Married Monday : Honeymoon Edition

Almost ten years ago, Andy and I embarked on an adventure called marriage and I’m pretty sure no two people could have been more unprepared.

No really.

We were 18 and 19 and madly in love and also dumb as bricks on all things pertaining to sharing a life together.

All you need is love, right?

Ha.

I’ll never forget our honeymoon and how fun it was. And I’ll also never forget how we fought over the stupidest stuff and how I was scared out of my mind that I would never be a good wife or we would never have a good marriage because hello WE WERE ALREADY ARGUING.

Oh how I wish I could go back and hug that poor girl that I was and tell her how “normal” it was. I remember years later telling someone about how scared I was on our honeymoon and they said “oh my gosh we fought the entire honeymoon too!”. It was a breath of fresh air breathed right into me.

We also had so much fun and got to know each other so much better that week too. I couldn’t wait to get home and play house with Andy.

And here we are ten years later, having survived the newlywed stage of marriage, new babies, and lots of sleepless nights.

To be honest, I really do sometimes wonder how we survived. I was so incredibly selfish (and still am sometimes) and just had no idea how hard marriage could be.

Have you felt surprised by marriage? Whether it be easier than you thought or harder? I think nothing can prepare you for sharing a life with someone.

This week we are spending the week on a cruise (just like our honeymoon) and I’m just so excited to have time just Andy and I to get to know each other more and have plenty of time without anyone interrupting. I’m sure going to miss the girls but this is SO WORTH IT. Time alone with Andy always strengthens us and reminds me why we fight so hard to stay together.

Here are a few pictures from our honeymoon. Enjoy!

 

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Married Mondays, it’s all the rage.

There are some things I’ve learned in our (almost) 10 years of marriage and I thought I’d start sharing some of the things I’ve learned with y’all (both things I’ve learned easily and things I’ve learned the hard way). Sometimes it’ll be tips, sometimes it’ll be hilarious stories, sometimes it’ll be things I’ve learned the hard way…

Now. Let me get something real clear here before we move on with our new segment called “Married Mondays” – I AM NOT AN EXPERT OR EVEN A GOOD WIFE 90% OF THE TIME.

I’m simply a wife who has sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) fumbled through the marriage realm trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. This is hopefully going to be full of humor, encouragement, and realness.

What started me thinking about doing a regular marriage post is by the reaction I’ve gotten in the past when I’m real about marriage, the good and the bad. Now, I’m not going to be using this as a sound base for all my complaints about my husband, but I will always be honest about the fact that marriage is sometimes just hard. Not even because of him most of the time- it is mostly because I’m a selfish human and like to fight to the death to get my way. Not good, people.

Today I’m going to give 5 Very Random Tips to Make Your Marriage Better (I could come up with 230923 more tips, these are just five that came off the top of my head for today):

1- Just say yes.

Andy and I both have a hard time with this one. For some reason, our first and natural reaction is “no”.

Here are some examples:

Andy has a tendency to want to stay home all the time and I have the tendency to want to go all the time. I’ve quit asking so much because I know it isn’t reasonable, but my love language would be catered to if he said “yes” occasionally to my declarations of “let’s just go to ____ and spend the day!”. He’s a planner and it makes him crazy, but I love to go and it delights me to NO END when he says “yes” without me begging him. TO NO END, y’all. I want to squeeze his face off when he says “yes” to my need for spontaneity.

For me- I need to say “yes” more to things like Andy’s love of hunting, fishing, projects, etc. Instead of rolling my eyes and making him feel terrible about him going hunting, I should just say, “yes! go have fun!” and give him a smack on the butt as he walks out the door. (I don’t do this well most of the time.) (the saying yes part- I smack him on the butt all the time so I do that very well.) Or how about it drives me insane that he can’t just relax when he’s at home, he has to be doing some sort of project, but what I need to do is just help him with his projects and not complain one bit and just say, “yes” to cleaning out the car or garage or whatever for the 23090323 time.

Women, you should also just say yes to other things but that is for another blog that doesn’t have readers named Mom and Dad.

But seriously. Just say yes.

2- Encourage one another.

Do I think some of Andy’s ideas are kinda sorta insane? Yes, yes I do. But I have complete faith that he’s 1000xs smarter than me, so I just trust him and encourage him along the way.

I think it is just so important for husbands and wives to be each other’s biggest cheer leaders. I mean, if the person who knows you the very best in life and chooses to STILL LOVE YOU while knowing the good, bad, and ugly then it shouldn’t be a sacrifice at all to encourage them.

3- Change for them.

Oh yes, I said it. We are told over and over again by society that we don’t need to change but that the other person needs to change.

WRONG.

The best thing you can do for your spouse and FOR YOURSELF is to be willing to change and mold and bend and COMPROMISE for a better life. Why wait and wait and wait for someone else to change when you can do it yourself?

For example: Do you think I ever expected to have moved to 15 different homes, 8 different towns, and four different states? No. No I did not.

But because I was willing to change my expectations and plans to better BOTH OF OUR LIVES, we have had the most awesome experiences everywhere we have been.

4- Laugh together.

This is probably my #1 actually. It is so important that you don’t always take yourself so seriously. Andy and I are probably the extreme of this because we laugh ALL THE TIME. I’m so thankful that he laughs with me (and at me) when we both know I’m being stupid or crazy.

For example: A neighbor showed up and my girls let her in before I even knew someone was at the door. I had been in the laundry and only had a tshirt on because I was trying to find a pair of pants. Andy was on the back porch grilling out so I ran out there and told him to go in and take care of the neighbor because I couldn’t get to any pants without her seeing me. Well, there I am on the back porch doing that weird awkward dance you do when you’re avoiding a situation and don’t have pants on (what? I’m the only one who has a dance like this????) and I look over to see my neighbor with their head cocked to the side like “WAIT WHAT AM I LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW?!” ….. Bless it.

Well Andrew thinks things like this are hysterical. And I do them all the dang time.

Andy’s very, very quiet. Like the dude rarely speaks ever. But when he opens his mouth it 99% of the time is HILARIOUS.

For example: We were eating dinner the other night and some song came on (can’t even remember what song, it was an uber cheesy one) and I said, “hey! Listen! It is our song!” (as a joke). Andy pipes up and says, “Naw. Our song is ‘Back That Thang Up’.” I mean. Seriously?! I about peed my pants from laughing.

5- DATE EACH OTHER.

Y’all, this is just so important. How can you stay in love and stay connected if you don’t go on dates?

