Mommy Challenges

2016…go ahead and drink the wine…

What a year, what a year. Let’s put it this way…it’s was a year full of surprises, and not always the good kind. But when that happens, one hopes that there are lessons learned along the way that make you a better person. More to come on that…

It started out fairly quiet, with the usual falling asleep too early on New Year’s Eve and setting an alarm to (sort of) wake up and watch the ball drop in Times Square. Yes, I am that old! LOL

Early in the year, we were still in moving boxes and getting settled in, while I worked to bring some modern HR practices to a company seemingly still operating in the dark ages in so many ways. It was challenging and invigorating, and despite the challenges, I loved it! I had a fabulous HR staff, and felt great about the progress we were making. Anyone who knows me knows that I love my profession, and that I take pride in working to create an engaging, productive, and fun culture. The rewards are great, and in this company, I became comfortable and confident in the work we were doing.

In May of 2016, my family received a tremendous blow. My Dad, the best man I know, was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer. Even though they caught it early, it was Stage 3 because it did reach the lymph system. And yes, Dad was a smoker years ago, but quit at least 30 years ago, so this was unexpected and obviously super scary! Simply put, I am NOT ready to lose EITHER of my parents yet! They are too young, and so am I!

I went up to visit just before he started treatment, just for moral support and to spend some time…worried about how he would handle the aggressive treatment they had planned. I took Taylor with me, with the plan to lighten the mood with her infectious silliness and laughter. It was fun, even though our moods were somewhat darkened by the upcoming treatment implications.

After that, Dad went into 2 full months of very aggressive chemotherapy and radiation, and I think I just held my breath to some degree during that time. He thankfully handled the treatments well – no extreme sickness, but it did wipe him out in terms of energy. For that, I was grateful, because it could have been so much worse.

As if that wasn’t enough, on July 8th, 4 p.m., I was unceremoniously fired from my position. Apparently, according to them, I did not “fit the culture” of the organization. The real truth was that the owner’s father, an 83 year old “old school” type of leader, didn’t have an appreciation for Human Resources in general, and certainly not my commitment to a more empowering, collaborative and less dictatorial style. So just like that, I was dismissed.

If you’ve ever been fired, you know how it feels. For me, someone raised with an incredible work ethic and a history of stellar performance, it was unbelievable – and that’s an understatement. I mean, seriously – even when I was in high school and had a part time job (and probably thought about quitting just so I could go to a party) – I was never disciplined or fired – I just simply couldn’t do anything but the right thing.

It was confirmed that my departure had everything to do with the old man – not fair, but blood is thicker than water, so it was what it was. But it still was quite the blow to my confidence and made me re-evaluate where I was in my career and where I wanted it to go. It goes without saying that trusting another corporation with my livelihood was not at the top of my “desired” list, so there was a lot of soul-searching about my next career move that went on over the 2016 summer.

Honestly, considering the “shit-show” (as I affectionately call it) that was the company’s operation, there was a part of me that thought, “they are not worth my efforts and contributions!” That in itself can be empowering and positive! I can find something better! A company who will appreciate me! That will be grateful for my contributions! YES! YES! YES!

But…the hardest part of the whole thing was that I had hired a fantastic HR team – both ladies who were amazing and competent and that I grew to know as close friends – and when all this went down, I lost one of those friends. I’m not sure if it was due to fear for her position, or if I really didn’t know her as well as I thought I did, but regardless, it simply HURT. Still hurts. Badly.

So for five months, I spent my time looking for a new position – something I’ve never really had to do – and boy is that depressing. Anyone who has been in that situation knows the job search market is NOT a friendly place. But I won’t digress…let’s just say it wasn’t fun.

I spent the summer looking for a new role, while also planning trips with each of the Littles to fly up to Ohio to visit with Dad…those were bright moments in an otherwise tough times…Dad was looking tired, but was otherwise ok…and I am grateful beyond belief for the time with him, and for the individual travel time I had with each of my Littles. What fun!

To prove there are blessings that come out of trials, I will tell you that I became closer to God than I think I’ve ever been in my life! Church and prayer became a refuge, and I am really feeling the tangible comfort that comes with being closer to HIM. My best friend gave me a daily devotional book, and it is my new addiction – I don’t feel complete if I don’t have that quiet moment with God each day.

