Monthly Archives: January 2015

A Little More

The hostess slipped two menus off the desk. “Right this way, please.” I smiled to myself as we passed by the high chairs. That’s right, two. No high chairs for us. No crayons, no kiddie menus no over-priced macaroni, no bibs. Just a table for two. I could count on one hand the times in the last three years my husband and I had been out on a true, blue, honest-to-goodness date. You know, not the ones that involve doing dishes together after the kids are asleep then watching the much-anticipated episode of Downton Abbey. An actual date!

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That day I had spent crunching numbers. My husband had spent the day attempting to do his work while making dozens of phone calls to the county. Our septic system has been on the fritz since we moved in, and that week’s batch of laundry seemed to have done it in. Like all unexpected expenses, I can’t say we were any too thrilled about this rather large project, nor the amount it would cost. Financially we would be just fine, but it certainly wouldn’t be convenient. I could think of dozens of ways I’d prefer to spend our savings, but so goes life.

We dropped the boys off at our friends’ house for a fun pizza and movie night and continued our conversation of worries in the car. Spending money on dinner seemed a little silly considering our newest rather large expense looming in the near future, but we had planned it all week, and this was an outing that we rarely had a chance to take.

We settled in the booth and vowed to not talk any more about that blasted septic system and just enjoy our night away. Instead, our conversation turned to our kids (what else?) and then to the kindness people have shown us and how we want to be more like them. From our friends offering to watch our kids for the night, to grandparents and aunts and uncles who do so much, to the small acts of service we’ve witnessed over the years. As we were getting ready to leave, the waitress came to our table. “Would you like any dessert?” We shook our heads and thanked her. “Well, you are all set to go. That couple over there paid for your tab. Yes, all of it. You can just go when you are ready.” I turned away hoping the waitress didn’t see the tears welling up in my eyes. The two generous people were slipping their jackets on and briskly walking to the door before we could catch them. I had read about things like that in the paper, but to actually be the recipient touched me to the core.

Out of all the couples sitting in that restaurant, why had they chosen us? They didn’t know about our unexpected septic system expense or that we rarely got a chance to go out as a couple. They didn’t hear our conversation about selfless kindness, but they gave us yet another example of goodness to add to our list.

A little more. It’s amazing what a difference a small act of kindness can make. It doesn’t have to be money. Share a little more smiles, be a little more patient, say a little more kind words, listen a little more closely. Give a little more love, offer a little more help, be a little more conscientious. A little more. That’s all it would take, just a little more every day. We have no idea what story is hidden in each person. We don’t know what they are experiencing. Why not show them, give them, just a little more? I’m grateful for wonderful examples of kindness I have so often witnessed. To that kind couple who slipped away at the restaurant on Friday night before we could offer our thanks, your kindness warmed my heart.

This is one of my favorite little clips on kindness. I hope you can take a second and watch it!

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Categories: Life Lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Why I’ve Decided I’m OK With A House Full of ALL Boys (*sigh*)

I glanced back from the front passenger’s seat of the car. “Hey R, do you need a tissue? Don’t pick your boogers.”

N, two years old, chimed in. “Booger song! Booger song. Boo-oo-ger soo-ng!”

It was just another typical Sunday drive to church. We were lucky to quiet the Booger Song serenade and stifle the laughter just as we walked through the church doors and sat quietly in our pew.

So goes our life. Our life with all boys. My husband leaned over and whispered his usual comments in situations such as this. “Maybe three boys is good. Maybe we have our hands full enough. Maybe we should be done.” Then came my typical retort. “But what about that little girl??”

I can’t tell you how often we had this conversation this past year. We have been so blessed with three great kids. All boys. Coming from a family of just one sister, this was an entirely new can of worms (both figuratively and literally) for me. I absolutely love being a mom to boys. They are so much fun! But my thoughts have always been that we’d have at least one little girl.

IMG_1951As our conversations on such things became more and more serious, the realization came that even if we did have a fourth, there was no guarantee that a girl was in our future. “But what it we have a boy? Or…what if we have twin boys?” my husband would question. In the end, I realized that I had to decide if I would be as thrilled about bringing another boy (or the unlikely twin two?) into this world as I would a girl. It took time, but my answer: yes.

IMG_1529We find out in just a couple short weeks if we are bringing another crawfish catcher or a new crawfish catcher-ette to our family. Here’s some conclusions I’ve come to if we don’t get that girl I’ve had pictured in my mind, and why I’ve decided I’m fine with a house full of boys.

IMG_22131. People look at a mom of all boys like a superhero. She can do anything. Anything! (Either that or she’s looked at like she’s crazy.)

2. We don’t do Dora at our house. Or Frozen. We just don’t. I’m afraid I’d have a mutiny on my hands if anything of that sort changed.