And believe me- sometimes it is hard to do. We had NO ONE in Texas so we hired one. We didn’t get to go as often, but we made sure to do it.

Andy and I love our date nights. I can’t even tell you. We usually go to dinner just so I don’t have to cook (ha) and then we do random things. A lot of the time we come back home and watch a movie together on the couch with no children climbing on us.

If you can’t afford to hire someone or don’t have anyone, you can still have date nights! When we couldn’t afford it a particular month in Texas, we would go out on the back porch after the kids were in bed and we just talked and ate dinner out there. Or we would get in the bed and watch a movie. Sometimes “date night” simply consisted of us cooking and eating dinner after the kids were in bed. Those were just as good as most of the date nights we had going out.

Okay, that is it for the first “Married Monday”. I’d love to hear your five random tips for surviving marriage!

Remember, I’m no marriage expert, but I am always trying! Most “Married Mondays” will have a theme, today I just wanted to kick start it so this is extremely random.

Happy Married Monday!1495493_10100969125950886_1952071512_n[1]

 

closet purge of 2014 and the middle school years

Yesterday I completely lost my mind and decided to completely clean and re-organize my closet.

And by RE-organize I mean organize it for the first time the right way since living here for a year.

Obviously.

You may be wondering why I would decide to do this so I thought I’d share with you a little picture I’d like to call “OUT OF CONTROL”. Or if you are super cool like me you’d hasthag it #OOC.

IMG_3744I’m ashamed to even show you that picture.

But the first step in recovering is recognizing you had a problem.

AND OH DID I HAVE A PROBLEM.

The girls had lost their TV privileges a few days ago, so I turned it on for the first time in a while and they literally sat and watched Imagination Movers (most annoying show ever) and Sheriff Callie (don’t even get me started on that one) the entire time I cleaned.

Which, lets face it, is a true Christmas miracle.

Only it is March. So whatever.

The total loss of my mind also happened because of a few key factors worth mentioning:

1- My children refuse to sleep which, I know, is shocking news around here.

2- In hopes that they would sleep better I have made the executive decision to not allow naps anymore. Which has caused much weeping and gnashing of teeth FROM ME but after FOUR YEARS OF NO SLEEP, I cannot handle it any longer. No really. I told Andy I COULD NOT DO IT ANOTHER NIGHT. And of course, I did do it another night because what else can you do? Sometimes life is truly just about survival.

3- I’ve been drinking The Pioneer Woman’s (or Ree if you are friends with her which of course I am not) Iced Coffee every morning for about a week. And I don’t know what kind of crack juice it actually is but one glass of this heaven in a cup sends me into SUPER OVERDRIVE. Maybe it is the scoop of sugar and milk that make it even more crack juice-y. I don’t even care.

IMG_3742So as I’m cleaning out my closet I realize that I’m a true clothes hoarder. I don’t have the tendency to hoard anything else (except nail polish, makeup, shampoos and shoes- HA) but old clothes. I’m all over it.

Case in point. I had this dress since I was pregnant with Rory. And I used to wear it. Like I for real wore it.

IMG_4340WHY DON’T YOU PEOPLE LOVE ME?! Because if you loved me you would have told me to take this saggy boob snake mess off and THROW IT AWAY.

Sigh. Clearly I have no friends.

Then I noticed this piece of awesomeness stuck way back in the back of my T-shirts.

IMG_4337Bulldog Bash T-shirt circa 2005. This isn’t even mine. I’m pretty sure it is Sam’s from one of the times he moved in due to the fact that Andrew and him could not beat their playstation addiction in college. Why do I still have this?! Please tell me?!

The next items on my list date all the way back to the mid to late 90s.

OH YES THEY DO.

Exhibit A: Cheerleading sweatshirt circa 1999, Tigrett Thunderbolt (faux) “letter jacket” for soccer circa 1997, and Tigrett basketball windbreaker or whatever they were called circa 1996/97/98. Sweet mercy. HOW DO I STILL HAVE THESE THINGS?!

IMG_3782Please notice my name monogrammed on the windbreaker. Tiffany McIntire. The holy grail of awesome awkward.

You know. This is the perfect opportunity to interject and tell you a little story.

While wearing that windbreaker I fell, nay, tumbled violently down an entire set of bleachers during a pep rally after they called my name to come to the center of the court.

It is really too bad that they didn’t have cell phones back then because I would have been a youtube sensation FOR SURE.

I’m pretty sure I have PTSD to this day from that. And I’m pretty sure it was MOST DEFINITELY my most embarrassing event to date.

Raise your hand if you went to Tigrett and remember this! I’ve been texting my “friends” (ha) Rachel and Sara and they totally don’t remember which is the biggest disappointment of my life. Then I went to facebook messaging random friends from Tigrett and none of them remember either. So maybe it was a bigger deal in my head…. or actually NO IT WASN’T I FREAKING FLIPPED DOWN 27 BLEACHERS IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE SCHOOL. IN 7TH GRADE. Could there be anything worse OR more hilarious ever?!

7th grade is a rough year no matter what. Throw in the fact that I didn’t make the basketball team so ended up being the “ball girl” and THEN FELL DOWN THE STAIRS WHEN THEY CALLED MY NAME at the pep rally and well it was literally hell on earth. Ha!

All this thinking about middle school made me decide to find my lovely yearbook. AND OH I FOUND SOME GEMS.

First I shall show you the team picture that shows we all wore matching windbreakers:

IMG_3848There I am second row from the bottom all the way on the left. They put me there because they were worried I couldn’t handle the bleachers more than one step.

And rightly so.

But can I just say that I’m so thankful for the sweet mercy of whoever did this yearbook page because there was no mention of the ball girl status. I owe you a drink, dear friend.

Next up is a “group picture”. I stole my anorak from my sister and thought I WAS THE BOMB.COM, y’all. Because NOTHING said cool like a Gap Anorak, am I right or am I right?! I’m on the floor all the way to the left. In case you were wondering, the anorak was maroon. If you could see this more clearly you would see that anoraks and stripes were clearly BIG in ’97. Also. I had on Timberlands. Faux Timberlands from Shoe Carnival or WalMart or wherever, I’m sure. Holla Team 7A, holla.

IMG_3847I had to look twice at this one and second guessed myself until my memory came back and I distinctly remember gasping in horror when I saw that this made it into the yearbook…

IMG_3844Because every 7th grade girl wants to look like a 7th grade boy in the yearbook.

BUT! You HAVE to look on my wrist! That right there friends in your essential WWJD bracelet. Probably in navy or black. I had one in every single color, of course.

