Tuesday, September 15, 2015

There's a time for everything...like push-up bras

This topic I'm about to talk about came to mind after chatting with a friend about the imbalance of being a wife, mom, a woman who works outside of the home and definitely last but not least, a human who has feelings.  What if there's no true balance and right when we think we've found it, we have to put another thing on our plate or take off our plate?  What if our expectations of happiness are too high and that we should really be seeking truth?  What if part of the truth of life is embracing sadness?  What if allowing momentary sadness brings us joy?

Unfortunately, my stress response is control.  I become a task master.  Sometimes it means bossing my family around and other times I clean with a level of intensity that is only needed in a surgical room.  Crying, strong emotion, and grieving are instinctively last on my list of what I let show. Typically, I tend to blame others and then try to make sure I'm validated by someone else in my poor behavior choices.  After I've avoided ME for so long and I've stopped trying to manage everyone and everything, I feel a tickle in my throat.  The tickle moves up to my eyes and then they get damp.  I think to myself, what is this?  My damp foggy eyes can't hold the water back and my face starts to contort.  It's ugly and uncontrolled.  Some noise seems to move from the bottom of my lungs and move up out of my mouth.  Oh how I despise this feeling.  My body is speaking for my hurting soul. At first when this happens, I get mad and try to control it but the anger doesn't even make sense! Now I feel down right insane!  Where is this coming from?  It's weakness and I'm mad that I feel weak.  I was totally fine!  I am fine!  Calm down.  Pull it together.  Why do I feel so out of control and and and...sad?

Why is it so hard to be sad?  The sadness only wants to be recognized.  It's a very real part of life but for some reason it's really hard to be sad.  It's soooo taboo.  Our society says, being a dick is better than being sad. That sucks because there are a lot of sad people disguised as assholes.  One thing I know about being sad, is that it doesn't go away with time.  It gets buried under addictions, titles, medications, religiousness, jealousy, big fake smiles, clothing, food, exercise, self-hate, and the list goes on.  All the ways we cope or don't cope wires us and our behavior.  We were wired to cry a little here and there but crying is ugly and crying can get loud.  Selfies and emoji's are waaaay cuter than crying.  Part of the newborn apgar score is measured by how strong a baby cries.  Crying lets us know we are alive!

Dear Krista,

Next time someone is an asshole to you, maybe it's just because they are sad.  And if that asshole is you, ask yourself, "am I sad and is there someway I can deal with this better? Can I talk about this in an honest way?" Be nice to yourself and grieve a little.  You can even grieve over the loss of your bra size due to nursing two beautiful kids for a year each.  Go ahead, let it out, then put on that push-up bra with pride!



Ecc 3:4 
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 

Lets cry and definitely laugh!  Let's grieve over the stuff that sucks in life and then let's dance our buns off!  His grace says we can do it all.  Praise God.

(Disclaimer: I'm not talking about clinical depression.  Just the occasional sadness due to life's circumstances)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Morning Dove

If you have read my blog you know it was never in our plans to have a child and definitely not children plural.  From birth until now there have been numerous different phases of adjusting and much unknown.  Once you think your baby sleeps perfectly in the swaddle they begin to hate it. Their favorite puree is sweet potatoes then they suddenly start dry heaving at the smell of it.  You can dress them in whatever you want but one day they wake up only wanting to wear one single color head to toe for the next year.  The bath was the best part of the day and then it became the most hated and you end up soaked and everyone is exhausted.  The kid use to love cuddling then they don't and then they do and then they don't.  You get the point, right?  Without a doubt I can say that I see how people lose themselves in their kids. Spending each day trying to figure out how to give boundaries, keep them safe, feed them, keep them somewhat clean, take them to appointments, decide on childcare, healthcare, preschool and teach them to wipe their own butts.  All of this just in time to have another kid.  The second one, still challenging but a little less mystery.  Though less unknown in the day to day duties, now the new one has a different personality.  One was quiet and quick on the ball but then next kid is loud and could give two sh*ts about potty training.

