Cheers to You, Friends!

Over the last decade (and change), since becoming a mother, I have had different friends enter the landscape of my motherhood. Each has contributed something precious and necessary: community, advice, support, assistance, and laughter.

Must. Have. Laughter!

While all of my friends aren’t mothers (hello Jason, Joan, Sarah!!!), I’m focusing in on those fellow mamas today.

Some have come alongside to help me see clearly, when my eyes were too filled with tears to do so on my own. I’m thinking of my sweet friend Ally, who listened as I relayed a devastating fear about Sweetboy, and just held my hand and patiently listened and prayed with me.  And Dana, who hears my deepest anxieties, and prays with me then and there to allay them. They are truly like Job described when he spoke of a friend interceding on behalf of another – “…let him plead with God for a human being, like a person pleads for a friend.” 

Also, I’m thinking of a brave and kind friend, Aimee. We met as part of a weekly playgroup for Sweetgirl when she was a toddler. I was unable to see some obvious developmental needs emerging in her, so focused was I at the time on getting Sweetboy acclimated in our new town. Her words were so kindly spoken at just the right time.

Others have helped lift my eyes to the Right Place, when I forgot to. I think of my bold friend Kim who walked with me through my initial depression diagnosis; and, who weathered a mighty storm, side-by-side with me, with our then shared church family. She truly modeled Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend loves at all times, and a {sister} is born for adversity.”

I have deep thankfulness for my friends Rae, Kristy, and Erin, who push me and encourage me to keep writing and dreaming and become the best little writer that God wants me to be!

And then, there have been the precious few who have provided much-needed comic relief. My fiery-haired friend Erin, quick-witted friend Janet, and round-table friends Monica and Katie . I welcome the bellyaches from All The Laughter, and their cheerful hearts truly do bring a smile to my face. Often!

These are just some of the friends in my life. And, I cherish each one. Speaking with older friends and family members about their own friendships, I see the eternal Truth and Wisdom in these Words:

Two are better than one, because they have good pay for their work. For if one of them falls, the other can help him up. But it is hard for the one who falls when there is no one to lift him up.

Each new friend that God graces me with, online or off, provides more reasons to be grateful. Whether we share a love of God, writing, or eating – whether we’re commiserating over how hard it is to be a parent, spouse, or not eat – having friends to lift me up is truly a gift that I cherish.

And a special shout-out to those of you in this here blogosphere – you hold a special place in my heart. I can’t hardly express how much joy your comments and encouragements bring to my heart.

So…

Cheers to you, my friends! Thank you for being one.

Yes indeedy!

Here_To_Friends_Missindeedy

 

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An Epic Battle on the Eighteenth Day

On this day, my Alma Mater goes head to head with my Katie’s Alma Mater.

She and I are bonded in our hearts over many things: our kidlets, our love of the written word, our ability to eat chips and salsa like a boss, and our deepest desires for long and uninterrupted sleep.

Epic_Katie_N_Missindeedy

The college football teams we choose to cheer for, though, is not one of those uniting things.

It’s no matter. I still love her.

Grace allows for that.

May we ever be Kind and Loud.

Roll Tide.

Hook em’.

And all them good thangs.

Indeed.

And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” (Colossians 3:14 The Message)

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Today is day 18 in my Write 31 Days challenge.

Thankfuls 2

I’m sitting here with a tissue shoved up my nose typing away because my poor hand literally got tired of reaching for yet another tissue to stem the tide of…  We’ve got a house full of colds. I think that’s about all you really need to know.

Time to move along now.

Lately, I’ve been realizing that I am not a “finisher”. I am a Starter. And a pretty good one, if I do say so myself. I can start me an argument, for example, like no one’s business. But finishing it out? Well… that’s above my pay grade.

So, I’m making a commitment to see this Thankfuls thing through because a) I like the idea of this and 2) I need more Thankfulness in my life. How bout you?

Just putting it out there so that those of you who love me can call me out on it if I start slacking.

Without further ado, this week I am thankful for:

1) Tissues. Soft white tissues that have no lotion, thank-you-very-much.  I’ve gone through a couple of boxes in the last few days and Sweetboy and Sweetgirl have, too. The tissue making people see us coming and start jumping for joy. I know they do. I can feel their wallets shivering in anticipation of how many boxes we’ll go through,  today, alone!

2) Negative Strep Tests.  Yup. Per #1, there have been sore “froats” in our house again this week, but so far – we’ve all been declared strep free. Praise The Good Lord!

