Three Month Recap

Wow. July 3rd was a long time ago. A lot has happened since then. A lot. Here’s the highlights:

Kendal turned 8!

birthday

We celebrated the 4th in style (as per usual!)

4thofjuly

The girls spent a week going to Zoo Camp in the morning and VBS in the evening. I even helped out with VBS which was so much fun, energizing, and impactful for everyone involved – kids (over 500 attended!) and adults!

We went on a quick family vacation to Kansas City before school started. We went to the zoo, Science City,  the TRex Cafe and a Royals game.

Then school started and Kendal went to Mrs Umvarsky’s third-grade class

14037642_10153871130822799_1689375567_o

I decided I needed more on my plate and started a network marketing business with Arbonne. For the time being I decided to not quit my full time job, but work it along side everything else we have going on. It’s an amazing company that allows me to follow my passion, which is people; helping them and educating them and meeting new people along the way. The goal is to one day make it my full-time gig, be paid well for it, and give Matt the option to look for something he loves and that allows him to be home with the family more.

I also agreed to do a talk at Ignite Lincoln. I opted for a humorous topic discussing the 10 Things I Do Behind My Kids’ Backs. If  you care to check it out you can see my five minute talk here.

We started working on our fitness and joined a kickball league as a family. The girls both started dance – Camryn’s first year, and Kendal did a cheer camp through the YMCA.

I also ran in my fifth Market to Market relay with Team Lamesauce.

And celebrated my 10 year workiversary with Firespring.

10years

That’s the highlight reel of our life the last few months. Still alive, still busy, still making the best of it!

 

She Is

She is the kindest spirit, the most tender heart.

She loves fiercely, learns easily, laughs often.

She is an artist, a maker, and a musician.

She is the most loyal friend, sister, daughter.

She is selfless and giving, compassionate, and kind.

She’s a worrier. She’s cautious. She’s wise.

She is eight going on eighteen with little patience for time.

She made me a mother and us a family.

She is the best gift.

 

Happy Birthday, Kendal Claire

 

God’s Country

It had been too long since I’d visited the sandhills of Nebraska. I had nearly forgotten the unassuming beauty that they hold.

2016-06-25 20.37.09

I’d forgotten the peace and contentment that lives there.

2016-06-25 20.34.13 HDR

I’d forgotten how vast the horizon is.

2016-06-25 20.40.56-1

I’d forgotten how much I love to visit this place and how good it is for the soul.

Moments That Matter

There’s a good majority of the time, in our day-to-day routine, that life is just happening. We just go about living and doing and existing as we normally do. There’s nothing of any real significance or importance to mark the days or the moments – we just wash, rinse, repeat.

When I think about it like that, it makes me feel like a shitbag of mother and wife. It makes me feel like my kids feel like I’m choosing to clean the toilets, do the laundry, cook dinner, insert any housekeeping chore that is inevitably always waiting for me, over them. I feel bad (and often annoyed) when they want me play with them but the house hasn’t been dusted in weeks and it’s getting hard to see the color of the couch cushions through all the pet hair. I feel guilty for prioritizing cleanliness over their childhood.

“Play with your sister.” I suggest, but of course in those moments they never want to play the same thing or one ends up crying after 5 minutes because the other one hit her or wouldn’t share or was playing the wrong way. They then end up lost in the mindless abyss of YouTube kids videos on their tablet for hours, and of course I let them, because it’s seemingly the only way I can get stuff done. Yet another parenting win!

I’ve found it’s when you get out of your routine, away from the day-to-day, get in the car and go somewhere kind of away, that fortunately or unfortunately, those moments that matter seem to happen. When there’s fewer distractions and fewer demands, when you have the gift of time to spend just being together, those are the moments you remember.