We have also made some new incredible friends in the past year since moving back to Texas, and for that we are grateful. Most were made through the Littles’ school and activities or from the actual move itself, and we know what it is to be truly a part of the community, even if there is not enough time to get together as often as we’d like. I’ve also reconnected with old friends from the last time we lived hre (you know who you are), and there’s nothing like picking up where you’ve left off after all those years. Truly a blessing!

Another true blessing was Thanksgiving this year – we drove to Ohio for a full family holiday – my sister Julie hosted – and it was really amazing. All of my siblings, their families, and Mom and Dad, all in the same place, laughing and loving….truly a gift! Dad was tuckered out, but enjoyed the food, and I got extra snuggle time with him on the couch! Yay me!

And then, like magic, upon return from the Turkey Day holiday, I received a position offer from the most amazing company – Director of People – with the best culture, beautiful offices, progressive leadership, and more…and 5 months to the day of being let go, I started my new job! God is good!

So just in time to make sure the Littles had an amazing Christmas, I was back at work! Christmas was magical, especially since all of the Littles are still enthusiastic believers! Christmas morning, it looked like a gymnastics gym that had the American Girl Doll store explode around it, mixed with LEGOs, a bike and a drone for my Little big boy!

Christmas was not without some scary drama, with Dad ending up in the hospital with possible pneumonia and other heart-related complications, but the good news is he was released shortly after the holiday and is resting at home with therapists and my mom there to support his recovery. Again, proof that God is good!

So now I am sitting here, reflecting on the lessons of the past year, and looking forward to a much more (hopefully) simpler and humbler, uneventful 2017. Lessons learned? Yes….simpler is better…don’t get too comfortable….show love to those important to you…move forward no matter what…forgive those who hurt you (and move on)…know your worth, know your strengths…don’t be afraid to ask for help…follow your dreams…make it happen…keep going even when you don’t want to…

And finally….drink the wine!  LOL

 

The tummy bug…and my boy…

The dreaded moment you know…the tummy bug has entered the house. As a mom, you want to run like hell, especially if you are anything like THIS mom – one who would rather be subject to just about anything BUT throwing up! And you just KNOW that once it enters the house, you are on the path to vomitville! Gaaah!

So that aside (and no, it hasn’t reached me yet – maybe all the excessive hand washing and loving from afar actually works), this post is more about my Little Colton and his particular, very personal tummy bug!

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It all started yesterday – I was at a professional appointment, and the Littles were with Daddy at Colton’s soccer practice. I had just called to let them know I was on my way, when Steve had to cut the call short because Little Lauren had just thrown up on the playground. Twice.

One of the blessings (if you can relate blessings to being sick) about my girls when they are sick is that they don’t really complain. They just throw up and move on – sleep, lie around, so easy! I’ve always attributed that reaction to the resilience of kids – you know, they bounce back very often more quickly than we do as grown ups!

So we managed to get through the night – the worst was over with her by bed time, but I awoke early in the morning to the sound of vomiting in the hall bathroom. Thinking immediately it was Lauren, I hopped out of bed ready to console her and help clean up any potential “misses.”

To my surprise, it was Colton. Poor little kid. One of those scenes where he’s sitting on the potty with diarrhea, and vomiting on the floor. Not too much of a mess – there really wasn’t much in his stomach (thank GOD), so we cleaned up and got him tucked in lying on the couch. That would be TWO home from school today!

As the day progressed, we dealt with more dry heaves and diarrhea, and through all this, my theory of the resiliency of kids became challenged.

Baby boy, as it turns out, is quite the drama king! Seriously, he was moaning, crying, shouting out, “Tummy bug – what do you WANT with me????” I mean, as a mom, it’s so sad to see them sick and hurting, but c’mon – how do I stop myself from nearly spitting-out-my-drink laughing when that happens? Add to that the writhing on the couch shouting, “why me?” and “I’m not sure I’m going to make it!” and you have a full-on reality show script!

In his drama, though, he is SO sweet it just makes me want to cry! Here are some quotes from the day:

“Mommy…even though I know there is nothing you can do about the tummy bug, you are my only medicine.” Cue the “awwwwwwwww!” Seriously? This kid – my love! I have my own tummy bug prevention strategy, BTW…

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He asked late in the day to get into the tubby for a nice warm bath, which of course I accommodated – who doesn’t love a warm tubby? While he was in there, he asked me to pour water over his head, face and down his back. With each pour came different remarks, including:

“That one felt like a warm snuggle…”
“That one felt like a thousand kisses…”
“That one felt like a long warm hug…”

I’ve said it before – he is the sweetest little boy I’ve ever seen in my life, and he’s gentle, kind and loving. And apparently I can add “poetic” to that list!