3) iPhones and facetime. There are some precious bloggers who have become real-life friends to me this past year.  Facetime has allowed me, well… some facetime with the ones who are cross country.  And some of them, unlike me, are great finishers, and chock-full of wisdom and guidance; which, The Facetime facilitates quite nicely. Plus, I can still be in my jammies while we talk.

4) Homelife Magazine.

homelife_magazine

Some of my very most favorite writers (I’m eyeballin’ you Melanie Shankle and Sophie Hudson) write for Homelife, on occasion; as do Kristen Welch and Mark Batterson and a bunch of others who write words that I just eat on up.

and lastly…

5) Sweetgirl and I got some special one-on-one time while Sweetboy was at Karate this week.  She determined that we would play “friends” with her favorite stuffed animals. (I jokingly asked her if mama could name them Joey, Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Phoebe, and Monica. She was not amused. She was, however, confused.) I am so thankful for some mommy-daughter time. I love me some mama-son time, too, but this week, it was Team Pink!  And this is where the action took place. (And I secretly named the sisters on the right Phoebe and Ursula, because, FRIENDS!)

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And that, as they say, is a wrap.  Which I’m about to go crawl into. Because I’m cold. I may even snuggle up with Phoebe. And Ursula.

Yes indeedy!

What are you thankful for this week?

An Ode to Mondays (of Sorts)

Monday_Mornings_Missindeedy

You know that I like to keep it real around here.  So, in an effort to provide full disclosure, I thought you should all know how I really feel about Mondays.

Mondays, Oh Mondays…

How I detest thee.

The earlier the rise,

The more I despise,

All things related to thee.

Mornings, Oh mornings…

When you walk hand in hand with Those Mondays,

You are detestable too.

Yes indeedy.

The End.

(I never claimed to be a poet.  I do, however, claim to have an Eeyore streak. (Remember that?)

The only thing  – no make that things, there are three, actually – making this particular Monday bearable are:

  • Coffee (always blessed coffee)
  • A Skype session (with a dear online friend)
  • VBS at our new church (that I am not working!) HELLO!  I will have the entire house to myself for 2.2 glorious hours (I had to factor in the driving to and fro).  Oh, yes I do!

I know God made every day to be a gift, but really… I’d like to visit the returns department for most Mondays out of the year. How ’bout you?  Do you love Mondays?  Detest them?  Not really give two hoots?  I do. Tell me! I need to know who my real friends are.  Oh, I jest… you are SO all my real friends.

Right?

They Want To Take Me Glamping

Sparkles wants me and the kids to join her when she takes the kids on her annual camping trip this summer.  I told her no.

Boy, that could be the shortest blog post ever.

But then, she recruited two of her friends that I think are the Awesome Sauce, to work on me, too.

I hemmed and hawed.  But, after a glass of wine, I said “Sure!”

The next morning, I regretted that decision.

Not the wine.

The agreeing to the camping.

You see, I am not a camper.  In fact, if anything, I think of myself as more of a glamper.

“What’s glamping?”, you ask?  Let me help you out here. According to Mr. Google,  glamping is “luxury camping.”

Like, this here.  Is this what you meant, Sparkles? Because if it is, then this is totally what I’m talkin’ about!

Glamping_ifitshipitshere

Right about now, Captain Ahab is spitting out his Dr. Pepper and exclaiming, “What the what?!  She is totally a camper!”

Nope.  I’m not.  I only pretended, Dad, because I loved spending time with you!  So there.  (Why, yes, I am 41.)

Anywho, Sparkles and Company convinced me that we would have So Much Fun because the kids would all entertain each other, and, nature! We’d only be a short walk to proper “facilities”, if you’re trackin’ me.  (I’ve determined that to be no more than 5 feet from my tent.) They also lured me with offers of hot coffee each morning and cold beverages each night.  One of these dears even promised that I wouldn’t have to set up my own tent. (And, for everyone involved’s sanity, I am totally holding her to that one.) And look, nature!

Throw in all the talk of smores, and you can easily see how I was sold.

Right?

So, sometime around the end of summer, I may or may not survive a camping trip that includes my two children, no husband, some friends, and a LOT of chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers. And adult beverages.

(Plus, I have three months to figure out how to rig a fan up without electricity, relearn how to fall asleep in a sleeping bag shaped like a cocoon, and develop a thing-a-ma-bob that emits a sound that only bears and coyotes and snakes and bugs and spiders can hear and not like, thus forcing them to go find another campsite to visit.  Easy peezy. I’ll keep you posted. )

Yes indeedy!

