Friday Five · gus · motherhood

Story {Five Minute Friday}

Five Minute FridayIt’s Friday and that means it’s time to write for five minutes, no editing, no backtracking, no overthinking. Lisa-Jo provides a prompt and in this community we write and then we encourage one another.  So link it up, friends, and share the love.

This week’s prompt is….


Usually I’m a good girl, a rule follower, a yes, yes, yes, responder who just wants to please and takes everything as it comes.  I only really said no once.

I said no to the curly haired, dimple cheeked, screeches at his big sisters when he wants more juice baby boy sleeping in the crib down the hall.

I didn’t want him at first.  And that’s the bare ugly truth of what is becoming my story.  When I found out I was pregnant, I cried for days.  I hid in the shower and sat on the floor and could barely hold up my head because my story wasn’t supposed to be the girl who quit her job and was just a stay at home mom.  My story was supposed to be doing great things and writing profoundness and making differences and finally getting to breathe after three girls and a brief career.

I was ready for my story.  What I wanted.

Thank God I’m not in charge of what I want.  Thank God He knew I needed that baby to be my story of grace and redemption and brokenness and life and love.

I want him now.  I want him to be wholly the man the Lord has set him apart to be.  So much more than this weary selfish mama could ever raise him to be.

I want my story to become his story; how there’s always a plan and a purpose and a gift when we say yes to God.

gus · · monday · reflections

Monday Catch-Up

Joshua finally found a use for all the baby food jars.  Seed starters.  Squash and zucchini and cucumbers.  Except he forgot to label the jars and can’t remember which is which.  
Oh, well.  The girls and I planted these this weekend.  In the rain. He tried to recover from the stomach bug (yeah, that’s still lingering around) and went to a community theater board retreat.
I went to the grocery store with all four (again, in the rain) because I’m evidently an eternal optimist who really believes each time will be better than the last.  Four doughnuts, $75, and one inappropriate response to the lady who thought I was pregnant later, I decided to stop letting my menu plan control my life.
Speaking of menu planning, I’m trying to get an even tighter grasp on our even tighter grocery budget by planning for two weeks worth of meals at a time.  Any tips?  I’ve found endless planners on Pinterest, but I have yet to really be able to make this work for me.  Primarily because I actually like to grocery shop, hence the eternal optimism.  
But I like to cook and I like to plan and so menus work well for us.  I also like to coupon and watch sales cycles and I’m coming around to price matching, and since the grocery store is the ONLY retail therapy I get these days, I’m try to work it to my advantage.
I found this today the moment I clicked into Pinterest for the first time in a couple weeks.  I love it when everything I’m looking for is in one place.

The planning served us well last week when we were busy helping with the annual spring musical at my old school.  For me, right now, the best part of theater is that it’s a family affair.  I helped direct, Joshua set up lights, and the big girls danced in the show.  
It was also Gus’s first birthday last week.  Unfortunately for him, we spent it in dress rehearsal.  But that was probably best.  It’s been a difficult milestone for me to wrap my mind around. 

He’s happy.  He’s beautiful.  He’s a precious gift, a  realization that is all the more foremost in my mind as of late.
Many of us are sharing heavy hearts right now, and right now, I am only finding comfort in the precious words of the Lord.  I will never understand His ways, but I will choose to trust His hand.

1000 gifts · amelia · gus · · madelynne · motherhood · reflections

On Providence and Perspective

Sometimes all we need to get a fresh start is a moment to really look.  A moment to watch as babies and lettuce and flowers grow right before our eyes.  A moment to remember that providence is in the eye of my perspective.