So even though the tummy bug is here (still hoping to escape it), I am grateful for the insight into this Little guy’s persona as I love him through it. And yes, like any good mom, I started thinking – college scholarship for drama in his future? LOL JK

Pray the bug leaves soon – but I’ll always have these memories!

It’s official! I am a “soccer mom!” And…

So it’s finally official! After dabbling in extracurricular activities with the Littles on an intermittent basis, largely because it’s been hard to get them to said activities with all the hours I’ve been working. Now, I have some time and flexibility, and so being the “overachiever” (and I say that tongue in cheek) that I am, I have jumped into that world with both feet!

I am now a soccer mom, a gymnastics mom, and soon-to-be swimmer mom! Gaaah! What are the odds I can keep up with all of this? Seriously, so far I am LOVING it! There is something truly magical about watching your little ones out there “doing their thing,” and enjoying it! Whether they are a superstar or just doing their best, I simply love it!

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I am a big believer that keeping your Littles “busy” because then they are too busy to get themselves into something naughty – thanks, Mom! My hope is also that they continue to grow into and display their very own gifts and personalities, and learn to know what it is to be on a team or what it is to excel in something that they love. Making new friends is awesome too – I love hearing them say “hey” or “bye” to each other as they come and go. Mom gushing…though this crazy schedule has just started, I look forward to the continued chaos!

Ok…enough gushing – now let me offer some musings about my observations so far…

Colton has chosen to continue with soccer, and boy is he the cutest soccer player I’ve ever seen! I love to see him all dressed in his uniform and ready for a game. I have fond memories of playing myself, and as such, I know the game and can follow along, offer “relevant” cheers and advice on what to focus on and what we need to practice. He so clearly loves to run and chase the ball and so on, so long as it’s not heading his way by another kid coming straight at him! He tends to play defense, which is very slow when our team is down the field trying to score, but the second it’s heading his way, he’s raring to go. The kicker (no pun intended)? He is afraid. Afraid of getting hit with the ball, afraid of getting hit by another kid. Just the visual that a kid is about to kick the ball in his direction is met with a flinch and even his arms up and head turned away “just in case!”

I can’t remember if that was me when I played or not. What I do remember is that I ended up quitting right about the time I started to get (hooters) – let me tell you – a soccer ball to a pre-teens ta-ta’s HURTS! LOL

So I plan to practice with him – to teach him to be a bit more aggressive with defending – and as long as he wants to play, I’ll support it of course! But in the back of my mind, I wonder if a non-contact sport may be more up his alley. You know, swimming, track…? We’ll see! But right now, he’s still the cutest little soccer player I know.

Little Lauren is starting swimming lessons in a few weeks (wow are they booked up fast here). She loves being in the pool, and she has a fierce competitive spirit! Her love language is most definitely 13445542_10206908370687657_3478816580629499935_n-2“words of affirmation” and the biggest motivation for her is praise for what she is accomplishing. She gets SO excited and SO proud of herself when you honor her accomplishments – and the giggle that follows is the most delightful thing a mom and dad can hear.

Now the other part….this child, this beautiful, gifted child….is about the most uncoordinated Little I have ever seen! She literally could fall down standing still, and we’re constantly looking 5 steps ahead of her to try to prevent an accident. It seems she is just too busy to pay attention to where she is and where she’s going. We’ve tried gymnastics with her (ooooh, too scared on that beam!), tennis (she fell and scraped knees and elbows) – and now, she’s decided she wants to try swimming! Mom says, “yea!” For those of you who don’t know, I did swim in college. Certainly wasn’t Olympic material, but I did ok. It’s a great sport – with both team and individual accomplishments – and the best part? You really can’t get hurt! Ok…tendonitis, maybe, but that’s repetitive motion.

So she starts in a few weeks with lessons on how to do the traditional strokes. She is great in the pool, but doggie paddling will never be an Olympic sport. So I am eager to see how she does…stay tuned!

And then there is Taylor…

Taylor, by far, is our most athletic child. She is strong, stocky, and fearless – which scares me quite a bit actually! She just started gymnastics and tumbling classes, which, truthfully, I had to sign her up for because I need her to know how to do these things SAFELY – because she practices all around the house! Literally cartwheels everywhere, and has been threatening to do a back handspring!