We had a chance to get away over the weekend. Matt’s band played in Broken Bow (or Broken Bones as Camryn called it), where he lived for a few years earlier in his life and where his family still has some connections. It’s why Rob suggested we make a weekend out of it and take the girls, stay in a hotel, go watch the band, and visit some old friends. My expectations weren’t real high going into Saturday – I mean, Broken Bow isn’t a real get away destination, but it ended up being one of those weekends you look back on and just smile at all of the moments that meant something.

It was all of the simple, beautiful moments that I didn’t expect. It was the moments that just happened because we had time and we had each other. It was the girls first  hot tub experience. It was cuddling a tired Camryn until she fell asleep in my arms, band playing an all. It was a game of checkers with Kendal then dancing to Blister In The Sun at 11:00 at night. It was all of these these moments that I can look back on and know that they mattered, hopefully not just to me, but to them too.

 

Recital and a Road Race

Well, it’ll be nice to have my Saturday mornings back, for awhile anyway. No running, no dance, nowhere to be at any given time. Just coffee in my PJs, or a trip to the Farmer’s Market,  or whatever we dang well please. It’s going to be glorious! For awhile anyway.

Last weekend was the culmination of months of training for me and practice for Kendal; a dance recital on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. Kendal was a little bummed she couldn’t run in the Mayor’s Run this year because dress rehearsal was Saturday morning, but all of the rain that was coming down washed away any disappointment that was left.

Her group did a tap routine to Sugar Sugar dressed as “purple grapes,” at least that’s what they called themselves.

Sunday morning brought more rain and cool temperatures, which was quite the opposite from last year’s marathon, but we didn’t sign up to not show up!

I ran my seventh half marathon, fourth Lincoln National Guard Half Marathon, and third one with my sister. It ended up being another PR for me finishing in 1:50:31. Apparently, you can get faster with age as well as wiser!

 

So when Monday came around and I felt like I needed a weekend for my weekend.

More than just being tired though, as I looked back on my weekend, I really felt this overwhelming sense of gratitude for my life and where I’m at today. I thought about my family – my healthy, loving, supportive family. My daughter, who has found a passion for dance. My other daughter, who is pretty go-with-the-flow and pretty chill about being drug along here-and-there-and-everywhere. My mother-in-law, who watches my girls every Saturday morning so I can get a run in. My parents, who show up and cheer us all of us on, always. My husband, for letting me nap. My sister, for being the best running partner and sister. For Firespring, my co-workers and fellow runners, volunteers, and cheerleaders who make every day fun! For my church family whom I’ve gotten to know better over the last several months. I now know just what an incredibly genuine, enthusiastic, supportive group of people they are.

It feels so good to love and be so loved by these people. I am truly, so very thankful that I have such an incredible network of people who believe in me, support me, and encourage me. I couldn’t do life and be me without you all.

#blessed.

 

 

Playing With Scissors

I should have known better than to think I would escape having two girls who would never in their toddlerhood attempt to cut their own hair. However, as far as self-attempted haircuts go, we did get pretty lucky. Camryn now just has a small section of “bangs” of to the right side.

Kendal had pictures for dance this Saturday and I was helping her get all dolled up. Camryn was in and out of our room playing with her princess Barbie dolls. She  asked me to braid or ponytail Rapunzel’s hair, but I told her she was going to have to wait, I needed to help Kendal get into her dance costume.

When I came back into our room I was greeted by an enthusiastic Camryn, proudly waiving her Rapunzel doll at me saying, “Mommy! Mommy! Look! I did her hair all by myself, and I didn’t cut my hair with Daddy’s scissors!” Yeah, she thought she had slipped that one in there so discreetly, so smooth, and with such excitement that there’s no way I could not be excited for her.

She was wrong.

I looked and saw immediately where she had indeed cut her hair with daddy’s scissors.

“Camryn! You cut your hair?!”

“No.” She replied.

“Uh, yeah. You did.” I pulled the small chunk from  her barrette and held it in front of her face to see. “This is your hair that you cut. Camryn, that’s called lying. You said you didn’t cut your hair, but you did. Why did you cut your hair?”

