the identity struggle, part two.

I’m currently blogging from Starbucks because I’m now SO COOL and can do things like this now. Seriously though, it is pretty awesome. After a long week with still one day to go, I told Andy I just needed out of the house for a while. So here I am. Sipping a white mocha and enjoying non-kid music.

I’m currently going through yet another identity crisis. Which is funny because my timehop app notified me that I wrote about it the first time exactly two years ago today. I reread it and tears streamed down my face because I remember that girl and how fragile she was.

Thankfully this identity struggle is a bit different and not quite so hard.

But it is still making me uneasy and unsure of where I am and who I am now.

I just came off of working more than staying at home and completely loving it. I loved the identity I had in my job and how it made me feel worth more than just staying home did.

I also have realized that as I was leaving my job, no matter how excited I was to move here, I was growing bitter. I’ve always tried so hard to not be bitter -more than anything really- because I have someone dear to me eat up with it. But the thing about bitterness is that it sneaks up on you before you even realize what is happening. This week I’ve had this terrible feeling inside and finally realized today that it was bitterness.

This week has been insane. The girls are doing well with the move, but their behavior … notsomuch. Monday I was mortified beyond what I’ve ever been I’m pretty sure because of all of their terrible behavior antics. I mean. It was unreal. If I told y’all you would think I was the worst parent ever because no good mom would ever have kids that acted that way. Y’all know I’m the first one to address the behavior and move on. IT WAS HARD TO MOVE ON THIS WEEK AFTER TUESDAY.

Between their bad behavior and ALL THE BOXES I have had this bitterness coming in and it has stolen all of my joy at times. All of it.

I realized I’m bitter because I left my job that I lovedsomuch and that I was now thrown into stay-at-home-mom world that I really never wanted to do again.

I realize that a lot of you dream of being a stay at home mom…. and I wish beyond everything that you could be. Each of you. I apologize if it stings to hear me say that, but it just hasn’t ever been my dream.

Luckily, Rory started PreK on Wednesday and I’ve gotten so much done at the house so things are starting to get back to normal. I have had to do a hardcore behavior bootcamp and that just hasn’t been fun.

So here I am. Now a SAHM again. The days are long. Sometimes it is unbearably tough.

But you know what? Their behavior showed me more than ever what my job is. It took me a few days to get that bitterness to uncloud my eyes so I could see what a task I have for me.

God placed me into that job for a reason, and now He has placed me here now for a reason. 

If I believe whole heartedly that God called us here for a dream job for Andy, then I have to believe the above whole heartedly for myself and my job now.

I know there was no mistake in Him placing me at First Family Medical. So now I know there is no mistake that He wants me home for now with my girls.

This is not the part of the post that I get all sappy and say “So I will enjoy every single second! and I will LOVE being at SAHM because I am LIVING THE DREAM!”.

This is the part of the post where I say that I will trust that God knows best for me and my girls and that He will direct my path and that He will help me to be calm, patient, loving, grace-giving when discipling my girls. I will trust that He will provide for us while I am not making any income. I will trust that He will open doors for me to do big things IN the home and outside of the home.

I have just been hit by a ton of bricks this week that the grace I’m giving my girls is so insufficient. I am praying that God can give me discernment where to give Grace and where to stand firm with consistency.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Oh, how weak I am in my mom game. And my wife game. So weak. I know God can do a good work in me in my home if I let Him. If I let Him. 

As far as updates go- Rory is LOVING PreK. LOVING. She told me tonight, “Mom! I miss school!” Bless. She is going every day for half days. It is a perfect fit so far for her- nap time was always where she struggled. I’m very impressed with her teacher and the school.

Please note the cut piece of box because that is all I had to work with, people. It is a mad house in our small but beautiful apartment.

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How is she so big? I realized that this is my last year with her forever. After this year she will be in full time school forever and I’ll never have her home every again ever ever ever. (Paper bag, please?!)

Ryder is going to start a one-day-a-week program next week. I’m excited about that half day I will have alone! She is loving sharing a room with Rory (Rory isn’t so sure all the time about it) and they have actually been doing really well in their bunk beds and sleeping – believe it or not!

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However.

WHO KNEW going from Central to Eastern time would be so hard???? I MEAN SERIOUSLY. Because my children are up in the night still, I have to make sure they go to bed early because no matter what time they go to bed they are usually up AT LEAST once each and wake up at 6am every morning or before (I can’t even talk about it). So they’ve been going to bed here at 9-9:30 (especially since it is STILL BRIGHT AND SUNNY AT NINE) and it is HARD to adjust to that right now. But we have tried little by little making them go to bed earlier and they end up just staying up forever either way. And I’m going to bed around 12-1 because I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO DETOX FROM THE DAY when they go to bed at 9! They also haven’t had a nap since moving here. And I am pretty sure I can say goodbye to nap time forever. Sigh. I’m in mourning.

Andy’s enjoying his job so much. I am just so thankful. The last job was so hard on him. I felt like it was slowly killing him and our marriage. But I couldn’t say anything because you don’t bite the hand that feeds you- and that goes for Andy and the company in my case. Men hold such pride in their jobs so you have to walk a very fine, sensitive line when talking about their work. I’ve always made a strong point to let him tell me anything he does or doesn’t want to tell me and to just sit and listen and either praise God it is going so well or pray fervently that God would send him something better- something he deserves.