So here we go, her first class at gymnastics – a free trial class provided by the gym to give her an opportunity to see if she “likes it.” HA! I told them, “Oh, she’ll like it!” I then told the coach to keep an eye on her, because “she thinks she’s ready for Rio!” He laughed and assured me she’d be ok.

To keep a long story short, let’s just say she loved it AND aced it! Coach came out after and said, “Well, she certainly is confident!” Ya think? And he told her that if she could just master a particular bar movement (hard!), she’d be moved right up to the advanced class!

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Oh, boy…how awesome is that? I was so proud of her! And wouldn’t you know, the very next class, she mastered that move, and she’s moving up! We celebrated with ice cream at Baskin Robbins, and I gushed over her success (as all moms do, of course)!

Next, her first tumbling class – again – aced it and a different coach told her she would be moving up quickly! She is SO excited!

Of course, I’m proud – of course! However – all this moving up and gushing I think has unleashed a bit of the beast of EGO! Let me tell you – she is SO proud of herself! And she should be, don’t get me wrong. But she is super SUPER proud! Like, do a perfect cartwheel, then hands-on-hips-(kind of like this photo)-strut-around-like-the-Queen-of-Sheba-proud! And although it is so incredibly cute and funny to me when she does it, I need to reign in the “I am SO much better than anyone in my group” pride.

Yes, we’ve had talks about it. And at the end of the day, I think moving up is going to be good for her skills AND good for leveling the playing field a bit. After all – those who are already in the advanced class will likely be a bit ahead of her – something to strive for and something a bit humbling too.

Parenting is hard. You want them to have all the confidence in the world, but in all of that confidence they also have to find humility. So I am a soccer mom, a gymnastics mom, and a swimming mom. But most of all, I am a loving mom that wants and needs for them to understand ALL of the highs, lows, sportsmanship and grace of sharing their gifts with the world. I think I may learn more during all this than they will!

Wish me luck!

The Unexpected Gift

I was given the most unexpected gift on Friday. I was fired. Yes, the proverbial, out-of-the-blue, pack up your box, kind of “let go.” Now, don’t get me wrong…I know it sounds crazy to call that a gift. At first, it was shocking and disappointing and strange. After all, I’ve never been fired before! (The reason cited, by the way, was “poor culture fit.”)

Sad businesswoman carrying belongings in box after loosing job

But I’ve had the weekend to process it and have come to the conclusion that this really is a gift. For years now I’ve wanted to move from a corporate office-bound 8-5 (or 7) kind of role to one that gives me full control over my destiny and life – one in which I choose my schedule – I choose my priorities – I choose who I want to work with – and I get to balance my work and my family on my own terms.

Yes, my friends…I am moving toward becoming an Independent Consultant!

It’s a liberating feeling to know your own worth – it’s taken me a long time (46 years) but I believe I am there! Am I anxious? Yes! Do I have questions? Yes! Is the prospect a bit scary? Yes!

But what I know is that I have 20 years of progressive HR leadership experience and a TON of contacts, colleagues and acquaintances that know me and have valued my contributions! And what I has even bolstered my resolve over the past two days are the wonderful friends and colleagues (and even new acquaintances) that have reached out to offer their help and support.

I firmly believe that God is in control and puts circumstances and people in your life in His timing and in His own plan. And God is good! I’m sure I’ll have some moments in which I wonder if this is the right path for me, but for now, I am accepting this gift of time to reinvent my professional life and enjoy some quality time with my precious Littles and incredibly supportive husband.

This profession has been good to me – and I’m looking forward to being able to share my experiences with companies that will value my advice. And that, my friends, is a gift. An unexpected one, but aren’t those the best kind?

**And…shameful plug…if you know of anyone who could use some help, please share! I’ll take great care of them – I promise! 

Those moments that hurt…

We all have them. Those Mommy moments that hurt. Today, it was Lauren climbing into the car in the pickup line, sobbing because she misses Daddy, who is traveling to Chicago. That is a routine occurrence any time he travels. They are so close, so I get it, but I also can’t help but feel inside that feeling of “so what am I? Lunch meat?” Funny, I know. But unfunny too. Even though I have three, and two of them are so very attached to me, I still can’t help but wonder why the third one (or second if you consider birth order), just doesn’t seem to feel the same way about me as the other two?

