Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blessing #123- Skydiving video

Monday, I mentioned that I was going skydiving for my birthday.  Well, I actually went through with it, and I'm so glad I did!

I'm going to write about the experience later this week, but for now, I have the video. 

During freefall, in case you wonder, I mouth the words, "I love you Shad. I love you Brandon. I love you Collin, I'm thirrrrrrrty!"

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blessing #122 - My 30th Birthday, and the 10th Birthday Adventure

Hold on one second.....

Just one minute....

I'll be ready in a second....

I've just got to put on my dacin' shoes to do my happy dance because.....


Yes, let the celebration begin. I'm thirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrty.  (Sorry, I'm still having a little trouble saying it.) 

Every year on my birthday we have a birthday adventure.  In the past we have explored Baltimore, Washington DC, the beach, and amish country.  However this year I needed something bigger.  I am 30 after all.  It's a multiple of 10.  It deserves to be celebrated.

I started thinking of the best way to celebrate this birthday over 6 months ago (Yes, I plan that far ahead).  Every single time I thought of celebrating my 30th only one activity popped in my head.  Only one adventure would do for this year....skydiving.

Yes, jumping out of a plane is just the cure for my third life crisis.

When I turned 20, my dad arranged for me to fly in a go cart with a fan and parachute on the back. I know there is a more technical term, but I can't think of it right now. Here's a picture of one.

It was absolutely amazing to be that high in the air with hardly any barriers or restraints.
That was the first birthday I did a "birthday adventure."  I guess for my 30th, I wanted to follow the same theme, and skydiving seemed to fit.

Am I scared? Yes! Terrified! I really don't like to fly and I have ended up in tears every time I have flown.  Shad flew with me once, and immediately vowed never to fly with me again because I was such a wreck.  So yes, I'm scared.  In fact, right before I opened up blogger to write this post, one of the headlines on yahoo said, "Grandma's Terrifying Skydive." Great! That's just what I want to see before I jump.

As scared as I am, I know if I don't do this, I will always regret it.

So around 11:00 AM today, my plan is to welcome this new decade of life much like I began my first decade, with arms wide open, screaming to the top of my lungs, and living life to it's absolute fullest. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Curse #41 - The big 3-0

What time is it? birthday week, BIRTHDAY WEEK!

What time is it? birthday week, my BIRTHDAY WEEEEEK!

Yes, it's that time again.  The time when I randomly yell, "It's my birthday!"  all day long.  The time when I find a way to tell random strangers, "It's my birthday." The time when Shad and the boys have to exercise great patience with me and my birthday self. 

However, this year is a little different. This year I'm turning thirty.


The big 3-0.

 Goodbye 20's. Welcome to adulthood, you're thirty. 

Yes, I have some issues with turning thirty.  Now, I know what you are tempted to say, "Stephanie, it's just a number."

Just a number.


Do you know who I am?  I am the woman was so excited to turn 29 simply because it was a prime number.  Pythagoras put it best when he said, "All is number." 

I do have issues with turning thirty because in my mind, thirty has always been the "adult age."  So in my mind, I am now an adult.  As if the husband and two kids didn't clue me in, 30 seems to yell at me, "You're an adult."

It's not the fact that I am getting older that bothers me, it's the fact that I'm getting older and still a big mess. 

I really hoped by the time I turned thirty I would have my act together.  I'm about to be 30 and I still struggle to make my bed everyday.  I really thought that by the time I turned thirty I would have that down. 

I thought I would be farther along and have it more "together" by the time I turned 30.  I've really struggled with this for several months.  I guess I've been in the middle of a third life crisis (sorry I couldn't resist making that math joke), but here lately I've come to terms with the whole 30 thing.  I've made my peace and I'm ready to embrace 30 with open arms. 

So what if I don't have it all together.  So what if I am not as far as I thought I would be. I'm here! I made it, and that is worth celebrating. 

Besides, next year I turn 31, and it's prime. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Blessing #121 - Marking his Territory

In April, I started a short term tutoring job.  For the next month, I'm going into a local high school through the tutoring company I work for to get students that need it, ready for state testing. 

On my first day, I couldn't help but be nervous.  As I rushed out the door to get the boys to the sitter,  Collin walked ahead of me while I closed the door.  In those few seconds, he found the one mud puddle in our entire yard.  He jumped right in, and even dipped his alligator in the mess. 

In my calm and collected state of mind, I said, "Are you kidding me? Do not get me dirty!"  We ran inside, and I quickly changed him, and switched out his alligator. I was very careful to make sure he didn't tag me with his mud because I had on a white shirt. 