And for me, besides the identity struggle of the work/home life, I am doing well. I kind of enjoy this time of being unknown to anyone. Besides my family, no one expects anything of me. No one is disappointed by me. No one wants me to be someone I’m not. I don’t have to put on a good face 24/7 to new friends. It is just kinda nice.

I am, however, longing beyond longing to find a church. I know a lot of these struggles come from the fact that we have been out of church for the longest period since well before kids. Our marriage and parenting is so much better when we are involved in a church body and are striving to learn and grow in our walk with Christ. So the great Church Search begins this Sunday. Will update you with that later.

One last note before I go- I want to apologize for my last blog. I made a joke that was tacky and careless. The chicken crap was crazy, yes, but I shouldn’t have joked about it as much as I did. I hurt someone’s feelings and I am sorry. Hopefully she will accept my apology and know that my humor didn’t translate on the blog… the blog I had no idea she read which was also careless of me. I’m not about bullying or making crude jokes on the blog so I don’t know what got into me.

When I get all the boxes unpacked I’ll give you a tour of our apartment. The girls think it is fun for now, so that is good! And we have a pool like I promised Rory. Win-win.

Much love, I promise to start blogging more and not be such drag next time.

I survived.

After 20something long days, the day is finally here for Andy to come home and get us moved.

I didn’t tell hardly anyone because of security issues I have, but Andy has been gone since the end of July and I’ve been single parenting it since then.

I would like to first give a huge shout out to all those single moms or military moms out there. I cannot imagine doing this more than what I did. It was HARD. Way harder than anyone can imagine until they do it. Kudos to you. You deserve all the breaks in the world, all the coffee in the world, all the money in the world. No joke. You have the hardest job.

Let me just tell y’all something.

There have been times in the past almost month that I have LOST THE WILL TO PARENT. No seriously I AM NOT CUT OUT FOR THIS PARENTING THING type of lost it.

I was SUCH a fun parent the first ten days. Then we were all over it and wanted daddy home. Thank the Lord for the amazing park here because I winged it after the initial TEN DAYS O’ FUN and just took them to the park all the time and pretended I was super fun. Except the fact is, the park saved me. Gave me a will to live. Gave me a will to parent. I could sit there and watch my little tooties run around like banshees and enjoy the breeze and NO TOUCHING. It was my saving grace, y’all. We parked it everysinglenight. Not even joking. We went to the park every.single.night.

Also, my kids are going to have to go on a detox diet to rid themselves of all the toxins they have ingested while Andy’s been gone. No but for real. Let me just tell you how many meals I have cooked since Andy’s been gone….. ONE.

I just laughed out loud.

Basically we have survived off mac and cheese/spaghetti o’s/chicken nuggets/poptarts/cereal/fruit. And by fruit I mean fruit snacks, of course.

Most nights I didn’t even eat dinner because I didn’t want to cook or dirty any dishes. I just let the girls have a bowl of their favorite cereal and called it a day.

I did, however, drink three bottles of wine.

Stop judging me. Or do judge me. I really don’t care.

I survived and so did the children. That is all that matters.

In other news, I’ve dropped 7 pounds which proves that I am fat (and happy) because of Andy. Right?!

Also pretty much anything that could have happened while he was gone DID. Because I have limited internet usage time I am going to make a list of ALL THE CRAZY that happened while he was gone.

1- The entire time he was gone our house was for sale. That means I had to keep it perfectly clean the ENTIRE TIME. Have you met my children?! Is this the real world?! THEN the house sold in record time and we had to have every person under the sun come into our home and fix this and that or inspect/appraise/random other reasons the realtor wanted in our house. IT WAS TOO MUCH, Y’ALL. That alone almost made me an insane person.

2- Andrew, from Chattanooga, sold everything we owned. Mostly without informing me. He sold the lawn mower, tiller, furniture, playset, other random crap. I had two sweet Mexicans show up and say, “Two hundred dinero, yes?!” while shoving money in my face. I’m standing there like a deer in the headlights wondering if Andy sold me into slavery.

3- The pool became DONEZO. We aren’t sure what is going on with it, but we know something is and we cannot spend any more money on a pool we can’t use. That made me shed lots of tears. I thought I had a months worth of swimming left aka free entertainment and good sleep. It was very devastating to me.

4- Rory became convinced that the move was nothing more than taking everything she loved away (pool, swing set, etc). We cried a lot of tears together. I had to bring out the big guns and make sure this was so fun and that she knew this was going to make our lives even better.

5- Our dog was accused of killing chickens. It is still a very touchy subject and I just don’t know how much I can say seeing as the sherif department is involved and I haven’t moved yet.

I feel like that is a good note to end on. There are more things that happened, but I will save that for another post.

Today my BFF Joe is here packing all of my stuff up in an insanely fast time frame and I just want to kiss him on the face I love him so much. But that would be weird.

To be continued…

probably not until I get the internets at the new place.

Which by the way, could y’all please harass Andy until he agrees to get me cable?! I have several shows I CANNOT MISS. Bachelor in Paradise! Real Housewives! Naked and Afraid! BOTCHED! Candidly Nicole! I mean COME ON, Andrew!

 

on my last day of work.

Today marks my last day of work. I have such crazy mixed feelings about all of it. On one hand I am just so excited about the move and where our life is taking us next that I’m ready to be done.

And yet.

I am so not ready to leave my job.

I’ve written before about how life has shifted since I got a job. I just don’t even know how to adequately describe it. My life has been better because of this job. I have found a new sense of value and worth in having this job. I have gained another family.

