Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Childhood Memories

What is your favorite childhood memory? Quick. Don't think too long or hard, just the 1st thing that pops in your head. No pressure, just what stood out for you?

I will share a couple of mine.

My granny spinning us around and around on an inner tube in her pool. She would sing "She'll be coming 'round the mountain when she comes..." and it seems like she just sang it without stopping. I'm sure, looking back, she really would have liked to sit in a chair by the pool silently while we entertained ourselves. But she didn't.

Another one with my granny was that, as a treat, she would let my sister and I eat cereal (the smacks one with the frog on the box) in the living room. We had to lay on the floor over a towel, but it was the highlight of our days.

My sister and I used to come home and stay by ourselves until our parents got home. I won't share our age because Lord knows you would all have a stroke and die before finishing this post. We got home just in time to make ourselves a snack, throw down our back packs & turn the TV on to Are You Afraid of The Dark. Remember that one? It scared us out of our skin. My mom ALWAYS timed her call right at the end of that show. She would call on her break from work to make sure we made it home. We weren't allowed to answer the phone so we had to run to the other side of the house and listen to the answering machine for her to say "girls, it's mama, pick up" and then we could answer and tell her we are home, being good, cleaning up, doing homework, whatever... we weren't, we were watching scary ass shows. She didn't know then, and maybe I didn't get it either, but now I know, we needed to hear her voice.

We used to live next door to my granny and grandpa. But the driveways are long out in the country, so we made a hole in the fence so there were no delays getting back and forth. Can you imagine how pissed my grandpa must have been when he discovered what we did?

We went on big expensive vacations every single year. We got a new outfit for every day of the 1st month of school each year (and sometimes again for 2nd semester). We were allowed to join every club, or sport we wanted.. my mom spent the extra money for private lessons so we were the best. My dad worked, at one point, 3 jobs so that we could go on every single field trip, write a check instead of sell chocolate door to door, get those French mani and pedis that all our friends had, and even highlight (and, Lord help me, perm) our hair way too young. They spent money, honey. And trust me, we appreciate it, especially now that we understand the value of that mighty dollar... especially now that we understand after a full day of work, all you want to do is come home and relax, not rush off to play taxi, or even go to 2 more jobs.

Do you notice something about the 1st 3 memories that came to my mind though? They didn't cost a thing. They weren't set in Cinderella's Castle, they didn't happen when we were dressed perfectly or in front of a camera lens. They happened on normal days. They happened every day.

You know what else stands out about those memories? I can't remember if there were dishes in the sink, laundry on the couch waiting to be folded, or how pinterest-worthy our snacks were (except the cereal in the floor thing... I am fully aware how NON-pinteresty that meal was).

As parents, we have this huge burden of responsibility. We are in charge, we have absolute control, over our children's childhood memories. It's a lot to take on... but what an honor it is! I try to focus on the excitement than the pressure. I try, too, to remind myself that I don't get to pick and choose which days stand out to her in 20 years. I don't get to save up all year and cram her memories into 1 long weekend on vacation. It doesn't work like that. We are making memories this very second. Right now, she is napping, and I am rushing to push out this post. It is weighing heavy on my mind today, for some reason. So I decided to sit down while she was sleeping, bang it out, and then put away the computer for the rest of the night.

Tonight, I am making memories with my daughter. Memories that don't include being told "go play in your room" or "mama is busy right now" or sitting next to mama while she types or checks social media. Tonight, I am remembering how quickly these first 3 years went... I am determined not to let the next 3 go by as fast. Not to let them slip by telling myself- and my precious daughter- that we will make those precious memories "later" you know... when life is settled, when the laundry is done, dishes are put away, my bank account isn't in the red, I lose a couple pounds, she gets dressed...
Those things will still be waiting for me tomorrow. But my chance to impact her today? I will never again get this day back.

So that's what I'm doing tonight... what are you doing?


Friday, February 21, 2014

My Favorite Birthday Tradition

My grandpa and I were born 50 years and 1 week apart. Every year, without fail, we have a joint cake and celebrate together. It is always low key (this year in our pajamas even) just dinner and cake. It's my favorite tradition. No pressure, no stress, just us eating cake and demanding everyone serve our every whim enjoying the company of our family.

Granny & Grandpa were in town this week anyways for my mom's 4-week scans so after her appointment, we stopped at Longhorn for dinner then came home to eat our cake.

We have this same photo together every year for, now, 26 years together. My actual birthday is Sunday, but with this dinner, I feel like it's official... I can say I'm 26!

I'm not sure anyone appreciates this tradition as much as this girl though. She was pretty sure it was all for her.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

You're a Bad Friend

I admit... I relate to Porsha, I've been a bad friend. The last couple years I have not been as good of a friend as I want to be. I have been very focused on taking care of myself and my daughter. I make no apologies for it. Even before the actual separation, I was so much in survival mode that I couldn't be a friend to someone else.

I have some pretty amazing people in my life though. People that stuck around, have been good friends to me even when it wasn't reciprocated, have just totally been there for me - and Aubrey Jo - through it all. They have been much better to me than I deserved. But I love them for it.

The last few months, I have been trying to make efforts to reach out and be a more proactive friend. I try to be the one to initiate a lunch or mani/pedi, I try to be the one to send the first "how are you" text, I try to send a "just because" happy mail surprise. I'm still not as good of a friend as I wish I could be. The chaos in my life still sometimes wins. But I'm trying.

Yesterday, I picked up the phone and called one of my very best friends that I haven't really talked to in months. I hate talking on the phone, I'm a texter, but it was so nice to actually hear her voice and her laugh instead of reading an "lol". It was so nice! Something so simple, talking instead of texting or emailing, made such a big difference and really made me smile. I will not say I am going to start calling friends all the time. I'm still a texter as a general rule, as impersonal as it may be. But I'm going to make an effort to pick it up now and then.

What are some of your favorite ways to be a friend? What do your friends do for you that makes you feel most loved? Do you have a friend that you haven't reached out to lately?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Five on Friday

My phone decided to go for a swim yesterday. The rice trick didn't work. It was kind of a final straw and I may or may not have lost it a little bit. I guess that's what I get for saying how much I loved my iPhone 4 and had no need to upgrade... wah wah wah

This? Yep... it needs to be in my closet. These too. Instagram is the devil to my will power. I can't log on without being reminded of all the things I need want... no, need. (ha) I guess it's a saving grace to be without my phone for a while (sarcasm font)

Parenting aint easy yall. I wish I was better sometimes, I wish I was more prepared sometimes, and I wish I had the answer ALL the time. I seriously reminded Aubrey Jo yesterday that Santa was watching and I was going to be telling him exactly what happened. You guys... it's February, we have 10 months until that threat should work.. but it did. Miss thang got herself in line real quick and in a hurry. Today she asked me if I could call Santa and tell him she's a good girl. Haha you got it, babe.

We met friends for dinner last week. Three year olds are hard to wrangle into a pretty posed photo. This one though cracked me up. Girlfriend better get used to that look from men ;)

Aubrey Jo picked out some Valentines the other day at Target. Since she isn't in school, we decided to mail them to some of her friends. I've loved seeing the reactions from them & it makes Aubrey Jo so happy to send things and get the happy videos/pics later. I love that little things like that make her smile so big. Yall watch those mail boxes because she is on a roll ;)
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