October 28: She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain

They were cracking up after school today singing, "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain." 

What was so funny, you ask? 

Because it's not reeeeallly that funny of a song… Good point.

But if you change the lyrics to things like, "She'll be glued to the toilet when she comes! SHE'LL BE GLUED TO THE TOILET WHEN SHE COOOOOMMMES!!" And belt it out in your very best hillbilly voice, it's pretty freakin' hysterical. Especially when you're 7 and have an audience.

I may or not have been laughing, too, and contributing my own delinquent verses, like "she'll be pooping on the potty when she comes…" #motheroftheyear

And "the kids be driven' mommy crazy when they home!!! THE KIDS BE DRIVEN MOMMY CRAZY WHEN THEY HOME!!!!"

#citytalk. It gets the best of all of us from time to time. We be all cray cray up in here. ;)

October 17: You Can't Do it All

Clayton knew at the beginning of the week that he had passed his spelling pretest, and sure enough, he did!! It was the first time for him, and he was so excited. I was too!!!!!!!

Never you mind that most of the words are three letter abbreviations, y'all. IT STILL COUNTS. It still very much counts. 

And also, I was busy this evening preparing for Women's Breakfast tomorrow, so basically nothing else got done. Just in case you were thinking for some reason that I have it all together and can do all the great things wonderfully and simultaneously. That is my disaster of a house after the kids "picked up," and those are my children, playing quietly outside with a dead snake while I finished preparing my notes.

Yep. A dead snake. They were dissecting it or something. With sticks. And the neighbor girls. I'm sure their parents will let them come back soon.

What did I say when I checked outside and saw them? Make sure you wash your hands when you're done.

And then I may or may not have remembered to follow up on that. 

August 21: Mother of the Year: First Day of School Edition

Have I mentioned before that I'm the Mother of the Year? I think I may have





Now that I have that title, though, I need to make sure I do my darndest to live up to it, you know? Let me just tell you, it's 

hard work.

 Grueling, tedious, hard work on my part. And we all know how I feel about that 

working hard stuff.

I wanted to write this post today for all of you out there who have ever looked at me and thought,


. I mean, just,


. She is

so great

. She's like,

the best mom ever

. Hence, Mother of the Year.

So let me just explain for a moment what the first day of school looks like when you're the Mother of the Year. We shall start at the beginning:

  1. Be in complete denial that school is actually starting and prepare accordingly, including sleeping in until after 8am all summer.
  2. Wait until the day before school to get school shoes for your daughter. Smile through clenched teeth as she picks out the most expensive pair, because all the cute "sale" shoes are practically nonexistent.
  3. Tell your son that his shoes from last year are still good. But don't check the size or make sure they still fit before leaving the shoe store. Leave that to chance in the morning.
  4. Assume that all their uniform clothes are in good condition and still fit, but don't bother to look at them or have the kids try them on. They have the adjustable waistbands, right? We can just let those suckers out if need be.
  5. Have the children set out their uniforms the night before school. This is easy, as the uniforms are still sitting in a messy pile on top of the dresser from last school year because you never "packed them up" for the summer.
  6. Pack their lunches the night before, even though the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches will get soggy. You only do this at your husbands request, as he knows your Mother of the Year tendencies in the morning. On your own, however, you wouldn't have bothered with such frivolities.
  7. Finally fill out all the school forms the night before after the children have gone to bed. Lament over the fact that mothers have homework before school even starts and the fact that you don't have a glass of wine to sip while filling out said papers.
  8. Don't include Emergency Medical Forms in the stack of papers to turn in because you misplaced them. In May. And also, you never scheduled a physical for the kids so the doctor's office could fill out the form. So even if you did find it, you still couldn't turn it in yet.
  9. Stay up way too late watching mindless television so that you push the snooze button when your alarm goes off. Twice.
  10. Even though you had lunches made already, clothes laid out the night before, and a sweet husband who made breakfast, you still manage to leave about 15 minutes late. But not before you grab your coffee mug and snap the obligatory "first day of school" photo. Priorities, you know.
  11. The first day of school photo doesn't have any coordinating chalkboard signs or pictures with mom and dad or the family, however. That would've involved something they call "preparation" and "timeliness." It was more of a "quick stand by the door, now run to the car! We're late!" kind of picture.
  12. Make sure to get completely stressed out as you're hurrying everyone to the car, like it's totally their fault you're leaving so late. Yell at your son who isn't buckled up yet.
  13. Although you remembered the construction zone on the way to school, you didn't take into account the traffic jam it would create from the morning commute. That would just make too much sense. So you come to a standstill quite a ways from school. You need to be there in 4 minutes.
  14. At this point, apologize to your children, as it's obvious that they are going to be late on their first day of school. Explain to them that it takes pure, raw talent to manage to be late on the first day of school, and that somewhere deep down, they should be very proud to have you as a mom.
  15. Traffic turns into a detour situation, taking you even farther from the route to school. But never fear--you brought your coffee! You can sit and sip it peacefully while you maneuver through traffic.
  16. Finally arrive at school and sign them in 10 minutes late. Although it doesn't escape you that you left your house 15 minutes late, mark TRAFFIC as the reason for tardiness. There was, in fact, TRAFFIC. Lots of traffic.
  17. Promise your children as you are walking them to class that you will do better tomorrow, kiss and hug them, and send them on their way.
  18. Breathe a sigh of relief. Not only did you succeed in getting them to school, but you managed to live up to your title in the process.

And after all that, I'm exhausted. Like I said, being Mother of the Year is

hard work. 

Now, if you weren't able to live up to this unbelievably high standard on the first day of school, please,

don't beat yourself up

. Sometimes achieving Mother of the Year status happens overnight, and other times, it requires lots of hard work, time, and dedication to the cause.