I will miss so much all the joy that my coworkers and the patients brought each and every day. I probably laughed more in the past year than I ever have in my life. Which is saying something.

Out of an entire year of working I had MAYBE two days I seriously didn’t want to go into work. TWO DAYS. I worked through a kidney stone and tried to work with the flu. I mean I seriously loved this dang job. Ha!

It was more than the friendships that I so strongly have with my coworkers too.

I felt a new sense of purpose and worth just in the fact that I was getting up most days of the week at a scheduled time and actually getting ready. I took showers. I wore nice clothing – dresses several times a week! (!!!) I put on make up and fixed my hair. I enjoyed every second of it.

Just those simple things shifted my life so much.

When you are a stay-at-home mom there really isn’t much need or time for all the showers and make up and fixing your hair. And why wear beautiful clothes when your children are just gonna crap and puke or spill everything they eat/drink on them??? I mean. Seriously!

I loved getting to go to work and (mostly) have adult conversation. I loved getting to eat lunch with friends and not have anyone ask for a bite. Or not having to count someone’s bites. Or not saying “EAT YOUR FOOD” twelve million times.

Yes, there were lots of days I missed my children. But that was so good for me. To actually miss them. For so long I never had a free second. So this year was just so good because we missed each other during the day and loved seeing each other at night. And because it truly was THE PERFECT JOB, I got to still be home with them two days a week. I mean, I’m telling y’all- dream job.

On Wednesday we left work early and went to Florence to eat downtown and do a little shopping. My coworkers went in and got some gag gifts for me and also some gift gifts. Then they wrote me a poem called “Ode to Tizzy” and it made my life complete. It was the perfect day and the perfect end to one of the best years of my life solely because of my job.

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Let me just state a few things for the record: I did dance all day every day- its what I do best in life. BUT I did work. Dancing is just a priority sometimes. I’m not a fan of washing my hair but it isn’t OILY dirty. And some men/women mistake my FRIENDLINESS for FLIRTINESS. I sometimes mess up messages… like I forget the patients name or get it wrong (example Mick Jagger). I did NOT kill my neighbors chickens and cannot discuss this yet because I still live in the neighborhood. When I was a young PK my friends and I sometimes would copy our butts on the church copy machine. (sorry mom and dad and Sheree and Joyce) Paper Mill Wife status is something I’ve never heard of until I started working here- but around these parts apparently most paper mill wives are “ladies of leisure” … clearly this is something I am not. — Just felt I needed to clear some things up. HA.

I have loved getting to know the patients too at my job. I obviously worked in a medical facility so can’t say much but there were some precious people that I will miss so much. One older man who was sorta grumpy to some people took to me and I definitely took to him and I’m going to miss his grumpiness and his way of making fun of you because he loved you way. Then the other elderly man who brought fresh veggies and ALWAYS brought his digital camera so he could show me pictures of his garden, his family, his “trophies” from WW2. Sweetest man on earth and I will surely miss him. Then every other “regular” patient who came in and laughed at/with me- they all made my day so much brighter. Some of the drug reps and I got to be friends and I will really miss seeing them as well. I hope they miss me just as much!

I will, however, not miss the men who are INAPPROPRIATE and touchy. Just sayin’.

I will also miss all the WEIRD AS HECK ailments people have. I mean seriously. You wouldn’t believe unless you worked in the medical field. MERCY PEOPLE. Mercy.

My life will be much duller and a little less bright after today. I’m just so thankful I was able to have this opportunity and meet and know these wonderful people. I will miss every single one of you tremendously. I love you and cherish your friendship.

{From left: Rejetta (and Sayer!), Lisa (favorite-ever boss), Stacy, myself, Tanya, Tiffany (my partner in crime co-receptionist), Olivia and Aleisha}

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PS- I gave them pictures of me with different phrases recorded as a gift. It was fantastic.

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married monday : temporary housing edition

I’m gonna rewind a few years back to when we moved to Texas. I was so extremely pregnant with Rory. Like. So pregnant. 36 weeks to be exact.

We had a house under contract but couldn’t close on it until the end of January, but Andy was to start his job at the new mill the first of January. That meant we had to find temporary housing.

Andy, ever the budgeter, decided to find an extended stay hotel near the mill until time to close on our house. He finds a place online that was “NEWLY RENOVATED! ALL NEW FLOORS! ALL NEW PAINT! BEAUTIFULLY REMODELED!” via the website.

Y’all.

I walked in to see it and the first thing I notice was that the floors AND walls were all tiled with huge floor tiles which was strange.

Then I noticed that the couch (it came “fully furnished”) was sitting ON BRICKS. It was also a very unnatural-to-cloth color. I’m like sure it was pooped or puked on.

Then we went to bedroom. Not too bad. But definitely needed mattress pad covers for me to sleep on the beds. Just in case.

And then. AND THEN…. we went into the bathroom.

The toilets and bath were BLACK. The floors had the weirdest film on them. There were bugs.

It was also in the middle of what I lovingly describe as the “Mexican Ghetto”. There were about twenty Hispanic families living in two apartments next to us and there were things going on that could not have been law abiding.

And right then and there I will like to tell you that Tiffany (who is normally totally laid back and go with the flow) had her first ever legit panic attack.

I MEAN I SHOULD HAVE BEEN HOSPITALIZED.

