and squawking with excitement every time mama returns with food. 

Yesterday, J noticed the babies were finally out of the nest and standing on branches in the tree getting flying lessons! He brought us all outside when he got home from work so we could see. I got some good pictures of them with my point and shoot camera, and Stu wanted to get pictures, too. So I gave him my camera.

He got some really good ones! J stepped in to help him find the birds so he could zoom in.

It's been nice to watch the birds grow and develop. It's a timely picture during this Mother's Day season, as well. The babies have been a great reminder for me to slow down and enjoy these challenging days with small children. The mama birds go through the same cycle that human mothers do, devoting all their time and energy to them, but in a matter of short weeks rather than years. I have several years before my nest empties, and one day I will miss this chaotic life.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

First School Program

I adore a good school program. Rosie had our first one at our new school last night! It was her grade level's night to perform at the PTA meeting, and the theme was summer.

All the kids were dressed in summer clothes. She's on the front row above on the stage in the bright pink shorts and black top toward the left center.

All the songs were summer-related like "Take Me Out to The Ballgame", "Sweet Caroline". "Won't You Go Swimming With Me", and a few others I can't remember.

She had a couple of parts where she got to go out in a small group and perform. The first time she had goggles on, and

the second time she wore an inner tube!

I love to see our kids performing and shining. Rosie really loves to sing, and I do think she has a lovely voice for her age. I wonder where that voice will take her in life?!

I'm not a big crier, but I have a hard time when I'm watching sweet kids perform and have fun.

This show was a fun summer celebration! We're in the final countdown!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Still More Celebration

Stu's birthday celebration continued into this week with a visit from Grandpa on Monday!  He arrived in the afternoon, and we went out for a fried chicken lunch just he and i. I'd been craving some good fried chicken before he suggested it!

He came with me to pick up the kids, and he took us all out for Stu's birthday dinner that evening. Since we missed our chance to have Red Lobster on Friday, he took us there. 

The kids got to do their favorite thing there...visit the lobsters!

Daddy brought him a new car play mat for inside the house and some Spider Man roller skates for outside. He brought the girls new Barbie dolls and outfits.

After dinner, he came back home with us so we could eat the cake he brought for Stu's birthday.

We haven't had birthday parties for the kids in a couple of years, but our wonderful families make them feel so, so loved and celebrated! We are so grateful for all of the cards, gifts and visits from everyone.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

Mother's Day brings about mixed emotions for me. It's not my favorite day. I've learned over the years to downplay it and not have expectations. I try to treat it like a normal day.

It seems as though the week leading up to Mother's Day tends to be rough as well just in general as far as behavior and relationships with my kids. There just seem to be more challenges that week for some reason. This week was no different.

We had a great day, though, and this weekend was a great way to cap off a rough week. The kids woke me up and presented me with the sweetest homemade cards. That's my favorite thing ever. 

We went to church in the morning and were out the door on time, which was a gift in and of itself. I can never seem to get us out the door on Sundays! I was nervous since this is a new church. I never know what to expect on Mother's Day at churches, and I prefer a service that doesn't make a fuss over moms or do a mothers-specific message. I was pleased that this new church we're at didn't mention Mother's Day but once, and only briefly! The message was just a continuation of our current series, thankfully. They handed all the moms a carnation as we left church, which was a nice treat since those are my favorite. I got a white one.

Sitting with my sweet girls at church.

I gave myself the gift of having a plan for lunch already in place to make less work for myself. We had a nice egg salad lunch together at home.

After lunch, we all sat outside on the back deck and watched the kids play with their roly-poly habitats they've been building. It's my favorite kind of afternoon ever. I love it when we're all together outside.

J took a nap in the afternoon, and I worked on dishes and laundry while the kids continued to play. I had the choice to go out for either lunch or dinner, and I chose dinner. I like not having to clean up a meal at the end of the day!

We went out to Taco Cabana and had a great meal. Then we went off to the grocery store for some staples for our week.

At home later, we played together as we got ready for bed.

I'm rarely in pictures, so it's coincidental that I ended up in one on Mother's Day.

Hanging out with my family is the best gift I could ever get.