Monday, April 25, 2011

Child of God

So many good things have been happening. The entire Roberts family is tired, but we're slowly catching up. The past four or five days have included wedding dress shopping with my gorgeous best friend, walking (part of) a 5K in a storm with my family of six, welcoming company to our home, visiting with friends new and old, a blessed Easter holiday, a preschool graduation and a final Roberts baptism.

While all of this is blog-worthy, I have to focus on Luke's baptism. It was pretty special. Just the right people were there, our priest was relaxed and patient with all the kids, and I got to see two very special people become godparents to my baby boy.

On your fourth go-round, it can be hard to choose godparents. As hard as it is to believe, I don't think we could have picked better godparents for Lucas than cousins Jared and Christal. We asked Jared to be Luke's godfather on Christmas Day and asked Christal to be his godmother in early January. Both of them were over-the-moon honored and excited and have been since.

I have confidence that not only will Luke have his village of grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends, but he'll have two of the best people I can think of as his godparents to help to keep him on the path to a good, honest life. They'll step in when we need assistance, they'll support him and lift him up when he experiences life's lows, and they'll want the best for him in every situation. If he's lucky, he'll find in them confidantes when he can't talk to anyone else, maybe even his dear old dad and mom.

There is such joy and such satisfaction in knowing you've chosen godparents well. Thank you, thank you, lovely people, for agreeing to sponsor our son as he navigates life and his own path to God. We're truly just as honored as you both are, and - it's true - you sure do make a beautiful "God-family"!

Here's a couple of snaps of my reasons...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Holding On and Letting Go

It seems I am becoming too busy to blog. I haven't posted in a week! All I have to say about that is that I have been busy. I think I will be busy the rest of my life. But I'm not hanging this up. I am going to be wise enough to know when I have to let one ball fall to keep the rest in the air. I guess, this past week, the blog was the ball that had to fall.

But even I am impressed that this is my 100th post. Somehow, in the past nearly ten months, I have found the brain power, the passion and the time to blog 100 times. Given my crazy life and the fact that four little creatures call me mom, I'm amazed. So, let's pick it up here and keep moving!

My mind is full of so many things. I have been thinking lately during my long commutes that I simply need to schedule a "brain dump." While it's not the prettiest phrase, it's fitting. I need to take this poor brain and dump out some of the details. I have to let go of the Wal-Mart lists, the memory-keeping, the sympathy cards I haven't yet sent, the doctor's appointments, the winter-summer clothing exchange.

In the past couple of weeks, I have begun to get longer chunks of sleep that allow me to dream again, or at least to remember the dreams. They are crazy concoctions of my subconscious. I dream about work, about the water that needs to be added to the Keurig before it will brew my next cup of coffee, about the diapers Luke needs at the sitter's house. It's bizarre.

In addition to the details I'm holding on to, I'm also holding on to extra weight. The pregnancy pounds aren't melting off as fast as they have after my other babies. Part of this is that I'm getting older, while part of it is that my body and mind are under such stress that my body is just refusing to give up the weight. I'm getting too much of the stress hormone and not enough water. Too much of the sitting on the couch nursing/sitting in the office working/sitting in the car driving and not enough sleep.

So life isn't going to change too much. An editor or agent isn't going to see my blog and hand me the world on a silver platter. Nobody else is going to take care of me but me.

And so, I'm going to schedule that brain dump, try to sleep more, stress less, eat my veggies and drink my water. I'm going to be less hard on myself.

I'm going to nuzzle the soft, sweet-smelling heads of my children and the familiar, now SMOKE-FREE (hooray!!) neck of my husband. When a ball has to drop, I'm going to watch it roll away with a smile. When we finally get that first camping weekend at the lake, I'm going to take in the sunshine, the fresh air and the joy. I'm going to feed off those positives and carry them with me into the rainy days, the days where the supermom gig seems harder than ever.

And, right now, I'm going to sign off. I'm going to eat a bowl of cereal, watch this awesome season finale of "Parenthood," do the bare minimum to get ready for work, school and sitter tomorrow, and spend some time with my handsome husband, with whom my amazing supermom gig wouldn't have been possible. =)

Life is crazy good, and nothing is guaranteed. So let's keep moving!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring is Our Reward

Ahhh, what a wonderful time of year! The drudgery of brown grass, brown trees and brown snow, even, if it sticks around long enough, is gone.

Now we've got amazing color. Bluest skies, greenest grass. And that makes this an awesome time for taking photos, especially photos of kids out and about, wearing the happiness we all feel right there on their happy, squishy little faces.

So instead of writing much tonight, I'm posting photos from our recent family bike ride and our glorious Sunday afternoon picnic at Lake Tweet! We were foraging for summer clothes because we all overdressed! It was so nice to be back in the old camper for a bit, and Luke really enjoyed his first meeting with Lake Tweet!

Max and friend Adie taking a break at Lake Tweet!

Luke chillin' after his nap in the camper.

These crazy girls were completely drenched from playing in the creek!

And yes, Colby was THIS hot. He turns red from sunscreen application, heat and the sun, and we had all three on Sunday!

And, now, off to bed for me. Don't forget another great thing about spring: the yard sales!! Hope to see you at "The Mother Load Sale" tomorrow! (See previous post!)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Mother Load

Please excuse my absence around here lately, but I have have been busy getting ready for a mammoth yard sale, among other things. I kid you not, in the past week, I have not only returned to work three days a week, but fed a newborn, gotten myself to the doctor for some antibiotics, survived a difficult neighborhood situation, managed my household, mothered four children, grown closer to my hubby and priced thirty totes of yard sale items. You read that right.