3. I’m fluent in pirate vernacular. Barbie talk, not so much.

4. Honestly, three older brothers? That poor girl!

20140330_1748435. She would have to more-than-occasionally put up with lovely renditions of “The Booger Song,” not to mention countless other boyish annoyances.

IMG_12986. With all the camo we have in closets, she’s bound to have to dress in those greens and browns at least while she’s young and doesn’t have a say. She would always be mistaken as a boy. OR…

IMG_0931IMG_0861IMG_08687. …I’ve been so girl-deprived for so many years, I’d go crazy buying girly dresses that we’d have no money left.

8. Boys with broken noses? I think I can deal with it. Girls with broken hearts? Hmm. I’m not so sure.

9. I’m outnumbered. It’s a fact. We’d have to have THREE girls to level the playing field. Three. Probably not going to happen. Why even try?

10. We’ve had three times to choose names for girls that didn’t come. We have a list of girl’s names we can’t decide on a mile long. Boy’s names? We have one. Done.

11. You mean you have to actually brush a girl’s hair every day??

IMG_0632Of course, If we go in and get a glimpse at a little boy on the monitor I will probably cry. But let’s be honest. I’ll probably cry if lo and behold this baby’s a girl.

I’ll cry if it’s a girl, I’ll cry if it’s a boy.

And my poor husband won’t have a clue of what to do with his bawling, blubbering wife…which is maybe just another good reason to have another boy. He just might go crazy with TWO emotional basket-case girls running around our house.

Ok, ok. I’m not sure I’m fully convinced. But I DO know that each time I’ve held that little boy in my arms for the very first time, my heart has been full. Each time I know that I love him to the moon and back, and that could never change. Each time I’ve realized that God knows far better what my life needs than I know myself. I know that whether this one is a boy or a girl, healthy or not, it really doesn’t matter. We will bring our baby into our home filled with legos, dinosaurs, and cars and we will be thankful beyond description that he, or maybe (just maybe) she, is in our lives.

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Thanks to katiejanephotos.blogspot.com for the cute picture. 🙂

…In case you missed it…We’re having baby number 4! Read HERE

…And some of my thoughts last year on life with all boys. Read HERE

Categories: Pregnancy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Love Through the Coughs and Wheezes

It’s 2am and my head rests on your stuffed giraffe. I shift uncomfortably on the floor next to your bed and listen to your breathing.

Steady.

Finally steady.

The coughs and wheezes have subsided. I breath a sigh of relief. Your poor little body just needs to rest, and I pray that your tired eyes will stay shut until the sun rises through your window. I rest my hand on your forehead and stare at the ceiling. I’m not going anywhere.

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Remember that night your little tummy couldn’t hold anything down? I know, it would be hard to forget. I changed your sheets twice and made sure the water was warm before I lifted you in the tub to rinse off. The clock said 1:20am, but it didn’t matter. My mind said I had a little boy…an exhausted, sick little boy who needed his mother. It didn’t matter that my tummy was anything but settled that night too, or that a dentist checkup and playing with friends filled our calendar the next morning. It didn’t matter. That night YOU mattered, and I wasn’t going anywhere.

We sat in the waiting room for what felt like hours, You cuddled into my lap, holding my neck and never letting go. The fever just hung on, and your limp body had taken enough of the heat. You didn’t know I was hanging on to you too, never wanting to let go. I needed you, your warm body, your gentle hug.

My son, this is motherhood. When your heart belongs no longer to you…but to little boys that carry it everywhere they go. At 2am my heart is still yours, my eyes locked on your tiny frame shaking with another cough. It’s yours as I change your sheets when I feel like I can barely move, it’s yours in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. Always yours. Because motherhood doesn’t stop when the sunny days are over. It doesn’t end when you clock out. It’s the late nights, the early mornings. The four loads of unexpected sick night laundry, the rescheduled day with friends to go to the doctor. And it’s love through it all.

Dear moms. This job is not always pretty. It isn’t always fun, it isn’t always relaxing. But could you imagine it any other way? Could you fathom not giving your heart to these little ones that need us so much? This job, this chance, it’s messy. It’s stinky, it’s busy, it’s gross. It’s anything but glamorous. And it is truly amazing to have your heart taken so far beyond yourself that none of that matters.

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I hope your family is making it through this winter in good health. If not, hang in there, Moms! You are amazing. Soon the sun will shine and the ice will melt, the colds will go away. And that love will be all the sweeter, when we hear laughter instead of wheezes!

Categories: Motherhood | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Priceless (an announcement)

Big announcements have never been my forte. I typically go for the “no one really needs to know” approach, or I try to be all fun and fail miserably. with our first baby I went for the “no one really needs to know” until we were almost 20 weeks along. At one point I had to outright lie to my mom about why I was so incredibly sick while we were home visiting. “Mm-om. Jeez! Don’t you think I’d tell you if I were pregnant??” For what it’s worth, I did tell her, just 10 weeks later…

Our second we had it planned out all cute, with our oldest sporting a homemade “I have a secret” shirt, and “I’m going to be a big brother!” under it. The problem was, we were prepared to share our news right when a family member informed us that it was a good thing we weren’t having another baby yet because we had our hands full with the one as it was. They were a little shocked when our son walked out announcing our news.