Here is my sixth grade yearbook picture. I’m throwing this in there so everyone can see that I had a version of the bowl cut in middle school which is pretty much horrific.IMG_3837And here we are at a dance in 7th grade….

Honestly I don’t even know what to point out first because there is too much awesomeness in one picture.

IMG_3833I think we should note these things: 1) everyone rocked the oily bangs, 2) STRIPES ARE STILL IN, 3) So are overalls. Corduroy overalls to be exact. 4) And sweetness look at the turtlenecks! Bless our hearts we really thought we were cool.

Also, don’t you love how I felt the need to name everyone in the picture? Of course I’m glad I did this now because I can remember people better. Otherwise how would I ever known who I faked friendships with in pictures?! JUST KIDDING.

Last but not least is my favorite picture ever for a few reasons: 1) it redeems my bowl cut a little, 2) my attire is epic to the 90s, 3) I’m ”raising the roof”. Can you get more 90s than that?! Also, pretty sure dancing has always been my calling in life. Clearly you can see this on my face.

IMG_3845My attire is so right on point with the 90s it makes me want to weep. Overalls. Scrunchie to match my outfit. Velcro band watch. (Because seriously was there anything better than that in middle school?!)

Thank goodness I have a sense of humor now or else I’d still be scarred for life from those awful middle school days. Even the people I thought were just SO COOL say they would like to forget middle school ever happened.

Next up in my treasure trove of a closet – pants that state I went to Maui for my senior trip. Except really all they say is Maui across my butt which brings me to WHY DID WE EVER WEAR THINGS THAT SAID CRAP ACROSS OUR BUTTS?! I mean, REALLY?!

IMG_4466I wore these weird yoga pants/leggings/I don’t even know OUT. There is a picture out there somewhere of me doing flips through the airport in those pants. I would pay money for someone to resurrect that picture. I am, however, wearing those pants in the following picture. Sadly, you can’t see them, but this picture is the best picture I have ever taken with one of my BFFs Lauren.5288_1173043561572_6054426_nShe’s going to kill me and I cannot wait.

I also found my camp uniform from 2002. It, too, is monogrammed.

IMG_4344And how about this puffed paint pillowcase from 2001? I mean nothing says a good night’s rest like crunchy, hard pant on your face. Am I right?!

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It only took me about three hours but VOILA! Here it is in all it’s clean and wonderful glory.

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When the children came in at the end (because I called them to my room to sing my praises because I was desperate for someone to exclaim how awesome I was) they were shocked and in awe of their momma’s amazingness.

IMG_3799Here is another view of the closet. Doesn’t that look so wonderful and neat and beautiful because NOTHING IS ON TOP OF THE DRESSER except what I deemed appropriate.

IMG_3789I had a stack of clothes on the bed that I asked Andy to put up last night….

IMG_3825I will like to inform y’all that I may or may not have had homicidal thoughts for a moment. Apparently when I started breathing in a bag he realized the error of his ways and the dresser is clean once again.

I would also like to point out that while cleaning Andy’s side of the closet I realized he hoarded things as well. He had a grand total of 56 hats and 28 pairs of cargo shorts. I can’t even, y’all. Who has a need for all of that?! He also owes 10 or so maroon polos. He should win an award for most owned cargo shorts and hats.

I almost slept in my closet last night. In fact, I wish I had of slept in there – maybe everyone would have left me alone at all hours of the night. HA!

Hope my awkward middle school photos brought you great joy today. Happy Wednesday!

 

watched : rising above insecurities in the church

There was a time, way back when, that I didn’t quite embrace the fact that my life naturally attracted all things weird, embarrassing, different, and “dirty”.

I was a preacher’s kid and I was always so watched that I was rather insecure for much of my growing up. Though it has gotten better, I still tend to want to retreat there in that insecure state of mind.

I lived most of my life so afraid of disappointing people. I learned very early on to reign it in and act the way I knew people expected.

I will never forget the time I went to the skating rink and dropped my skates in front of everyone and OH THE HORROR I said a hearty, “SHIT”, right in front of two Sunday School teachers and 3 other church members. Just recalling this memory makes the guilt rise back up. I seriously needed therapy from that. I just knew they would tell my dad and he would be so disappointed in me.

And is there anything worse in the world than that?

I was just a normal kid, doing normal sinful things though. Does that excuse it? ABSOLUTELY NOT. But I wasn’t some hellion that was too far gone from the grace of Jesus like I really thought I was at the time.

I continued my life with the “watched” mentality. There were times I’d test the watched theory and go to a PG13 movie with a boy that my parents probably/most likely/absolutely wouldn’t really like. I would go through stages of sneakiness just to try and see what got back to my parents.

And I didn’t have it half as bad as my sisters did. They were a part of churches that were even more legalistic and judgmental and not as grace-giving as I was.

Then at the wise, old age of 18 I got married. I absolutely was in love with Andy, but I’m pretty sure I was more in love with the idea of being free and away from the life as a pastor’s child.

Marriage = freedom? HA

When Andy and I first got married we “went to church” but we didn’t get involved. We moved a lot because of his internships so when we lived on the coast we barely, if ever attended church. When we lived in Starkville we went to church solely because we LOVED our Sunday School teachers and class. Eventually, though, it became more of a social thing for us than a “let’s actually seek Jesus and grow in Him” thing.

Everytime I would start to really be a part of a church and rise up to lead in some way or another, I would always retreat and run away from that.

Why?

Because I would be watched again. All those insecurities that I had about never being good enough or enough of a proper southern church lady or straight-laced enough…. they would rise back up like fire inside of me. It would literally tear me apart.

Why?

Because I knew, and still know, that I’m never going to be that person. I’m absolutely NOT straight-laced and absolutely NOT a perfect, proper Southern church lady.

I won’t ever be.

Why?

Because that is not who God made me.

Four years ago we moved to Texas and had a precious baby. It scared me to death because I knew from that point on I would be permanently watched by someone. I had no choice but to decide to just be me.

I had to face the fact that I wasn’t going to always measure up. I wasn’t always going to succeed at everything. I was absolutely going to disappoint people and fail.

Because I’m human.

I’m not some overly spiritual, say-the-right-things, legalistic to a T person.

I’ve NEVER been that person. I wasn’t RAISED to be that person. I was letting all of those people who always “watched” me and my family still dictate how my life was turning out.

And those people had judged me and deemed me no good long before they ever took the chance to know me.

