Friday, October 17, 2014

To every season

This fall sure has had a lot of seasons within it. Raining and dreary one day, freezing cold sleet, hot and humid, and then days like today…perfect and cool with crunchy leaves and sunshine.

This week I received some incredibly sad news from a friend of mine. I won't go into details, but it was about as tragic as can be.  A few hours later, a close friend of ours sent a photo of her newborn baby born just hours earlier. 

All I can think of when I experience these moments of sadness and joy is Eccelesiastes 3

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to harvest
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time; also He has put eternity into man's mind, yet so that he cannot find what God has done from the beginning to the end.

So, as the leaves change this fall, so come the changes of life. So thankful for my two little boys today, just spending time playing outside and being so grateful that I'm their mom. God is so good. (And if you have the Byrds song "Turn Turn Turn" stuck in your head now, I'm not sorry…it's a great song!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Enough is Enough

Before you read this post, I first must say I am not trying to start an argument, I am not pointing my fingers at anyone in particular, I'm just simply stating something that I've been noticing more and more in the past few months on social media. Some of the examples I'm using are not things that have happened to me, but also to other mothers I know or from other blog posts I've read.  I've hesitated so many times to publish this post. I've been writing it for a while, and left it as a draft. But after the past two weeks seeing my social media blow up with such negativity, I changed my mind.

The Mom Wars. I'm so sick of it. I'm about this close to deleting Facebook for the very reason. You post an adorable picture of your kid, get 54 likes, and then ONE person says "wow how do you have time to take pictures of your kid? Maybe you should focus on actually playing with them?" or the "I wish I had time to play with my kid, but I work too much," or "Looks like little Timmy there has a band-aid on, did you just have him vaccinated?" and then posts a link to your wall about their beliefs on the evils of immunizations.  Then there is the breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, and all the hundred million articles making one or the other side feel guilty. Daycare vs. in home care. Working moms vs. Stay at Home Moms. Married moms vs. Single moms. Multiple child moms vs. single child moms. We are all unfortunately guilty of these mom wars.


As moms and dads we all basically have this one common goal:

To raise our children to be safe, happy, and GOOD invididuals. To love them in a way that they grow up to have confidence in themselves and their relationships with God, their family, and friends.

That's it.

I know when I was handed Eli by the nurses when our time at the hospital had ended I was thinking "What the heck I am supposed to do? I don't know what I am doing? Why are they trusting me to take home this baby?" I know almost 99.9% of all other mothers felt exactly the same way. With the help from wonderful family, friends, my husband, and lots of prayers, I figured it out, and made it. Then I think about the mom whose husband is overseas, or the mom who is pregnant and battling cancer, or the seventeen year old girl who has chosen life and scared out of her mind.  Between the late night feedings, diaper changes, tantrums, and long sleepless nights, we've all come out on the other side. Not without guilt. The guilt we already give ourselves is bad enough. You know what I mean. But the guilt society gives us is even worse. But the worst guilt of all is the guilt OTHER MOMS put on ONE ANOTHER!

It doesn't make sense. We are on the same team! When our kids play on the playground and get rowdy and start pushing and shoving you hear all the moms start chirping, "Be nice! Play nice!"  Well now its time to say it to ourselves. We're all doing what we can to survive this crazy beautiful ride called parenthood. It doesn't last as long as we wish it would, and some days it lasts forever.  So instead of putting one another down, let's lift each other up.  If you're not the lifting up, cheerleader type of person, then how about just respect each other?

Guess what? We're not all perfect.

Time for a little story: Last Friday I took the kids to the grocery store, for some reason, even though I had the super cool car grocery cart, Eli threw the biggest tantrum. No punishing or bribing with suckers were going to stop this one, so we went to checkout with what we had. An older lady came up behind me, I apologized for Eli's screaming, and she said "Parents these days don't know how to discipline." Of course, she was only parked two cars down, so she continued to share with me her opinions on my lack of parenting skills. I got so flustered, got the kids in the car, cried the whole way driving home and realized halfway home that Eli wasn't even strapped into his car seat. I beat myself up for a while on that one. Now looking back, that woman had no right to say those things to me. The tongue is a powerful weapon, and I let hers get to me way too much. The moral of the story is: be kind to everyone you meet, because they may live with a toddler.