Thirty. Totes. 3-0.

And I'm not done yet.

So please excuse the mess in my home, my head and my heart. Most of those totes are of baby girl, toddler girl, little girl and big girl clothes. My girl's clothes. I do not deny that some of those totes were very hard to sift through. I've said it before and I'll say it again. My baby girl, my first baby and only girl, taught me how to truly give of myself. To become a mother, I had to give of myself in so many ways, so many times, ALL the time. And those clothes were all worn on that little creature, who grew and grew and who now stands just less than a foot shorter than me at the tender age of seven.

It's almost too much.

This week has been a week of growth. I've truly experienced that feeling that mothers of older children tell me all the time. "You'll miss this." "I still yearn for my children in baby form." "They grow so fast! Enjoy these baby days."

I'll even go so far as to say I had several of those "Sunrise, Sunset" moments where I stood at the table touching those clothes, remembering pictures and days, and watching my now half-grown Lilith fly through the back door in her impatient, sassy way and just blinking, blinking, blinking at her in amazement. That firstborn, much-loved babe grew up. She won't stop!

I'm keeping a big old box of clothes for me, and I'm yearning to take my girl on a special outing soon. Just us. I want to remember to be less hard on her, to not expect too much of her, to let her be as self-centered and needy as she wants. Because it won't be long until she thinks a day out with mom is subpar to time with friends. She won't be so free in her expressions of love. She has grown so much in seven years, and I can't even imagine what seven more will do.

I know those of you who are mothers are understanding this raw, real place I'm coming from. And, like a feather in your cap, please take this away tonight: They are right. It's true. You're gonna miss this. Keep surviving and thriving in your mommy caps. Get through the day to day, the nights paying bills, wiping fevered brows. Drink it up. And don't just save the memories. Swim around in them as often as you can.

And, if you're local and especially if you have a little girl or are expecting a baby soon (four totes of maternity!), check out the mother of a sale Thursday and Friday on Main in Waterford.

And, if you see that I need one, please pass me a tissue while you shop.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When Life Gives You Mud

...make mud pies.

So. I'm back to work. Life is different, for sure, but we're okay. But I must admit, I am a bit grumpy tonight.

Most of the first day back at work was fueled by adrenaline. It was almost fun. I over-prepared. There were organized piles all over my house, ready for packing, dressing, grabbing, whatever, on Monday morning. I even made dinner (in the crock pot) before I left for work! I rocked the first day of getting out of the house with four kids!

At work, I was heady with the accomplishment of it all. By afternoon, though, reality set in. I worried about milk supply, I was reintroduced to some of the work problems I'd left behind, and I started to crash. I very keenly began to feel the invisible ties that bind me.

And I've done some thinking and reflecting since then. What I've come to is this: one day, I plan to get paid to do what I love. I am a work in progress. I am evolving. I am not yet done. And while "all I ever have to be is what He made me," I am not yet completely who I was made to be.

How does one work on a large, long-term goal when they are as busy and needed as I am? Well, I am not sure. But I know if I do all for good, good will come of it. I am quietly confident that this will work out for me. I just have to keep doing what I'm doing. I have to research and act on my dreams when I can. And I have to believe I can do it.

I can't find the exact quote that I'm looking for right now, but the gist of it is "God is never late, he is always right on time."

So I'm going to go with God here. I'm going to keep doing the things that are good and right. I am going to try to designate some time to be still and listen.

And while I'm busily going about this plan, I am going to follow my four-year-old Max's simple, unquestioning way of life. When life gives me mud, like it did here today, I'm going to make mud pies.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tonight I'm Almost Ready

Lucas, looking a "widdle bit wuwwied" about momma's return to work...

It's a work night. That's right, kids. Tomorrow, momma heads back to work. I'm feeling pretty confident, seeing as how God gave all six of the Roberts a cold for the occasion. Wow. They say He won't give us more than we can handle, so I'm thinking He thinks I can handle a lot!

Seriously, I'm good. I'm ready to take on this beast, to continue to be among the ranks of kick-ass working mothers who get things done in big ways.

I spent a couple hours in my work town, which is not only a college town but my college town, on Friday night. And I remembered then how much I miss it. Rumbling brick streets, happy spring-lovin' college kids, great eats and some incredible legendary people. Hello, Athens! How I love thee.

So tomorrow I'll be rockin' it. I'll be throwing bottles in bags, packing breast pump parts like a pro, tossing scraps of food into my lunch bag, changing last-minute dirty diapers, carrying at least five bags and strapping in four kids, and, hopefully, doing it all with a little bit of grace so that I don't scar my kids for the rest of their lives.

After I April-fooled myself on Friday by driving 15 minutes to a Zumba class before I remembered it was cancelled for the day, I realized I needed an April babysitting calendar. Heaven forbid I leave a kid somewhere. So the calendar is ready. And it's stupid. It's ridiculous. While the whole month is a bit mind-boggling, this Thursday in particular looks like a complicated calculus problem, as it will take three different sitters as well as me and Shrek to pull off that day's schedule.

It's crazy that I need a calendar for me, my husband, my mother, my sitters--my village. But I do. And Audrey, Rachel, Joel and all of you other mothers who will randomly step in to care for my children when needed, thank you.

So here we go. I'm ready as I'll ever be. I'm crossing my fingers and jumping in with both feet. Hang on; it's going to be a wild ride.


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