Thursday, July 31, 2014

#GOODTOBEME | NEW FRIDAY SERIES


Today’s assignment: 1) write and send me a “who I am and why I’m here” post, and 2)send me 1 horizontal photo (highest-resolution possible). In return, I will assign you an upcoming Friday date for your go-live. Essentially, it’s free advertising for your blog. That's right! I'm not asking you to pay in exchange for a featured post.

Why do this?

Because it gives new readers context. Both mine and yours. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of the types of things you have or hope to publish. 

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
What topics do you write about?
Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “shitty first draft” (her language). Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you. Make sure one of the tags is “GoodToBeMe,” so other new bloggers and/or readers can find you, too.


#GoodToBeMe





Tuesday, July 29, 2014

OVERHEARING





The most genuine glimpse into kids' souls happens when you're watching – or listening – to them ad they're not even aware that you are. they're my favorite moments to catch. that's not to say that the sweetness I see and hear when they know i'm watching is any less sweet – because it's every bit as wonderful – but the tender little slices of life i just so happen to bear witness to sometimes take my breath away.





Saturday, July 26, 2014

THOUGHTS, NOT ACTIONS


It can be hard to just play sometimes. To do it just for the sake of doing it, without any particular plan or purpose. no rights, no wrongs. 

For instance, just the other day, Reef took my hand and led me to the floor. "Sit here," he says. We both laid on our bellies and amused ourselves with his Little People Farm, placed the animals in their rightful places and loudly made appropriate animal sounds on their behalf. And I was noticing him notice, and it was so sweet to just be happy in our cycle of play time -- without any need to teach, direct or correct. He was bouncing his animals on top of the farm and on top of one another. He obviously wanted to be silly. And it's crazy how, even knowing that, I could still feel the voice inside me thinking maybe I should direct him back. 

I never want these thoughts to surface in our play time and even still I catch the thoughts swirling in my head. But it made me realize that, for the most part, these impulses we feel as parents to direct and correct and quiz comes from a place of us thinking that our babies think that we're engaged with the process, with them. That it's out way of showing them that we're all in. But if you step back for a second, it's so crystal clear that just being there without any agenda or goal in mind is us all in to our babies.

Reef didn't want to be quizzed about what each animal was or told where they go. He was feeling totally connected to his sweet imagination without any input from me, other than making animal noises. He's got it all figured out in play -- there's no needs for anyone to step in and bug him or distract or direct. When he gets going on his thing, his own discovery and play, he's doing just what he should be doing, exactly as he should be doing it. In his way. And sometimes that can be tricky for me, when he's in his own rad world, content and doing his own thing, that sometimes I want to join him and find our all about it. But ironically, my trying to enter his world is the very thing that would take him out of it.

Anyways, it's just interesting -- the noticing. noticing what he's doing and how content he is to be doing it, and noticing where my mind has a tendency to go. And the finding the space where I can be aware of my thoughts but just leave them as that: thoughts, not actions.





Friday, July 25, 2014

THE BEST FIRST DATE






Thursday, July 24, 2014

THREE



It’s been three years since you’ve been outside of my womb, but you’ve been in my heart for 3 years and 9 months.

It’s been three years since I held you in my arms for the first time and couldn’t believe I was touching you with my hands, for real. You were so tiny and perfect on that very first day.

It’s been three years since God trusted us enough to give to us a new life to mold, a heart to hold, and a responsibility weightier than another other, to fulfill.

These past three years, Reef, I have become a better, kinder, more thoughtful, happier, more centered, more careful, grounded person. I see everything differently. I appreciate everything more. Because of YOU. FOR you. As a friend of our's said, having a child makes you “see things rightly.”

You have accomplished so much in the short time you’ve been here, Reef. Somehow, I knew you would, but seeing it all happen before my very own eyes has been an experience like no other. Seeing you become has been a testament to God’s Creation for my soul.

During these years of your life on earth, my son, you have cheated (sickness can’t stop you), stolen (Mommy and Daddy's hearts) and lied (your face isn’t the cutest possible…because it always gets more adorable tomorrow).

You make your Momma so happy, so alive. You and your siblings have topped every other accomplishment, event, situation, or experience I’ve ever had. There is nothing else in my past that I can compare to the glory that is being your mother.

You fill me up, Reef. I had so many expectations and curiosities about you. You blew them all away, and the moment I saw you with my eyes the first time, I knew that I would give my life for you, without question, in an instant.

That will never change.

I love you. Happy 3rd Birthday, my son.





Wednesday, July 23, 2014

EVENT | 07.19.14


Courtesy of Mudpie Photography TX





Tuesday, July 22, 2014

{guest post} THE LITTLE THINGS | DIY PHONE CASE


Hi there! I'm Kelly from The Little Things and I'm so thrilled to be in All My Happy Endings today to share with you a fun and easy DIY.