I speak from personal experience when I say sometimes I see a mom who I think is perfect, and instead of RESPECTING how well she performs her style of parenting, I become jealous and worse, bitter. I see the Pinterest perfect mom who does crafts all day long with her kids and they never watch tv, and instead of letting that annoy me thinking "I bet she thinks she is the best mom in the world" I should instead say, "Wow! How fun and amazing she has the energy and creativity to do that!" Then, turn and recognize, is your jealousy because you're sitting on the couch ignoring your kid scrolling on Facebook, or is it because every time you get a hot glue gun out your burn yourself and end up with macaroni noodles all over your kitchen floor? Maybe that's just not your style, and that's ok! Because the thing is, that Pinterest perfect mom might just actually LOVE doing that kind of stuff with her kids! The mom who drops off her kids at school in her workout clothes and runs marathons on the weekends may just find that that's what keeps her sane and happy so that when she's with her kids, she can focus on them.  The mom who is busy working and stays late hours in the office may not financially have a choice, or she may have chosen that she earned that college degree and she still has aspirations and professional goals of her own. It doesn't mean she doesn't want to only be a mother four hours a day, it just means she balances it differently. The mom who adopted because she felt the calling to do so, doesn't make her less a mom because she wasn't pregnant with that child, she is just as much a mom as you or I.

Isn't parenting hard enough? Isn't the guilt we put on ourselves bad enough? We already feel isolated from our friends and alone on our bad days, why not be a support system for every mom out there as if to say "I've been there too girlfriend, but you keep your head up because if I could do it, so can YOU!" Let's cheer each other on and stop resenting each other or being jealous. If you're not happy with your own personal situation, that does not make it ok to become spiteful to someone else. In fact, it may just surprise you that if you ask for help or advice, that other mom will tell you stories about her own mothering moments that would make you laugh and realize you're both human (somewhere under the baggy eyes.)  I am not just saying this to other mom's out there, but just as much to myself. With that said, let's all stay positive and rejoice in each other's kids accomplishments too! Our children are beautiful little creatures (most days) and lets keep them that way by being a shining example of love, encouragement, and respect.

So to all the mom's out there, Keep it up. Whether you're reading this nursing a baby at 2 am, taking a break from your long work day, or with four kids pulling on your arms, YOU ROCK!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Rock on

I can't believe the day is here. Isaacs first birthday Eve. I know this is cliche to say, but where did the time go? A year ago today we were driving to my folks house to drop off Eli, a moment I had been dreading so much. After being several days overdue, I was being induced, something else I was dreading. Thankfully, due to my amazing doctor and wonderful nurses, everything went so smoothly. Isaac's birth is something I will gladly never forget, it was pretty amazing how much I enjoyed it.

I remember when the little guy was placed in my arms and I said "he is so tiny! He can't even be 6 pounds!" and the nurse and doctor looked at me like I was crazy. I kinda was, he was almost 9 lbs, but after carrying around Eli, he seemed so tiny. Now he weighs in at 30 pounds and doesn't seem tiny at all!

So many moments of his birthday are already becoming a blur, but I have one moment that is as clear as day to me. I was alone, Seth had gone to get some air and shower at my parents house and I was feeling good and wanted out of bed, so Isaac and I decided to go rock in the rocking chair. Nothing special about it really, no monumental bonding moment or anything particularly out of the ordinary, just simply rocking that sweet little nugget and snapped this photo.

I made a little promise to Isaac in that moment to rock him every single day. I knew things were going to get crazy the second we got home. With a 20 month old waiting for us at home and harvest starting while in the hospital, life was going to become more than challenging. I had been warned by so many that the first year of the second child's life flies by even faster than the first child's. 

So, I've kept my promise give or take a few days. I make time, every day, to rock that sweet little boy. Sometimes it was an unplanned 2 am feeding and I would wake up two hours later asleep with him in my arms. Other times, it was in the hospital when he was sick with RSV and on a nebulizer. Some days it was quick and rushed, but always time well spent. I knew the time would go by too fast, so we rocked as much as we could. 

So here we are today, as I am writing this, just rocking. 

I am just so thankful for this little guy. When people ask me if there are personality differences between Eli and Isaac, I answer with a big resounding "YES!" Not that Eli wasn't an easy going baby, but he has a very serious little personality sometimes and likes to scope things out before diving in. He is a little bit more reserved socially and likes having his little routine. Then there is Isaac, who made it quite clear he was on his own schedule when he decided not to be born close to his due date. He is my little social butterfly, dare devil, and wrinkles his nose with a little toothy grin and mischievous look in his big brown eyes. Words often used when describing Isaac are "stinker" "rotten" and "booger." 

Life of the party, am I right?!

He has such an infectious wonderful charm to him that I KNOW will get him into trouble someday. I have ready imagined several scenarios of Isaac throwing parties and causing mischief at school...I hope his teachers and principal will be as charmed by him as we are!

Isaac has been my constant reminder to slow down and enjoy things in the moment this year.  I only work one to two days a week, a decision that did not come easily and is certainly harder some weeks than others to be a mostly stay at home mom. I often find myself questioning my "worth" especially on the hard days.