My threenager gives me attitude, love, sweetness, and pushes all the boundaries.  She says adorable things all the time followed by the most logical argument on why she isn't worried about losing a privilege because she will find something different to do.  Once I think I have her pegged on discipline, she shows me that particular method doesn't work anymore.  Some nights I'm so dang tired of doing the bedtime routine so I skip one step (she won't notice I try to tell myself) and right when I think I have escaped the bedroom she sits up and reminds me of what we forgot to do.  Some nights I am graced with patience and the sentiment that she won't be this young forever.  Other nights I know Scott will do a way better job at being bedtime captain because if I were in there I would just jump ship or throw someone overboard.  Thankfully, when I do lose my cool, she's the most forgiving person I've ever met.  It's beautiful chaos living with a threenager.

I barely remember what it was like without children.  It's was as lonely as it was free.  I use to take selfies without guilt but now I throw a kid in the pic because my face alone just doesn't do the picture justice.  I use to post only pics of Scott and I on our kidless adventures but now it's usually the four of us squeezing into the camera view and me still trying to look cute and show off my new haircut while I hold a baby that keeps pulling my hair and poking my eye.  I can only daydream about the future of when the kids move out and Scott and I will travel around and be the cute old couple holding hands. Even when that day comes, I'm sure I'll be daydreaming about the day when our kids were little and went everywhere with us.

I'd be lying if I said that my kids were my life and that everything I do is for them.  The reality is that I learn more about love, life, discipline, grace, anger, joy, forgiveness, fear, anxiety, laughter because of them.  Right now, I'm learning more about myself than I think I ever could have without them. They are the reason that I'm not a workaholic, the reason I try to think positive about my body image, the reason I examine my motives more than ever, the reason I've tried to learn new things out of my comfort zone, the reason I embrace emotional craziness, the reason I accept a messy house, the reason I enjoy the quiet moments, the reason I fall in love with my husband when he does something sweet for them, the reason I can see the love my parents had for me by watching them with my girls, the reason I stop and smell the roses so they can know the sweet smell of a rose.

I think of it like this...

We don't need the birds to tell us to wake up in the morning, we have the sun for that.  The birds are a sweet addition to the mornings that let us know there's a little more to life than just what we need.  I am thankful to know the sweet song of a morning dove.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Parenting and expectations

Never thinking about being a parent set me up for absolutely no expecations.  To me, it's an advantage. I never wanted a girl or boy to represent all of my dreams of being a parent.  I don't have dreams of my kids going to collage or playing sports.  I don't even know if they will love Jesus in the same way I do.  I can only hope that I can genuinely share the love that's in my heart and how it got there.  Prayer is where I lay my hopes and dreams down and ask God to reveal His love to the two gifts in my life that I call Rhylan and Phoenix.

Here's my parenting style, not that anyone cares, but maybe someday I'll look back when the kids are grown and know that at least I tried to be a good mom.  ;)

I constantly ask Rhylan how she feels about things.  When she's being reserved around other people or "shy"as others like to label, I always ask her what she is thinking.  The way these little people perceive things is very valid for them.  Every time someone says, "you're fine, you're okay" when a child is crying, it's like they are shooing away feelings that probably need to be talked about.  Like someone shoos away a fly, it doesn't solve the problem, the fly inevitably comes back.   I guarantee that if more of our human population would get down to kid level and ask how they feel or what they are thinking, it would change the mental health of so many people.  I'm not saying that there are not real mental health issues out there.  My point is that everyone perceives situations differently.   There are many different personalities, I know this because I have managed a company with employees for 11 years.  I understand that my kids may not reflect any of my personality.  They may have my quirks and Scott's facial expressions but they are their own fantastic person.

Back to my lack of curricular expectations for Rhylan and Phoenix.  I expect them to show kindness, love, and generosity.  I expect them to cry when their bodies hurt or their feelings hurt.  I expect them to stand strong in their convictions.  I expect them to get angry.  I expect them to grieve.  I expect them to understand that there is a process to life and rushing it can lead to less joy and missed opportunities.  I expect them to fail and succeed.  There are no expectations of them to reflect their mom and dad.  Hopefully, we will be able to see where they are gifted.  If it's in music, sports, praying, giving, book smarts, art, farming, traveling the world, research, hairstyling, or business owning, I pray every night that God shows us how to help them excel in that particular thing.  Time will tell and I'm excited to see what talents they bring to the table!