I laid on the bed and sounds of sobs that have never escaped my body poured out. Andy was looking at me with sheer panic all over his face.

After hearing myself and the strange noises coming from me and seeing his face I then started laughing hysterically between sobs.

So, basically, pure hysteria.

Andy and I still laugh until we cry (or I pee my pants) when we think about the sounds that came from me that day. haha!

Fast forward to when we moved to Savannah. Andy found us a house to rent.

Next to a meth den. (Like I’m 99.9999% it was for sure a meth house. Actually. No. 100%.)

Our neighbors (husband and wife) literally got into a fist fight in the front yard as I was trying to take the girls to school one morning.

The house also smelled like pee no matter what we did.

Obviously, it was a real winner.

So when it came time for us to find something we would be living in until our house in Texas (oh yes, we still have a house in Texas- don’t even get me started on that) I knew I could not trust Andrew alone this time.

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

Well I had done been SHAMED so I was NOT going to do that again.

Before we embarked on our temporaryish housing trip, Andy made a list of places to check out.

I had a list of two places I wanted to see and they both had “luxury apartment complex” next to the name.

Andy, on the other hand, had a large list of places to check out. He was determined to try and avoid anything with “luxury” next to the name.

In fact, he trudged us through the ghetto for a good half of a day looking for that special place.

And I’m not hating on the ghetto. Clearly we have lived in some not-so-nice places. (We lived in an apartment on the coast once that was nasty and had a total creepster across the street. I couldn’t wait to get out of that place. And it was FOR SURE ghetto housing.)

But I feel we have two kids and Andy has worked hard to climb the ladder so that we don’t have to stay in (literally) government housing anymore.

Each place he took me to got worse and I got more giggly and delirious and we laughed literally half the day away because it was just TOO MUCH. I’m pretty sure we witnessed a drug deal going down while waiting at a stop light in front of one of the complexes he LEGIT thought was family friendly.

And then he took me to this one place with duplexes that looked so quiet and serene and I was ON BOARD, BABY.

I even left a message with the management company.

Thennnnnn I took a closer look at the sign ….

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Not sure if you can read that but the bottom says, “An Affordable Senior Community”.

COMPLETE WITH A HANDICAP SIGN.

Clearly they need a more pronounced sign. Am I right?!

Bless it. We are just not good when it comes to temporaryish housing.

Finally Andrew took us to the two on my list.

And all I have to say is I heard him out and went with an open mind to all of these apartments/assisted living homes/drug dens and applauded Andy in his efforts.

But this was one battle I knew I’d win and I’m here to tell you I did. If I’m gonna live somewhere for a year, it needs to NOT be scary.

So, “what does this have to do with marriage?”, you ask.

Everything.

When making huge decisions as housing, make sure you keep an open mind and hear each other out.

Learn to laugh even in the craziest and most stressful situations.

Don’t take yourself too seriously.

And always remember that most things are temporary and you can do anything for a period of time.

Like live in a meth den, pee house, or Mexican ghetto.

One day you will be able to laugh with your partner and say things like “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!”

 

 

 

desperate times call for desperate measures.

As you all know by now, potty training is the bane of my existence.

No really.

Loathe it.

Ryder FINALLY got the hang of peeing on the potty. Girlfriend will wear those cute panties and rocks it. Goes on her own without me even reminding her. It is super amazing.

But.

or butt.

She would not for the life of her poop on that potty.

In fact, I would put a pull up on her during nap and she would poop in her pull up instead of napping.

It was making me insane.

INSANE.

But I kept at it just praying that it would someday all come together.

Yesterday I tried a new tactic. I told Ryder that if and when she pooped on the potty she would get a…

POOP PARTY!

Oh yes I did.

Her eyes lit up! She told me all about what kind of cake she wanted. I went along and said she could have ANY CAKE SHE WANTED.

Incidentally she decided on an A-Hole cake. Which is ironic and hilarious.

And by A-Hole I clearly mean Ariel. You know Ryder and her potty mouth.

So much like her mom already.

About ten minutes later I saw Ryder get up and go into the bathroom.

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Next thing I know I hear a tiny grunt and then…..

“OHMYGOODNESS OHMYGOODNESS OHMYGOODNESS!!!!!!!!! I DID ITTTTTT!!!!!!!! I POOP IN THE POTTY! I POOOOOOOPED! I GET TO HAVE A POOP PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!”

We danced. We sang. We …. er….. I cried from shear joy.

Rory was even so excited she went and got money out of her OWN PIGGY BANK and gave it to Ryder. (Which incidentally made me cry tears of pride because that Rory girl has a HEART OF GOLD.)

We called pretty much every relative ever and made them cheer for the poop whether they liked it or not.

I texted every single friend that has young children. (Might I note that some  friends who are also in the throws of potty training *ahem Alexis* were quite hostile in their “congrats”)

Here is a convo between Erin and I:

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Can I get an amen with our extra jewels on our crowns, ladies?!!!!!!!

But seriously.

IT WAS THE BEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE.

Ok. Well. It was in the top 10 for sure.

So, today I marched myself into Walmart because I promised an A-Hole cake and you better believe I’m gonna keep that promise!

Me: I need an Ariel cake to serve 6 people.

Baker Lady: I don’t have anything that small that I can put Ariel on, would you like half a sheet cake?

Me: Sure, why not!

Baker Lady: What do you want written on the cake?

Me: Great Job, Ryder!

Baker Lady: Ummm ok? No happy birthday?