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The third time we decided to just let our oldest son blurt it out. The problem? No one could understand him and when they finally did no one was sure if he was supposed to let the news slip. It was followed with an awkward, “Oh, wow! (Silence…) Uhhh, I think the football game is on…shall we go check the score?”

Fourth time’s a charm, right? Well, because of my technological lack of expertise, I can’t figure out how to upload the entire cute video. So annoying. Thus you get the first 15 seconds, and then the last. I’ll try uploading it to my facebook page (Catching Crawfish) if you care to watch all one minute and three seconds of my attempt at announcement brilliance.

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"Priceless" part 1

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"Priceless" part 4

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we are thrilled to be bringing another little crawfish catcher into our home this summer! I hope this 2015 year brings excitement and happiness to your home as well.

I’d love to hear your successful (or not so successful) announcement stories! Tell me how you’ve let the news of big moments in your life out.

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

My Happy Place

I’m typing this one-fingered on my iPad (something that drives my husband crazy!) from the rocking chair. My left leg bounces up and down and my fingers run through a two-year-old’s blonde hair. His blue eyes hidden under heavy eyelids and long lashes. A rare moment I seldom get to enjoy, but today…today I will. The dishes wait, the toys strung from one room to the next sit. This. Nothing in the world could compare to this.

For the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about “my happy place,” thanks to my dear friend Marla who writes a beautiful blog, Pendulum World. After being challenged by another blogger and writing about hers, she challenged me along with a few others to write about mine. Let me first tell you about Marla. I’ve never met her in person, but she has a way of making you feel like an old friend. She writes words of encouragement and often reminds me of what this life is really all about. I’m so thankful for her friendship and how she has touched my life.

Last year for the 100th day of school our son was asked to bring in 100 of something. For days I proposed ideas as we sat around the dinner table and watched as my husband’s face twisted in mocking smirks.

“How about we make a treasure box and paint it, then fill it with 100 gold coins? You could wear a pirate costume when it’s your turn to present. Eh?” Brilliant.

Now, here’s just a simple example of how my dear husband and I are complete polar opposites (for what it’s worth, we are living proof that opposites really can attract!).

My husband smirks. “R, Mom is crazy. Here’s a $1 bill. Take it in and say it’s 100 cents. Easy. Done.”

“So typical!” I’d think. “Sure, take the easy, straight-forward route. So engineery.”

Our proposals went back-and-forth for days. Finally a decision was made. R put together a cute little photo album with a title on the front, “100 People, Places, and Things I Love.” Each photo protector held a picture of someone or something near and dear to him with a label of what it was. I was a proud mama, and even my “this project is way too frilly and time consuming” husband thought it turned out pretty darn cute.

I won’t put 100, but I thought I’d share my happy place(s) with you through pictures. Like Marla said in her post, being with people I love is where I find joy. They are what makes life full and happy, and I’m so thankful for those who have shared their lives with me. So, without further ado, here are my “people, places and things I love,” or “my happy place.”

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Being with my family

...and more family

…and more family (thanks, katiejanephotos.blogspot.com 🙂 )

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Sailing on our boat

Hiking

Hiking

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Places that bring back special memories

Here, one of the most beautiful places on earth

Here, one of the most beautiful places on earth

Here, because of all the peace, joy, and completeness it represents in my life

Here, because of all the peace, joy, and completeness it represents in my life

Running (and being) with friends

Running (and being) with friends

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Being with my kids

I’m so glad Marla challenged me to think about what brings me happiness. With the start of a new year, I hope we can all look back and remember those people, those moments, those places that we find joy. And this year I hope we can all share our joy with others.

As these traveling posts go, I have thought about some bloggers to pass the “happy place” challenge to. Of course, I don’t want to make anyone feel obligated to do it, but if you would like, I’d love to read yours.

Shape Up Cupcake— Kristen and I go way back to volleyball freshman year of high school, guitar class, soccer, and sleep overs. She is amazing! I feel honored to call her my friend after all these years. She is such a inspiration to me and so many others.

A prompt reply— Torrie has quickly become a good friend. Being in different walks of life, I love to hear her view from where she stands, with adult and teenage boys. Her advice and words of wisdom is always something I appreciate.

Sensitive and Extraordinary— Leila is such a kind person. I have loved getting to know her through her blog and reading her thoughts on raising children. She has been a huge help to me as a beginner in the self-publishing adventure, always answering my questions and sharing her experience and knowledge.

Categories: Happiness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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