A Miracle High

Life can be a series of highs and lows.  My life has certainly been a testament to that.  Met and married my wonderful husband Eric – High.  Tried to conceive for a couple of years, failed fertility treatments, surgery – Low.  Successfully got pregnant through IVF – HUGE High!  High risk pregnancy that left me on bed rest for what felt like most of my pregnancy – Low.  Delivering premature but healthy twins – High/Low.  Five weeks and one day of being separated from them in the NICU – Low.

I could go on and on.  I want to share with you one of my favorite Highs.  He is my little Miracle High.  Eric and I were told that there was absolutely no way that we could conceive naturally.  For that reason we went through IVF to conceive Ethan and Ella.  I have no doubt that it was, indeed, a fact.  As I said this is a Miracle High.

January 2008

I woke up just like the day before. I had no idea that this morning would change all of our lives so much! Eric was getting ready for work and I was lying in bed watching Sports Center (his choice, not mine). I remembered that I needed to call in a prescription that day. Before I could get it, I had to take a pregnancy test.  My cycle was running way too long and I needed to get on progesterone to get me back on track.  I always thought this was a funny thing for me, of all people, to have to do.  I mean, we know I can’t get pregnant.  On top of that, I went back on birth control after I had Ethan and Ella.  I was simply taking it for convenience sake. Eric and I often laughed about what money we wasted on all those birth control pills early in our marriage.  So off I went to pee on my little stick. I unloaded the dishwasher, sat down, and watched TV for a minute. Should I get the kids up? Oh no wait…better go check the test and get that out of the way.

I walked into the guest bath and looked at the test on the sink. Double take…were those TWO lines? Huh? I must be seeing things. I heard Eric say something so I threw the hand towel over the test and jumped back in bed. Eric said, “Why do you look so weird?” I was still in shock so I said, “Just tired.” He went back to the closet to finish getting dressed and I ran back to the bathroom for a second look. Yes. Definitely two lines. How did this happen??? I mean I know how it happens for most, but not us! We were told that we couldnt get pregnant on our own. Holy cow. Eric’s birthday was the next day. Boy, could I have fun with this!!! I ran upstairs to get the babies up and whispered my secret in their tiny ears.  I was pretty sure they smiled.

Thankfully Eric left shortly after that. I am told later that I am in MAJOR trouble for letting him go to work because he would have called in sick. Whoops. I quickly called my mom, my sister, and Kristen. Kristen, my personal OB nurse, reassured me that the home tests are pretty accurate. Even so, I had my mom come over so I could get an official blood test at the doctor’s office. I still didn’t believe it. I went and looked at the home test again.  Still two lines!  When I called Dr. Blake’s office to get the test they acted like I was crazy. “Mrs. Greer, we usually don’t do blood tests if you have a positive home test.” I replied, “I know, but I don’t believe it. When can I come in?” I went in immediately, got my blood drawn, and paid to have the results to me stat.

I cried and prayed on the whole way home from the doctor’s office. I was smiling ear to ear and laughing as I praised God. I am sure anyone who passed by me on the road thought I was crazy. And I was. Crazy happy. I couldn’t believe God’s blessing on us. How could this be? It took so much for us to get pregnant with Ethan and Ella. Nothing had changed with us. We were still infertile. I mean, I was on BIRTH CONTROL too! This was really a miracle straight from above.

All day I avoided calls from Eric and his sister, Amy. How in the world could I play this one off? I couldn’t even sit down I was so excited! I finally got the “official positive” test results from the doctor. Hallelujah! Praise God!! I checked the home test one more time and finally threw it in the trash.

Now how in the world would I give Eric the total shock of his lifetime??? The way we found out we were pregnant with Ethan and Ella was so impersonal.  We called into a voicemail box and listened to a stranger tell us the good news.  Not that we minded one bit.  We were finally pregnant!!

Big Brother and Big SisterI decided I would get the kids Big Brother and Big Sister t-shirts, take their pictures in it, frame it, and give it to Eric for his birthday. Well I am not sure how many of you have tried to get a 16-month old kid to stand still so you can get a good picture of him.  Now throw in a second child.  It isn’t possible. Just take it from me. So I decided the next best thing was to just wrap up the shirts and let Eric open those.