So during that time of realizing that I would always be watched by my daughter, I took that as an opportunity to really get to know myself and really get to know God and really get to know what He wanted for my life.

And during that time He slowly showed me that I had something to offer my family, my friends, and my church that a lot of people are afraid to offer: REALNESS.

So over the course of about a year we got really active in a church in Texas and I fell in love with church again. I fell in love with other Christians. I fell in love with Jesus all over again.

The difference was that I went into it saying that if I didn’t get on leadership because I was committed to being real, then so be it. I knew God wanted me to not fake it- he wanted me to always be myself, the person He created in His own image.

My time in Texas was so full of growth and LIFE and loving people (the dirtier the better) and being loved on. I will forever be thankful for that time of spiritual growth for me.

Then we moved to Savannah. And whoa, culture shock of a small town.

Instead of continuing my “calling”, if you will, of being real, I retreated. I hid my true self to select people, started faking it again, and was completely and totally miserable.

Y’all. For me, THAT IS A SIN.

I was showing my children the wrong thing- I was acting one way at church and another at home.

I had gone back to being “watched” and insecure and feeling like a failure AT ALL TIMES.

I knew people simply did not like me when I was real, so I started being quiet and even ashamed of things that I do in my life that ARE NOT SINS (drinking a glass of wine with my husband is a good example of this).

At this point, I actually started sinning more. My thoughts became so negative all the time. My mouth spewed curse words (my biggest struggle in life is my potty mouth). Ugliness was spewing from me…. until I was at church with certain people and then I was the “perfect Southern church lady”.

That’s the thing about sin, it sneaks up on you and transforms you before you even know what is happening.

A few weeks ago, I was given an agreement to sign if I wanted to be on leadership. It stated that I could never consume alcohol.

And that is when it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I had gone completely back to the person I hated, the person who felt insecure and watched. The person who was never going to be good enough, never going to measure up. Never going to be able to reach unbelievers because I just wasn’t capable if I didn’t live a “picture perfect” life.

What hit me so hard that night- the thing that caused me to cry for literally two weeks straight, the thing that made me physically nauseous- was the realization that me, a sinner saved by the Grace of God and 100% certain that I am going to Heaven because Jesus died on the Cross for me, felt this way…

so how much more does someone searching for that same Savior feel about ever stepping foot in a church?

If I feel that way, can you even imagine how a non-believer feels?

Just typing this is making me cry.

So here I am. Slapped in the face with the realization that God wants more from me.

He wants me to get dirty.

He desperately wants me (and you) to be real.

He wants me to tell how I’ve been married for ten years to a man I adore but that is has been HARD at times.

He wants me to tell that being a mom is gut wrenchingly difficult no matter what stage of life you are in with your children and no matter if you stay home or go to work.

He wants me to NEVER portray perfection because that is A LIE that the DEVIL is using to win people. Perfection was something saved only for Jesus. We are not called to be perfect- we are called to strive towards it and we are called to confess when we do wrong and pick ourselves up and TRY EVEN HARDER THE NEXT TIME.

So here is the truth, y’all.

I am a messy failure sometimes. I sometimes cuss and I’m trying hard to reign that sin in. I have tattoos. I drink wine on occasion. Andy and I fight and make up more times than I can count- but man are we always trying to have a better marriage. I yell at my kids and feel terrible about it. Sometimes I just wish I could work full time because my kids are STINKERS and whew mercy, HARD to deal with some days.

More importantly though, I am a child of God who desperately wants what HE wants for my life.

I don’t want to be insecure because he holds my security on the Cross.

If you are struggling like me, let me know. We can encourage each other in this marathon of life. We can build each other up in a world where Christians can be the WORST at tearing each other down.

I just want what God has revealed over time He wants for me- realness. Even if that means I’m not accepted in some “Christian circles”. If I’m obeying God, I don’t care if I’m accepted or not.

Don’t worry, this is just my poop face.

Pretty sure this past weekend was the most glorious weekends pretty much ever.

I feel like the sun hasn’t shown its face in so long and it was WONDERFUL to spend time outside. Saturday we spent the entire afternoon outside. The girls explored and talked to the neighbors and got dirty and it was awesome. Oh, and the best part? I got the tiniest amount of sun ever possible but whatever, it was still a bit of a tan.

Yesterday also marked my least favorite time of the year- annual outage time. SIGH. I’m so proud of Andy though and decided that this year instead of complaining about how hard it is on ALL of us, that I’m just going to pray for Andy everytime I think about the outage or him in general. I’m just going to pray that his poor body that endures LONG days (4am-11pm is a long day, y’all, and he has been known to pull those kind of days on a shutdown) will weather this time better than usual. I’m going to pray that he sleeps well every night, even if that means I’m up every night for the whole month. I’m going to pray that he is safe and that his contractors are safe and that the projects he is over go without a hitch. I know this is so stressful on him and I’m going to make sure this year he is bathed in prayer and loved on when he gets home no matter how hard it may be on me (because I can guarantee it is worse on him).

In other news, I was up all night last night because time change has done some damage on me and the girls. Rory didn’t go to sleep until, well, forever. She is the master procrastinator when it comes to bedtime. She came in our room no less that 20 times last night. The following are examples of her needs in life past 8:00pm:20140310-154259.jpg

“Mom! Did you hear me?! I sneezed so much.”

“Mom! You need to turn your TV off because it is waking me up.”

“Mom! I really have to go to the bathroom again.” Me: No, honey you don’t. Rory: “Mom! Do you want me to pee in my pants? Cause I will if I can’t go!”

“Mom! I sneezed again so much. You better get me some medicine for my sneezes!”

I think you are getting the point….

Ryder was up at 4:45 this morning because well, I don’t know why. So I put her in my bed so that maybe she’s go back to sleep. Well, she went back to sleep at 6:20. It was one of those mornings where I didn’t want to shower because I didn’t want to wake Ryder up, and then I didn’t want to get in the shower because Rory might come barging in and wake her up… so I had no shower and my hur is a MESS.

Yeah, I said ‘hur’.

(Hur = hair, mom.)

Rory also came in our room at 1:30 claiming that she had a dream and God told her she needed to snuggle with her daddy.

Mmmmhmmmm… well played, Rory. So once I got her all tucked back in and back in bed I had all these crazy thoughts running through my head about a blog post. Then I saw what my note said today and well, I’m quite concerned for myself.

So I figured I’d just go through each point and make a blog post out of it… because why not?20140310-154240.jpg

The first and third points in my note go together.

Yesterday we went to the Mexican after church because tradition, duh. Also, I obviously love to torture myself.