I, of course, know the answer. When the girls were born, Steve and I did the best we could, each of us taking one of the twins through the night, trying to “switch it up” over concern about bonding. But their schedules and demands got the best of us, and Lauren, being the most predictable and therefore “easier,” ended up being with Daddy through the night since he had limited time off and had to return to work sooner than I.images-2

Well, for anyone who has questioned it, the bonding thing is REAL! To this day, Taylor (my nighttime infant snuggler) is glued to me like Gorilla Glue, and Lauren is a Daddy’s girl all…the…way!

And honestly, I’m happy for Steve and his relationship with Lauren – she loves him so very much and he is so wrapped around her little finger. It’s so precious, and I know that since Mommy gets most of the Littles’ lovin’, he treasures having his very own little sweetheart devoted all to him!

Then…after a long day of work and Steve traveling, I had the dinnertime blow. Meatballs and broccoli for dinner – not their favorite (the broccoli part of course). Add to that the girls’ tormenting of Colton during dinner – something the poor kid will probably have to live with his entire life – and the meltdown began. Sadly, it came out in the form of “I just want to move away and leave you all!”

Gaaaaaah!tumblr_m6afxp2Rxk1r3docro1_500 Whaaaat? You want to leave MOMMY too? When asked about where he would go, he said, “China.” So then, playing along, I asked if he knew anything about China – to which he of course said, “no.” So next, he decided he was going to Germany. Then seemed perplexed when asked how he was to pay for the airfare and his housing once he arrived.

I know…childish, right? Still hurt my feelings. Wants to leave Mommy???

And to boot, made me wonder what the drama is going to be like when they reach the hormonal teenage years! Oh, boy! I can’t imagine any of them leaving here, even when all grown up and ready to go…can’t I just keep them little?

As much as the rational part of me understands this is normal, it still somehow makes me sad to think they have these little thoughts of their own that tell me someday they will be their own person and learn to live without me in every detail of their lives. But that’s being a mommy, right? I just wish the time between infancy and the kickoff of independence was longer…much longer!

Can anyone else relate? Please share!

Oh…and BTW…all is well in the Grant House…a temporary teary meltdown – now they are jump-roping together and snacking on Easter candy – loving Little buddies once again. Sweet dreams, everyone!

 

Intentional. Purposeful. Disciplined. Now…

I have just had the most amazing few days. Austin, Texas, for my business’s annual convention. Let me start by saying this post is NOT an advertisement for my business – really. So please don’t stop reading. But I will say that if you like anything you hear, we should have a conversation. My business is something I somewhat accidentally fell into, but that has enhanced my life in so many ways over the past 2 1/2 years.

What I want to talk about today is being intentional and purposeful and disciplined about personal development.

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No matter WHO you are or WHAT you do, or WHERE you live or HOW you get through each day, you should make time to intentionally and purposefully allow yourself to grow, learn, develop, stretch, lean in, reach out. Because if you do, it WILL make you a better person and has the potential to dramatically change…your…life.

Believe me – I know it’s not always easy to do. We all get busy, and some of this stuff costs money. So in many cases, that “stuff” gets put on the back burner, and we hope that maybe our current employer, if we have one, will invest in some developmental opportunities for us! If they do, that’s great, but often those programs focus more on how you can work to help the organization than on how you can develop and learn about yourself, your dreams, your strengths – just YOU!

So – a sidebar – as I drove from Fort Worth to Austin, I couldn’t help but notice the vast Texas sky – bluer than blue, with white fluffy clouds coasting lazily by. As I looked up, all I saw was vast opportunity – the world is SO big – the sky is the limit! And the Texas sky illustrates the limitless potential of every little person living under its canopy!

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I carefully selected my breakout sessions at Convention – ones I knew could help me in ALL areas of my life – not just with my business. One was called “Live a Life You Love: Be a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You,” and was presented by a medical Doctor that realized her dream was NOT being a Doctor, but actually a writer and dancer. She literally changed her life following her “compass” of dreams – and now practices as a Physician part time but also writes AND teaches Flamenco dancing! What I took away from this session was that in all areas of life, you must be authentic, and you must find your passion, then incorporate that passion in some way, even if in a small way, into your life. Authenticity. “Real.”   ME.    Just me – who I truly am.

One of the presenter’s recommendations was to reach back into your memory and childhood, and try to remember what you wanted to “be” when you were about 8 years old. Why? Because by then, you do have a good sense for who you “are,” even if you are not mature enough to turn that into something at that time. In Christian terms, I think that would be called your “bent.” How are you wired? What do you love? What is your passion? And if you can remember that, you should incorporate that in some way into your life.