We waited on pins and needles until Eric got home. Of course since we were anxiously awaiting him, he didn’t get home until after 7. After the kids’ bath, Eric read them a story, and then they just had to give their Daddy an early birthday present.

I turned the camera off right after I told him so we could all snuggles.  There were lots of happy tears  all around.  I was told later that Eric was thinking “Why in the world did she give me some shirts for the kids for my birthday?” Apparently what I thought was pretty plain isn’t plain to a man.

How You Can Kick MOMMY GUILT For Good!

How to Kick Mommy Guilt“Be joyful always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18

You remember the old song… “I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart. Where? Down in my Heart. Where? Down in my Heart.”

Be joyful always, 1 Thessalonias tell us. Was this directed to a mother of three?? Well if that isn’t a tall order, I don’t know what is!!

Several years ago we used to call the hours from 5 – 7 pm the witching hours in our house. It started when my youngest son, Matthew, had colic and he would WAIL constantly for hours upon hours each night. Now it is because Mommy straight up turns into a witch. It is the last few hours of my day and I am running on fumes…which is incredibly cruel because it is when I have the most to do and the least amount of energy to do it. My sweet little cherub children decide that their good behavior quota has been all used up at school. It starts with what my husband, Eric, calls my “crazy eyes.” If they are smart, they catch my crazy eyes and immediately retreat to their rooms. If not…and let’s be honest, they rarely do because they were too busy being crazy … if not, I quiet literally blow my top. And I realize that is completely hypocritical to be screaming at them to quit yelling! I am most certainly not full of Joy. Almost immediately a cloud of shame engulfs me.

We’ve all had it. It is a natural byproduct of becoming a mother. Kind of like stretch marks. Mommy Guilt. It can stick around and be just as permanent and shaming as those old stretch marks. Whether it is because we lose our cool with our kids or we feel guilty because we can’t go on their school field trip. Maybe we spend too much time trolling on Pinterest. Why can’t I transform my backyard into Arendelle for Ella’s Frozen party?? Oh look at these fun, nutritious lunch boxes! I totally should be making animals out of the 100% organic lunch so that my kids will have FUN eating their healthy, non-prepackaged lunch!

We can blame it on Pinterest, social media or society in general. That may be how it reaches us, but in reality, Satan is the author of Mommy Guilt. He has made it his mission to rob mothers of the JOY that God blesses us with in motherhood. He is a sneaky little devil. He makes us beat ourselves up for impossibly high standards that we set upon ourselves.   I don’t know a single perfect mother, yet I often beat myself up for not being one.

Well, when I was looking up the exact lyrics to “I’ve Got Joy in My Heart” on the internet, I found another verse. “If the Devil doesn’t like it then he can sit on a tack. Ouch. Sit on a tack. Ouch. Sit on a tack.” Pretty feisty, but I love it! Why do I give Satan that kind of a foothold in my life? When I think about it that way, it makes me adamant to not let him take one second of my God given Joy of motherhood. Does that give me a free pass to turn into the Wicked Witch of the West every night? Absolutely not. But it does allow me to forgive myself for my shortcomings. Then it gives me an opportunity to apologize to my children and teach about forgiveness.

I am slowly learning to embrace what talents God has blessed me with and to not sweat the areas where I am lacking. The fact that I had no less than five people contact me about my go to meal – Kraft Macaroni and Cheese – changing their recipe may be an indication that I am lacking in the cooking department. And you know what? That is OK! I make sure that my kids get the nutrition that they need aside from the cheese powder! I am not going to spend time beating myself up because I am not the Pioneer Woman. Besides think of it this way – I am giving my children wonderful ammo to torture me with at the dinner table when they reminisce about their childhood. Those are the times that my family laughs the hardest at the holidays J

Instead, I will pray without ceasing. Some days it will be filled with thanksgiving for the blessing that God has given me. Some days it will be to just have enough patience to make it to bedtime. If I keep my eyes on Him as I parent the children that God blessed me with, then I will have JOY in my heart.

