Road Trips and Memories!

We have been on the road, it seems, ALL summer. We have been to Florida with the boys, to Alabama, Chattanooga, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge (although that was during Spring break so it doesn't really count toward summer).

My sister and I were having a discussion this weekend, in Alabama, at her house, yet another road trip with the boys. We were reminicing about the good 'ol days (whatever they were) when we didn't have all the safety restrictions we have today. And the pros and cons of each.

When I was younger, we traveled long distances in the middle of the night, not unlike parents do today. The only thing is we were in a station wagon and the back of the car was made out into a bed. We slept most of the way without the hindrances of car seats and seat belts. LOL. Ah, those were the days.

We didn't have DVD players, or any other electronic devices to keep us busy. No, we had road travel games, you know "find the white car" or "the person who can see the most out of state license tags", etc.

But, lets just be honest. What we did best on road trips was aggravate each other. Ah, now that was where the real fun began. The hitting, sitting on, sitting too close, getting each other in sister and I were discussing this weekend why we had a few purses thrown at us from the front seat. Ahem, sorry mom. I completely understand now.

Getting back to road trips. It seemed we always had to pee when there weren't any exits in sight and we had to, RIGHT NOW. Who hasn't pulled over the side of the road to relieve themselves on a road trip, whether you are a boy or girl? I know I did.

Last night, coming home from my sisters, Carter had a potty emergency. Let me tell you something about Carter. Carter, for whatever reason, holds his pee. I mean, the boy can hold it for 12 hours. We are not sure why, but needless to say, bed wetting has never been an issue. If you stop at an exit and he doesn't want to pee, he will not pee. I think we scarred him during potty training, something about having control. LOL. But, he goes when he has to go. Period. Maybe that is a parenting failure, but I chock it up to choosing your arguments. I let it go.

Last night we were almost home and had to take an alternate route because the interstate was closed downtown. We are getting off the interstate and Carter cries out he has to pee. I mean, he sounded like he was in pain. It was urgent,  I could tell. There was no thinking about the next exit, unless we wanted a serious potty accident in the car. We had to pull over. Right there.

Carter was being initiated into the peeing-on-the-side-of-the-road trip memory.

Now this would have just been an ordinary experience, something to smile about in passing when discussing our summer activities, except the alternate route we were taking was right next to the airport.

I no sooner had Carter settled and he was relieving himself that I heard this huge jet take off. I looked up and told Carter to look up. It flew right over us, it was still very low because it had just taken off. It was amazing. I smiled at Greg because I knew this would be a memory. Something Carter would never forget. The roar of the engine. The lights. The speed. All within a few hundred thousand feet from him.....while he was peeing, of course. We can't forget about the pee.

Carter loves airplanes. He is obsessed with space and everything in it, and that includes airplanes. That is the closest he has been to one taking off or landing. It was like the coolest thing ever. He let out this huge, "wwwhoaaaaaaaoooowwww".

I helped Carter back in the car and listened to he and Greg talk about the plane and how big and close it was and how loud it was. Greg and I just smiled at each other. I loved it. And we would have missed it, if Carter wasn't so good at holding his pee.

I guess you just have to look at it from the positive perspective. Or at least try. :-)

Road trips. There's nothing like them for building memories.



For everyone who commented, here and on facebook about my post yesterday. The funny thing is, I didn't set out to write that particular post. It just happened. No planning, didn't think about it in advance, I just started writing.

Obviously, I need to do more of that. I do hold so many things in, longer than I should. I do love writing the things that take planning, the humorous things, the catchy posts. And I am glad people enjoy them. I enjoy them. I like being creative and seeing it pay off.

But the thing that I come back to time and time again, and it's why I feel the Lord told me to write this blog, and create Reflections of a Mom is to be transparent and real. I don't know about humble, I kind of stink at that, but I try.

I don't know why we don't share our struggles more openly. Yes, it is always risky, but I have found that with true, authentic relationship, it doesn't matter. People aren't going to judge.