Me: Well, no. Just great job. You see… well…. its a poop party! I told her if she pooped on the potty she could have a party and IT HAPPENED so now I need a poop party cake!

Baker Lady: This is the strangest thing I’ve ever heard. But. Go you for being inventive.

 

Bless her heart. She didn’t want anything to do with that and I just went and spilled the beans.

I will be posting lots of pictures tonight of the poop party I am sure.

I also ended up having to order a cake to serve 21 people for our poop party if anyone is interested in joining us….. haha!

And don’t judge me.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I found a new school for the girls in Cleveland and Ryder can’t go until she is fully potty trained. SO I HAD TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING TO GET THIS DONE.

I bet that poop cake is gonna be GOOD too. HA!

And in case you were wondering since I haven’t been posting much in my moving haze- the girls are just as stinkerish as always.

for example:

I was laying in bed and looked over to find my outlet looking like this…

IMG_2492 Apparently one of them thought the ear buds needed charging too.

YIKES.

for example part 2:

Rory was supposed to be resting in her room. I told her she didn’t have to sleep but she HAD to stay in her bed and rest.

When I went to make up her bed after “rest time” I found this…

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First, let us be impressed with my photog skillz. Second, why yes that IS a bag of hot dog buns half eaten in Rory’s bed… why do you ask?!

I asked Rory why there were hot dog buns in her bed and she says, “CAUSE I WAS HUNGRY!” … like DUH MOM GAH.

So the answer is yes. YES. They are still SUCH stinkers.

Don’t tell them this but I totally love it. ;)

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sometimes you need to cry with them.

Obviously this isn’t our first rodeo with moving (in fact, it will be our 8th city) so I feel like in a lot of areas I’m bordering on “expert” or at least “extremely experienced”.

But today I had a huge kick in the gut when talking to my Rory.

She just all of a sudden spilled the beans today. She had so many questions and concerns about the move.

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It was heartbreaking.

“Mom, why do we have to leave our beautiful house and beautiful yard and beautiful pool?Will our new house be like this one? Will it have a pool and lots of yard?”

“Mom, why do I have to leave my friends? I won’t ever get to see Lexie anymore. Lexie is my best friend and I need to see her. And then all my other friends! I love all my friends at school.”

“If we move we will live so far away from Gigi and Grandpa and Mimi and Papa. Will I ever see them? Will I be too far away to get to spend the night with them?”

I cried the whole time she asked. I just couldn’t help it.

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There are so many situations where, as a mom, I keep my composure and don’t cry or show fear in front of my children even if I really want to. For example: at the dentist with Rory today- I smiled and looked in her eyes while she was afraid so that I could show her she was doing a great job and didn’t need to be afraid… or with Ryder at her doctor appointments, I put on a brave face so she doesn’t see fear and feed off of that. I want them to feel my energy of security and trust that God will take care.

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Then there are times as a mom that you need to just show your kids (especially your girls) that it is okay to be sad. It is okay to have questions and concerns. It is okay to cry.

So today Rory and I had a good cry together. I told her that I hope she always asks me questions and I hope I always have answers. I told her that things will be different and new but that I promised to make it fun and beautiful no matter where we live.

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We talked long and hard about how God had called us to move and opened this door and that we are obeying Him and He will bless us for our obedience. (No, we aren’t called into “THE” ministry, but our lives as Christians IS a ministry and each move we are called to brings great responsibility in that.)

Rory and I cuddled up together and talked for a good thirty minutes (which is an eternity in 4 year old world) about some changes we will be making and the process of everything. I made sure not to make any promises that I couldn’t keep.

I did promise that we would make new fun friends. I promised we would find a new fun church where she could worship and make great friends. I promised we would find a new fun school. I promised we would find somewhere to swim and go to the park. I promised we would still see grandparents often. I promised that she could help make our new house/apartment/who knows beautiful with me.

I promised her over and over that no matter where we live we are all going together- Mommy, Daddy, Ryder and Rory. And as long as we are all together it didn’t matter what our house looked like or where we lived, we would make a happy, fun, safe, and beautiful home together.

This part, having a child who is deeply affected by change, is definitely creating a new moving ballgame. It is so hard, but its a precious time of getting to share with her in a deeper way.  I love that it gives me the opportunity to open my Bible and show the girls verses about God’s promises to us.

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I would love so much to be able to keep them in a bubble where they can always be carefree and have no harm come their way, but that isn’t real life. So, instead, I want to teach them that through ANYTHING they can come to me and cry with me and tell me their fears, worries, problems, excitement, victories. And I hope that I teach them that they can go to God just as freely as they can come to me with anything they are going through and that He will always have the answers.

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July Ipsy Glam Bag and other makeup obsessions.

Y’all. I have a problem.

I may or may not… or okay yes I most certainly do… have an addiction to makeup.

My whole life I have bought drug-store/Walmart brand make up and never had any complaints.

Then I started dabbling here and there into name brand, therefore more expensive, makeup.

And now I can never go back into my hole of no makeup knowledge. I am in love, y’all. In love with makeup.

ME! Low maintenance Tiffany! And the best part is my makeup still only takes 5 minutes to apply (no for real only 5 minutes) but it looks so much better.

I really liked this month’s Ipsy Glam Bag. I especially loved the actual little bag- it has been my favorite one so far.