Once, I was at a restaurant with my family when a fun gathering turned rough because Rhylan mistook her finger for a french fry.  OMG!  She bit her finger so hard that it bled.  She was obviously hurt and no doubt had the right to cry.  I took her to the bathroom to wash it off and bandaid it.  While she was crying, I was telling her that I was sorry that happened to her and it's a bummer she was hurting.  I wasn't being dramatic and neither was she.  Her finger was bleeding because she bit it like a zombie rips through brains.  (Sorry-not-sorry for the gore.  Hehehe!)  Anyways, this lady I don't know comes out of a bathroom stall and immediately starts saying to Rhylan, "you're okay, you're okay.  Look at that picture!  Isn't it pretty?"  I looked at the woman and told her that it was okay that my daughter was upset because she bit her finger and it was bleeding.  I wasn't egging on Rhylan's emotions, I was accepting them and helping her process that she was hurt but the pain would lessen soon.  Since Rhylan was itty bitty, I taught her how to take deep breaths if she's worked up.  This lady, though well-intentioned, wanted my daughter to be distracted by looking at a shiny object (the picture).  There are plenty of shiny objects in life to be distracted by when we are in pain.  As a parent, I don't want to see my babe cry in pain but I was using this as a lesson to show I care about Rhylan's pain and she can cry with me.  We can do this pain stuff together.  I care about her pain and I care about her joy.  I want to experience all of it with her.

I don't have teenagers yet but I feel that if I don't let my little ones know that I will sit and cry with them now then how will they suddenly trust me in those dumb, crazy, hormonal years?  How will they know that pain is real and that emotions happen but that there are healthy ways of moving through the aches of life instead of moving onto the next shiny object?  Process is good.

It takes time to let kids cry and it can be stressful to look Rhylan in the eye when all I want to do is run out the door when she's throwing a tantrum.  If I can help her learn how to process the severity of pain whether it physical or mental, I think she could be a great friend to someone someday that's going through the aches of life.  Most of the time, humans want to know they are not alone and that their feelings are validated in someway.

Humans need to feel.  Little humans need to feel.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Crazy prego!

I didn't blog much with my second pregnancy and I think I need to catch up a little.  It's true, life is a little busier with a kid.  I wasn't nearly as hormonal crazy with this pregnancy but nonetheless, I was crazy.  There were some good times of crazy I can share to give a good laugh to those who need one.

I'm not sure about anyone else but I get uncomfortably overheated the instant I'm pregnant.  A furnace starts up in my body and it's not pretty.  While I sleep, I sweat and drool.  The drool.  Come on, really, drool for days. One night in my first trimester, Scott and I decided to watch a movie so we sat down on our usual couches. I'm on the little one and he's on the big one.  I was in a tank top and shorts in January and he was in what would be normal winter attire.  Suddenly, the furnace in my body turns on and my skin starts to heat up.  On top of the 400 degrees, I'm nauseated.  Scott was just laying there, innocent, enjoying the movie and oblivious to the sudden attack that was coming at him.  I couldn't help but look at him sitting over there with his fleece sweats on and envy his normal body temperature.  The more I looked at him, the angrier I got.  Believe me, I tried to fight the hormonal rage but it was too much.  "Will you please go change?" I asked him with disgust.  He looked at me with confusion all over his face and asked why.  "That's disgusting!  Why are you wearing those sweats and that shirt?"  It was crazy talk and I knew it.  It was what I call the "prego black out rages". I can see myself saying and doing things but I can't stop.  I starred at him and asked again.  He looked at me and told me he was chilly and didn't want to change.  I was pissed.  "Please go change!  I'm so annoyed!"  Reluctantly, he paused the movie, gave me the "you're crazy look" and walked to his closet.  While he was in the other room I walked over to his couch and took off his pillows and made myself comfortable.  He came back in a t-shirt and shorts hoping for the best.  Not only did I make him change into cooler clothing but I grabbed his couch leaving him with a two-cushion couch. Inside, I knew it was not the right thing to do but my hormones said, "Just do it, you deserve the big couch and for him to suffer with you".  Hormones are rude SOB's.  They never say sorry either.  I always have to do the apologizing for them.  He finished the movie, I fell asleep half way through and I knew that he knew this was just the beginning of irrational behavior from his pregnant wife.  He could've said no, he could've fought me on it but we both know after prego anger comes prego tears and after prego tears comes more tears.  It's never a win for anyone involved.