Some other advice she gave (medically and psychologically)?

  1. Get enough sleep – medically and physiologically, it’s imperative! Your entire personality can change if you are sleep deprived!
  2. Surround yourself with positivity – positive people, authentic people, people wPositiveho lift you up rather than tear you down. Does that mean a “yes” person? No! It means someone close enough to you that can tell you the truth you need to hear while also building you up. It’s a gift to have those people in your life.
  3. Eat breakfast! A big breakfast! For real! It makes your brain and body work for the day!
  4. Eat protein and green vegetables later in the day – a salad with just greens does not contain enough energy to sustain what your body needs.
  5. ….there is more….but I know you will only read so much at one time.

So many of us are pointed in a direction – well meaning, of course – and end up doing things in life we aren’t necessarily passionate about. For the record, that is not me, but I know many people who took that path. And there comes a time they wonder how they got where they are and resent the fact that their “real” self got lost along the way. Her advice? Find yourself again – then start living the life you want and that you will love, instead of tolerating a life you just want to escape.

Easy? No. Simplistic? Yes. Would love to talk with you more if you are in that place. And I can share more of what I learned. One thing I did learn is that my company is much more than the product it provides. It’s a movement…a groundswell…an amazing group of people connected by common passion for family, time and financial freedom, independent spirit, camaraderie, charity, and entrepreneurialism – and one willing to develop ME into my real self – simply and truly inspiring. If you don’t have that in your life, then we should talk.

There’s more to come, because I had more than one breakout session – and I am SO excited to share it with all of you! In the meantime, if you’re missing some of your inspiration or passion for life, look back into YOUR childhood and try to remember what YOU loved! I’d love to hear all about it!

Want to get energized? Change something…or EVERYTHING!

Started my new position Monday of this week, after a solid week of unpacking boxes filled with everything we own. My body was sore, sleep was elusive, and of course I was a hot mess (literally! It is Texas, after all!) the morning of my first day.

But I managed to pull everything together with the help of my Super Hubby of course, and got out the door on time! Littles off to school and me on my way to a different kind of school! My new company is home grown and has a lot of loyal, long-term employees – and very little organization. But you know what? That’s exactly what I know, and it’s exactly what I love! I liken it to shopping in a “mess” – a lot of work, but when you come up with that amazing deal – the ‘diamond in the ruff’ – it makes it all worthwhile and the sense of accomplishment is incredible!

My “boss,” the CEO, is a bundle of energy and goes a mile a minute – tells me that he is like a fox chasing rabbits into the rabbit holes – hard to keep him focused on one thing at a time. But he is curious, humble, eager for help and improvement, and really wants to know what a solid HR function can do for his business. I can’t even begin to tell you how refreshing that is! Combine that with the confidence that comes with having done this before, and I know we’re going to make a great team!

So the company is a Toyota Material Handling distributor – industrial equipment and such. Guy stuff, but still pretty cool! But on day 2, Steve slide-img-01called me to say he was perusing our website, and noticed that one of our branches sells golf carts – and he wants one! Like a little kid in a candy store! So I managed to visit that branch just yesterday and enjoyed seeing all the fun options should he really decide he wants one to cruise around our new neighborhood!

I had a wonderful 12 1/2 years at my previous employer, and really learned so much building that department from nothing, so it prepared me well for what I am walking into today. But I was ready for a change. You know that feeling you get when1428526178176 you feel either bored or complacent going to work (or anywhere)? In many cases that means you’ve done a great job and everything’s just running smoothly – but for someone who likes to innovate, it begins to feel stagnant.

My point in all this? If you’re feeling stagnant, make a change!
Change can be amazingly energizing! I think I am more energized about my career than I have been in 3-4 years! Change a little, change a lot! Just do SOMETHING! Your mind, body and psyche (and maybe even your pocketbook) will thank you for it!

Lauren…our little fearless leader!

This girl…our Little Lauren…our fearless leader. This girl has got11811489_10204990723427674_630832289937915816_n to be one of the sweetest little people in the world — and one of the smartest! She really “gets” things, and she rolls with things better than most adults would! And she absolutely LOVES everyone – truly cares and wants everyone to feel it! And she is such a little hugger! If she feels comfortable (and that is a loose qualifier), she will hug! And it always makes anyone we interact with feel so good! There truly needs to be more hugging in the world! People need it!