Having survived that crisis, I dropped the boys off at the sitter, and rushed into work flustered and still nervous.  After talking to my boss for a few minutes, she looked at me and said, "You have something in the middle of your shirt."  I looked down and realized Collin had tagged me after all.  I was so careful to miss the mud, but he still tagged me right in the middle of my shirt with the biscuit he was eating.

Saturday, I was cleaning one of the offices at the farm when I saw something red on my wrists.  At first I thought I may have cut myself, but then I realized Collin had tagged me before I left the house.  This time his weapon of choice was the red sucker he was eating. 

Sunday, our church took mother and child photos as a gift to all the moms.  Knowing we were getting ready for pictures, I took extra time fixin' myself up, and making sure my outfit looked nice.  Two minutes before we were supposed to leave, Collin walked up and gave me what I though was a hug.  In reality, he was blowing his nose on my dark navy skirt.  Tagged again. 

 Why? Why? Does this child seem to tag me every time I leave the house. 

I've come up with a theory.  I've watched enough Animal Planet to know that many animals like to mark their territory.  it's their way of saying, "This is mine.  Bug off!" Maybe that's what Collin is doing.  Maybe he wants everyone to know, "That's my Mommy!"

Someday, he will not want to walk within ten feet of me, but now he has to tag me to prove I'm his Mommy (or at least that's how I see it).  I like that perspective.  Now, the next time I have a chocolate hand print on my shirt, slobber on my shoulder, or juice on my sweater  I will have to smile....after I break out the spot remover. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blessing #120 - Mother's Day

I had a fantastic Mother's Day! All three of my guys really made me feel special and appreciated.  One of the most special parts of my day was the card that they got for me. 

Shad and B picked out the perfect card for me.  My "word of the year" for my 29th year was "shine," and they found a card that talked about my love shining through.

If it couldn't get better, the card played "You are the Sunshine of my Life" by Stevie Wonder.  I am a HUGE Stevie Wonder fan.  As soon as B heard the song on the card, he insisted that they get that card.  I'm sure he recognized it from me playing it all the time. 

I loved the card, and when I opened it up, I realized that Shad had asked B a bunch of questions about me.  Here are a few of them...

Who is Mommy's favorite person? Me...(long pause)...and Collin

What is Mommy's favorite t.v. show? The Duggars

What is Mommy's favorite book? the Bible

What is Mommy's favorite hobby? wrestling with me and Collin

What is Mommy's favorite quote? I love you

What are Mommy's rule? No hit, no spit, no brake, wrestle softly

What is Mommy's favorite time of day? the morning with her boys

What do you think of when you hear the word Mommy? It really makes me happy

What do you miss when Mommy has to be somewhere else? hugs and kisses

What do you want to tell Mommy?  That I love her and I want to tell her that I want to get her a new phone with Angry Birds.  You make me feel good and I love your cheese biscuits. 

I cried when I read this card.  So often as a mom, I feel like a failure.  I guess it comes with the territory, but Shad and B showed me that B is really getting the important thing, that I love him.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Blessing #119 - Motherhood Lessons in a Goodwill

Shortly after I found out Collin was going to be a boy, it started, and over the past year, many strangers...keyword STRANGERS.....have made comments like,

Do you want a girl?

Two boys!

You can always try again!

Two boys, that's so sad.

Yes, that last one really happened.  After the stranger in Goodwill said that, I looked at her like she was crazy.  Then she said, "It's so SAD that you can't buy the girls clothes in this store." 

I don't know what it is.  It's not like we are out of the ordinary with 19 kids or something.  It's a normal two kid family, but I guess people have a one boy one girl ideal in their mind. 

A few months ago, I was in Goodwill (again) an older woman walked by, and said, "Oh, you must be a very loved woman."  I looked up at her and could not help the ginormous smile across my face as I answered, "Yes, I am!" She went on, "No one loves quite like little boys can." 

I have no idea who she was.  I never even got her name, or the story of how she got her unique perspective. 

Just a few lines, but months later, I am still thinking of the words of this stranger.  I think of them on my toughest days, when I lose my perspective...

"You must be a very loved woman. No one loves quite like little boys can."

Monday, May 7, 2012

Curse #40 - The Gypsies

In honor of Mother's Day this Sunday (hint, hint all you guys that need to go get a card and or present), this week's posts are all about motherhood.

My mom and I are very different.  My mom is much more cautious than I am.  Growing up, she wouldn't let me have those rubber balls in the 25 cent machines because, "You might swallow them," but I was TWELVE! However, she did have to Heimlich a gumdrop out of me once, so I guess she was a little jumpy.