A Sad Farewell

A Sad FarewellWhen I joined Eric’s family, I knew immediately I became part of something special. His mom comes from a big family with four sisters and one brother and a whole mess of kids and grandkids between them. The entire family gets together every Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is always full of yummy food and laughter. The sisters are wonderful cooks and feed us well. Eric likes to kid his mom and aunts about being a bunch of cluckin and cacklin hens. There is always laughter until tears are streaming down our faces.

About the same time I became part of the family, Eric’s Uncle William married a sweet lady named Diana. Diana was always so kind and interested in our family…especially our crazy kids. We became Facebook friends and got to be a part of each other’s lives virtually. Say what you will about social media, but it is a great way for family to stay in touch and also to get to know each other when you don’t see each other often. Diana was probably one of the most supportive people about my book and my blog even though we only saw each other a couple of times a year. It has meant the world to me.

Sadly, Diana passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Friday morning. She was only 49. Just last week she was happy and healthy and today she is gone. It was a complete shock to all her friends and family. Yesterday Eric donned his black suit and I my black dress, to go say goodbye to Diana. It was a nice service but it is always hard to say goodbye. Especially when there was no time to prepare your heart and mind for the farewell forever.

With her sudden passing, we were all reminded of a few things…

Never take your todays or tomorrows for granted. Say I love you often. Forgive freely. Hug lots. Laugh until you cry. Pet a dog (or 3 🙂 ). And hold those you love near.

Goodbye Diana.  You will be greatly missed.

My Last Kindergartener

My Last KindergartenerI always have such mixed feelings as summer is coming to an end. Sadness because I spend all day with my three precious kids. Happiness because I spend ALL day with my three precious kids. 😉

Let’s get Real. We need a little absence to make the heart go fonder in the Greer house.

And that is for all of us. The kids came with me to help volunteer at the school this week and they were in Heaven. They were thrilled to be back at their school and get to see some of their friends. The moms worked hard, and the kids played hard. For them, it was like The Breakfast Club minus the weed, and I am pretty sure no one crawled in the air conditioning vents 😉 They cannot wait to get back to school.

As I think back to last year when my youngest, Matthew, was getting ready to enter Kindergarten, I was full of anxiety. My last baby was growing up. And I wasn’t ready to let go or move to the next season in life. A life where all my kids were in school all week. A life where I don’t have my little guy to snuggle on a Monday morning. A life where the teachers get their best, and I get their leftovers at the end of the day.

Below is my very first blog post that I published on my previous blog. I share it again to encourage those who going through a change in season now. It is incredibly tough. However, once you get used to your season, you will find the blessings in it.

August 2014 

I love living in Tennessee. I love the mountains. I love the valleys. I love the lakes. Of course I love the football. I love enjoying four glorious seasons each year. I love feeling the changes in seasons. I love to feel the warm sunshine on my face after a long, cold winter. My favorite smell is the crisp fall air after a sweltering summer.

In life we go through a lot of seasons. The change in seasons in life isn’t always as pleasant. This week I had a change in seasons. The last eight years my season has been one of a mother who spent the majority of her day caring for and nurturing my three children. This week, my youngest son, Matthew, started Kindergarten. Sure my primary role will still be their caregiver. However, the majority of our days we will be apart.

Last year when I thought about the day Matthew started Kindergarten, I wondered if I would be walking him in with his new baby sister or brother or would I need a double stroller for twins. Today I walked my baby….my last baby….into Kindergarten and walked out alone. The season of having my babies home with me is over. There is no sunshine on my face or crisp smell that cheers me up. I am sad and quite honestly lonely.

I have a choice I can make.   I can refuse to leave this season and take things into my own hands. I could go through IVF again and possibly get pregnant again. Or, there are lots of babies that need a good home. Maybe I could adopt? But let’s be honest. That baby would grow up and go to Kindergarten and this season would finally end. If I could have my way, I would probably have a baby every five years until Eric finally cut me off!

I could just be bitter about it. I could be angry. I could cry. A lot. Why won’t God let me have the children I thought I would? I had four embryos. Couldn’t one of them have worked? Why did He take away any remote chance for me to able to conceive when I had my surgery last year?