I love to change my phone case.  To suit my mood, the season, or just because I feel like it!  Since this can get expensive, I've had to get crafty.  Here is one of my latest creations.

What You'll Need: Greeting Card, Clear Phone Case, Scissors, Exacto Knife


Trace the outline of your phone onto the greeting card and then, using the clear case, trace the camera hole.  Not sure where to get a clear case?  I find mine at Hobby Lobby in the DIY apparel section and you can also find a lot on Etsy and Amazon.


Using the scissors, cut out the phone outline and, using the Exacto knife, cut out the camera hole.  Place the cutout in the case and onto your phone and you're ready to go!


You can follow Kelly via all her social networks:





Monday, July 21, 2014

POWER OF THE TONGUE


Proverbs 18 reminds us that death and life are in the power of the tongue. It wields power.

A single phrase, a single sentence, a single response, a single conversation can stay with us for a lifetime. Many of us can pinpoint a single exchange, whether for good or evil, that has stayed with us through the years.

Words. Powerful words. Used as either a blessing or a curse.

I know firsthand the significance which a simple, verbal blessing creates in one’s life. I can remember, from my children, that I either woke or went to sleep with a verbal blessing from my father. It was a constant affirmation of my worth in the eyes of my father.

My dad didn't prioritize his time well. I will be the first to say he was a workaholic. But he set apart time in the midst of his hectic day to encourage me, teach me, and love me. I knew I was valued and loved by my father, and this in turn profoundly affected how I viewed my heavenly Father. What a rare, treasured gift I was given, one which I desired to pass onto our children.

Whether it’s planning an intentional evening with a child to mark an important rite of passage, tucking them into bed or writing a note in his/her lunch, the power to wield words of blessing impacts His kingdom. It’s a humbling privilege to know that in the midst of my oh so messy life and struggles as a mom, the Lord uses me to do His work.

I strive to use simple words with a simple message.  No theology degree needed. Just a heart to use the scripture to pour truth over our children, spouses, friends and loved ones.


Words matter. Words mark. Wield them well.





Friday, July 18, 2014

{coffee talk} BE VULNERABLE

 

The vulnerability of parenthood is the thing I come back to again and again. No one or no thing can prepare you for the way it changes everything. I have written about it a thousand different ways on the pages of this blog. 
But I’ve also been comforted that this is a universal experience. That others nod in agreement when I talk about it with friends. That readers here tell me they know exactly what I mean. 
 I love this quote by C.S. Lewis: 
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” 

Be vulnerable. It feels like the perfect war cry for parenting. In all we give and do and experience with our children, be vulnerable…be brave. We have second guessed ourselves a thousand times. We have been asked to do things we didn’t think we were strong enough to do. We have been overwhelmed and over the moon. Climbed mountains and nearly drowned in this experience. But we keep going. 

Bravery is relative. Some of us on this journey have had to be braver than others. But parenthood asks us all to take up the challenge. It takes from us more than we expect and rewards us beyond our wildest expectations. 




Thursday, July 17, 2014

MADE FOR SUMMER



3 seasons of my childhood are a blur.

I was made for summer.

Summer is stitched through me in whirling, dizzying loops.

I’m still the little girl slipping down the soapy yard on salvaged plastic garbage bags. I am chocolate ice in my favorite Strawberry Shortcake bowl. I’m the girl screaming lyrics while swinging on the rusty metal swing set. I’m stacks of stickers to swap with friends while sitting in the tree my mother planted out in the front yard before I was born. I am pig-tails, barefoot and sun-tan oil. I’m fireflies at dusk.

Only now, I’m also 36 years old with a marriage, a mortgage, four children who light up my days and evenings with the pulsing emotional current of real life.

An average summer day now finds me negotiating, managing, organizing, entertaining, refereeing, and wiping up more spills and messes than I ever remember making back when I was on the “giving” end of this equation.

I’ll be honest, those were the good ol’ days but this life right here is where the best of me lives.

I want to give my kids the gift of all I had. The ability to embrace summer. All I want to hear the slamming of doors as children run out to play. I am enjoying the tangle of bicycles and scooters and pogo sticks in my driveway. Paired with the symphony of laughter and squeals. Their heads sweaty.

People say the glory days are over and that our children will suffer with this ever-changing high-technological world. But honestly, the details are different but the memories seem the same.

In between playing judge and jury, life coach and line cook; I’ll stop to remember I’m still that little girl with nose plugs standing at the end of the high dive when I barely know how to swim.

This life is an adventure. It’s oh so good to us.
Some things change but who God made us to be never does.





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