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1- 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow by BareMinerals : okay, so I am not always a fan of the cream eyeshadow because it tends to smudge and not stay put. BUT I will say that I’m kind of in love with this eyeshadow. It stays on so well and is very lightweight for such good coverage. I’m really impressed with this product. I also love the color- but the package didn’t specify what it was and that has me a bit puzzled. I think it is Divine Wine but could be Barely Nude?

2- Tints & Sass Cheek and Lip Stain in Cherry by Elizabeth Moss : First I would just like to say maybe I am a prude or whatever but I’m not a fan of the name. I know I should get over it but seriously when I say it even in my head I say something different and y’all can figure that out. ANYWAYS. I do so love this product. I lurve the color on my lips. I haven’t tried it on my cheeks, but maybe I will get out of my comfort zone and give it a try. I love that the lip stain is buildable. So I can put just a dab on for some color that looks natural or I can apply it generously for a bright pink color. Also, it smells like cherry and well, who doesn’t love a good smellin’ lip stain?! Lip stain is kinda my thing (I will do a whole blog post on my addiction soon) so I was really excited to try out this brand and it is definitely a good product even though I HATE THE NAME.

3- Vanished Clear Spot Treatment by Clear Clinic Laboratories : I am excited to try this out and see how it does. I have only put it on once on one little blemish but don’t have anything to report yet. But I did like that it didn’t burn at all on contact.

4- Straight Up Color nail Lacquer in Mango Rita by Nailtini : I pretty much jump in complete joy when I see a full size bottle of nail polish in these bags. I mean- COME ON! So, naturally, I was just so excited to try this out. I love the nail polish, but I’m not a huge fan of this particular color. I feel like it isn’t right for my skin tone. But it has a nice little glimmer in it and the girls LOVED it on their fingernails so it is a win for them! I think it applies great, but just not a fan of this color on me.

5 – Dark Tanning Oil by Hang Ten : Well considering it is July and I have a pool I am excited about this. Except that it is July and COOL. Yes. In the south. I wish I had a jacket right now kind of cool. I don’t even know where I live anymore. I’m hoping it warms up fast so we can enjoy our pool a little longer before we move and so I can test out this tanning oil!

So there you have it for the Ipsy Glam Back for July.

But wait! There is more!

I went into Ultra yesterday to get my foundation (Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundaton) and noticed they had a BROW BAR.

BROW BAR, PEOPLE!

Now, y’all know I have man brows FOR DAYS, so when I saw this I was intrigued. So I got my brows done right there in Ulta and THEY LOOK BETTER THAN THEY HAVE IN YEARS. YEARS, I tell you! It didn’t hurt and they left them full and lovely. I am so impressed I can’t even tell you.

Well the Brow Bar is sponsored by Benefit cosmetics so I started browsing around their display….

when I found it…

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They’re Real Mascara by Benefit Cosmetics

This is the kind of mascara that will change your life. CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Okay. So I put it on this morning and thought I might fly away because my lashes were so out of this world long. I can’t stop batting them either. Even just to myself. I can just tell they look so much longer and fuller.

My coworker said they looked like fake lashes they are so long, and I was all “THEY’RE REAL”!

GET IT?!!!!!!!!

I also go the They’re Real Push Up Liner and I’m kinda obsessed with it too because I can make a mean cat eye with it. It is liquid without being too liquidy. Does that make sense? It goes on smoothly and easily. I think I’m in love.

So, naturally, I took some selfies and am a total goober but whatever! I had to show you!

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In these pictures I have on the lip stain and eyeshadow from the Ipsy bag. My liner and mascara is the They’re Real Mascara and Liner by Benefit.

Blush is my other new obsession (I TOLD YOU I AM ADDICTED NOW TO MAKEUP) Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Blissful. This blush is AMAZE. I mean. It lasts ALL DAY LONG but it isn’t too loud. It is subtle and soft. Oh how I love it.

Now. Let me go back to where I say that I’ve been buying more expensive makeup. I’m not talking about grossly expensive, just about $10-$15 more on a product than I used to pay at drugstores/walmart. These products last so much longer and don’t need to be reapplied throughout the day and OH MY MERCY my skin has changed so much and is clearer than ever. I’ve never had serious acne, but I would have the occasional breakout. Now it is rare to get any and all I did was start using better quality makeup! Who would’ve thought?!

So – question, dear readers - do you like seeing these beauty/makeup reviews? Is this something you would like me to keep up? I am loving giving them to you, but just wondered what y’all thought. Let me know!

our new adventure.

*I apologize for this post in some areas- most of this comes from my journal that I keep and I wrote it over the course of about a week or so and I just kind of copied that and added some in between.

On June 18th, Andy came home and said, “Well. I got a call about a job today.”

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. We have officially moved every two years or less since we have been married. I can hardly keep up anymore.

My mind immediately went into overdrive. I asked Andrew approximately 1000000 questions. He knew maybe 8 answers of those because, hello, he had no more info than that at this point.

The problem with these weeks of limbo between the initial call and the interview (which took longer to set up because of 4th of July holiday) is that life goes on but also stops. People start talking about plans in the future and all you can think is how you might not be around anymore.

But, at the same time, there is no guarantee from one phone call that you will move or that it will work out. So you try and stay connected and involved (and in my case this time still trying to make friends here) even though you aren’t sure it is worth the effort if we will be moving. (That sounds harsh, but I don’t know how else to say it.)

So, basically, these last few weeks have been very much hurry up and wait. We have kept completely silent minus immediate family and very, very few out of town friends.