I have a confession to make. I flirted with the first choice. I camped out on the second choice for a good while too. Then, when I finished shaking my fist and yelling at God, I took a breath and I listened to God. The change in seasons in life can be tough. Sometimes down right scary. We can refuse to accept it. We can be pissed off about it. But here’s the deal, IT DOESN’T CHANGE A THING.

Here is the choice that I made. I chose to focus on the three beautiful, healthy children that God blessed me with. I chose to be thankful for the amazing supportive husband that is in my life and make up for all the romance that infertility stole from our marriage. I chose to continue to teach in a preschool so that I can share the abundant love that I have for children. I chose to share my story…no matter how hard or private…because I know that there are women who are suffering alone. I chose to praise God for the blessings and heartache. The heartache helps me to remember to focus on all of the blessings that I do have. The heartache helps me relate to other people. The heartache makes me stronger, so I can weather the next season.

Since I made that choice, I haven’t looked back. Today I am getting ready to send two third graders and a first grader to school. Would I turn back seasons if it meant I could have another child? Honestly, probably. But God has different plans for me and His plans are perfect.

During the first week of school last year, the days were soooo long. I would look at the clock and think, “How is it possible it has only be 5 minutes! 3:35 is forever away!”

Now I feel like time races by. I drop the kids off and it is like the theme from “24” is playing in my head. It is my to-do list and me against the clock. Can I get it all done before 3:35? Sure I miss having them with me during the day, and I can’t wait to hug their necks and kiss their heads when I pick them up.

I have been able to make the acquaintance of another person to help me pass the days. Her name is Stephanie Greer. I lost sight of who I was apart from my three precious kids. I am enjoying rediscovering myself and what God’s perfect plans are for me.

Embrace this chance to rediscover yourself too.

10 Reasons the Most STRESSFUL “Relaxing” Vacation for Parents is … The BEACH!

10 Reasons the Beach is the most stressful relaxing vacation for parentsIf I had my choice of where to go for vacation, it would be the beach. Every. Dang. Time. There is something so calming and relaxing about sitting with your toes in the sand, feeling the ocean breeze, and the sun shining on your face as you gaze out at the crashing waves.

When Eric and I were newlyweds, we would go any chance we got. Everything I needed was in my cute, little monogrammed tote. We would lie on the beach for hours upon hours. Talking. Reading. Listening to Jimmy Buffett. Drifting in and out of sleep. It was glorious and so relaxing.

Now that we are a family of five, it is still our favorite place to go, but it is far from relaxing. We don’t travel a lot, but our week at the beach is held sacred to us. Eric works so hard to provide for our family, and it is a week to just enjoy time with each other. What better setting to do that than the beach?

As much as I love our annual beach trip, it also can be incredibly stressful. Here are 10 reasons why going to the beach is the most stressful “relaxing” vacation for parents:

  1. Packed to the Gills. It starts weeks before as I make piles of stuff we can’t forget. We couldn’t eat on our breakfast table for two weeks because of the piles of sunscreen, beach towels and random kitchen stuff we needed for our condo. I continue to make piles of clothes, sand toys, chairs, and tents. By the time I am done, it consumes half of our garage. Then Eric (aka – the master packer) has the not so small task to fit all of it in our SUV. Even though it is all ready to go the night before, the master packer waits until an hour before we leave to put it in the vehicle. Breathe in. Breathe out. Miraculously, he gets it all in and we are on the road. Then we make our first right turn and a tower of pool noodles tumbles on Matthew in the back seat.
  2. The Drive. When I went on road trips with my girlfriends in college, it was a blast. We listened to mix tapes, read Cosmo, and laughed until Diet Coke came out of our noses. Getting there was almost as much fun as the destination. Once you have kids, it is the exact opposite. We make a tick mark sheet for the number of times our kids ask “are we there yet?”  By the time we get there and the ticks consume an entire page, Eric and I are laughing like maniacs. The kids probably have their own tick sheets for the number of times I say “Keep your hands to yourself!” And to make matters worse, I-65 in Alabama is a nightmare. What genius decided to close lanes on one of the main corridors to the beach weekends in the summer??? Eric tortures himself by staring at his “trip average mph” on the dashboard going down, down, down. No, we are not there yet. As soon as we get going a decent speed, we hear “I gotta go poop” from the backseat.
  3. Sunscream.  I am kind of a maniac about sunscreen. It takes me a good 20 minutes to slather the 50 SPF on every square inch of my three kids. (Can’t forget the booty cracks that inevitably peak out! My son has the tannest top inch of his crack this side of the Mississippi.) It is impossible for them to stand still. I either have to chase them around the condo to lotion them up or plant them in front of the TV to put them in a Disney trance. I am just soooo thankful they are finally old enough to know to not rub their eyes. That was the worst when they got sunscream in their eyes. Inevitably they would then rub their eyes with their sandy hands. Do not miss those days one bit.
  4. I’m a Pack Mule. The amount of stuff that we bring to the beach is epic. We have tried wagons, huge bags, anything we can use to get all our crap down to the beach in as few trips as possible. Eric and I will load up with bags, coolers, chairs, tents, sand toys, and more sunscream. Then the kids will complain when we ask them to carry a towel. By the time we make it down to our spot, my flip flops weigh ten pounds from all the sand that has collected in them. We spend 20 minutes getting everyone and everything set and then we hear – “ I gotta go poop.” Rock, Paper, Scissors over who takes Poops Magee back to the condo.
  5. But I wanna go to the pool. So you finally have your little beach oasis set up. Kids Pottied. Chairs out. Umbrella Up. Sand toys properly strewn about. Boogie Boards ready to boogie in the surf. We finally sit down to take a breath and look at the ocean. And the kids start whining, “I wanna go to the pool now!!” Really? We could go the pool every dang day in Tennessee. So then you have to bargain whine free beach time so that they can have pool time after lunch. Which will most definitely not be wine free for mama after the morning.
  6. Water. Our kids are finally old enough that they can venture into shallow water without me being right by their side. Holla!! But of course, there were reports of shark attacks the week before we left in none other than shallow waters. So although I am allowing them to test the waters with their newfound independence, my eyes are constantly scanning the water for danger. Drowning kids. Jellyfish. Sharknado. Why did I bother loading down my Kindle with new reads?
  7. Sand, Sand, and more Sand. Nothing makes me happier than sinking my toes in the sugar beach. The kids love to play in it. Heck they roll around in it making sure they get as many granules in their scalp, ears, and booty cracks. But I want to leave all that sand at the beach. No amount of hosing off, showering, or bathing can get it all off. I can’t even walk around our condo barefoot because the sand on the floors drives me straight up crazy. Don’t even talk to me about the sand that we are bringing home in our suitcases despite my efforts to get it all out.
  8. Family Pictures are a Beach.  You spend a lot of time and money for the perfect picture that says “look how cute, color coordinated and happy my family is!!”  Bribes are made with ice cream if they just for the love of God smile and quit pinching their sister. When that doesn’t work, you threaten no beach through clinched teeth and a plastered on smile. And thank God for digital cameras. Ten years ago, you would have done all that and gotten your pics back days later after you dropped them off to get developed. You remember…you would get this beloved box chock full of what you know are the best pictures ever. You couldn’t even wait to get home to look at them. You would sit in your hot car and frantically flip through your pictures. And the best one looked like this:

Family Beach picture FAIL

  1. Eating Out is for the Birds.  It really is a perfect storm. The kids are tired from staying up later and playing hard all day. They are mad because I made them put on actual clothes.  There is always a wait to be seated because it is the summer and it is the beach. By the time we are seated, everyone’s blood sugar is low, we are grumpy, and we are just trying to get through the meal so we can go home. Why did we spend so much money to do this?
  2. The Drive Home Straight Up SUCKS. It is just as long of a drive (if not longer, thank you again Alabama interstates), but you don’t have the benefit of the pre-vacation adrenaline hyperness. You just have a car full of sand that makes you depressed, dirty laundry, and tired, cranky kids. But you can eat a fat cheeseburger without the guilt of living in a swimsuit the next week, so there’s that. 