"Every woman is crazy.  It's just what degree of crazy can you handle?" --Krista

Broken by love

Rhylan asked me to tell her stories of when she was a baby.  Sure, no problem.  Laying next to her, moving my fingers through her hair I vividly remembered the day I became broken by a love I had never known before.  I could see her baby face and her first smile and her tiny hands.  I remember changing her clothes and suddenly her tiny pajamas were too small.  With excitement, I showed her everything I knew.  Scott showed her how to joke and play.  She observed and soaked it all in. Suddenly, I knew nothing of an old life without a child.  Suddenly, I was broken by love.  There she was.

I'm broken.
I'm a broken mom.
They have broke me.

I love deeper.
I cry harder.
I weep knowing.

I know it's limited.
I know I can't sing to her forever.
I know this time will pass.

I weep.
I wail.
I am broken by love.

It's the innocence.
It's teaching her everything I know.
It's her teaching me.

The songs.
The laughter.
The firsts.
The lasts.

Good night my baby
Good night my baby girl
Good night my little girl
Good night...

Friday, August 15, 2014

A new life brings new stuff

If you read my last pregnancy blogs three years ago, you know that pregnancy is a real "issue" for me.  I'm up and down and all around with it.  From beginning to end, I just never know what I'm feeling or thinking about it.  I worked hard on other things through this pregnancy.  There were a lot of changes in my business and already having one child distracted me from remembering I was pregnant some days.  Scott was left to take care of Rhylan and me for many months while I worked and came home a hungry, hormonal mess.  I tried to help with bath time and bed time but there were many nights I ended up short-fused and crying.  One evening I put Rhylan in the bath and sat, uncomfortably, on the stool in front of her.  She played and wanted all my attention.  She decided she would toss a cup of water on me which made me more uncomfortable. I took a deep breath and did my best parenting job of telling her how I felt about that and gave her consequences if she were to choose to do that again.  The stinker looked at me and did it once more.  My eyes popped out of my head, I tightly put my lips together and felt my emotions set on fire.  There was no more sanity inside of me to actually follow through with a consequence that didn't include screaming and turning into a dragon mother that breathed fire.  Patience was non-existent at that point.  I got up, left the room, and called Scott who was outside mowing.  He only had about 15 minutes of mowing left but my shaky voice clued him in that tonight was not the night he could finish that job.  Tears of frustration came out along with an explanation of my "emergency" situation.  I told him about our turd of a child throwing water on me TWICE and that I was not able to handle the rest of the night.  He came in and talked to Rhylan about her choice, had her apologize to me then took over the nighttime duties.  I was in the bedroom crying, wondering why I couldn't pull myself together.  How could I be a wife, a mom to two children, and business owner?  Defeat is what I felt.  Although, I had pep talk after pep talk from friends, husband, and family, I just couldn't seem to wrap my head around how weak I felt some days.

As I neared the end of my pregnancy, there was a feeling of fear and anxiety creeping in on me.  Oh the confusion and words of discouragement in my head. Just some of the fears were labor, time off, sleepless nights, giving sufficient time to Scott, Rhylan, a new babe, a business AND myself.  I saw the headlights of change coming as quickly and as bright as a train in the night.  It was all coming and I had to adjust or else I would get run over.    