After we ate Rory declared she needed to go to the bathroom. Now, I quite despise the public restroom situation, but Rory was grabbing herself saying, “Ohhhhh lawd momma I can’t hold it anymore!” so I thought it was wise to go ahead and let her contaminate herself.

So we get in there and have to wait because the place (as in the restroom) was packed out. Of course.

We finally go into the stall and Rory declares, “Mom! I think its a poop kinda time!” … To which I respond with a hearty, ” SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! NO ONE WANTS TO KNOW THAT!”

So at this point people are already giggling. Then the giggles get louder as Rory proceeds to make lots of noises that you just apparently HAVE to make to go #2.

And as if that weren’t enough, she then decides that I must be worried because she proceeds to say to me, “Don’t worry, Mom! This is just my poop face! Its not my mad face! See, my mad face looks like this *insert mad face here* and my poop face looks like this *insert poop face and a big grunt*! See the difference?!” and then shows me approximately 10 more times to be sure we are clear that she is not mad at me, she’s just making her poop face.

I’m 100% certain one lady peed in her pants while waiting on Rory to finish poop facing in the bathroom.

As if that weren’t bad enough, I took the girls to WalMart after church last night and Rory decides that would be the PERFECT time to show Ryder the difference between the poop face and the mad face. So here they go, right in the middle of the WalMart saying things like, “Okay, Ryder- let me see your mad face…. ok ok good…. now let me see your poop face…. okay well you need to squeeze down a little harder… ok perfect” …. over and over again. Lots of grunting going on… honestly a few farts flew in that grocery cart and I thought LORD HAVE MERCY THEY ARE ABOUT TO CRAP THEIR PANTS.

But luckily, no sharts happened at the WalMart yesterday.

The next point on the crazy note is simply Weiner dog.

Now I THINK this has to do with our new neighbors. You see, I’m fairly certain they have a wiener dog and I’m 100% positive this will end badly for me.

You see, my children keep asking what their dogs names are and what kind of dogs they are and I’m 99% sure Andy told them that it is a wiener dog.

Now, you might think this is crazy to be worried about this, but really y’all? Have you read this blog AT ALL?

I can see it now… them talking to the new neighbors and me trying to act normal when lo and behold here comes the girls yelling “WIENER” and well, that would be devastating.

I know you are thinking that I’m over reacting, but I am trying my hardest to seem normal to at least one neighbor.

Because all of the other neighbors have seen me a) fall off the lawn mower on numerous occasions b) fall down my front steps at least twice c) flash them on two occasions and d) run into things with the lawn mower at least 10 times.

So, as you can tell, I’m pretty sure we leave a lasting impression.

So much so that we moved into the neighborhood and 3 homes promptly went for sale.

I’m starting to get REALLY PARANOID.

And my paranoia is so bad apparently I’m typing things like ‘wiener dog’ on my phone at 2:11 am.

The bipolar comment comes from my realization after looking back on the following text between the husband and I.20140310-154317.jpg

My last post was about how life was bipolar, but I’m pretty sure it is ME. Ha! Don’t pretend you don’t  text things like that to your husbands. This particular moment was brought to you by the “we will be leaving in just a second” text and then not hearing from him for 3 hours. So I felt the need to express my feelings in the form of a violent text. He called me .3 seconds later. HA HA! See! I know what kind of push a man needs to get a response!

Oh and one more thing- this picture makes you think my girls would never do such things as poop vs mad faces in the WalMarts, right?!

They are such precious little turds.

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life is bipolar (and other profound statements, such as, glitter farts)

You know what I’ve found about life, no matter what stage of it you are in?

It is bipolar. Life is bipolar.

I know y’all are thinking I’m so profound right now.

But am I right or am I right?

Sometimes it is just so stinking exhausting trying to keep up with the ups and downs of life. And I’m not even necessarily talking about the BIG LIFE ALTERING THINGS.

I’m talking about the every day. The mundane. The routines.

The up all night and early mornings. The 5 minute showers where you only get half of one leg shaved. The hurrying out the door for school and work. The tension that comes with feeling so rushed every.single.day. no matter that we wake up at the butt crack of dawn everysingleday. The coming home after a long day for EVERYONE and having to rush to get supper cooked. Letting the kids play for a few minutes while I tidy up the house so it doesn’t get out of control (which happens SO QUICKLY). Then, BAM, it is bedtime and I haven’t even spent enough QUALITY time with them. I have spent time hurrying them here and there and correcting them and parenting them but it always grips me that what if I didn’t love them enough today? Then its crash in our own bed, watch a little tv, and out we go for a few hours until the first kid wakes up.

I’m talking about the every day with marriage.

Marriage is so bipolar too. Despite what your precious friends on Facebook say, marriage is not 24/7 of sunshine and rainbows and flowers and chocolate covered strawberries and glitter farts. It is gritty and fun and awful and wonderful and HARD and sweet mercy exhausting and oh-so-beautiful. Bipolar. I go from looking at Andy and thinking that my heart hurts because I love him SO MUCH. I really do think that sometimes. I cannot even stand it I have so much pride in him and his accomplishments and his work ethic and his good looks. And then sometimes I look at him and I want to punch him a little.  That is real life folks.

In fact, we’ve been in this “marriage class” (please envision me doing lots of air quotes here) as I like to call it and this is no joke- they talk about “real life experiences” and tell these crazy boring stories of their “fights” about things like not turning the eye on the stove (?) and I’m sitting there thinking “um… true story… I threw a shoe at Andy once in our early years of marriage”. Now THAT is the type of thing I want to hear about. Not because it gives me pleasure to hear these things (though, it kinda does) but because I JUST WANT PEOPLE TO BE REAL. God intended for there to be conflict in marriage. No really, he did. He never promised those glitter farts, y’all. He never did. He says it is going to be hard.

And then there are the toddlers….

The definition of toddler is this; bipolar tiny people.

Rory and Ryder can go from EXTREME HAPPINESS LIVING IN A FAIRYTALE DREAM FANTASY WORLD to THE WORLD IS ENDING, MY WEGS WON’T WORK, LIFE IS SOOOOOO UNFAAAAAIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRR, I HATE EBERYFING, YOU ARE MEAN, YOU AREN’T MY BEST FWIEND ANYMORE, YOU WILL NEBER BE MY FAVWITE EBER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m pretty sure living with the toddler is one of the most draining experiences on earth. Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely 100% for sure the most rewarding job too because they are SMART and absorb every detail of anything you teach them and they are so sweet and adorable and snuggly…

but they will turn on you in about .0000002 seconds.