Truth be known. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat (and a good night sleep) just to see this one more time…

Kids playing in the Ocean

10 Ways I Can Help My Daughter Have the Confidence It Took Me 30 Years To Find

10 Ways I can Help My Daughter Have Confidence It Took Me 30 Years to Find
Last week I celebrated my 38th birthday. It amazes me to think that not too long ago, I used to think being 38 was old. In reality, at 38, I finally feel comfortable in my skin. No, I am not talking about having the confidence to strut my stuff at the neighborhood swimming pool. After birthing 3 kids – 2 of them at the same time – I only got the confidence to venture into bikini territory last year… And it took a lot of inner pep talks…And if I have to walk more than three feet, you better believe I am reaching for the cover up!

No. My outer appearance is just a small portion of who I am. Unfortunately, as women, that tends to be what we struggle with the most. My 8-year old daughter, Ella, is just now starting to notice her appearance. Of course I want her to feel beautiful, but I want her to feel confident in all the many qualities that make her so special. 

Here are 10 ways I  can be intentional in my parenting, so  I can help my sweet girl gain some of the confidence that it took me 30 years to find:

  1. God’s Girl – Remind her that God created her just the way He wanted her to be. He knew exactly how to make the best Ella, and He does not make mistakes. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14. That really should be enough said, but since we are human, there are numbers 2 – 10 😉
  2. Unique Girl – Embrace your differences and don’t be ashamed of them. Those differences are what make you unique! When I was little, I hated my freckles and would try to cover them up. Now that I am in my late 30s, I love that they make me look younger. My kids actually get excited when new freckles pop up in the summer because not everyone gets to have freckles. Within the last week, my face has sprouted at least 100 new freckles from our pool time. And I love every one.
  3. Healthy Girl – Teach her to take care of herself in a healthy way. I think this is so incredibly important as they are growing. Their little bodies are growing and changing so quickly. Often times they are growing at different rates than their friends. At such a young age, they are already hyper aware of being bigger or smaller than their peers. I encourage my kids to make healthy choices in terms of their nutrition and physical activity. I want them to grow to have a complete healthy lifestyle. They have balanced meals, are active, but look forward to treats too. I do not talk about dieting or weight. EVER.   I talk about being healthy, strong and taking care of the body that God gave them.
  4. Complete Girl. Build her confidence with praise about all aspects of her. We wonder why girls allow their confidence to be tied so closely to their appearance. Most likely because most of our compliments usually are geared towards that!   You look so pretty! I love your dress!! When they are kind to their siblings, recognize that. If they answer a question correctly, praise their intellect. If they use good manners, encourage them to continue. And absolutely tell her that you think she is the most beautiful girl in the world. She needs to hear that from you too. She needs praise about her total package!
  5. Daddy’s Girl – Fathers play a HUGE part in their daughter’s confidence today and for the rest of her life. My husband, Eric, is always a great example of how a gentleman treats a lady. Whether it is what she experiences first hand on their Daddy Daughter dates or what she observes in how he treats me, she will know how she should be respected. Eric’s greatest fear is that Ella will date a jerk.  Talk about a way to kill her confidence before she even finds it! If we show her and talk to her about how she deserves to be treated, then she will not settle for anything less. Just in case, Daddy has a shotgun and isn’t afraid to use it 😉
  6. Good Girls – It is so important for our daughters to have a good group of supportive friends. Since I am her social secretary, I can encourage friendships with girls that are kind and a positive influence. As much as I hope that Ella will always come to me when she is sad, I know she will talk to her friends too. She needs to have friends that will build her up, not knock her down to make them feel better about themselves. There is no room in my daughter’s life for mean girls.
  7. Independent Girl –  I taught two-year olds in preschool last year. At every parent teacher conference, I encouraged the parents to let their child do more on their own. Then I would go home and micromanage my own! I had to let her spread her wings too! She could do so much more than I was letting her do. When she tries something new and succeeds, the pride on her face is priceless. Yes! I can do that! Whether it is doing chores or helping fix dinner, they all give her a sense of accomplishment when she masters them. And even if it is something little like picking out her own clothes for school, she is fostering her own identity. (Even if she looks like Punky Brewster!)
  8. Persistent Girl – Try and Try Again. Encourage her to keep trying until she finds her unique talents. Maybe she will get lucky and find her niche right off the bat. Maybe she will go through 10 activities until she finds something that she feels good about. Maybe she won’t discover her talent and passion until she is 37 like me. Don’t let her give up trying.
  9. No Shame, Girl!! Sometimes we have to let them spread their little wings and let them fail. As a mom, this is probably the hardest thing because we want to help them succeed. However, sometimes getting knocked down is the best way to build confidence from within Knowing that life doesn’t end when she fails at something, will give her to confidence to try again.