“I don’t know.” She said quietly. She knew she was in trouble.

“WE. DON’T. CUT. OUR. HAIR. Camryn. Okay? You don’t cut your hair or Sissy’s hair or anyone’s hair. Do you understand?”

“But I didn’t cut Rapunzel’s hair.”

“I don’t care if you didn’t cut Rapunzel’s hair, Camryn. That doesn’t make cutting your hair the right thing to do. You don’t cut her hair either!”

After holding back for as long as she could, she finally started crying. “I’m sorry, Mommy. I didn’t mean to.”

“Well actually you did mean to, but now you know, you don’t ever cut anyone’s hair with any scissors, right?” I asked.

“Okay, Mommy.” She sniffled.

Later that evening, as we’re reliving the event over dinner, asked her if she wanted to have her hair cut short like daddy’s. I knew the answer would of course be no – she loves her long hair. I told her that if she were to cut her hair again, we’d have to cut it all off, really short, just like daddy’s. I think the visual was enough to scare her into not touching a pair of scissors again for a long time. Here’s hoping anyway.

 

 

The 47 Days of Lent

My mom recently told me that the new Lenten trend is to take Sundays off. That’s right, like any good diet, Lent has a cheat day. BUT, what I didn’t realize, and shame on me for not figuring this out sooner, is that there’s always been a built-in cheat day. It’s true. Count the days from Ash Wednesday to Easter: 40, right? WRONG. It’s actually 47 and wouldn’t you know it’s the same every year.

I’ve been duped, mislead, had. For 35 years of my life I’ve believed that there are 40 days of Lent, not 47 . Not to mention, for 35 years of my life, I’ve had no cheat days during Lent. Okay, I’ve probably definitely cheated at some point or another in my Lenten sacrifice, but it was never sanctioned! What kind of sacrifice is it to have one day out of seven when you can indulge in whatever it is you’re trying to give up? Weak is what that is. Super weak.

Kendal decided, on her own, that she was going to give up chocolate for Lent. Pretty brave for a 7-year-old chocoholic, especially with Valentine’s Day falling not even a week after Ash Wednesday. I reminded her of that too. She assured me that she would just eat the other candy and save the chocolate pieces for later. Well, Saturday the 13th came around and she had chocolate milk and chocolate syrup on her ice cream at lunch. That’s also when Grandma told her about the cheat day, so she declared Saturday her cheat day. She also made the rule that chocolate milk didn’t really count since it’s a drink and she has it every day at school for lunch. Then came Tuesday, and she forgot and had some M&M’s with popcorn. Tuesdays also became a cheat day. If you ask her if she’s still giving up chocolate for Lent, she’ll tell you yes, but Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays are okay to have some and chocolate drinks don’t count.

I gave up shopping for Lent. That includes, clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories, toys, housewares; absolutely nothing new for me, the girls or the house. Of course necessary toiletries and cosmetics are allowed and grocery shopping, but that it; that’s the only shopping I’m allowed to do. For a 35-year-old shopoholic, this is quite the sacrifice, and that’s the point, right? It’s supposed to be hard, it’s supposed to be something that challenges you and makes you stop and think. How hard would it be for me to give up shopping Monday through Saturday, but then shop guilt free every Sunday? Yeah, I could contain myself for six days without feeling the pains of withdraw.

It’s been two weeks, 14 days, 33 to go and I’m tempted every day. My email inbox, my Instagram feed, my magazines, they’re all taunting me, testing me, begging me to go shopping. I’ll be real honest, I haven’t felt brave enough to even drive past a Target let alone step foot inside! But that’s what it’s all about. Sacrifice.

I’m still pretty upset that no one told me the period when Lent is observed is actually 47 days instead of 40, but what’s another seven days, really?

Sacrifice. Be changed. Don’t cheat (unless your Kendal. She’s kinda trying).