Those days when someone says "wow you're so lucky you don't have to work" and I have to grit my teeth and drag my toddler throwing a tantrum to the car for a timeout and then get home and realize my shirt was on inside out and I have a peice of squished banana stuck to my rear end and then I finally get rocking time with Isaac, and he looks at me with that sweet knowing grin babies have as if to say, "Mom, you've totally got this. You're doing good." 

Isaac reminds me all the time to just stop and enjoy things and to take life head first!

Isaac has already learned the life lesson of just go with the swing of things and maybe bend the rules a bit too!

And to always feel fully exhilarated by the feeling of wind in his hair (even if he only has a little bit)

And always to lean on others shoulders when you need a little support!

Isaac, though young, is already so wise when it comes to women. He has learned to stay out of the way and just take it...

Because she will always come around :)

Isaac knows sometimes you have to suck it up and get to work...
...but that still doesn't mean he has to wear pants doing it.

Now and then he needs a little push from his big brother, who is always looking out for him

And lastly, Isaac has mastered the art of being cool...

So my sweet little Isaac Adler, happy birthday! You have brought us so much joy and love this past year!

As much as I say I wish I could go back to the day you were born, just to hold you once more in that moment...

... I wouldn't trade this year and watching your sweet little personality develop. So as I sit here holding back tears as you snooze in my arms, I remind myself the best is yet to come, and that tomorrow, even though your age will officially change to years instead of weeks and months, we will still get to rock. And the day after that, and the day after that. Someday, probably sooner than I'll ever be ok with, you won't want rocked anymore. But for now, we rock on.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Apples of my Eye

Fall is here, and we are loving every second of it! Today, we had some errands to run, so we took a long way to town and checked out McClure's Apple Orchard. We hitchhiked on an elementary school's field trip for part of the time which was so fun and the school teachers with the group snatched Eli up to join them up in front. When the kids were released (and by released, I mean the floodgates of chaos opened up) to go pick apples, we decided to check out the animals. 
Some really sweet horses made friends with Eli and Isaac, probably mainly because Eli was pulling grass out of the ground faster than any lawnmower and shoving those little fistfuls of grass quite forcefully in their mouths.

It was so sweet watching Eli with this much I cringe because I want him to love cattle, it was adorable.

Eli enjoying the goats with his one little apple.  He had picked two apples (still not sure if that was allowed) and decided to feed one of them to his new buddy, the horse, when I turned my back. Holy moly, I've never seen him laugh so hard, he fell over giggling watching that horse eating an apple. Easy to entertain I guess! 

Kittens, bunnies, what more could a kid want! 

Oh, and two geese of course! 

All my family members will immediately know that Eli was counting apples.


Funny story behind this little wagon. Seth threw a fit telling me we weren't going to get a bunch of presents for Isaac's first birthday this Saturday. (Let me take minute to wipe my tears) Anyway, we decided to get him this wagon as his one gift. So I did the shopping around and settled on this one and even got a little bow to put on it so we could have this grand moment the morning of his birthday and roll it out, and he would of course magically take his first steps AND speak his first real words and say "thank you mama!" and then we would blow out the candle on his perfect birthday cake I baked the night before and Eli wouldn't try to steal Isaac's gift and the whole thing would be perfect. Weeeellllll, while I was gone last weekend in North Carolina for my cousins wedding, Seth sent me a photo of the boys...playing in this wagon! I was SO MAD! But only for a second because it was a really adorable photo and, let's be honest, Seth and I are the absolute worst at keeping presents secrets so I shouldn't have expected any differently. 

Isaac really enjoys being hauled around in his present, and Eli enjoys hauling his little brother around, so it's a win-win! 

It was the perfect little adventure on our way to the grocery store, and then we dropped a box of Cheerios in the supermarket and both kids got dum dum suckers so we could make it through the checkout without a don't be fooled by the photos, I'm a normal mom with normal kids! I should also mention the orchard also has a winery, which I didn't get to check out for obvious reasons, but while in the checkout line at the store I was definitely daydreaming about hard cider ;)

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful autumn day! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Long Time No Blog...

First of all let me just say, SORRY!

I have recently had some complaints about my neglect towards this blog (and no, not just from my mom!*) and I have to say, it was actually so wonderful to hear! I got away from writing a little bit during the longest winter ever mainly because we didn't do much and my creativity had run dry, and we were battling respiratory issues with Isaac. Once winter decided to take a break, it was planting, and then suddenly it was August and I had just gotten my Fourth of July decorations up and Easter ones put away, and now its fall! 

