Friday, November 15, 2013

just a few days over 30...

I celebrated my 30th birthday this month, and it has been a strange mental step to take, but a perfectly easy physical step.

my handsome date

my party at home with my family

sneak attack!

Grammy & Papa are so much fun.

Papa & his littlest namesake

These boys LOVE to wrestle their Papa

I love my life & my husband & my boys.  I wouldn't trade anything.  I wouldn't change any of my days.  I feel blessed to not be in charge of the number of my days.  I believe it helps me to be more grateful for what is given, and not look for what's expected.

I've decided that 30 feels foreign to me because I have little to no expectation for what 30 brings.  I have had the awkward feeling even through my 20s that as each birthday came after my college graduation, that there was no 'graduation' or 'next grade' or clear stepping stone for life.  It is truly strange for someone who loves the familiarity & comfort of grade promotion to mark my years & create emotional triggers for my memory to hold.  Sort of the 'now what?' question for what comes next.

I get the idea of quarter-life crisis, funny enough.

But at least I did have some ideas of what my 20s would be: graduate from Clemson, get married, start my career teaching, start our family.  I didn't know I'd be lucky enough to be able to stay home with my kids.  I didn't know how truly amazing that decade would be & how unimaginable the changes are from 20 to 30 are in hindsight.  It does kind of boggle my mind that I met my husband shortly after my 20th birthday & the rest of the decade was only up from there.

What will 30s bring for me?  I don't have any specific goals for my 30s.  Don't suppose I'll have any more babies in my 30s.  Don't forsee any relocations or moves (yet, haha).  I may go back to work when my boys all start school, but that will be 5 years from now.  When I finish my 30s, my boys will be 10, 12 & almost 14.  ((holy smokes - I am not ready for that!!))

What a different life it will be.  I'm nervous about how much will change, but at least I can be here, right now.  I can crawl in bed for snuggles with my 2 year old & almost 4 year old.  I can breath in deep & hug tight & smother my 6 month old with kisses.

I have changed dramatically in the last 10 years.  I hope I can say the same in the next 10!  In the best possible way I think these days are reshaping me & making me more like Christ.  and for that I am the most thankful.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

my super heros & holiday musings

My little boys were super heros this year for Halloween.  This holiday was a little different for me than it has been in the past.  My experience with Halloween as a child was limited.  We dressed up, but not ever as anything scary.  We didn't dress up at school, I don't think anyone did.  We went to our church Fall festival & didn't stay home or trick or treat that I can remember.  My parents never made a big deal about it, and I don't remember ever really thinking much about it as a child.  Not a dedicated Halloween enthusiast, but not against.

testing out the super hero t-shirt

This year even more than before, I worried about my boys seeing things that would scare them - make them afraid.  I don't want to put things before their eyes that are too violent or scary.  They are still so little & there is no rush for them to grow up!  The question for me is: how to participate, be involved, be in but not of this cultural norm.  I don't want to remove our boys from their culture, but I desire for them to be wise in the midst of it.  I desire to give them a filter, a sensor, a radar & alarm that tells them that they need to evaluate & choose.  What can be a fun, purely cultural tradition where we spend time with our neighbors & friends, versus what is not.  (I am laughing at myself, but maybe these understandings will come with age & seeking as mine have?)

we found some super heros that became snuggle buddies

Holidays continue to spark questions for me as we raise our boys: what traditions do we desire to create?  What do we want to emphasize?  What do we want to de-emphasize, downplay, eliminate?  How can we make our holidays about the time together & joy in our family&friends?  How can we elevate Christ in all the holidays, especially Christmas??  What is good balance?

pumpkin carving & using their little wooden hammers & a golf tee to create a polka dot pumpkin!

I tend to run away from excess, indulgence, over-the-top.  I desire small, intimate, meaningful.  I'm not good at it, but I try.  I am already a 'kid on Christmas morning' as I am now 'allowing' myself to shop for toys & pjs & books like I normally do not.  and it brings ME so much joy!  No wonder we want to spoil our kids, and it is a blessing to give.

Evil doers beware!  Super James & Super Hayden are here!!

I hope I can help create & foster holiday gatherings with our extended family for our boys as they grow.  It is a precious gift to have family - even when holidays bring stress & schedules & chaos & travel.  I know I value the memories I have & the effort my parents made for us to spend the holidays with our grandparents & cousins & aunts/uncles.  I hope to always be able to give that gift to my boys as well.

Super Hayden & Super James in action!
 Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday.  It strikes me as odd because how could Christmas NOT be my favorite, but still.  I love the Fall.  I love the concept of gathering together to give thanks to our God for what he gives.  I love apple pie & pumpkin pie.  Yes, Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday.

all 3 of my super heros
But Halloween has definitely made me look at the way I celebrate & why.  and I am grateful for that.  If nothing else, I would like to be INTENTIONAL about how we participate as a family in any & every holiday.  That may seem a little odd, but I'm glad to be odd.

ready to roll around our block
 I'm convinced the introspective look & challenge to my own norm is healthy.  Self-evalutation can be such a helpful tool in refinement, but only if I am honest.  It is easy for me to be all in the mind & not as good in actual day-in-day-out life, but you do have to start.

by far my cuddliest super hero
Next, all I have to do is figure out how to turn down the volume on santa + materialism + elves + chaos and turn up the volume on Christ + his birth + his life + his gift.  How to do that....!?