No joke, y’all. Today Ryder was so excited about life. The outlook was so promising.

Then she could not for the love of cookies get her sock on right. I don’t know what about it wasn’t right because it was exactly right in every way possible but it royally ticked her off and therefore her legs would not work and I had to literally drag her out of the door. Normally I would carry her but she informed me she couldn’t even put her legs around me because they didn’t work enough. Now, of course I don’t let her get away with this. But when you are already running let, you just drag them out the door and pray they don’t need therapy.

Rory has reached an age where MOST of the time she is very reasonable and absolutely wonderful… that is until it is time to put on clothes. I don’t know if y’all know this or not but “FOUR YEARS OLDS DO NOT WEAR PANTS, MOM! THEY ONLY WEAR TUTUS AND DRESSES THAT TWIRL!” *insert dramatic eye roll here* These are all true stories I’m telling you, people. Rory had a come apart because I put on a skirt that did not meet her twirl standards. Bless her poor, deprived heart.

And then, more if you are a woman I think, there are the friendships.

Between PMSing and one-upping and judging each other and all the passive aggressive CRAP, it makes friendships with women hard. If I’m being honest I only have a select few friends that I don’t feel like I have to walk on eggshells around at all times. Is that friendship?! I’ve had MANY kinds of friends- from the amazing to the oh-so-terrible and no matter how old I get I feel like it all just stays the same. Sometimes I’m just so dang exhausted with the bipolar-ness of girlfriends.

I also work at a place of ALL women and y’all, I love these people to death but we all get the case of the grumps sometimes and even work can sometimes be bipolar.

Don’t even get me started on family…. (ha…. no but really y’all wouldn’t believe some of the bipolar things my family has been through lately)

So, right now in my life that is just how I feel. I feel like I’m on this crazy roller coaster of bipolar chaos and sometimes I’m just ready to jump off.

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I know the easier thing to do would to be to give up and not fight against the ups and downs and just call it a day. I know mere survival is how I look at life sometimes.

There have been lots of days (weeks, actually) of late that I have JUST survived. That is it. Mere survival. I have succumbed to the stresses of the every day and I’m not doing a very good job at maintaining my mission which is to love my people well.

I want to LIVE with intention, not just survive. I want to love my people better. I want to make sure the people in my life that stick with me no matter what are never unsure of where they stand with me- I want them to know how much I love and appreciate them. I think just surviving is so selfish. I want to breathe life into my girls, into my husband, into my friends, and into my family. I don’t want to allow anyone else to steal my joy – I want to be a joy to others.

I will admit it is a STRUGGLE for me. I let people steal my joy every day. But that is my choice! I want to choose to find joy no matter what the day brings.

Is anyone else struggling with these same things? Is the bipolar/roller coaster of life getting you down? Am I the only one in a marriage that doesn’t involve glitter farts?!

 

 

#waitletmetakeaselfie

Sometimes the life of a mom is, well, hard. Is that the understatement of the century or what?!

Yesterday afternoon I was going INSANE with my children and their CRAZINESS AT DANCE CLASS. No but seriously, taking the girls to Rory’s dance class is trying. I almost always leave and get a giant coke from Sonic and I almost always wish I could spike it with something stronger.

It isn’t something I like to admit, but it is true and I’m all about the truth around here.

Want to know what is also true?

I sometimes lock myself in my bathroom and pretend I’m using it because, y’all, MOMMY NEEDS A TIMEOUT TOO SOMETIMES.

The following reasons are, what I think, legitimate reasons to take a mommy timeout:

1) When your children take a tub of Vicks Vapor Rub and COMPLETELY EMPTY IT all over themselves and their rooms and the surrounding area…

2) When your, PRECIOUS, children sneak out of their room and get chocolate chips out of the pantry (that you didn’t know you even had by the way) and empty the ENTIRE BAG out all over their room while they are supposed to be napping…

3) When you get home and their are giant piles of chocolate crap (like as in POOP) and piles of chocolate throw up because apparently your dog ate the chocolate your kids dumped out…OH AND BY THE WAY, when you also slip on those piles and fall in them….

4) When your children dump fun dip (that you didn’t know you had) ALL OVER YOUR WHITE RUG IN THE LIVING ROOM…

5) When your darling children get your wedding rings out of the jewelry box and proceed to hide them and tell you that they flushed them down the toilet…

People, shall I go on?! I’m pretty sure you get it.

See, I say that Mommy needs a timeout when things like the above happen because sometimes Mommy feels angry and sometimes Mommy feels the need to go to her bathroom, lock the door, and CALM THE HECK DOWN.

So yesterday during the craziness of dance, I started getting these awesome texts.

First, I got a text to a youtube video about selfies. I watched it and laughed really hard. We all know how I feel about a selfie…. and if you don’t know I will tell you- I feel awkward. I feel like selfies are awkward and weird and I can never figure out what to do with my face.

Also, I feel like moms maybe should lay off of the selfies. That is just my personal opinion though.

Then I started getting selfies from my friends. Now let me mention that I’ve been friends with these girls since about 1994. They are in the ”lifelong friend” category. They’ve seen IT ALL. And yet, they still love me. Or at least pretend they do! Ha!

So here is how the selfie situation went down. And in between we talked a lot about how we were sick of things like wiping butts and paying for butt cream and well, normal mom stuff…photophoto 2photo 9

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Y’all. I can’t even. I’m pretty sure I laughed until I peed my pants. It was THE BEST.

Dear Jinny and Rachel, thank you for making my day AMAZING.

Basically, I suggest all my mom friends immediately start texting selfies to each other because IT WILL BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY.

Not even kidding.

Also, I have one more item to discuss with you.

There is apparently a GINORMOUS difference between crowns and tiaras.

Wanted to spare all of you the weeping and gnashing of teeth I experience in my house every single time I say, “I love your princess crown!”. Because “UUUUUUUUUUGHHHHHH MOOOOOOOOOOM ITS A TIARA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”.

Teenage years are something to look forward to. I can already tell.

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February Ipsy Glam Bag

I got a surprise in the mail today and could not have been more excited about it!

Today I got my first ever Ipsy Glam Bag!

Y’all, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this or not. I did  A LOT of research though and compared a lot of monthly box subscriptions (in the makeup/beauty products category) and decided for the price and based on reviews that the Ipsy bag would be the best one for me.