Quickly I will update you on our lives here. Seth's still working an hour north in Milford as well as farming and I'm still at the animal hospital. Eli is 2 and a half and taking the whole toddler thing very seriously. Isaac will be one in a few short weeks and I don't know how I feel about that. I'm training for a mini marathon, which is sort of a big deal for an ex-swimmer with webbed feet like me. My oldest sister Michelle is BACK IN INDIANA!!! Family is all doing wonderful and so thankful for all of the amazing friends we have up here. Okay, so enough of that, and onto what's going on here and now!

As I've said before, fall is my absolute favorite season.  The biggest reason being the change of weather and beautiful scenery, but also because its harvest. I'll admit, harvest was a lot more fun when I was just a farmer's girlfriend and a farmer's fiancĂ©. Being a farmer's wife is a whole new ballgame. When Seth and I were dating, I would drive up from Purdue to go visit him for the weekends and ride in the combine. I would make sure to grab him a few bags of candy on the way, enjoyed the pretty leaves on my drive up, and get so nervous and excited to ride with him. I always got butterflies when he first stopped the combine and jumped down those steps to come give me a sweet kiss and have me join him in the cab. We would ride for hours talking and listening to music and he would try to hold my hand and steer at the same time. Bathroom stops are interesting in the fields, but Seth, ever the gentleman would make sure to stop and find a good place for me to squat and make sure nobody was around.  Riding in the tractor is bumpy and uncomfortable, but I didn't care because Seth was by my side. Sometimes I would get sleepy and rest my head on his shoulder and fall asleep. Awwwww….how adorable, right?

Well, we got married and let me tell ya, things got real.  

Now I call Seth and try to find out what field he's in and once I get there, find out they've decided to move fields. Ok, so drive to the new field.  New field is across the mother loving county. Beat the combine there so park in the ditch and wait. Oh, do I have to pee already? Oh good here comes the combine! Why is Seth waving his arms and yelling at me? Oh, apparently I have parked my car in the way of the semi. Move the car. Get out and walk towards the combine…oh just kidding, he's driving away, guess I'll just have to catch him on the next turn. So much for stopping and that sweet kiss! Now I have to jump on while its moving. What about those country songs you would listen to together? Nope. Now we listen to football or Nascar. Uh oh, gotta go to the bathroom, and then I get handed and empty coke bottle. Long talks about our passions and dreams are replaced by lessons in yields and corn row densities. Let me tell ya, about five minutes in the grain cart is about all a pregnant bladder can handle, and going over the end row bumps was one of my tactics to induce labor with Isaac.  Now I get sleepy, and I just drive on home and get really excited to hog the whole bed to myself AND the remote!

Alright, so a lot of the novelties of harvest have worn off, and I don't get to ride with Seth as much more now that I'm in charge of doing some of the meals every week and have the boys, but I will say, Seth still holds my hands and steers one handed.  Also, I wouldn't trade those old memories for anything, but seeing Seth AND Eli's faces light up when they take off in the combine or grain cart is just priceless. I'm a sap, so it makes me tear up every time, especially when Eli rides with his Papaw Ted.  Harvest to Seth is like Christmas for a little kid.  I've never seen him more passionate about anything else and so as much frustrations that come with harvest and spending a lot of time alone, I *try* to stay supportive and positive since its something he truly loves. But, I'm a woman, and sometimes we get crabby.

I've learned over the past three and a half years that being married to a farmer is tough.  Its ten times tougher with kids. Its probably a million times tougher if you have kids AND work out of the home.  These women around here that have been doing this for 20 plus years….they're pretty darn amazing.  They're also probably going to be canonized saints before they die, as well they should! 

So, with that said, bring it on harvest! I have a feeling its going to be a long one with all the rain we've had and late start to planting.  So excited to have an easier harvest now that Isaac isn't a newborn and make it as fun and festive as possible!  Here's to wishing all the farmer's out there a safe, productive, and happy harvest. And to all my other farmer's wives out there…go buy yourself a couple cases of wine, we're gonna need it! :)

*ok, so it was my aunts and sisters but whatever, still counts

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pinch Me

Pinch me, is it true?
Can Eli really be TWO?!
It seems like just yesterday he was learning to walk,
now he can run, jump, and (sorta) talk.
He has wonderful manners and says 'please' and 'thanks,'
but climbing on the coffee table has earned a few spanks.
Riding in the tractor is Eli's favorite thing to do,
along with eating oranges, spaghetti, and cheetos too!
He knows all his shapes and colors as well,
and when it comes to his name, Eli can spell!
I'm so excited to celebrate him turning two,
but I can't believe its been a year, can you?!
So happy birthday to our sweet little boy,
You've been a blessing and bring us so much joy.
Whether you've seven, nineteen, or fifty-four,
We'll love you each day a little more and more!
I can't believe a year ago I posted on this little guy turning one!