Once again, I prioritized a new schedule.  I worked on waking up a little earlier to get exercise in and journal/devotion time. Those changes alone helped me get out of my own head and leave some fears and thoughts on paper instead of haunting my busy brain.  I looked at labor again and concluded that I needed to prepare my heart for it.  I couldn't just go into labor thinking "I got this".  Scott and I started to talk more about the new life that was going to join us and we prepared her room to welcome her.  With Rhylan, it was all I could think about, and with this new babe, I had to make the choice to prioritize her.  It may sound awful but life was different this time around.  I'm thankful for the process and faithfulness that God graced us with over the last month.

The fear began to lift, the anxiety was driven out the door and joy was revealed in the little things. Sometimes there will be circumstances that naturally bring joy and sometimes you have to claim that joy and hold onto it, then reclaim it again and again.  Claim the victory, shout out the fear, then wake up and do it all over again.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Team Wrage pep talk

I figured I blog best when I have a baby in my belly so here I go again.  Here's a little bit of how 2014 has gone for me.  I love sharing my heart with others and sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it's just ramblings.

We thought we would try to get pregnant at the beginning of 2013 but there were circumstances that made us realize that it wouldn't be wise timing.  In May, we had a miscarriage and that rocked me like I never knew it could.  It didn't make me want a child one way or the other, it just showed me a lot emotionally about myself that I didn't know.  I mourned that loss and moved forward waiting for God to show me what was next.  When I turned 30, I felt like it was time to get to know myself again and reunite my relationship with myself.  After all, if you don't take time to invest your relationship with you, it's hard to fully invest in others.  It became my mission to get to know my heart and my soul again.  Scott and I were having some deep conversations about what we wanted for each other.  It was strange to see how much we had changed in 8 years.  We started to look back at our journey and see some items/baggage we had picked up along the way.  Conforming to what we thought business owners should look like, conforming to what married with a child should look like, conforming to the marriages around us.  I realized that I held resentment for his investment in friendships and tried to control that through guilt trips.  Instead of supporting him and examining my heart, I tried to hinder his joy.  I confessed this to him and asked for forgiveness.  He confessed that he rebelled against my requests sometimes because he didn't want me to have control.  See the vicious cycle that was occurring?  Suddenly we were having really productive, natural dialogue again.  I told him I wanted purple hair, he told me to do it.  I shared that I needed to work out on a regular basis, he told me to do it.  He told me he wanted to hang out with a friend and do pointless stuff (in my mind) and I told him to do it. Truly, we want the best  for each other.  When we first met over 8 years ago, I was an independent, very capable human.  I started using him to hold myself back.  "Scott, will you go get me this or do that? Scott, will you fix this?"  I was requesting things of him that I was fully capable of doing but I believe that it was becoming co-dependent behavior.  We talked about that issue and I worked on breaking little habits and began taking care of myself like I use to.  Our relationship was beginning to repair.  Neither one of us saw that it needed this healing but I thank God for breaking me down so we could be built back up.  I don't want my friends' marriages, I don't want to look like everyone else, I don't want to raise my kids to fit a mold.  I said it once before, I won't put all my eggs in Scott's basket, I put them in God's.  Scott is a wonderful addition to my life and has a wonderful purpose in my journey and I in his.  Same with Rhylan.  I had a person ask me what I loved most about being a parent and this is the first thing that came to my mind, "I love watching the process of how humans learn.  I love watching her grow and observe.  I cannot underestimate her gifts and talents and I feel so blessed to be apart of her journey.  I love that I can teach her how to do things and how to love.  The human journey is one never to be taken for granted.  It's a privilege to be apart of her life."  I don't need her to need me to feel like a real mom.  That is the privilege of raising a child, I have confidence of my purpose in her life.  She is a sweet sweet song that will never leave my heart.  It is my pleasure to see how God designed her and I will do my best to enable her to grow in a healthy, safe, loving, environment that focuses on continual growth.

Just when you think there's plenty of change going on and God can't possibly add more to your journey, He allows another traveler to our journey.  Baby August 2014 has joined team Wrage!