For just TEN DOLLARS a month you get a bag of beauty products. Here is my first bag – the February Ipsy Glam Bag:ipsybagfebproducts

1) Zoya Nail Polish in Odette, 2) Plump Pout Mini by POP Beauty in Fuschia Freesia, 3) J.Cat Beauty Eyelashes and Glue, 4) Be Matte Blush by City Color in Fresh Melon, 5) Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner

I seriously cannot even tell you how impressed and how please I am with this Glam Bag! First of all, it comes in a super cute bag- and y’all know how much I love a bag! Secondly, the sizes are AWESOME. I never expected to get such great full-sized products! The only “mini” thing is the lip gloss, but honestly it is the perfect size!

I got home tonight and immediately painted my nails. I’ve been in a huge my-nails-have-to-be-painted kick lately and I couldn’t wait to try out this purple color. I have some darker purples but nothing this “light”. It actually isn’t light, but definitely not blackish purple like I already have.photo(Please excuse my terrible painting skills. y’all know i’m a failure at such things. BUT I am trying really hard to get it together in the nail painting department.)

The nail polish went on like a dream. My only complaint is the brush size is smaller than I like it. But I LOVE the color and 24 hrs later- no chips!

So after I painted my nails I decided to try out the makeup. Then I decided if I wanted this to be official, I needed a selfie with the make up on. Well. I’m not-so-good with the selfie situation. In fact, I had no idea what to do with myself. If I smiled you couldn’t see the lipgloss. But I am a smiley person so not smiling seemed so unnatural and I looked MEAN. HA! So here is my attempt at a selfie….febipsybag

Gag. Whatever. You can see the makeup I guess even though now I feel like the light is terrible and you can’t even tell the colors.

WHATEVER, I TRIED, OKAY?!febipsybag3I’m more of a lip stain kinda gal lately, but I have been highly impressed with this lipgloss. It stays on well, isn’t TOO shiny and has so much pigment. I absolutely love it. The size is great. You don’t need a lot so even though it is small I will be able to use it for a long while.

Then I tried out the blush. Now y’all know I’m a sucker for some blush and when I saw this HUGE not sample size blush I was SO EXCITED. The hue is exactly what I’ve been wanting and needing- it is a pinky coral. Not too hot pink, not too orangey. A little definitely goes a long way with this blush but so far I have found it to stay on great. So A+ for the blush!

You can’t really tell in that picture, but I do have the eyeliner on. It is a silvery hue and I wondered where in the world I’d ever wear it and I also had MAJOR FLASHBACKS/nightmares of the 90s where we wore some serious white eye shadow and eyeliner. You know what I’m talking about 90′s girls?!!!!! BUT! I put it just on my waterline and it really brightened my eyes up so much! I honestly ended up loving it.

The only thing left in the bag that I haven’t tried are the eyelashes. I’m hoping to wear them on the cruise maybe? I can’t come up with a place worth going through the effort quite yet. My eyelashes are already pretty huge so this would have to be a major glam night for me to wear them.

I am just so thrilled with my Ipsy Glam Bag, y’all! I can’t wait to get another one! I’m sure I won’t always love them as much as this one but I am highly impressed based off my first month.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free in the comments section! Under the picture of the bag I put in links to the products so feel free to click on those and look for yourself at them on the website!

*I am not being compensated to review this product. Ipsy has no idea who I am and the opinions are completely my own. Though if Ipsy were to send me free products I would LOVE IT. haha!

Happy You’re A Failure Day

 

Y’all I am going to be really honest with you….

I hate Valentine’s Day.

LOATHE.

Valentine’s to me is National You’re A Failure Day.

No, but really.

Honestly, the whole day makes me irrationally angry.

Yesterday I was taking the girls to school and saw some of the most OUTRAGEOUSLY OVER THE TOP valentines and I threw up in my mouth a little.

I mean, seriously?! Seriously with the handmade monstrosities?!

Now I know some of you have the love language of stamping and scrapbooking and ALL OF THE CRAFTING and I’m not trying to hate on you….

But maybe if you could not flaunt your awesomeness so much and make the rest of us look like BIG OLE FAILURES?! K thanks.

Seriously though. I bought the $1 valentines at the Walmart and CALLED IT A DAY. My children are two and four. They just want to see a princess and a treat. They could care less how it is made or bought. I let THEM pick out their valentine cards at the store and THEY DELIGHTED IN THEM.

Then I get on the facebooks and the Instagram and Y’ALL ARE KILLING ME with your Pinterest Award Winning valentines.

KILLING ME.

In fact, I was so angry after logging onto Instagram and then taking the kids to school that I fell on the ice in the parking lot because I was angry walking so hard.

True story, y’all…. TRUE STORY.

I have great friends who are these women who go ABOVE IT ALL for Valentine’s Day and I love them dearly… but I also want to punch them in the face for making me look so bad. HA!

And let’s talk about the SHOW EVERYONE HOW PERFECT YOUR RELATIONSHIP portion of this National You’re A Failure Day.

Valentine’s Day is a made up day. I do think that guys should kiss their wives and tell them they love them and get some flowers (because seriously once a year is not going to kill you) and tell you that they would never want another Valentine.

And the women should shave their legs and their armpits and well, I feel like you are getting the picture here.

But really with ALL OF THE HUGE GIFTS?!

Let’s get real here.

Just because you get a good gift on Valentine’s Day does not mean you have the best relationship ever.

(I posted this on Andy’s wall today and I mean it with all my heart!)

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IT IS A LIE WE ARE BUYING INTO.

All these pictures of all of the gifts and all of the love are making me gag.

I love Andy so much it hurts but sweet mercy, it is VALENTINE’S DAY I do not expect him to suddenly change into the man only movies portray and give me diamonds and a car and a vacation to the moon.

THAT IS SETTING US UP FOR FAILURE. Every single woman out there that a) doesn’t have a Valentine for one reason or another or b) hates her Valentine right now because SOMETIMES THAT IS REAL LIFE is feeling like a big fat failure because of all the love fests going on.

GET A ROOM.

For the record, I’m not angrily typing this because Andy just happened to forget it was Valentine’s day and didn’t get me anything so I’m bitter. He actually got me some flowers that are so pretty and I feel so loved.

But he has also been working hard at making me feel loved more than just this one day. And to be honest with you, we had a crazy week and we were both NOT SO FUN to be around and not so nice to each other. So if I flaunted my flowers and all of the lovefest then that would be a big fat lie because it HAS NOT been a love fest this week.

So women who aren’t PINTEREST OF THE YEAR moms and aren’t loving your Valentine so much today- YOU ARE NOT ALONE. In fact, despite what Facebook and social media might tell you today, YOU ARE THE MAJORITY.