So seriously, relax. You have the entire school year to get it right.

Here's to the pick-up lines, the homework routine, the earlier bedtimes, and all you other Mothers of the Year out there… and to better tomorrows.


And Happy First Day of School to ya.

If you are a Mother of Year as well or know someone who would enjoy this, pass it on!!

April 4: Mother of the Year: Feel Better Friday Edition

This is the first edition of "Feel Better Friday," which is where I will publicly share some of my greatest Mother of the Year moments so you all can feel a little better about yourselves, or at the very least you can rest assured that you're not alone. 

As you can see, I was quite domestic today. Cleaned the house, washed all the dishes, and vacuumed for the first time in a couple weeks. And I baked cookies. Although the floors look clean at first glance, I must confess that I'm not a mopper. Not really at all. I'm in awe of all you diligent moppers out there.

The number of times that my kitchen floor has been mopped since we moved in September = 0.

Apparently I'm a once or twice a year mopper. So for those of you that frequent my house, apply the "5 second rule" at your own risk. Lol. 

So there you go! Feel better??? 

I was going to stop there, but something else needs to be said. I've also sat on those unvacuumed, unmopped floors and built train tracks with my kids. We spent some quality time with friends, large & small, on those floors today {after I vacuumed ;)}. I've chased a squealing, giggling baby girl around on those floors and listened to the pitter patter of her sweet, chubby bare feet. The kids were running the circle just tonight, laughing and playing and chasing each other.

What do you think they'll remember, that I never mopped the kitchen floors, or all the other stuff? This isn't about whether or not you should mop your kitchen floors, although I do think we'd all agree that they should, eventually, get mopped at some point. You're not a better mom if you mop them weekly, or if you never mop them at all.

YOU are not defined by your failures any more then you're defined by your strengths or victories. You, my friend, are valuable and important and loved and wanted just for being YOU. Feel better as you dwell on that tonight.

So what's the thing in your house that you continually don't get around to? Or are you one of those disciplined, weekly moppers that are nauseated by this confession?

August 6: A Lesson in Grace

Ahh, Clayton... My oldest. He's only 6 but the poor kid looks at least 8, and he's always been treated as such. His sister was born when he was a wee age of 16 months, and I expected him to grow up quick. It wasn't a conscious expectation, just a necessity of survival as a mother of two babies. Even at 16 months though, he was doing things that some two year olds hadn't even considered: opening doors, pushing chairs up to the counter and slicing pears {with a steak knife}, and locating every last spray bottle in the house. And spraying all of them, of course.

He's always been incredibly curious and into everything, and consequently a challenge parenting-wise. How do you direct and train such a curious and innovative mind? He knows when he's disobeying, but he largely does things because he's curious or wants to create something new. He's Curious George, just in boy form. I can't tell you how many "recipes" I've dumped down the drain over the years after he's tried to "cook" something new for breakfast. He also has  trouble controlling his impulses and using his words, but what kid doesn't, really. 

Instead of using his words, though, he's been aggressive with his siblings this summer. I feel like every time I turn around I'm telling him to use his words and apologize. The repetitiveness I don't mind too much, but I do mind when injuries, welts, and bruises occur as a result of the aggression. Today was one of those days.

When several rounds of playing outside by himself, time-outs, and apologies hadn't changed any behaviors, I angrily sent him up to his room to clean. He had de-fluffed his Build-A-Bear all over his room, I kid you not, about 6 months ago, and there's still cotton all over the floor. It hasn't completely been cleaned up or vacuumed since then. It's a painful process to get him to clean his room, so apparently I avoid the whole ordeal. But he was doing it today. First, he pulled the mattresses off the beds and took them apart. Then there was playing instead of cleaning, whining about not wanting to clean, doing everything except cleaning, escaping out the front door and playing outside instead of cleaning, and more not cleaning.

After much too long, he had finally made some progress in the right direction. Most of the big things were picked up off the floor, and I went in with a broom and dustpan to help him finish up. The floor is carpeted, but I needed the broom and dustpan to sweep up the carpet of things-too-large-to-be-vacuumed-up first, before I vacuumed. Like I've mentioned before, I'm "mom of the year." I like to try to live up to the title. So, I'm hot and sweaty and angrily sweeping up cotton fluff, googly eyes, broken crayons, Lego pieces, and Lord knows what else. I vacuum, stare in amazement at a clean, spotless floor, and attempt to reassemble the beds.

Quickly frustrated by the fact that I can't get the parts to fit together correctly, I bark at him to "get in here" and help with the beds. Despite my angry tone, my 6 year old calmly tells me that if you angle the bottom this way, move it over a little now, and gently slide it back that it fits back together quite nicely. "Why don't you try this one, mom," he says in a kind, encouraging voice. I mess with second bed for a few minutes before I get it right, and as he helps me lower it down, he says, "there you go! Just like that. Good job, mom!" Then he proceeds to ascertain the easiest, best way to move the mattresses back on the frame, and "just like that," we are done.

It wasn't until later in the evening when I was at our church prayer meeting that I realized that my 6 year old son was more of an adult this afternoon than I was. Nothing like a good prayer meeting to get some conviction going. Instead of setting an example of calmness and respect, I was angry and snarky. Even in the face of that, he displayed such maturity and grace in return. Leave it to God to use the impulsive, aggressive 6 year old to teach me a lesson on being calm, graceful, and encouraging, huh? As I tucked him into bed this evening I praised him for how he handled that situation and how much I appreciated it, and him! I'm thankful that no matter how many times I fail daily as a mother, wife, friend, or daughter, that God always forgives and always gives me another chance. And I'm thankful for children who do the same.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  Proverbs 15:1-3

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.  James 1:18-20