I’ve been hanging on to the now a bit lately.  Not unlike the way Madelynne hangs upside down on our swing set that will soon be finding a new home because they’re too big, it’s too small, and some dear friends are gifting us with theirs when they move. 
That move is going to be hard for all of us.  It’s in the back of my mind and heart and I don’t want to see the providence in such a moment, even if I know it’s there, somewhere.
So I’ve been soaking in these moments of goodness and grace and watching and waiting.  I’ve been reveling in the now of sticky popsicle faces and bursting seeds.  I’ve been resting in the thoughts that only a short time ago I wanted nothing more than to be rid of this home and onto bigger and better things, but now?  Now I’d love to just stop time and stay here and keep them little and have friends up the hill and a garden that’s growing promises and a perspective that sees the blessings.

gus · Manic Monday · sisters

Why My Sisters Are Incredible {& Manic Monday Link}

There’s nearly a foot of snow on the ground, both grandmothers have moved into her house, and on Friday after nearly 12 hours of regular contractions, the midwife sent her home with no encouragement that baby would be arriving this weekend.
But they like to surprise us, don’t they?  In the midst of what has been an overwhelming, jam-packed, too-many-commitments-to-process kind of week, and only four days after we celebrated my own second child, my sister gave us this beautiful baby boy.  
He decided early Saturday morning that he was ready and she moved fairly quickly through labor, quickly enough that since she was birthing in a hospital that doesn’t give epidurals and was a bit afraid of the alternative, she made my mama so very proud by giving birth naturally.  Then, as if that wasn’t enough to be impressive, the stats came in: 9 lbs 13 oz, 24 and 3/4 inches.
Now that’s heroic.  So far he’s been referred to as hoss, whopper, and fatback.  Bless his heart.
He’s beautiful, huh?  If you want to donate funds so I can travel 1200 miles to squeeze his cheeks, let me know 🙂  and that’s a Get Dolled Up Boutique gown he’s sporting.  Personally, I think it’s cuter than the camo, but that’s just me.  I might be biased because it’s also been worn by this sweet bug.
Gus and Great-Granddaddy Deforrest, May 1, 2012
I know some other folks who wish they were able to journey north to hold great-grandbaby #9.  The past ten days or so, we have all been praying diligently for my grandfather’s recovery from what he calls “old age.”  He’s been in and out of two hospitals and says he’s not telling anyone anymore when he feels badly because we just take him to the hospital.
Ever since this began, my sisters and I who are local have been taking shifts to keep him company.  But none of the rest of us have pulled the load my sister Katy has.
Celebrated her birthday in Dec 2011, clearly I need to take some new pictures….

She’s pretty bossy and she makes the rest of us jump, but she gets the job done.  For the past two weeks, she’s put her own life on hold to be there for my grandparents so my father could continue to work and be home with our youngest sister, since Mama is helping with the new baby.  She stayed overnight at the hospital  and helped granddaddy terrorize the nurses; she’s cooked and cleaned and driven my grandmother to the grocery store because she’s out of cookies.  Last night I took my family over to visit the grands, and I’m sure today she’s reaping the benefits of that: Amelia had an accident in the bathroom and when I offered to mop, my grandmother said I was alright, Katy could do it.  Nice.

But seriously?  Between my own four kids and nearly four dollar a gallon gas, I can’t be there the way I would like.  I’m so grateful that my sister chose a new home that’s close enough for her to be available when needed, especially since, right now, that’s all the time.
On a Manic Monday note, I think I’ve figured out the cause of some of my stress.
We’re now post-consignment sale and this clutter has GOT TO GO. Hopefully it can be today’s naptime project.  For me, when my mind and heart and house are all cluttered up with ideas and projects and worries, life becomes manic.  
I hate that because it means I yell more and grumble lots and don’t appreciate the sweet moments.  Like what we were doing while my nephew was making his appearance….

40 degrees and steady rain call for indoor egg hunts and puppet shows with friends.  Come on spring, I’ve got three linen dresses and a jon-jon for Sunday and they won’t look good with overcoats!
How’s your Monday?

amelia · gus · · joshua · madelynne · monday

And Then It Snowed….

We had no idea it was coming.  In fact, we didn’t alter our plans to attend the UGA Gym Dog meet just because the white stuff was falling because we really didn’t think it would amount to anything.

I’m sure to all those folks who think it’s warm when we’re freezing at 34 degrees don’t think this amounts to much.

But we’re in Georgia, baby.  This is as good as it gets.

And then it was gone.

And it was Monday.  I roasted a chicken.