As far as our move goes, she has probably been the least affected! She has been super helpful, patient, and kind, and is an example for us all. She very much likes to be in charge, and to be helpful, and if I had to identify her love language, it would be “words of affirmation.” She loves to be helpful and be praised for it – that really makes her feel special!

The very last day in our NH home, we all gathered in the kitchen area and said a prayer of gratitude, hope, and safety for our drive, and she just had to run up to her room to look one last time – even though she rarely slept in there – and then literally hugged the cabinets in the kitchen to say goodbye…

She and her Daddy are so close – it’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen….and she talks to him about all the details of what’s happening. This morning, she woke up telling him all about our having to sign 50 papers to buy our new house, and promised to be good because of our “deal.” Our deal was that if they were good, we would go to the mall and visit the Lego Store – and boy, does she get excited about “deals!”

She is simply a delight – and a negotiator, a caregiver, and absolutely a leader. I cannot wait to see her grow into our new life in Texas. I am not worried at all that she will rise to the top! And seriously – just look at that face – love this girl!

NO room for error!

So we are on official final countdown! After all the anticipation, preparation, excitement, and so on, we’re now down to the wire! We leave – driving – next Saturday! T minus 10 days and counting! There are blessings in life, big and small, and while God has been busy with all of the bigger things in life, He has found… Read more →

The mystery of change…

It’s been a long time since we’ve had change of this magnitude in our lives. Well, that’s not really true – having the Littles was certainly a huge change, but even so, it’s been at least 6 1/2 years. Change is a funny thing. Some people love it, some people hate it. Some do it easily, some cannot deal with it at all. I would say Steve and I are a pretty good balance. We handle it pretty well, and actually look upon it as a good and needed new adventure. While it can be stressful, we do our best to remain positive and upbeat about it, and also tend to get quite a few laughs in during the process. I also tend to worry a lot, but that just motivates me to power through what needs to be done.

What is rather remarkable, though, is the way other people handle our change. Seriously, it’s so interesting! As a psych major, I guess I’ve always been intrigued by how people behave and react to certain things, and then I try to figure out where the reaction is coming from. Sometimes it’s obvious, and sometimes I’m baffled. And sometimes I’m disappointed.

really

So I thought I’d jot down some of the reactions we’ve encountered so that I will remember them the next time we have a major change, and then I won’t let myself be surprised when some of these present themselves. If you are reading this, you may recognize some of these from changes in your own life! I do believe they have more to do with the person reacting than with us personally. So here goes…

1. Genuine joy, elation, excitement! LOVE this one, of course! These are the people who we know truly love us, support us, and know the struggles and joys we’ve had over the years. It also includes our closest friends down in Texas, because they are truly excited we’re coming back!

2. Genuinely happy, but sad at the same time – the “Bittersweet!” I love this one too! These are our family and friends who are genuinely happy for us and support us but are sad that we will be leaving the area. We have made such wonderful new friends here, and I will miss all of them and the chance to build closer relationships over more time. Truly, we are grateful.

3. The “Bewildered.” The ones who just look as us like we’ve lost our minds, and ask questions like, “what do you mean, you just ‘decided’ to move?” “Who does that?” This one is kind of funny to me!

4. The “Inspired.” Those who are inspired to rethink their own situation and life and location – who suddenly realize through our experiences that they could do it too! I love when it gets people thinking!

4. The “Debbie Downers.” “Oh, it’s so hot down there!” “You know the entire state just flooded! Yes, the entire state!” “I could never live there – there are no seasons!” “Watch out for all those tornadoes!” Need I say more?

5. The “Haters.” These are the people I’m most sad for. You know, the ones who really just cannot be happy for anyone, no matter what? The ones at work that I know are secretly planning which office supplies they will confiscate from my desk once I’ve made my final exit? The ones who have absolutely nothing to say – and I mean nothing. Like they just quit talking to you. And the saddest part about this group is that they don’t know what they are missing out on! I mean, come on – we are FUN!

I think that’s all so far – if I think of more I’ll add to the comments. Onward and upward! Focusing on the positive and all of the amazing people we have in our lives that are allowing themselves to share in our joy. We are truly grateful for all of you, and look forward to long (even if long-distance) loving relationships with you! 

Join in the conversation! Register and comment! Love to hear your thoughts – any others you can think of?