All that being said, I am still a work in progress. I sat on a conference call last week in tears. It was to help me get prepared for upcoming appointment with book publishers, and I felt so overwhelmed…inadequate…not at all confident. I looked over at my notebook where I was brainstorming ideas for this post and thought, “Ha! What a joke. Why the hell am I writing about having confidence??” And then it hit me. Confidence isn’t just doing something that you know you can do. Confidence is having the courage to try knowing you may fail. 

So my last bullet point is this:

10.  Get Real Girl. Let your daughter see that you aren’t perfect and you have insecurities too.  However, you don’t let them rule you.  You face them head on through prayer and the support of your family and friends.  And even if you do fail, it isn’t the end of the world and you are gonna keep on trying.

Confident Girl

I Am Your MAMA Not Your Cruise Director!!

I lay in bed relishing the last few minutes of peace before the day starts. I sense that someone is standing next to my bed. I roll over and open my eyes.

Ethan’s head is inches from my face. “What are we doing today??”

It is 6:17 a.m. I haven’t even fully woken up yet.

I roll out of bed. Rub my eyes and trudge into the bathroom. Matthew bursts through the door. He gives me a quick hug, grabs my face, pulls me down so that we are eye to eye, and asks intently, “What are we doing today??”

It is 6:20 a.m. I haven’t even had time to brush my teeth yet. (Nor has Matthew – holy morning breath!)

I stand in the kitchen trying to decide what we will have for breakfast. Eggos? Mini Pancakes? Cereal? Muffins? “What are we doing today??” Ella asks, making me jump. I didn’t even hear the little ninja get out of bed.

It is 6:36 a.m. I haven’t even had any caffeine yet.

“Can we go to the zoo?”

“No. I want to go to the pool!”

“We still haven’t gone to the American Girl store yet and it is sooo unfair!”

I whirl around to see all three Greer kids anxiously awaiting my answer. “Who do you think I am? Your cruise director??”

Blank stares. Oh yea. They have never been on a cruise, so they don’t have a clue what a cruise director is or what they do. But to answer my question – YES that is exactly what they think I am!

Cruise Director

When did I become this tap dancing monkey? Oh yea. When I gave birth to these amazingly adorable kids. No back that up – the second I even got pregnant with them, I knew my life was forever changed and I would do anything for them.

That hasn’t changed, but I realized that sometimes doing anything and everything for them is not the best thing I can do for them as their Mama.

Alas, I will still strap on my dancing shoes and take them to the zoo, the jumpy place that makes my skin crawl, and the pool every pretty day I can. I am extremely grateful that I can be a stay at home mom and am blessed to be able to enjoy my children’s summer vacation with them.

However, although I don’t receive a paycheck, I very much still have a full time job taking care of my family of five. Laundry to be folded. 3 meals a day to be prepared. A house to be cleaned and then cleaned again when they undo what I just cleaned 😉 All that along with lots of other little things that add up to much more that a full time job!

So on those days when Mama just has too much to do or just needs a break, these kids are going to kick it old school. You know. PLAY OUTSIDE. Build a fort out of blankets. Do some chores. Play a board game. READ A BOOK. Play with the 38 Barbies in the closet. Walk the dog. Have a dance party. USE THEIR IMAGINATION.

Day 19 of Summer of 2015.

58 days to go. It will be over before we know it.

Make it the MOST for EVERYone in the family!