Thanks to the movie Psycho, she still has trouble taking a shower in an empty house.

Every time my dad went out of town, she would put the taters and onions box in front of the door.  Yes, in my mom's mind, the robber may be able to break the dead bolt, but he won't get through the taters and onions box. 

Every year, my cautious mom and the free spirited me would meet head to head in an arguement.  There was one magical week when the carnival would roll into town.  All of  Commerce seemed excited as they watch the workers set up all the rides. On opening night, all the kids lined up to buy their tickets for the tilt-a-whirl, the zipper, and the gravitron....all the kids except me. 

I could never go to carnival because as my mom put it, "Carnivals! Those gypsies set up the carnivals."

Now, I don't exactly know who "the gypsies" were, but my mom, a normally non-prejudiced woman, does not like that whole people group, at all.  She would always say, "Do you see how fast they put those rides up! All you need is one loose bolt!"

Now, every time there is a news report about anyone getting hurt on a carnival ride, you know my mom is going to see it, and you'd better bet my mom is going to tell me about it and say, "Did you hear about that.  I told you.  Gypsies!"

Although, I am not nearly as cautious as my mom, I still don't go to carnivals.  Did some of my mom's cautiousness rub off on me? No.  Do I respect my mom just that much? Yes...but no. 

I know the moment I go to a carnival and get on that ride, it will break, and I know that I will get some kind of injury that puts me in the hospital, unable to speak, and  because my mom loves me so much I know for sure she will show up at that hospital, and because no one likes a good "I told you so," like my mom does, I know the first words out of her mouth will be, "I told you.  It's those gypsy rides,"  and I refuse...REFUSE to let her be right!  (sorry for the run on)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Curse #39 - Sermon Tools

Sometimes having a dad that's a pastor really stinks!

For the most part, I have always loved that my dad is a pastor.  He's a good person, dad, and he really seeks God in his life, but there is one part of having a dad for a pastor that I don't like. 

No one, NO ONE can give a better guilt trip than a dad that's a pastor.

When I was 15, I had a spin out in our car and refused to drive after the experience.  After a couple of years of me being afraid, my dad preached a message on facing fear.  After church as we were walking out to the car, he handed me the keys and told me to drive home.  I guess he wanted me to practice what he preached.

A few years ago, I started working towards getting my master's degree.  After Collin was born, I took a break, and that "break" has now lasted a year and a half. 

For the past month, my parents have been "encouraging" me to start back up and finish up my degree, but I've really been dragging my feet, and haven't yet seen the light.

My dad has made it his mission to make sure I finish my degree, and he is using his almost 30 years of preparing sermons, counseling people, and hearing every excuse in the book to do it. 

Every time he says anything about it, I just tell him, "When I work my courage up, I'll do it." That phrase has worked for several weeks, but yesterday, my dad caught on to me, and used every tool he uses in his sermons against me. 

Sermon Tool #1 - Reflective Questions

dad: Stephanie, you say that you have to work your courage up, just what are you afraid of.

me: I don't know dad.  It's just scary.

dad: What makes this scary?

me: I don't know.  I think I may have failed the last class I took right before Collin was born, and I'm afraid to face that. 

Sermon Tool #2 - Personal Story

dad: I felt the same way when I failed 10th grade biology, but we have to face what has happened. 

me: Yes.  I guess.

Sermon Tool #3 - Quotes

dad: That's right, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself.  Who said that? Roosevelt?

me: Yes, Roosevelt said that. 

Sermon Tool #4 - Bible Story Reference

dad: You have been given an amazing opportunity and you are going to be held accountable for how you acted on this. (parable of the talents reference)

me: I know. 

My dad cut me a little slack and did not use ever sermon tool he had. 

 Sermon Tool #5 - Quote a Bible verse

 He did not use this one on me even though he is a walking concordance.

 Sermon Tool #6  Alliterated Three Point Outline

 I think he didn't use this one because I would have caught on after the second point.  I guess he knows that he has to be sneaky about his "sermons" to me. 

If I don't get on the whole master's thing, he will probably break out the big guns with...

 Sermon Tool #7 - The Altar Call.

This conversation has not happened yet, but I imagine it will sound like this. 

dad: You need to face your fears and get this done.  Now, let's all bow our heads. 

me: What?

dad: If you are here today, and you have a fear you need to face with an uplifted hand you are saying "Preacher, I need to face my fears."

me: Seriously?

dad: I see that hand.

me: Dad! #1 - I didn't raise my hand, and #2 we are on the phone you can't even see me. 

dad: I see that other hand.

me: What's that sound. Is that Mom singing "Just As I am ?"