You Too?

One of my favorite quotes of all time is by C.S. Lewis.  He was so wise.  He said, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

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Isn’t this the truth?

We write of our pain in the midst of our relationship woes, or the joy in our once-in-a-lifetime moments, and we find suddenly that there are others who have walked this same road.  Share this same pain, or joy, or confusion, or desire to get it right.

It was that – the desire to get it right, that drew me to Jen.  We were about as different as different could be on the outside.  But, we were both fresh out of college with our Teaching Degrees clenched tightly in our fists, ready to strike out and become the  Best Teacher Ever! And then, reality set in.  We quickly realized that we would need to do a little ladder climbing to get that coveted Classroom Teacher position.

We were teacher aides in classrooms next to each other.  We bore the same burdens of caring for the particular student in the elementary classroom’s we’d each been assigned to, as well as providing the support that the classroom teacher needed to carry out his or her duties for the other 24 students in the room.  The days seemed overly long at times.  The wait for our own title of “Classroom Teacher” seemed to stretch out even farther.

But, in the lunchroom, over my can of Spaghettios with franks and devil dog, and her neatly made sandwich and apple, we bonded.  She laughed as I regaled her with stories of the day’s goings on.  I listened intently as she rattled off a list of lessons she daily learned.  And we re-fueled each other with our camaraderie for the last half of each day.

But when we really hit the deep layer of our friendship was when she invited me to her Bible Study.

Not long after that, we became more than friends.  We became sisters.  Bonded not only by vocation, but by our heart’s home.

Jen moved on to a private school.  I moved on to “Classroom Teacher”.  Then Jen moved on to assistant Headmaster.  I moved on to Educational Director at a non-profit.

I married and she was my Maid-of-Honor.

We still spilled stories of laughable moments and lessons learned.  And leaned on each other for support and encouragement.

She married.

I had my first child.

We still shared and encouraged and bolstered one another’s spirits.

And then, she moved on… to another state.  Far, far away.

Too far, friend!

I live my life now in the Post-Jen-Era.  I still get that needed encouragement or share that silly moment that makes us both laugh or cringe.

We just do it long-distance.

You too?

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I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and the beautiful community of writers for her Five Minute Friday writing prompt. Click the button below to add your own thoughts on “Friend”, or to read what it brought to mind for others.  

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Just. Like. That.

I don’t have a skinny gene in me.  Thus, I don’t have a skinny jean on me.  Or in my closet. Or on my clothing “wish list”. Or… you get the idea.  And you know what? I’m okay with that. Some fashions are meant for some bodies and others are meant for other bodies.  Deep, huh?  My calves dictate the inability to wear anything less than a bell bottom pant.  True story.

I’ve been reading a bunch, around the blogosphere, about the power of investing in yourself – how you look and feel.  It’s gotten me thinking.  Dangerous, I know.  One of the best pieces of advice I ever received as a brand spankin’ new mama was to get up each day and shower.  Earth shattering news, for those of you who’ve been there done that, I’m well aware.  However, to those sweet women who are new to this Motherhood Road, I wanted to share it.  Feeling clean and “put-together” single-handedly held me together, emotionally, in those first few months of new motherhood.  Don’t misunderstand me, though, I was no fashion plate.  Oh no!  My mom jeans and I?  We were tight. Skin tight.  My yoga pants, however?  We were no longer friends. Those forgiving, flattering, wear-with-anything dear friends?  They were discarded like yesterday’s news.

And then blessing number two came along and I. Were. Tired.  My yoga pants and I?  We became inseparable again.  And some days, we were so inseparable that Sweetman begged me to go take a shower, for-the-love-of-all-that-needs-to-be-laundered, just so he could snag my yoga pants and throw them into the washing machine.  Yep – it got thatbad.

yoga

yoga (Photo credit: GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS)

But, alas, every yoga pant has the harrowing moment where it’s owner wakes up and thinks, “HEY! These pants are for… YOGA!  And I don’t even do yoga!”. And the relationship is severed. Just. Like. That.

But all is not lost. Because, there also comes a day, not so long after, and sometimes altogether too long after, where the mama wakes up and declares, “I think I might just give that Yoga Thingy a try!”. Or that Zumba thingy. Or that, you know… Exercise thingy, a try.  And because I feel so good about what I’m doing in those yoga pants, I find that I don’t care that I’m running in for a quick errand in my old friends.  Or showing up at the bus stop in them, either. Like any good friend, they make me feel good about myself.

And lo and behold, we are Besties again.  Just. Like. That.