CAN I GET AN AMEN?!

The only thing that makes Valentine’s Day bearable now in my life are little girls with matching dresses. That is all I need.

PS- Rory in the first picture has made me laugh all day. We had a long night and well, she was having a hard time this morning with her attitude. Guess V-Day isn’t her holiday either :)

 

1601031_10101020523689406_1367824962_nAlso- if you need some encouragement today, read this post by Jen Hatmaker. – http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2014/02/13/to-those-for-whom-v-day-stinks

Happy You’re A Failure Day, y’all! Hope you can punch a wall or the air or something today to let out all your frustrations on the stupid people of social media!

 

 

 

 

FOUR. (a letter to Rory on her 4th birthday)

Oh, sweet Rory girl, HOW are you FOUR?! I don’t know why, but you should know that your mama has had a hard time keeping it together knowing that you turn four today. It just seems so big.

Actually, YOU just seem so big.

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See what I mean?!

Girlfriend, you crack me up each and every day with your clothing choices. You will FIGHT ME TO THE END on what you wear each and every day. There are days on end where I just throw my hands in the air and say, “WHATEVER GIRLFRIEND, go ahead and look homeless,” and then there are days when LAWD it is just so many kinds of wrong and we both end up in tears before you finally change your clothes. (For example, the other day it was 10 degrees and you had a sundress on with a swim suit underneath it with flip flops. No honey, no.)

But then, out of nowhere you will pick out an outfit and put it together like the one you chose today for your 4 year old pictures and I feel like maybe you have a future in design or some sort of art. You have this “eye” for things that are slightly off and you find beauty in it. It is one of my favorite qualities about you. Not to mention that you are an AMAZING drawer for your age.

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But on the opposite spectrum I wonder if you will be an engineer like your amazing dad, or a doctor or veterinarian or something where you have to be extremely smart. Because sweet girl, if there is one thing you should know about yourself it is that you have ALWAYS been amazingly brilliant. From the time you were a baby your dad and I have been amazed at your ability to problem solve.

Mix your crazy-smart brain and your tenacious spirit and well, the world should LOOK OUT because Rory Eve Harris is a force to be reckoned with.

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You are also so hilarious. You have such a dry sense of humor and it is surprising coming from a little girl. You are witty without trying to be and you say things that are SO hilarious without batting an eye or cracking a smile.

I don’t think I know of anyone on earth as observant as you. You take everything in and forget NOTHING. Sometimes this causes problems for your parents who try to be tricky, ha! And sometimes it seriously scares me that you will remember every single time I wasn’t patient with you.

You are also extremely curious. Lord have mercy. Sometimes I LOVE your curiosity and sometimes…. well… not-so-much. You tend to get into things and you are a GO BIG OR GO HOME type of girl, so when you get into something, IT IS A DOOZY. (For example, you and your sister EMPTIED an entire thing of Vicks and 5 tubes of lip gloss in about .5 seconds this week.) No matter what I do to try and hide things from you or lock doors or whatever else EXTREME measures, you use your mighty brain to figure out a way to whatever you want. It wears me out and makes me laugh all at the same time.

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Oh, Rory. On one hand I am just so sad you are turning four and on another hand I am SO GLAD. There have been times this year when I thought I was definitely ruining you and scarring you for life. I wasn’t always patient with you or understanding of your strong-willed nature. You tested me to my limits and I definitely didn’t respond well to those tests. I’ve heard that 3 is the hardest year and I am hoping that is true. I know that the past few months have shown me that things are getting MUCH easier so I am hopeful that I didn’t completely fail you. I worry every single day that I’m not equipped to raise a child as amazingly strong-willed as you. If it weren’t for the fact that I know God gave you to me specifically and knows the best for you and for me, I would be beside myself. I want you to know that I need grace from God every single day and you shouldn’t ever be afraid to fail because that same Grace is openly available to you too. I’ve been working hard to show you the Grace of God through my actions and though I’ve failed you in that regard more than once, I am trying so hard to show you grace more freely every single day.

And just so you know, I love that you are strong-willed. I honestly do because I KNOW that one day you are going to do amazing things because of your strong-willed nature, not in spite of it.

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Rory Eve, you should also know that you are stunning. You are just simply beautiful. Your big brown eyes, olive skin, and brown hair are the perfect combination. I love to snuggle with you in the mornings and just stare at your perfect face. Sometimes it makes me tear up because I cannot even imagine anyone more beautiful than you. I’m desperately clinging to these years of innocence with you because I am not ready for the years of insecurity and comparing yourself to others. I just want you to know that YOU are the most beautiful girl in the entire world.

My precious daughter, if you don’t listen to anything else your mother tells you, listen to this: You, Rory, are absolutely perfect in every single way. God made you EXACTLY the way you are because He has AMAZING plans for you. He has plans to use your tenacious and strong-willed spirit, your beauty, your brains, and your amazing sense of humor for His glory if you just let Him.

I love you so much Rory that I can’t even imagine a love more than I have for you and your sister. My days weave in and out between trying to let you flourish and reigning you in and guiding you to make good choices. I want you to experience the best things and always know that your potential in life is LIMITLESS. Truly limitless, Rory.

And no one on this earth is a bigger fan and supporter of you than me. I will love you NO MATTER WHAT, sweet girl. I promise to always try and guide you in the right path. I know I will fail you at times, but I promise to try my hardest to always do the very best for you. You won’t always like it, and I am okay with that. Just always remember that every decision I make is because I love you so fiercely.

You are the most amazing FOUR year old on the entire planet. I couldn’t love you more or be more proud of you.

Love You to Heaven and Back,

Mom

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Your 4th Birthday Stats:

- 3 ft tall and 30 lbs; you are now wearing mostly 4t clothing but (GASP) I have bought you some XS in the GIRLS department, size 9 shoe

- You love: your sister, “snuggle parties”, ballet, putting on “shows” for mom and dad

- Favorite Book: Go Dogs Go by Dr Suess (you can “read” the entire thing!)

- Favorite Songs: Hip-Hip-Potamus, Let It Go, Never Ever Back ‘Gether (oh yes, Taylor Swift)

- Favorite TV Shows: Sophia the First, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Doc McStuffins, Barbie: Life in the Dream House

- Favorite Movies: Frozen, Madagascar, Tinkerbell movies, The Croods, Wreck It Ralph

- Favorite Foods: cheese dip at the Mexican, broccoli, any fruit, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, SWEETS