Yes, it has been a difficult summer, but it has been an awesome summer too. Seeing Carter thrive at swim lessons. Watching Griffin become a big boy and developing into a little man (it melts my heart to hear him talk). To see Carter reading books. It is amazing to me how smart he is (I am saying that humbly, really! LOL).

And come August I will have a first grader and a pre-schooler. As trying as this summer has been, for many reasons, it has been a wonderful time with friends and family and there is always fun to look forward to.

I hope you guys have a great weekend!!!!

Stay Sane!!!!! :)

The Summer of my Discontent

This has been a really hard summer for me. . I have been struggling with some deep life issues and questions. I have not been questioning my faith or my belief system (been there, done that, settled it) but just the more gray areas in life. Plus, the culture of Christianity can really get on my nerves, even though I am guilty of using all the cliches and pat answers myself. So, I am calling the kettle black, don't get me wrong.

Also, Summer with my kids just about does me in. I wish I could say that I love all my time with my babies, and in reality, I do. It's just both of them together can drive me crazy!

But struggling with deeper issues, struggling with a kid with a new ADHD diagnosis, struggling with my weight and (honestly) my self-esteem which seems to be connected to my weight, ...well, my summer has been a struggle. Mentally and emotionally. And physically.

I finally got over myself. LOL.Yes, this has been a difficult summer. We are still reeling from a diagnosis of our oldest son with ADHD. Dealing with medications, structure, meltdowns and behaviors. Working, albeit partime, in a very mentally draining job, juggling home life, work life and church life along with family parents are getting older and going through their own sets of life issues. It can all be overwhelming.

And the thing that I do best is attack myself. I get unhappy and focus on things in a negative way. Somehow this temporarily and dyfunctinally takes the attention off all the other things going on. It doesn't solve anything. I start tearing myself down. I allow Satan to tell me lies. I get very discontent. Crazy, huh?

Yep. I realized a lot of things recently. And I am still working on them. I don't have to get into all that on here. But the long and short of it is, I am enough. I am beautiful, just the way I am. I want to be healthy, not thin. I want to take care of myself the best way that I can....emotionally, physically and mentally. And some things have to change.

More importantly, God has got this. Dealing with my stress in this dysfunctional way never works. Ha! Newsflash. You would think I would figure that out by now. But, he's got the ADHD (well, not literally :) ), he's got the struggle. He's got our finances. He's got it. He's got everything. It's time I give it over to him so He can really take care of it instead of just wallowing in my own misery.

I have kind of been in an abyss lately. I am sure you know what I am talking about. You are functioning but not really. You make it through the day, but wonder what it was all about. Some people call this depression. I just call it being overwhelmed and having to walk through a difficult time. It's not pretty. It's not usually what people want to hear about. They want to hear that you are fine. But it is what is. And I have been in this abyss.

But, it's time to come out of the abyss. It's time to love myself the way the Lord loves me and love my body the way my husband loves my body (which I really just don't get). Obviously, these two beings, one holy, omnipotent and has been around when there was nothing around and the other, a fallible, lowly human who love ME see something that  I don't.

It's time to release the anxiety, the fear, the depression, the doubts, everything. We are going to have challenges in this life. Thank GOD, HE has overcome them. Already. Done. (John 16:33).

And the truth is, change isn't going to happen for me until I just accept who I am, where I am in this moment and love on myself a little bit instead of staring at how big my butt looks in the mirror. Ugh.

The same is true for raising children, dealing with the economy, life issues, extended family issues...I mean, really. I could go on and on. Then I would find myself in the abyss

Today. I am choosing to do this.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Phil 4:8.

It doesn't really change this life or what is going on in this life, the ups and downs. It just makes them bearable and breathable. NO abyss. Just smooth sailing. Because even in the ups and downs, the storms and the struggles, God's love, consistency and truth does not change.

And that, well, that is the meaning of contentment.