We finally went to Cleveland (aka our Chattanooga family vacation…) and Andy had his interview. The company bent over backwards to ensure we were set up and had a great experience. Andy rocked his interview, of course, and they verbally offered him a job that day. Wednesday we got the official paper work in. We said a lot of “this is really happening!” to each other. Tears were shed. Giggles were fluent. We were ecstatic.

Honestly.

It is hard to believe we are facing this again.

A move.

Andy got the call about this job exactly two years after we moved from Texas to TN. When we accepted the job at the Counce mill and moved to Tennessee we thought this would be it. The very last move.

I also said and thought I’d never live in (and especially LOVE) Louisiana and Texas. So. Clearly I have no idea.

I have such extreme mixed feelings about this move, just like any other move.

Thinking about living my work FAMILY has made me shed many, many tears. LOTS OF SOBS. I would lie awake at night thinking about how I would never make it through telling them we were leaving without sobbing. I just can’t imagine leaving them, leaving my job, leaving “my” patients. I just love my job and work family so very much.

And of course, the friends we do have here mean so much to me as well and I hate leaving them too.

The hardest part is definitely telling your friends goodbye.

But, y’all know I am also so excited about this new adventure. Moving is always hard in some areas but if you know me you know I love and crave change. So I’m completely ready for our next adventure as a family. (Adventure is the only word that can describe it- I think of every move as just that. A beautiful, new adventure God has given me.)

This has very much so come out of no where. Andy and I had zero intentions to move. Andy especially planned to live in Savannah forever.

So, as with every move, we are overwhelmed with bittersweet feelings.

We will so miss living THIS CLOSE to family. That has been such a wonderful treat after not having it. I wouldn’t trade a single second here because my girls finally got to know their grandparents, aunts, and cousins so well. And I’m so glad we won’t be TOO far so they can continue to build these beautiful relationships with them.

We know God has placed this amazing opportunity for Andy and our family exactly where and when He sees fitting best. We are just so excited to see the plans He has for our family in a new location.

Also, let me say this: I am overwhelmed with pride for my sweet husband. Andy is the hardest worker I know. He has reached every single goal he has ever wanted. He is so driven and gets what he wants because he earns it. I couldn’t be happier for him for this awesome promotion and for all the accomplishments I’ve been by his side to see.

He makes every single move worthwhile.

We cannot wait to see what Cleveland, TN has to offer the Harris family and what WE have to offer Cleveland.

I  just don’t think they can prepare themselves for the Harris family…. ;)

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***update: as predicted, lots of tears were had at work today when I told my boss and coworkers. LOTS O’ TEARS.

 

actually living.

About a week or so ago, I heard a remark somewhere (honestly cannot remember where I heard it) and it went something like this:

Are you actually living your life or are you living it through your phone?

Besides Instagram, despite what it might seem, I really don’t log onto social media much. I post everything through Instagram and then I occasionally get on the facebooks to give a status about my boringbuthilarious life. So it really isn’t the social media thing making me not live my life…

It is my camera.

I’ve lived a good part of my life now through the camera on my phone. Constantly trying to capture that perfect picture and spending time coming up with the perfect caption.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t regret a single picture. I’m so proud and thankful I have captured so many details of our life through pictures because it sets our family up to never forget anything. I know my kids will immensely enjoy having so many pictures of them growing up. No one ever regrets taking too many pictures.

What I DO regret is the times I’ve been more concerned about taking the picture than with what is actually going on. I’ve missed out on a lot of fun and gotten frustrated for no reason because ALL I WANT IS A FREAKING PERFECT PICTURE or ALL I WANT IS TO CAPTURE THIS BEAUTIFUL (I think? because I’m not really living it…) MOMENT.

So, the past couple of weeks you’ve seen less pictures because I’ve “challenged” (hate that word, but whatever) myself to maybe give up a few pictures to actually LIVE in the moment instead of living through my phone.

Most of all, I want my children to remember me as a mom who enjoyed time with them and not remember me for only trying to get a picture to enjoy.

Is any of this making sense? Do any of you struggle with this as well?

So this post is, GASP, going to have a lot of very imperfect/not-so-good pictures. And, even more shocking, I AM OKAY WITH IT.

Last week we took a little mini-vacation to the Chattanooga area. To say we had a good time would be the understatement of the century.

Friday night we met with our friends Amber and Bill and their three boys for dinner in Downtown Chattanooga. It was so good to see them and see their boys. Amber and Bill went to my dad’s church when I was a freshman in college. They married a week after Andy and I and we have kept in touch (thank goodness for the internets!) ever since. We walked to the park by the river and let the kids play. It was so cute seeing them play together. Rory and Will (and Ryder a little bit) played tag and it was so cute. Amber is such a good, fun mom and you can so tell just being around her kids. They have great imaginations and are so fun.

(The “funny” thing about not taking so many pictures is that the girls did much better when I did want their pictures taken… interestingggg.)

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We did our normal Hotwire thing and stayed in the Chattanooga Choo Choo for about 1/4th the price you could book it online. HOLLA, Hotwire, HOLLA.

Now. I will say the hotel wasn’t a 4 star retreat. But it was clean and had great outdoor pools and the room was very large. So, what else do you need?

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The girls absolutely loved seeing the trains. They were so cute soaking it all in.

Rory was obsessed with “The Big City”. She kept saying, “Mom. When are we going to go back to The Big City? When can we go explore The Big City?” It was so cute.

One of their favorite parts of the entire trip was riding the free shuttle Chattanooga has that runs downtown. They seriously thought it was the.best.ever.

Saturday we rode the shuttle to the Tennessee Aquarium. The girls hadn’t been to a real aquarium before so I knew it would be really fun. But I had NO IDEA how awesome it would be to experience them seeing it and taking it all in. I just had no clue.

They were so cute and thrilled and EXCITED the entire time. Everything blew their minds. Watching them made me (and Andy!) laugh and giggle and it was just such an overwhelming blessing to see our kids enjoy something so much. I know it is just the aquarium but y’all don’t even understand. I literally cried watching them enjoy it so much. And because I kept my phone put up and on silent, I got to truly soak in every second of it.

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Their favorite part was the sharks for sure. Rory loved touching the sting rays too. It was such an awesome experience. I cannot wait to take them back, and now I’m definitely taking them to the Atlanta aquarium as soon as I can!

After the fun morning, we walked to Coolidge Park. Walking in heat never ends well with Ryder. Her legs most certainly stopped working. But we FINALLY made it after some tears and a lot of sweat. The girls and I rode the beautiful carousal and then the girls played in the fountains while mom and dad took a rest in the shade.

(Rory is practically a TEENAGER in these pics! wahhh!)

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The girls loved staying in hotels for a few nights. Only one night they slept decent though. We decided to do two double beds instead of a big king bed. I’m not entirely sure that was the best choice, but who knows. All I know is that it seemed like we did A WHOLE FREAKIN’ LOT of playing musical beds. We started off one way and woke up in totally different beds every night.

(Musical beds is a lot like musical chairs except there is no music and mommy ends up with no sleep.)

But, the girls were so cute snuggled together at the beginning of each night.

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Y’all. We had an amazing weekend.

I took some pictures and most of them are poor camera-phone quality.

And I don’t even care.

I enjoyed every second with my family (no for real- like every second) and the girls got to have their mom sans phone.

It is the best thing I’ve done for my girls and for myself

Sometimes you need to actually live your life instead of trying to make it fit into your camera. Am I right?!

a light-hearted post about how I feel about potty training. on opposite day.

Well. It seems as though I’m in the hellish place called potty training again.

And yes. That is exactly how I feel about it. Thankyouverymuch.

I’m not really sure why but it is some sort of sick joke that I get two kids who have NO INTEREST at all in the potty training business.

You don’t remember Rory and my trials with her?!

Let me remind you:

Reminder #1

Reminder #2

There are more, but I feel like two reminders about poop is enough for this hour.

So here I am, now with Ryder, tackling this horrid task called potty training.

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Or coaching labor.

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Ryder’s attitude on the situation is this:

Me: Ryder, ready to go potty in the big girl potty??? You are three now! You get to be a big girl and not wear diapers anymore!!!!!!! Isn’t this AWESOME?!!!!

(I MEAN, REALLY. I deserve an award for the amount of enthusiasm I muster up at 6:00am about poop.)

Ryder: Nope! I fine! I just don’t need nuffin’ but my diapers! I fine! I good! I not need princess panties!

Me (to myself, of course): %$#&*@&@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL OF THE WORDS! ALL OF THEM! ALLLLLLLL OF THE WORDDDDSSSSSSSSSS!

I even went as far as to create a POTTY FAIRY. What is my life coming to?!!!!!

The potty fairy (who by the way is an a-word because she brings the prizes but doesn’t stick around to do the WORK that is involved) brought lots of undies and M&M’s and books about how princesses poop in the potty too!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SHE DOESN’T CARE!

Doesn’t even care that the poor potty fairy did so much work trying to prep us for the hell of this week.

Whatever, kids, whatever.

Go ahead. Be hard on me. Don’t move up in the big girl class. Don’t hesitate to stink up the whole house with your nasty 3 year old poop diapers.

GO FREAKING AHEAD.

I’m also naturally irrationally angry at Andrew.

I mean. I can’t even look at him right now.

There he goes. Off to work. While I’m already cleaning up the first pool of pee on my floor at 6:15am.

GO AHEAD TO WORK.

It is currently 7:42. I’ve been up since 5:15 with the children who will not sleep past that terrible hour of the day.

Ryder has peed once.

ONCE.

Hateful child.

(HA)

And let me just say one more thing…

WHO CAME UP WITH 2-3 BEING THE PERFECT AGE TO POTTY TRAIN A CHILD?

Everyone knows three year olds are THE WORST. And you want to throw potty training in with the mix of it?!

WHO CAME UP WITH THIS?! BECAUSE I AM FULLY PREPARED TO OVERNIGHT THEM RYDER’S FIRST POOP IN THE POTTY TO THEIR DOORSTEP!

And I don’t want to hear all of your crap (haha) about how I can make it easier on her. She has no idea I feel this way- hello that is why I have a blog- I am miss potty party girl up in this house.

I AM DOING ALL THE RIGHT THINGS.

I just happen to have heifer children who COULD CARE LESS if they crapped their pants for the rest of their life.

I’m  not being dramatic or anything here.

This is just how I feel about potty training.

AKA THE WORST PART OF PARENTING TODDLERS.

I must go now. The SUPER FUN POTTY TIMER has gone off on my phone and I must torture encourage Ryder to go potty now.

Donations to my coke, chocolate and possibly alcohol fund can be made at any point.

(KIDDING, MOM!)